This article analyzes the structure of feeling embodied in a ritual of theater-going in which women fans of Taiwanese Opera would weep along with actresses singing “crying songs” and rush to the stage to hand them money and other gifts. The ritual was popular only during the opera's golden age as Taiwan's most popular genre of commercial theater and temple festival performance, from the late 1940s to the early 1970s, and the author places the ritual within the context of the decommodification of women's bodies and commodification of gendered performance taking place at the time. The author also reads the ritual in the context of the feminine fan culture focused on the women who played the leading male roles that emerged during this period, arguing that the ritual idealized the intertwining of kinship and commodity relations that was gradually loosened during the postwar decades.
Teri Silvio; Crying Songs and Their Fans: The Material and Affective Economy of Taiwanese Opera, 1945–1975. positions 1 August 2017; 25 (3): 469–505. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10679847-4149345
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