Western Queers in China: Flight to the Land of Ozby D. E. Mungello
This unique work examines the role played by sexuality in the historical encounter between China and the West. Distinguished historian D. E. Mungello focuses especially on Western homosexuals who saw China as a place of escape from the homophobia of Europe and North America. His groundbreaking study traces the lives of two dozen men, many previously unknown to have
This unique work examines the role played by sexuality in the historical encounter between China and the West. Distinguished historian D. E. Mungello focuses especially on Western homosexuals who saw China as a place of escape from the homophobia of Europe and North America. His groundbreaking study traces the lives of two dozen men, many previously unknown to have same-sex desire, who fled to China and in the process influenced perceptions of Chinese culture to this day. Their individual stories encompass flight from homophobia in their home countries, the erotic attraction of Chinese boy-actors, friendships with Chinese men, intellectual connections with the Chinese, and the reorientation of Western aesthetics toward China.
Mungello explores historical attitudes and the atmosphere of oppression toward men with same-sex desire as he recounts the intensification of repression of queers in Europe and North America in the late nineteenth-century. He shows how China became a place of escape, a homosexual “land of Oz” where men could flee from the closets of their minds. Some traveled to China and lived there; others immersed themselves in Chinese culture at a distance. Most established long-term friendships and acted as cultural intermediaries who opened the aesthetic range of Western culture to a new sense of beauty and a fresh source of inspiration for poets, artists, and dramatists. Their “boys”Chinese males whose services were available at low cost as messengers, rickshaw pullers, guides, cooks, entertainers, escorts, and prostituteswere transformed into a universal metaphor of Chinese culture that lingers to this day. Indeed, outside men’s range of relationships, intellectual and physical, have had a profound impact in shaping the modern Western conception of China.
- Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)
- Age Range:
- 18 Years
Meet the Author
D. E. Mungello is professor of history at Baylor University.
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"Emily! Emily! Emi-lyyyyyy! Get up!" Kevin shouts frantically. "Emi- Get up! Why won't you wake, momma? What's wrong?" Kevin shakes his mother harder, becoming confused and frustrated. "Momma?" Though Kevin was a young boy, Hewwo had always been a smart one. The young boy leans down, and softly puts his warm hand to his mother's face. He immediately jerked his hand back, tears forming in his eyes. "No... Emily, NO!!!" <p> Six Years Later... <p> Kevin picks up the stringy hay bale and loads it into the back of the truck. "Papa, when will we be done? All this work is making me tired!" Kevin complains. <br> Daniel looks down at his son, smiling. "Patience, my boy. Patience." Daniel answers, picking up a hay bale. He throws it into the back of the truck, and turns to his son, running his hand through his son's soft, blonde hair. "Emily would be so proud of you.." <br> Kevin looks away, uncomfortable talking about his adopted mother's death. "I never called her momma, for she couldn't replace my real mother, but Emily was an important part in my life. The day she had died, I was going to tell her that i decided to call her momma. But when I went to wake her up for breakfast, she was cold. The doctors said she died in her sleep from an overdose, but I think it was something else that killed her. What that was, I've no clue. But I plan to figure it out..." The boy thinks. <br> Daniel looks down, sensing his son's discomfort. "Alright. We're done for the day. Let's go make some sandwiches for lunch. Sound good?" <br> Kevin nods, slightly looking downcast. "Yes, papa. That sounds good." <br> Daniel sighs, and pats his son on the back, before heading towards the house, the sun beating down on his face. <br> Kevin follows, his dad's tall figure blocking out the sun.