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date: 19 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

By addressing the sex-centered mode in psychoanalytical criticism and by tracing certain fraught moments in Ding Ling’s fiction, this chapter suggests that private love can be an integral part of collective solidarity, that unconscious drives can propel the impulse for social change, and that libidinal energy can fuel political passion and collective action. Following Marcuse and Castoriadis, who enlist psychoanalysis for a socially transformative agenda, I call the process whereby libidinal energy translates into political passion “positive sublimation.” By clarifying this term in Chinese cultural studies and analyzing Ding Ling’s fiction, the chapter questions the rigid separation of libidinal life from social commitment, love from politics, and the individual from the collective.

Keywords: Ding Ling, libido, sublimation, politics, passion

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