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Impersonating China

David Der-wei Wang
Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, Reviews (CLEAR)
Vol. 25 (Dec., 2003), pp. 133-163
DOI: 10.2307/3594285
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3594285
Page Count: 31
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Impersonating China
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Abstract

This essay deals with the relations between gender, gender performity, and genre representation of gender and national identity in modern China. It argues that the issue of nation and impersonation, sexuality and political representation, constitutes a peculiar subject for modern Chinese writers, and that among these contests for leadership positions, traditional theatre and its transvestite dramaturgy are continuously called on, as true or false impersonations of China in the theatre of the world. The cases-in-point are two works about female impersonation, one by Ba Jin (b. 1904), champion of May Fourth literature, and the other by Qin Shouou (1908-1994), a popular middle-brow fiction writer in the Republican era.

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