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Polygamy and Sublime PassionSexuality in China on the Verge of Modernity$
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Keith McMahon

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780824833763

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824833763.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HAWAII SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hawaii.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hawaii University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HSO for personal use.date: 15 October 2019

Cultural Destiny and Polygynous Love in Zou Tao’s Shanghai Dust

Cultural Destiny and Polygynous Love in Zou Tao’s Shanghai Dust

(p.115) Chapter Seven Cultural Destiny and Polygynous Love in Zou Tao’s Shanghai Dust
Polygamy and Sublime Passion

Keith McMahon

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter details the way Zou Tao's Shanghai Dust (Haishang chentian ying) plots the parallel love affairs of its two main male characters, in order to demonstrate the novel's strategy of passive polygyny, especially in terms of the recurrent theme of the exaltation of women and the way that theme treads a thin line between the polygynist's self-dissolution before women, on the one hand, and his elevation as a man who wins many women's love, on the other. Both enjoyment of this love and the failure to enjoy it represent sublime and beautiful states of being in the manner of the qing aesthetic. The chapter then returns to the theme of the resonance between the polygynous love story and cultural destiny that began to emerge in Traces of the Flowery Moon and that Shanghai Dust carries to fruition three and a half decades later.

Keywords:   passive polygyny, qing, Shanghai Dust, Haishang chentian ying, Zou Tao, love story, cultural destiny, Shanghai brothel

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