Private Affairs

in The Crafting of the 10,000 Things

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780226735849
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226735856 | DOI:
Private Affairs

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This chapter explores Song Yingxing's private affairs, the social implications, family surrounding, education, political events, and historical circumstances that impacted Song's efforts. It deals with the Chen Qixin affair that prompted Song to write An Oppositionist's Deliberations. Song made his mark on premodern Chinese literature and Chinese seventeenth-century approaches to nature, technology, and practical work. Song's subtle nuances in An Oppositionist's Deliberations showed that he was not furious because a military man had been appointed to the civil service; nor was he bothered that Chen called for the abolition of the examinations. The contents and approach of On Qi and Talks about Heaven were very close to what Song may have intended to discuss in the discarded chapters on heavenly phenomena and music. Works of Heaven clarified him as a man with a free rein, finding order in the things and affairs that made up his material surrounding.

Keywords: private affairs; Song Yingxing; Chen Qixin; An Oppositionist's Deliberations; On Qi; Talks about Heaven; Works of Heaven; Chinese literature

Chapter.  12550 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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