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Coda: What Does Chinese Web Romance Do?

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Chapter Summary

This chapter addresses some basic questions on Chinese women's production and consumption of popular Web romance through case studies. Web romances incorporate references to current events and Web-induced lingo and writing styles, such as the high-speed train genre. Web romance readers employ a reciprocal reading strategy of extrapolating from life to fiction and vice versa, and they create commentaries and other types of textual and visual productions along with their fellow fans. Chinese women expand their horizons of knowledge and communications with the help of the Internet, as they are exposed to experiences and viewpoints often more abundant and varied than those afforded by their own immediate environs in real life. Historian Lynn Hunt demonstrates that novels published in eighteenth century Europe, such as Samuel Richardson's Pamela (1740), generated "torrents of emotion", making readers empathize with the heroine's moral struggle against the boundaries of gender and class.

Keywords: Chinese Web romance; Chinese women; Historian Lynn Hunt; Samuel Richardson's Pamela

10.1163/9789004259720_008
/content/books/b9789004259720s008
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