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  • Print publication year: 2014
  • Online publication date: December 2014

32 - Queer Poetry in the Long Twentieth Century

from Part VI - Genres of the Present


This chapter examines five contexts together with their associated gender terminologies, in order to pursue how same-sex-desiring subjects forge themselves in the crucible of words, space, and time in Chinese-speaking contexts. The five contexts, namely, the theatre, the bar, the school, the movement, and the family. In the Chinese literary imagination, the world of banquets, vocal performance, and operatic theatre is most reliably associated with the representation of sexuality. In contemporary Chinese fiction, the school romance continues to be haunted by the relative perfection of the love between the young women and the disappointments of marriage and motherhood. The abolition of the polygynous household and a range of associated social identities constituted a major site for the institution of Chinese modernity throughout the twentieth century. The legitimacy of new state regimes was consolidated under the new protocol of a monogamous heteronormativity.

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