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Sinological Institute, Leiden University
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Digital Archive for Chinese Studies
Leiden Division

The Rise of Comrade Literature

Development and Significance of a New Chinese Genre

MA Thesis by Remy Cristini


Introduction

My thesis describes the development of a literary genre that came into existence when the homosexual subculture in the People's Republic of China (PRC) found its refuge on the Internet in the late 1990s – a genre that is now commonly referred to as 'Comrade Literature' (同志文学). Because the genre is directly linked to a specific social group, namely Chinese gay people, we need an understanding of the history and conditions of the subculture from which the genre emerged. The introduction of my thesis provides a preliminary outline of social, historical and (sub)cultural backgrounds to this new genre. I will then explain its name, and describe the factors that have played a decisive role in its emergence. Finally, I will define the scope of the genre within the context of my thesis.

In the main part of the thesis I will illustrate how the genre has developed over the years, by analysing selected samples of Comrade Literature. Although the focus will be on the texts themselves, on how they are interrelated and what this might tell us about the genre's overall development, we will see that the contents of these stories also yield information about the simultaneous development of the Chinese gay subculture in general. In the final chapter I will reflect on some of the changes that have taken place in that quarter, with special emphasis on the interaction between the genre and the subculture.

The goal of this thesis as a whole is to document and explain the rise of Comrade Literature, and to describe its significance for the gay subculture in the PRC.


Read MA thesis online

To read the thesis online, please click on the button below. A new full-screen window will open. Use the Table of Contents to navigate, or simply click on prev / next to browse through the pages.


Download MA thesis

The complete thesis is available in PDF-format. Please click on the button below to open the file in a new window, or download the file to your local computer (688 KB).
Click to open, or right-click to download.

Comrade novels used for this thesis

These are the fifteen stories discussed in my thesis, arranged alphabetically by author. I will indicate from which website I have collected each story and on which date. In one case the URL is unknown, because the story was sent to me by someone through e-mail. Please note that all stories have been published earlier or later on other websites as well, and that dates of first publication are often not accurate. In most cases the URL on which I found the stories is no longer available, and I will therefore provide links to the novels in the DACHS archive.

安瑟儿 (Anse'er):《紫雨之恋》(Purple Rain Love), 199?.
From: http://www.boysky.com/wencai/jingxuan/ on 26 January 2002.
To the archived version.

北京同志 (Beijing Comrade):《北京故事》(A Story from Beijing), 1996.
From: http://www.boysky.com/wencai/jingxuan/ on 26 January 2002.
To the archived version.

北京同志 (Beijing Comrade):《辉子》(Huizi), 1999.
From: http://www.boysky.com/wencai/jingxuan/ on 26 January 2002.
To the archived version.

戴放 (Dai Fang):《单翼天使》(Single-Winged Angels), 2000.
From: http://www.boysky.com/wencai/jingxuan/ on 27 January 2002.
To the archived version.

Kelvin:《若叶小子》(Boys and Leaves), 199?.
From: http://www.boysky.com/wencai/jingxuan/ on 26 January 2002.
To the archived version.

龙磊 (Longlei):《北斗情人》(Lovers under a Starry Sky), 1999.
From: http://zroom.8u8.com/longlei/bdqr.htm on 25 April 2003.
To the archived version.

莫须有 (Mo Xuyou):《双曲线•LOVE》(Hyperbolic Love), 2001.
From: http://www.boysky.com/wencai/jingxuan/ on 26 January 2002.
To the archived version.

如风 (Rufeng):《北京一夜》(One Night in Beijing), 1999.
From: http://www.shuku.net:8082/novels/tongzhi/beijingyiye.html on 6 April 2003.
To the archived version.

森森林林 (Sensenlinlin):《蝶话—梁祝的真相》(Butterfly Lovers: The Real Story of Liang and Zhu), 199?.
From: http://www.boysky.com/wencai/jingxuan/ on 26 January 2002.
To the archived version.

涂沐 (Tu Mu) :《小文正传》(The Story of Little Wen), 2002.
From: http://www.gaychinese.net/literature/column.php?mmm=0&ttt=涂沐 on 28 September 2002.
To the archived version. Downloaded on 8 March 2005 (unaltered!).

小皓 (Xiaohao):《少年血》(Wounded Youth), 199?.
From: http://www.boysky.com/wencai/jingxuan/ on 29 August 2002.
To the archived version.

小酥 (Xiaosu):《赵小明谈恋爱》(Zhao Xiaoming in Love), 1999.
From: http://www.boysky.com/wencai/jingxuan/ on 26 January 2002.
To the archived version.

原因 (Yuanyin):《吾家有弟》(I Have a Little Brother), 2001.
From: http://www.shuku.net:8082/novels/tongzhi/wujiayoud.html on 6 April 2003.
To the archived version.

(Anonymous):《两男两女》(Two Men, Two Women), 2000.
From: http://www.boysky.com/wencai/jingxuan/ on 26 January 2002.
To the archived version.

(Anonymous):《迷思》(The Illusive Mind), 2003.
Original URL unknown. Received on 25 April 2003.
To the archived version.


Research article in IIAS Newsletter #31

In July 2003, I wrote an article on my research for IIAS Newsletter: Gay Literature from China: In Search of a Happy Ending. The article is available in PDF-format. Please click on the button below, or follow the link to the original URL.
Click to open, or right-click to download.
Original URL: http://www.iias.nl/iiasn/31/IIASN31_27.pdf.


 
 
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