1 Benjamin I. Schwartz, "The Limits of 'Tradition Versus Modernity' as Categories of
Explanation: The Case of the Chinese Intellectuals,"
(spring 1972): 76.
2 In recent years, scholars have expanded their discussion of issues of Chinese mo-
dernity beyond the triad traditional and modernity in relation to Chinese intel-
lectuals that Schwartz outlined in the early 1970s. Recent publications, such as
Woman and Chinese Modernity
by Rey Chow,
The Sublime Figure of History
by Wang
Women and Sexuality in China
by Harriet Evans,
Sex, Culture, and Modernity in
by Frank Dikotter have all helped open up new ways of considering Chinese
modernity. I quote Schwartz's earlier observation with such recent publications in
3 I understand "body" as a biological entity with physiological features that mark its
sex, and as an entity with constructed gendered orientations. I am aware of the
tension in this dualistic view and of Judith Butler's rethinking of the notions of sex
and gender and the ongoing controversies and debate about it. As my discussions
in this book indicate, in light of the ongoing debate, I continue to recognize the
importance and usefulness of the concept of gender. At the same time, I also recog-
nize the necessity of understanding the cultural implications in the concept of sex
and of doing so by being fully aware that the human body is at the same time a
physiological and biological entity. Judith Butler,
Gender Trouble
(New York: Rout-
ledge, 1995).
4 See, for example, Yue Ming-Bao, "Gendering the Origins of Modern Chinese Fic-
tion," in
Gender and Sexuality in Twentieth-Century Chinese Literature and Society,
Tonglin Lu (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1993), 47-66; Ching-kiu
Stephen Chan, "The Language of Despair: Ideological Representations of the 'New
Woman' by May Fourth Writers," in
Gender Politics in Modern China,
ed. Tani E.
Barlow (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1993), 13-32; Carolyn T. Brown,
"Woman as Trope: Gender and Power in Lu Xun's 'Soap,'" in
Gender Politics in
Modern China,
5 There has been some critical inquiry into the literary and cultural implications of
male desire for "masculinity" and the historical, cultural, political, ideological,
and gendered implications related to this aspect of the culture, by Rey Chow, Lu
Tonglin, and Wang Yuejin, for example. The study I intend here will take the dis-
cussion further. See Rey Chow, "Male Narcissism and National Culture: Subjec-
tivity in Chen Kaige's
King of Children, "
From May Fourth
June Fourth,
ed. Ellen
Widmer and David Der-wei Wang (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press,
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