Comparative Literature | Dangers of Love in Chinese Literature
C301 | 11839 | Prof. Tsai

CMLT-C301 (11839):Dangers of Love in Chinese Literature
Prof. Tsai   MW 4:00-5:15
*fulfills Culture Studies and A&H requirements*

Why was it OK for young men to fall in love with whores in
traditional China? And how many glances at a state-toppling beauty
does it take for her to do what she is best at? Through a selection
of Chinese fictional and dramatic texts, drawn mostly from the Late
Imperial period, this course explores a wide variety of love in its
literary representation: love with ghosts; royal love; literati love;
self love; chaste love; love so passionate and individualistic that
it threatens family and social order; and of course, love as delusion
that leads to enlightenment. We will encounter transgressive women
such as the femme fatale, the courtesan, the shrew, or the female
knight-errant, and consider how their revision of gender roles factor
into the story’s construction of love. Is the emotional experience
portrayed in these texts, a discourse that can be unproblematically
identified with contemporary ideas of love? We will read a small
selection of theoretical texts, and view some film versions of some
of the course readings.