汪 道 昆 商 人 传 记 研 究
Wang Dao –kun was an influential writer after the middle period of the Ming Dynasty .His collected works “Tai-Han Ji ”obtains 235 biographies, 112 of which are written for businessmen. Such cultural and literary phenomenon merits our attention. This paper aims at a comprehensive study on Wang Dao-kun’s biographies of businessmen.
Chapter 1 is “Inevitable result of the age ”, examining mainly the background of the age and Wang Dao-kun went through 3 reigns of Jajing, Longqing and Wanli, during which socio-economic pattern was changing, groups of merchants sprang into being, and the ideology was varying. Moreover, Wang lived in Huizhou, the homeland of Huizhou merchants, and his special family background made it possible to keep dose contacts with businessmen .His biographies of merchants were written in such historical and cultural background.
Chapter 2 is “Operation Trace of Huizhou Merchants in the Ming Dynasty ”, investigating the value of historical materials in Wang’s businessmen biographies .The author straightens up the historical materials about Huizhou merchants up the historical materials about Huizhou merchants in these biographies analyzing the hardships and risks in management and the special family conditions of Huizhou businessmen.
Chapter 3 is “Conflict and Mixing between old and new concepts ”, focusing on ideological tendency, There are some conflicting phenomena in Wang’s businessmen biographies: He attaches importance on business while admiring Confucianism .He unites moral principles and benefits while still having an attitude of moral worship .He also eulogizes extravagance and economies at the same time, Wang Dao-kun integrates old new ideas and creates many merchants’ images who live as confucianists during management. In Wang’s biographies of merchants during management, In Wang’s biographies of merchants. Old and new concepts twist together. Phenomenon This reflects the conflicts in social life and also results from Wang’s ideological conflicts, It’s very common in periods when the socio –pattern takes changes.
Chapter 4 is “Classical Prose in the current of thought returning to the ancients”, discussing the literary value of these biographies in 3 parts: choosing themes, creating images and expressing emotion.The author inspects the literary limitations of these biographies and examines their causes.
Wang Dao-kun was a writer who lived at the crossroads of his age, his biographies reflect the changes of age and the alternations of trend of thought, but still have traditional marks and are affected by the current of thought back to the ancients. His biographies, as literary works, can not be passed a high judgement. However, as a literary phenomenon, they are very typical and reflect a general situation of literature after the middle period of the Ming Dynasty.