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8 - The Arts of Culture

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 July 2023

Linda Walton
Affiliation:
Portland State University
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Summary

What were the characteristics of a cultivated man and woman during the Song? Calligraphy, painting, and poetry comprised the visible and audible elements of cultivation that distinguished cultured persons from commoners. These art forms were often individualistic expressions of emotion and personal life, but they could also be used to convey veiled political and social commentary. How did public and private life find expression through cultural forms? How did visual and literary arts convey cultural, social, and even geographical identities? Women as well as men were painters and poets whose works can be used as sources for capturing features of social and cultural life otherwise absent from the historical record. Theater, opera, and storytelling were modes of cultural expression that extended across social boundaries and exhibited regional and ethnic differences as well. The development of drama during the Jin and Yuan eras provides a new source for understanding the intersection of elite and nonelite culture. Tomb artifacts representing theaters and performers as well as the texts of plays are sources that can be used to reconstruct elements of nonelite cultural forms. How did the spread of print technology contribute to the blurring of boundaries between elite and popular culture?

Type
Chapter
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Middle Imperial China, 900–1350
A New History
, pp. 191 - 216
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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  • The Arts of Culture
  • Linda Walton, Portland State University
  • Book: Middle Imperial China, 900–1350
  • Online publication: 20 July 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108355025.009
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  • The Arts of Culture
  • Linda Walton, Portland State University
  • Book: Middle Imperial China, 900–1350
  • Online publication: 20 July 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108355025.009
Available formats
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Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • The Arts of Culture
  • Linda Walton, Portland State University
  • Book: Middle Imperial China, 900–1350
  • Online publication: 20 July 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108355025.009
Available formats
×