Xi Juan is a well-known romance writer in Taiwan and China. In many of her recent works, it can be seen that she has been trying to subvert the formulaic writing of romances, sometimes deliberately frustrating readers’ expectation and teetering on the brink of violating the generic convention. Her trilogy, Legend of Blooming Lotus, written in 2006-2007 might be a good example of this. Located in a fantasy world out of time and space, “Blooming Lotus” is a continent where women rule and men subordinate. This article aims to explore how the reverse of gender role in this trilogy is conflictingly constructed. It seeks to deconstruct the myth of women’s land in Xi-Yuan’s work in contrastive study with its “sister lands” in Chinese Literature, such as those in Chinese Mythology, in Journey to the West by Wu Cheng’en(c.1500-1582) or Flowers in the Mirror by Li Ju-Chen (c. 1763-1830 ). For decades, there have been arguments about whether reading romance is a liberating act as some critics claimed, or that romance writing is but the mouthpiece of the patriarchal ideology where stereotypes of “strong men dominate and weak women subordinate“ are inscribed. Could it be that, Xi Juan’s trilogy of “women land,” for all its quite apparent reverse of gender roles, may indeed be re-strengthening the traditional stereotypes of “men rule”? On the other hand, do women really want to rule in the fantasy world of romances?
|Keywords:||Xi-Juan, Women’s Land, Romances, Gender Role|
Instructor, The Department of Applied Foreign Language, Chung-yu Institute of Technology, Taipei, Taiwan
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