From Jin Yong’s original novel (1969) and Tsui Hark’s Hong Kong films (1991, 1993) to Yu Zheng’s TV drama (2013), Dongfang Bubai has been constantly remade and reshaped as a legendary fictional queer icon in the cultural imaginaries of the Chinese communities. How do the contemporary fans read such a queer character in Yu’s new version? On the basis of several months of internet ethnography, it is found that fans had taken multiple reading tactics –including heterosexual, homosexual and transgender lenses – to make sense of the gender and sexuality of this queer icon. By identifying reading tactics rather than attitudes of the fans, this paper aims to withhold hasty evaluations and tease out some more concrete questions, such as the relations between and the conditions and consequences of these reading tactics, as well as the changing power relations between industries and fans in this new era.
|Published - 2015