PureInsight | August 29, 2005
[PureInsight.org] [Editors' Note: All the literary works mentioned in this article are now conventionally revered as masterpieces of Chinese literature and all five authors of the are conventionally revered as literary giants of classical Chinese literature.]
Tang Xianzufrom the late Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644 A.D.) wrote a famous romance drama titled The Peony Pavilion. (牡丹亭.) It is a story about an eloping couple. The language is very rich and colorful, and many people enjoyed reading it. Because of the book, people in the Ming Dynasty started to think it is romantic to defy the rites, pursue romance at all costs and elope. After Tang Xianzu died, a Chinese man claimed to have a vision during a near-death experience. The man saw Tang Xianzu being locked and steamed in a dark torture chamber. Tang's skin broke open in the high temperature and he was in excruciating pain.
The West Chamber (西廂記) is a famous drama written by Wang Shifu from the Yuan Dynasty (1271 – 1368 A.D.) Wang was very skilled in describing the details of romantic rendezvous' between lovers. Many people developed lustful ideas after reading this drama. It has been alleged that Wang Shifu met karmic retribution for writing the book. Before he finished writing the book, he suddenly passed out. He bit off his own tongue and died.
An Encounter with an Immortal (會真記) is a famous novel written by Yuan Zhen from the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907 A.D.) Because Yuan Zhen was unable to marry his cousin Cui Yingying, he held grudges against her and wrote an immortal romance using his cousin's name as the main character in the novel. In the novel, his cousin Cui Yingying was portrayed as a young lady who had a scandalous affair before marriage. As a result, Cui Yingying's reputation was ruined and she is forever remembered as an unchaste woman. In addition, young men and women started imitating the conduct in the novel and started to have affairs before marriage. It was alleged that Yuan Zhen died a painful death. After his death, his body was hit by a lightening and burned to charcoal.
Outlaws of the Marsh (水滸傳is a famous novel by Shi Nai'an from the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644 A.D.) He included a lot of stories that promoted lust, sex, theft, robbery and killing. It is not far-fetched to say it teaches people to pursue sex and robbery. Shi Nai'an's sons, grandsons and grand grandsons were born mute.
Jin Shengtan was a highly learned man from the end of the Ming and beginning of the Qing Dynasty (1636 – 1912 A.D.). He wrote commentaries on Outlaws of the Marsh, (水滸傳), The West Chamber (西廂記), and The Plum in the Golden Vase (金瓶梅) and, thus, promoted sex and violence that are dominant elements in those books. Jin Shengtan was an extremely smart and talented man, but instead of writing articles to promote morality, he was partial to writing commentaries on romances and immoral books. Later he was imprisoned for things he wrote and he suffered the horrible punishment of being cut in half at the waist and the top body being grilled over a fire. His family and relatives were also executed.
Translated from: http://www.minghui.org/mh/articles/2005/8/22/108938.html