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From Glass Clique to Tongzhi Nation: Crystal Boys, Identity Formation, and the Politics of Sexual Shame

From Glass Clique to Tongzhi Nation: Crystal Boys, Identity Formation, and the Politics of Sexual... This article proposes a historically and movement-wise contextualized reading of Pai Hsien-yung's Crystal Boys , known as the first "gay" novel in Taiwan. As the novel was taken up as a signifier in the new tongzhi politics in 1990s Taiwan, the article shows, its legacy as a historical representation of male prostitution culture was left out entirely. Through genealogical investigation, the article argues that tongzhi politics and subjectivity as articulated through Crystal Boys is founded upon the normative exclusion of the gendered prostitute subject and that such a repudiation is complicit with the dominant moral-sexual order upheld by Taiwan's state culture. In querying this limiting continuity, this artcile demonstrates in particular that the novel represents a particular "state affect" of gendered sexual shame linked to prostitution, a shame that later came to be displaced by the emerging tongzhi _movement through its political praxis of "coming out." By tracing the trajectory of identity formation process via the (re)articulation of Crystal Boys , this paper thus highlights the centrality of prostitution in the state production of heteronormativity in Taiwan as it argues for a queer politics that critically engages that normative condition. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png positions asia critique Duke University Press

From Glass Clique to Tongzhi Nation: Crystal Boys, Identity Formation, and the Politics of Sexual Shame

positions asia critique , Volume 18 (2) – Sep 1, 2010

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Duke University Press
ISSN
1067-9847
eISSN
1527-8271
DOI
10.1215/10679847-2010-005
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article proposes a historically and movement-wise contextualized reading of Pai Hsien-yung's Crystal Boys , known as the first "gay" novel in Taiwan. As the novel was taken up as a signifier in the new tongzhi politics in 1990s Taiwan, the article shows, its legacy as a historical representation of male prostitution culture was left out entirely. Through genealogical investigation, the article argues that tongzhi politics and subjectivity as articulated through Crystal Boys is founded upon the normative exclusion of the gendered prostitute subject and that such a repudiation is complicit with the dominant moral-sexual order upheld by Taiwan's state culture. In querying this limiting continuity, this artcile demonstrates in particular that the novel represents a particular "state affect" of gendered sexual shame linked to prostitution, a shame that later came to be displaced by the emerging tongzhi _movement through its political praxis of "coming out." By tracing the trajectory of identity formation process via the (re)articulation of Crystal Boys , this paper thus highlights the centrality of prostitution in the state production of heteronormativity in Taiwan as it argues for a queer politics that critically engages that normative condition.

Journal

positions asia critiqueDuke University Press

Published: Sep 1, 2010

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