Journal article Open Access

Last Empress Fiction and Asian Neo-Victorianism

Ho, Elizabeth

MARC21 XML Export

<?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8'?>
<record xmlns="">
  <datafield tag="041" ind1=" " ind2=" ">
    <subfield code="a">eng</subfield>
  <controlfield tag="005">20200120172309.0</controlfield>
  <controlfield tag="001">2628454</controlfield>
  <datafield tag="856" ind1="4" ind2=" ">
    <subfield code="s">318410</subfield>
    <subfield code="z">md5:b3cfb9982aeb7c5c71d35895ea302cc2</subfield>
    <subfield code="u"> 11-2-3 E-Ho.pdf</subfield>
  <datafield tag="542" ind1=" " ind2=" ">
    <subfield code="l">open</subfield>
  <datafield tag="260" ind1=" " ind2=" ">
    <subfield code="c">2019-04-04</subfield>
  <datafield tag="909" ind1="C" ind2="O">
    <subfield code="p">openaire</subfield>
    <subfield code="o"></subfield>
  <datafield tag="909" ind1="C" ind2="4">
    <subfield code="c">64-90</subfield>
    <subfield code="n">2</subfield>
    <subfield code="p">Neo-Victorian Studies</subfield>
    <subfield code="v">11</subfield>
  <datafield tag="100" ind1=" " ind2=" ">
    <subfield code="u">University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong</subfield>
    <subfield code="a">Ho, Elizabeth</subfield>
  <datafield tag="245" ind1=" " ind2=" ">
    <subfield code="a">Last Empress Fiction and Asian Neo-Victorianism</subfield>
  <datafield tag="540" ind1=" " ind2=" ">
    <subfield code="u"></subfield>
    <subfield code="a">Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International</subfield>
  <datafield tag="650" ind1="1" ind2="7">
    <subfield code="a">cc-by</subfield>
    <subfield code="2"></subfield>
  <datafield tag="520" ind1=" " ind2=" ">
    <subfield code="a">&lt;p&gt;This article claims that &amp;lsquo;Last Empress&amp;rsquo; fiction about the Empress Dowager Cixi reveals the postcolonial ethics of Anglophone neo-Victorianism. &amp;lsquo;Last Empress&amp;rsquo; texts naturally tend to be bookended by the narrative of a na&amp;iuml;ve yet ambitious teenage concubine entering the imperial palace and the image of the Empress Dowager, as depicted in Bernardo Bertolucci&amp;rsquo;s 1987 film, &lt;em&gt;The Last Emperor&lt;/em&gt;, rotting on her deathbed. This emphasis on Cixi&amp;rsquo;s ageing body as a metaphor for China&amp;rsquo;s perceived humiliations in the past manages and contains, for Western readers, a similar commodification of &amp;lsquo;China&amp;rsquo; as a new economic and political powerhouse and brand. This article reads a range of &amp;lsquo;Last Empress&amp;rsquo; texts from Anchee Min&amp;rsquo;s popular historical fiction, &lt;em&gt;Empress Orchid&lt;/em&gt; (2004) and &lt;em&gt;The Last Empress&lt;/em&gt; (2007), to metafictional critiques such as Da Chen&amp;rsquo;s &lt;em&gt;My Last Empress&lt;/em&gt; (2012) and Linda Jaivin&amp;rsquo;s &lt;em&gt;The Empress Lover&lt;/em&gt; (2014), to the Singaporean blockbuster musical, &lt;em&gt;Forbidden City: Portrait of an Empress&lt;/em&gt; (2002), and situates them amongst arguments about race, ageing and neo-Orientalism. Cixi&amp;rsquo;s continued visibility in biographies, fiction, and film recasts conventional understandings of neo-Victorianism as neo-Victorian gerontology: the problematics of rejuvenating (women in) the past, (post-)feminist &amp;lsquo;time crisis&amp;rsquo;, and new kinds of invisibility for women past and present. At the same time, &amp;lsquo;Last Empress&amp;rsquo; fiction offers opportunities to reflect on the geographical pressures Asia can put on the &amp;lsquo;neo-&amp;rsquo; in the term &amp;lsquo;neo-Victorian&amp;rsquo; and the difficulties of performing truly global neo-Victorian readings.&lt;/p&gt;</subfield>
  <datafield tag="773" ind1=" " ind2=" ">
    <subfield code="n">doi</subfield>
    <subfield code="i">isVersionOf</subfield>
    <subfield code="a">10.5281/zenodo.2628453</subfield>
  <datafield tag="024" ind1=" " ind2=" ">
    <subfield code="a">10.5281/zenodo.2628454</subfield>
    <subfield code="2">doi</subfield>
  <datafield tag="980" ind1=" " ind2=" ">
    <subfield code="a">publication</subfield>
    <subfield code="b">article</subfield>
All versions This version
Views 104104
Downloads 4040
Data volume 12.7 MB12.7 MB
Unique views 102102
Unique downloads 4040


Cite as