Perversions of Masculinity: The Masochistic Male Subject in Yu Dafu, Guo Moruo, and Freud

Perversions of Masculinity: The Masochistic Male Subject in Yu Dafu, Guo Moruo, and Freud positions 8:2 Fall 2000 away of festering sores. What thus seems significant is less the centrality of ailment as a metaphor for an endangered national identity than the mode of nationalistic discourse generated by such masochistic self-flagellation. Indeed, the construction of a viable national character figures prominently in every instance of locating the source of China’s weakness. National identity is obsessively dealt with in all possible venues of assessment and reevaluation, the expression of the urgent need for alternative narratives of a tradition no longer viable for either the articulation or the survival of modern nationhood. These alternatives, however, are paradoxically sought in the same West that also occasioned this felt oppression. Translations of Western literature, social treatises, and political tracts during this period reached an unprecedented volume. The conclusions to be drawn from them consistently return to the critique of the inadequacies of modern China: its failure to transmit its glorious cultural heritage, the stagnant social institutions it has preserved unchanged from the past, and the decayed character of its people. The ability to identify and expose ruthlessly the social as well as psychological ills of China itself became, for writers and intellectuals, one of the last http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png positions asia critique Duke University Press

Perversions of Masculinity: The Masochistic Male Subject in Yu Dafu, Guo Moruo, and Freud

positions asia critique, Volume 8 (2) – Sep 1, 2000

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2000 by Duke University Press
ISSN
1067-9847
eISSN
1527-8271
DOI
10.1215/10679847-8-2-269
Publisher site
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Abstract

positions 8:2 Fall 2000 away of festering sores. What thus seems significant is less the centrality of ailment as a metaphor for an endangered national identity than the mode of nationalistic discourse generated by such masochistic self-flagellation. Indeed, the construction of a viable national character figures prominently in every instance of locating the source of China’s weakness. National identity is obsessively dealt with in all possible venues of assessment and reevaluation, the expression of the urgent need for alternative narratives of a tradition no longer viable for either the articulation or the survival of modern nationhood. These alternatives, however, are paradoxically sought in the same West that also occasioned this felt oppression. Translations of Western literature, social treatises, and political tracts during this period reached an unprecedented volume. The conclusions to be drawn from them consistently return to the critique of the inadequacies of modern China: its failure to transmit its glorious cultural heritage, the stagnant social institutions it has preserved unchanged from the past, and the decayed character of its people. The ability to identify and expose ruthlessly the social as well as psychological ills of China itself became, for writers and intellectuals, one of the last

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positions asia critiqueDuke University Press

Published: Sep 1, 2000

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