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In doing a little research, I discovered that there were Bluestockings in other societies as well. In 17th century China, intellectuals, mostly men, held salons and wrote poetry. These brave poets developed a special writing style, a cursive script different from the “official” and “permitted” writing.

This banner below shows a calligraphy scroll from 1629. Quoting from my resarch, “The work, Orchard Pavilion Preface is in the cursive script known as kuang cho, or “crazy grass script”. Kuang cho features gestural, flowing lines that are rough, strung together and hasty yet graceful, displaying the artist’s skill with a brush. This cursive style allowed artists to write with much more abandon than the blocky and very structured lishu , the “official script”.
The text itself refers to a party held at the Orchard Pavilion in the 4th century. A group of intellectuals had gathered to drink wine, write poetry, paint, and admire nature.

calligraphyI’m not sure yet, still working on the research, but I believe this writing eventually was taken over by women, and was used only by them in secret messages written on fans and embroidered on handkerchiefs. The women’s writing was called nushu by the 19th century. Again, I’m still working on this part. But whether there is a link or not, the idea that intellectuals needed to invent a script that was more expressive than regular writing is a wonderful idea.

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