Polygamy and Sublime Passion: Sexuality in China on the Verge of Modernity

Polygamy and Sublime Passion: Sexuality in China on the Verge of Modernity

Keith McMahon / Sep 21, 2019

Polygamy and Sublime Passion Sexuality in China on the Verge of Modernity For centuries of Chinese history polygamy and prostitution were closely linked practices that legitimized the polygynous male the man with multiple sexual partners Despite their strict hierarchies

  • Title: Polygamy and Sublime Passion: Sexuality in China on the Verge of Modernity
  • Author: Keith McMahon
  • ISBN: 9780824833763
  • Page: 199
  • Format: Hardcover
  • For centuries of Chinese history, polygamy and prostitution were closely linked practices that legitimized the polygynous male, the man with multiple sexual partners Despite their strict hierarchies, these practices also addressed fundamental antagonisms in sexual relations in serious and constructive ways Qing fiction abounds in stories of female resistance and superiorFor centuries of Chinese history, polygamy and prostitution were closely linked practices that legitimized the polygynous male, the man with multiple sexual partners Despite their strict hierarchies, these practices also addressed fundamental antagonisms in sexual relations in serious and constructive ways Qing fiction abounds in stories of female resistance and superiority Women main wives, concubines, and prostitutes were adept at exerting control and gaining status for themselves, while men indulged in elaborate fantasies about female power In Polygamy and Sublime Passion, Keith McMahon introduces a new concept, passive polygamy, to explain the unusual number of Qing stories in which women take charge of a man s desires, turning him into an instrument of female will To this he adds a story that haunted the institutions of polygamy and prostitution the tale of sublime passion, in which the main characters are a remarkable woman and her male lover.Throughout the book McMahon examines how polygamy, prostitution, and the story of sublime passion encountered the first stages of paradigmatic change in the nineteenth century, decades before the legal abolition of polygamy By the end of the Qing dynasty in 1911, love stories were celebrating the exploits of street smart prostitutes who fleeced gullible patrons in the bustling city of Shanghai What do these characters have in common with their early counterparts as men and women became inhabitants of a new city in an era flooded with ideas from radically foreign sources all of this taking place in a time of economic and cultural dislocation McMahon reads late Qing love stories in a historically symbolic way, taking them as part of a larger fantasy of Chinese civilization undergoing a fundamental crisis The polygamous marriage and the affairs of the brothel became metaphorical staging grounds for portraying the destiny of China on the verge of modernity Finally, McMahon speculates on the changes polygamous sexuality underwent after the Qing dynasty ended and whether it exerted a residual influence in later times.Polygamy and Sublime Passion will undoubtedly engage those interested in Chinese society, culture, literature, and gender studies as well as comparativists seeking to understand the diverse responses to modernization around the world.

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      • Keith McMahon

        Keith McMahon Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Polygamy and Sublime Passion: Sexuality in China on the Verge of Modernity book, this is one of the most wanted Keith McMahon author readers around the world.


    165 Comments

    1. I was also a little disappointed by this book. I thought it would be a more in-depth look at gender relations and polygamy in late Imperial China but it ended up being a very small literary review about men's relationships with prostitutes in a handful of novels. The biggest problem was at the beginning when he defined Polygamy and Polyandry as two different things, then said he was going to ignore those definitions, treat the two as interchangeable and just talk about men who had sex out of mar [...]


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