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ISSN : 1229-9618(Print)
ISSN : 2671-7506(Online)
Chinese Studies Vol.86 pp.307-327

Study on the Evolution of Endings and Genre Conventions in the Yingying Love Story

Lee Eun-Ju**
** 李恩周,韩国外国语大学中国语通翻译系讲师(


This paper offers a diachronic examination of how the love story between Zhangsheng and Yingying in Yuanzhen‘s novel “Yingying zhuan” has evolved through different literary conventions. “Yingying Love Story” has remained a beloved narrative, enduring from the Song to the Jin-Yuan periods and continuing to be performed on stage today. The interplay between external factors such as societal and cultural backgrounds and internal changes in literary conventions allows for an understanding of the modified narrative of the “Yingying Love Story” and sheds light on the processes of literary creation, reception, and adaptation. Additionally, it provides a more nuanced understanding of the genre characteristics across different epochs. The transformation of the ending of the “Yingying Love Story” from a tragic conclusion where the woman is forsaken to a happy ending where their love prevails reflects the societal and cultural contexts of the time. In particular, the empathy shown by Ci writers of the Song dynasty towards Yingying and the non-defensive attitude towards Zhangsheng played a crucial role in shaping the evolution of the story's conclusion. Subsequent urban commercial development and the flourishing of private literature altered audience expectations of Yingying, naturally propelling the original tragic ending toward a happy resolution.

** 李恩周,韩国外国语大学中国语通翻译系讲师(