This paper examines the configuration of the romantic couple in Song Yuan’s Yuan-period novella Jiao Hong ji in the context of the earlier model set by the Tang dynasty classical tale Yingying zhuan. It focuses on the analysis of conversations between fictional lovers in order to examine how intimacy and the characters’ search for a shared experience of mutual acknowledgment are performed within the main plot. Shifting away from the model set by Yingying zhuan, the work of Song Yuan newly addressed the issue of love’s place in Confucian sentimentality, allowing the troubled emergence of a narrative of the couple.
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