By Wu Cuncun, Chris Berry
Homoerotic Sensibilities in past due Imperial China is the richest exploration to this point of overdue imperial chinese language literati curiosity in male love. using fundamental resources resembling miscellanies, poetry, fiction and 'flower guides', Wu Cuncun argues that male homoeroticism performed a valuable function within the cultural lifetime of overdue imperial chinese language literati elites. Countering contemporary arguments that homosexuality was once marginal and disparaged in this interval, the ebook additionally seeks to track the connection of homoeroticism to prestige and power.In addition to ancient photos and research, the booklet additionally advances the idea that of 'sensibilities' as a style for examining the advanced variety of homoerotic texts produced in overdue imperial China.
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Extra info for Homoerotic Sensibilities in Late Imperial China (Routledgecurzon Asian Studies Association of Australia East)
While we may find abundant references to homosexuality in biji or historical documents of the Qing dynasty, it is only through engagement with the xiaoshuo of the period that we are able to gain insight into the overall trend of homoerotic sensibilities during these centuries. The relevant sources in Qing xiaoshuo can be divided into two categories according to their language genre: wenyan xiaoshuo (classical) and baihua xiaoshuo (vernacular). Among the former, there are some important stories of homoeroticism collected in short Homoerotic sensibilities in late imperial China 14 story collections such as Pu Songling’s (1640–1715) Liaozhai zhiyi (Liaozhai’s records of the strange),50 Yuan Mei’s Zi bu yu (Censored by Confucius), Ji Yun’s (1724–1805) Yuewei caotang biji (Notes from the Hut for Observing Small Things),51 and Yu Jiao’s (fl.
I have, where possible, acknowledged passages that appear to run counter to my own position, many already noted and given interpretation by other scholars. In many such cases I have shown how these sources have influenced my own interpretation, and I have provided the background that enables me to interpret those passages differently. Before I go on to discuss modern scholarship, however, it is necessary to consider the nature of the primary sources I have used. e. novels and stories) and poetry, mostly originating from the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
The importance of fictional works for this study lies not only in the description of male homoerotic sensibilities they contain, but also in the evidence they provide for an assessment of the nature and form of male homosexuality in this period. In the xiaoshuo we find indications of social or literati taste, their desires, fantasies and exploits. It is in xiaoshuo that these are most vividly brought to life. From the perspective of social history, xiaoshuo are not merely a reflection of the writers’ imagination, they serve as paradigms for the aesthetic taste and social sensibilities of the era.