Keith McMahon’s chapter, “The Classic ‘Beauty-Scholar’

Please re-read Keith McMahon’s chapter, “The Classic ‘Beauty-Scholar’ Romance and the Superiority of the Talented Woman” and note particularly both how he characterizes the genre and how he traces its development as part of a broader tradition of literature. Having done this, please write a 2-3-page paper that considers his claims and perspectives in light of three pieces of fiction we have looked at in class: the short story Ying-Yings Tale, the film Western Chamber Romance, and the short erotic prose fiction from late Ming, Lord of Perfect Satisfaction. In what ways does Lord of Perfect Satisfaction develop the ideas of capable woman to a possibly unexpected degree in particular? Do these pieces support McMahon’s ideas or upset them? What do YOU note about the development of erotic fiction over this swath of time?

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