Li Ju-Chen

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Li Ju-Chen


(also named Sung-shih). Born circa 1763; died circa 1830. Chinese writer and philologist.

Li Ju-chen was the author of the satiric novel Flowers in the Mirror (1828), which combined aspects of fantasy, the “scholarly novel,” and the travel novel. In this work he advocated women’s equality and criticized the pedantry of scholars who isolated themselves from life. Flowers in the Mirror is written in slightly archaic language, which borders on the colloquial. The few but expressive details impart a high degree of authenticity to the allegorical narrative. Li Ju-chen wrote the study on Chinese phonetics Mirror of Phonology and a number of essays.


In Russian translation:
Tsvety vzerkale. Foreword by O. L. Fishman. Moscow-Leningrad, 1959.


Semanov, V. I. Evoliutsiia kitaiskogo romana. Moscow, 1970. Pages 46–59.
“Hsü Shih-nien, Lüeh t’an, Ching hua yüan.” Chungkuo ku-tien hsiaoshuo p’inglun chi. Peking, 1957.
Chung-kuo wen-hsüeh shih, vol. 4. Peking, 1957. Pages 196–201.
Chung-kuo hsiao-shuo shih kao. Peking, 1960.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Wang evidently shares Yiu Hsiu-hsi-ung's treatment of Empress Wu in the novel as "a symbol for the tyrannical Manchu government which is to be overturned by the royal courtiers and soldiers of the late Ming dynasty," and consequently fails to explain Li Ju-chen's "inconsistent" attitude toward Empress Wu.
For instance, Wang says, "Yet, unfortunately Li Ju-chen still relishes those traditional values concerning women's virtues and duties.
After Li Ju-chen ends the story of the novel with Wu Tse-tien's recovery from illness and resuming the imperial exams for talented women, he makes up a mythical tale to explain how the Flower Fairy commanded her White Ape to record the history of those talented women.