Abstract

As an axis of identity, sexuality is a product of social relations framed by different networks of power. It is closely related to the social, political, and cultural milieu of a specific society. In China, discussions of sex during the Cultural Revolutionary period was remarkably limited, which is distinctly different from those of the post-Maoist era. Whereas the Maoist state had an aggressive regulation and policing of gender and sexuality, in post-Maoist culture erotic desire becomes a way of liberation. This article aims to take Azalea Mountain, one of the eight model operas in the Maoist era, and Red Azalea, Anchee Min's 1994 memoir about Cultural Revolution, as a case study to show that literary discourses of sexuality during the Maoist Cultural Revolution and the subsequent post-Mao era undergo a shift from a total absence to open discussion.

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