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Access Type

Open Access

Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Zhang Dai, Self, Ming-Qing Transition


This essay analyzes Zhang Dai’s life and his major literary work, and argues that the expression of self is the core of his writings. By contextualizing Zhang Dai’s work in the Ming-Qing dynastic transition, this essay explains the hidden motives of Zhang Dai to justify, preserve and identify his self through literary practice, suggests that this explosion of self-expression is not only a literary response to the historical event of dynastic transition, but also a reflection of the cultural and literary trends of the 17th century. This essay also provides close readings and genre study to Zhang Dai’s poems, prose and biographical writings, and demonstrates how the expression of the writer’s self works in different types of literary genres.

First Advisor

Donald E. Gjertson