Rose and Lotus

Narrative of Desire in France and China

By Tonglin Lu

Subjects: Comparative Literature
Paperback : 9780791404645, 201 pages, January 1991
Hardcover : 9780791404638, 201 pages, January 1991

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Table of contents




1. Libertinism: A Form of Structuring the Self
2. Dispersal of Desire: Dissemination of the Self
3. Language of Love: Love for Language

4. Passion without Words
Appendix of Chinese Characters

Tonglin Lu is Assistant Professor in the Department of Asian Languages and Literature at the University of Iowa.


"The subject material—eroticism, in an extended sense—is constantly interesting, and is handled with delicacy, gentle irony, and imagination by Lu. I like the balance between the attention to detail and the broader intellectual purpose of the book. It is quite well informed with regard to contemporary Western criticism, but is never ostentatious or trendy. " — Eugene Vance

"The book is an important contribution to our understanding of certain erotic phenomena as they take divergent forms in the East and the West, as well as of the role played by sexuality in the transactions between self and community in Chinese and French cultures. It is a highly original, lucidly argued, and clearly written piece of scholarship. The author combines philosophical speculation with close textual analysis and the result is an exciting, insightful but also scholarly solid book.

"Lu breaks new ground in a field that is little known outside Oriental studies, and dispels certain myths about Oriental sexuality that are still current among contemporary Westerners. By reflecting upon contrasting sexual attitudes and practices as portrayed in four major literary works belonging to two radically different cultures, she provides fresh insights into the mentality of both cultures. Her book is a genuine contribution to comparative literary studies but also to the field of intellectual history, setting a viable methodological model for those who are interested in East-West comparisons. " — Mihai I. Spariosu

"The implication of this study on students in literary theory will be enormous. It is interesting, stimulating, and challenging. " — Yu-Kung Kao