Queer Marxism in Two Chinas
The Rise of the Queer Chinese Novel
Focused on Chen Ruoxi’s 1986 queer Marxist novel, this chapter discusses the historical context for the emergence of a body of self-stylized queer fiction in Chinese. The primary aim of this chapter is to show that Chinese queer fiction did not emerge as a result of a globalizing liberalism, as is commonly assumed, but as a dialogue between Marxism and sexual minorities. An exemplary author of queer Marxism in Chinas, Chen is a native Taiwanese who repatriated to mainland China in the 1960s in support of Mao’s Cultural Revolution. Chen wrote Paper Marriage, which is one of the earliest and most influential queer novels in Chinese, as a continuation of her reflections on Chinese Marxism. In addition to this little known cultural history of the Marxist origins of modern Chinese queer fiction, this chapter also charts the formal aesthetic elements Chen standardized for contemporary queer writers the PRC and the ROC.