The Libertine's Friend

The Libertine's Friend

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Delving into three hundred years of Chinese literature, from the mid-sixteenth century to the mid-nineteenth, The Libertinea€™s Friend uncovers the complex and fascinating history of male homosexual and homosocial relations in the late imperial era. Drawing particularly on overlooked works of pornographic fiction, Giovanni Vitiello offers a frank exploration of the importance of same-sex love and eroticism to the evolution of masculinity in China. Vitielloa€™s story unfolds chronologically, beginning with the earliest sources on homoeroticism in pre-imperial China and concluding with a look at developments in the twentieth century. Along the way, he identifies a number of recurring charactersa€”for example, the libertine scholar, the chivalric hero, and the lustful monka€”and sheds light on a set of key issues, including the social and legal boundaries that regulated sex between men, the rise of male prostitution, and the aesthetics of male beauty. Drawing on this trove of material, Vitiello presents a historical outline of changing notions of male homosexuality in China, revealing the integral part that same-sex desire has played in its culture.This is a recurring topic especially in late Ming fiction, featured in several stories from Forgotten Stories of Catamites and ... female ones are going out of business, and are sometimes even forced to cross-dress as boys to remain in business.

Title:The Libertine's Friend
Author:Giovanni Vitiello
Publisher:University of Chicago Press - 2011-08-15


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