The Global White Snake
examines the Chinese White Snake legends and their extensive, multidirectional travels within Asia and across the globe. Such travels across linguistic and cultural boundaries have generated distinctive traditions as the White Snake has been reinvented in the Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and English-speaking worlds, among others. Moreover, the inter-Asian voyages and global circulations of the White Snake legends have enabled them to become repositories of diverse and complex meanings for a great number of people, serving as reservoirs for polyphonic expressions ranging from the attempts to consolidate authoritarian power to the celebrations of minority rights and activism.
The Global White Snake
uncovers how the White Snake legend often acts as an unsettling narrative of radical tolerance for hybrid sexualities, loving across traditional boundaries, subverting authority, and valuing the strange and the uncanny. A timely mediation and reflection on our contemporary moment of continued struggle for minority rights and social justice, _The Global White Snake _revives the radical anti-authoritarian spirit slithering under the tales of monsters and demons, love and lust, and reminds us of the power of the fantastic and the fabulous in inspiring and empowering personal and social transformations.
"This splendid book is the most thorough and enthusiastic study of the White Snake legend in its diverse forms across a global media landscape: from Chinese operas, Japanese anime, Asian films, to stage adaptations in the U.S. The more widely the legend about this seductive deity travels and is transformed in different cultural transformations, the more subversive and transgressive its message becomes. Reading this well researched account is as spellbinding."
—Leo Ou-fan Lee, author of Shanghai Modern: The Flowering of a New Urban Culture in China, 1930–1945
"In the Chinese legend of the White Snake, woman is not seduced by the snake but is herself the snake. Originating as a very local legend on the deadly dangers of seduction and infatuation, the story grew into one of China's most popular love stories that allowed its adapters past and present to explore all possibilities of the relations between the sexes. The story also spread widely throughout East Asia and beyond. In this richly illustrated monograph Liang Luo studies the continuous developments of the legend in print, on stage, in cinema, and in digital media in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea, and Japan as well as Southeast Asia and Northern America from the late nineteenth century to the 2010s, offering an engrossing and highly original window onto the imagination of the Other in East and West."
—Wilt L. Idema, author of The White Snake and Her Son: A Translation of the Precious Scroll of Thunder Peak with Related Texts
"This rigorous and exciting study presents a folk narrative and its transmutations that will provoke new theoretical directions for examining the relations between traditional and tradition-inspired narrative. The Global White Snake brings together the relevant sources, versions, and theory that will show readers a clear idea of the White Snake narrative tradition and its meanings in various literary, performative, and social contexts. The compelling, stimulating, fascinating scholarship will deepen and expand readers' understanding of the Chinese vernacular literary/live-performance traditions, as well as the emerging means of transmission and creativity in virtual, online, digital formats."
—Mark Bender, author of The Nuosu Book of Origins: A Creation Epic from Southwest China
"In Liang Luo, the beloved White Snake has found her bard for her numerous retellings and variants across the centuries from folk legend to the Shanghai screen, television, internet animation, feminist novel, and riotous musicals an