. . .
Introduction: Love and Remembrance
1 Interview by Cheng Pei-pei of Ivy Ling Po on the Shaw Brothers’ bonus DVD ac-
companying The Love Eterne.
2 This account is based on “Sanqian li renchao bo guang lian yan,” a report that
appeared the following day in Lianhe bao (United Daily News).
3 For a detailed account of the legend’s multiple theatrical and operatic instances,
see S. Li, Cross-Dressing in Chinese Opera, 109–34.
4 For a discussion of the queer potential of Love Eterne, see Tan and Aw, “Love Eterne”;
Zhang Aizhu, “Xing fanchuan, yizhi kongjian,” esp. 146–48; and C. L. Chan,
“‘Interesting’ Gender-Crossing.”
5 This tendency distinguishes these examples from some Euro-American narra-
tives in which lesbianism is cast as merely an immature “stage” on the journey
to a triumphantly heterosexual conclusion; see, for example, Judith Roof ’s dis-
cussion of the “foreplay” trope in soft-core pornography in A Lure of Knowledge,
6 Cf. Mandy Merck’s broadly comparable argument that the BBC production Por-
trait of a Marriage uses homosexuality as a “lens” through which heterosexual
marriage can review its own shortcomings and hence shouldn’t be discounted
as simply a drowning-out of lesbian by heterosexual themes. Perversions, 101–17.
7 Rohy, Impossible Women, 4.
8 Roof, A Lure of Knowledge, 5. Roof ’s theorization of the configuration assumes a
tripartite structure: it encompasses the representation of lesbian possibility, a
symbolic defense against that representation, and the exposure of the anxiety
and fragility of the heterosexual ideology that is so vigorously defended against
the threat of lesbian knowledge (1–14). My citation of the term does not indicate
that my theorization of the memorial same-sex romance narrative follows Roof ’s
theory in all of these details (I find the defensive element less marked, as is dis-
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