Please wait a minute...

Frontiers of Literary Studies in China

Front Liter Stud Chin    2013, Vol. 7 Issue (3) : 441-458     DOI: 10.3868/s010-002-013-0025-0
research-article |
Zoology, Celibacy, and the Heterosexual Imperative: Notes on Teaching Lu Xun’s “Loner” as a Queer Text
Ari Larissa Heinrich()
Department of Literature, University of California, San Diego, CA 92093, USA
Download: PDF(286 KB)   HTML
Export: BibTeX | EndNote | Reference Manager | ProCite | RefWorks
Abstract

This essay reflects on the reception of Lu Xun’s short story “The Loner” (Gudu zhe, alternately translated as “The Lone Wolf,” “The Misanthrope,” and “The Isolate”) in American classrooms, where students have sometimes wondered whether that character might be read as “queer.” It suggests that the title character’s unusual and self-imposed celibacy is probably best explained by his belief, in a very general sense, in the foundational values of zoology as practiced in Japan and China in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and thus that the story may be a better gateway to understanding the ways in which Lu Xun envisioned the mixed impact of new political economies on private life than a source text for queer studies. At the same time, however, this essay emphasizes that in “The Loner,” as elsewhere, accounting for the “heterosexual imperative” of early zoology (e.g., with its emphases on animal husbandry, propagation, reproduction) can have meaningful consequences for “queering” interpretations of received texts from literature, history of science, and beyond.

Keywords queer      Lu Xun      zoology      celibacy      modern Chinese literature      “The Loner,” pedagogy     
Corresponding Authors: Ari Larissa Heinrich,Email:larissa@ucsd.edu   
Issue Date: 05 September 2013
 Cite this article:   
Ari Larissa Heinrich. Zoology, Celibacy, and the Heterosexual Imperative: Notes on Teaching Lu Xun’s “Loner” as a Queer Text[J]. Front Liter Stud Chin, 2013, 7(3): 441-458.
 URL:  
http://journal.hep.com.cn/flsc/EN/10.3868/s010-002-013-0025-0
http://journal.hep.com.cn/flsc/EN/Y2013/V7/I3/441
Service
E-mail this article
E-mail Alert
RSS
Articles by authors
Ari Larissa Heinrich
Related articles from Frontiers Journals
[1] Qin WANG. How Not to Have Nostalgia for the Future: A Reading of Lu Xun’s “Hometown”[J]. Front. Lit. Stud. China, 2016, 10(3): 461-473.
[2] Clint Capehart. The Animal Kingdom in the Legacy of Modern Chinese Literature: Lu Xun’s Writings on Animals and Bio-Politics in the Republican Era[J]. Front. Lit. Stud. China, 2016, 10(3): 430-460.
[3] Chiu-yee Cheung. Who Invited Lu Xun to Hong Kong?: An Examination of Two Accounts and Some New Materials[J]. Front. Lit. Stud. China, 2016, 10(3): 392-407.
[4] WU Jun. A Study on the Basic Theory of Lu Xun’s Literary Translation: “Everything Is an Intermediate Object”[J]. Front. Lit. Stud. China, 2016, 10(3): 408-429.
[5] Jon Eugene von Kowallis. Collisions of the Past with the Present: Translation, Texts, and History[J]. Front. Lit. Stud. China, 2015, 9(4): 581-615.
[6] Shakhar Rahav. Blade of Remembrance: Memory, Objects, and Redemption in Lu Xun[J]. Front. Lit. Stud. China, 2015, 9(3): 453-477.
[7] Marián GáLIK. Archer Hou Yi According to Julius Zeyer (1841–1901) and Lu Xun (1881–1936): Changing Perceptions of Ancient Myths in Modern Literature[J]. Front. Lit. Stud. China, 2014, 8(3): 359-373.
[8] Xudong ZHANG. “The Becoming Self-Conscious of Zawen”: Literary Modernity and Politics of Language in Lu Xun’s Essay Production during His Transitional Period[J]. Front. Lit. Stud. China, 2014, 8(3): 374-409.
[9] Yu ZHU. The Vision of New China Suggested by the Politics of Language: Liu Shipei’s Interpretation of the “Rectification of Names” and Its Utopian Moment[J]. Front. Lit. Stud. China, 2014, 8(3): 468-491.
[10] Xiaolu Ma. The Missing Link: Japan as an Intermediary in the Transculturation of the Diary of A Madman[J]. Front. Lit. Stud. China, 2014, 8(2): 331-346.
[11] Ping Zhu. The Masquerade of Male Masochists: Two Tales of Translation of the Zhou Brothers (Lu Xun and Zhou Zuoren) in the 1910s[J]. Front. Lit. Stud. China, 2014, 8(1): 31-51.
[12] Olga Medvedeva. Lu Xun in the Rhetoric of the Sino-Soviet Split: A View from Contemporary Russia[J]. Front Liter Stud Chin, 2013, 7(3): 483-493.
[13] Ping Wang. The Inner Workings of Lu Xun’s Mind: Behind the Author’s Pen-Names[J]. Front Liter Stud Chin, 2013, 7(3): 459-482.
[14] Jon Eugene von Kowallis. Translating Lu Xun’s Māra: Determining the “Source” Text, the “Spirit” versus “Letter” Dilemma and Other Philosophical Conundrums[J]. Front Liter Stud Chin, 2013, 7(3): 422-440.
[15] Eileen J. Cheng. Records of a Minor Historian: Lu Xun on Zhang Taiyan[J]. Front Liter Stud Chin, 2013, 7(3): 367-395.
Viewed
Full text


Abstract

Cited

  Shared   
  Discussed