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Speaking of Flowers: Theatre, Public Culture, and Homoerotic Writing in Nineteenth-Century Beijing

Wu, Cuncun and Stevenson, Mark (2010) Speaking of Flowers: Theatre, Public Culture, and Homoerotic Writing in Nineteenth-Century Beijing. Asian Theatre Journal, 27 (1). pp. 100-129. ISSN 0742-5457

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Abstract

This paper examines the nineteenth-century flourishing of a homoerotic theatre literature paralleling the development of jingju (Beijing opera), theorizing its impact on public culture in the Chinese capital. Popular among literati gentlemen, "flower guides" (huapu) extolling the beauty of boy actors (xiao ling) have left a valuable record of the busy social life that centered upon Beijing's theatres and nearby restaurants and nightclubs. With reference to the writings of Roland Barthes the authors argue that flower guide circulation contributed to the formation of new types of public space and new ways of "performing the self" associated with theatre in early modern China, a space they call "epitheatre."

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: ResPubID21309, nineteenth-century, theatre literature, public culture, Beijing, flower guides
Subjects: Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
FOR Classification > 2103 Historical Studies
SEO Classification > 9405 Work and Institutional Development
Depositing User: VUIR
Date Deposited: 21 May 2012 05:38
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2012 07:12
URI: http://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/7100
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1353/atj.2010.0007
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Citations in Scopus: 7 - View on Scopus

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