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耽美文学作品受中国女性追捧

Love is at the core

中国日报网 2014-07-04 10:29

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耽美文学作品受中国女性追捧

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Tanbi is a form of Japanese literature depicting love between men that its hardcore following of young, heterosexual women can't get enough of.

In the literary world of tanbi, a Japanese term meaning "the pursuit of beauty" and often used to refer to two good-looking men in a romantic relationship, there are answers to what a heterosexual woman wants in love and life.

At least, this is the case for Cici Zhou, a 25-year-old real estate agent who has devoured 1,200 tanbi books over the past 10 years, drawn to them by the strong characters and their fighting spirit.

Zhou's favorite, Tianxiadiyi (translated to English means "No 1 in the world"), is the story of two opposing majestic kings who are mutually attracted but have to fight against each other and their desire.

"You can't find these characters in normal chick-lit," she says. "They're both strong, outstanding men. There are dramatic ups and downs and greater obstacles to overcome."

There is no official tally, but there are an estimated one million readers of tanbi stories in China, according to Yang Ling, associate professor with Xiamen University who studies tanbi sub-culture.

The scene is dominated by work from Japan and China's Taiwan, but tanbi lovers are also putting out original stories in forums, podcasts, custom-made books and other items that target hardcore fans.

Jinjiang Literature, one of the more popular websites that features original tanbi stories, clocks two million log-ins a day. Ninety percent of its users are female, and 80 percent are in the 18 to 35 age group, according to a report the company provided to China Daily.

Tanbi borders on gay fiction, but the readership is predominantly heterosexual women.

"I never thought it strange when two men become a couple," Zhou says. "We are reading about two guys together exactly because we like boys."

"They're reading for the variety tanbi offers," Yang says.

The genre is broken down into a gamut of sub genres, that touch on a wide variety of themes from apocalyptic tales, star wars, martial arts, and fan fiction. The stories can be "clear-water" (platonic) or x-rated. Tanbi is written in so many styles that there are stories told in dialects from northeastern China to Cantonese.

"Whatever subject you like, you can find it there," Yang says. "It's like a small literary kingdom."

And then there is the love story at the core.

"In tanbi, love and relationships have no set patterns like in Cinderella, where a hero rescues a beauty in danger," Yang says. "Both sides can be strong. Or they can take different roles in different circumstances. There are many more possibilities to explore."

That is perhaps one of the reasons why these readers are more open-minded when setting their own terms, and more understanding to others, Yang says, who has interviewed many tanbi fans in recent years.

"These are definitely positive influences. When they are open to different types of relationships, they are also open to other discussions, such as staying single for longer, or raising a child on their own," Yang says.

According to Ducky, another seasoned reader of 10 years, who will only reveal the name she uses online, "I'm an independent woman, I get to make my own decisions in work as well as in life." She says she prefers stories where both members of the couple are standing on their own two feet and fighting for what they want in love.

"However, we still like alpha males better," she says. "When there are two of them, there is the tension we want. Especially now that boys are becoming feminine and girls have somehow turned aggressive."

In the strong male characters, the female readers find their most desired kind of romance.

"I believe tanbi describes the purest kind of love," says Jodie Cheng, who first discovered tanbi when looking for news of her idols, the Korean pop group Super Junior, in 2010. In a fictional account, written by tanbi fans, band members become lovers.

"But as long as a story has a modicum of realism, two men together means trouble, and giving up everything for love," Cheng says. "That's rare in our real life, therefore, we look for it."

With the rise of Sina Weibo and Wechat, two major instant messaging platforms in China, tanbi is no longer the cult genre it was a decade ago. There has been a growing number of girls, or fojoshi (a Japanese term for girls who endorse male homosexual love), who have started to write fan fiction that moves tanbi into the world of mainstream literature.

A recent work pairs two X-men, Magneto and Professor X, powerful opponents who care about each other, at least in the Hollywood megahit X-Men: Days of Future Past.

"There are so many fojoshi that it's almost a selling point now," Yang, the researcher says.

"But whatever the girls are attracted to, they are after the true, good, beautiful human feelings that have always been at the center of literature."

By Sun Ye ( China Daily )

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“耽美”是一种日本文学流派,这种文学描述的是男人之间的爱情,在中国许多年轻异性恋女性成了“耽美文学”的铁粉。

在日本文化里,“耽美”的文学释义是“对美的追求”,并且常用来形容两个俊美男子之间的浪漫情感。女性异性恋者也能在其中读到对感情和生活的追求。

就拿25岁的房产中介周慈慈(音)来说,在过去的十年里,她已经阅览了近1200件关于“耽美”的作品,并被主人公坚强勇敢的性格所打动。

周最喜欢的作品是《天下第一》,它讲述了两位伟大的帝王之间的争斗和彼此的欲望。

她说,在通俗小说里我们是读不到这样的人物的,他们都很坚强、杰出,生命起起伏伏,需要越过一个又一个障碍。

据厦门大学研究“耽美”文化的助理教授杨玲说,虽然没有官方统计数据,但据估计在中国“耽美”文学有近百万的读者。

作品场景大多设置在日本和中国台湾,但是“耽美”爱好者们也会在论坛、播客、专门的书籍里或其它工具上分享一些原创作品,以此来吸引忠实粉丝们。

“耽美”文学接近男同小说,但读者中女异性恋却占大多数。

周慈慈说:“我不觉得两个男性成为伴侣很奇怪,我们读这些关于男人的故事只是因为我们喜欢男孩子。”

杨玲说道,读者喜爱耽美文学的多样性。

“耽美”体裁多样,涉及到启示录故事、星球大战、武打、以及同人小说。故事可以是柏拉图式的或略带色情的。耽美文学风格多种多样,有的以中国东北方言写成,也有些以广东话写成。

杨玲说,不管你喜欢什么样的主题,在这样的故事王国里你都能找到。

而且爱永远是故事的核心。

杨玲说,在耽美故事中,爱情并不像灰姑娘童话那样有着固定模式,比如英雄救美等等。双方都可以很强大,或者在不同场合里他们扮演着不同的角色。要去阐释的可能性无穷无尽。

杨玲在近年采访了众多耽美粉丝,她说,当涉及到自身时,这些读者往往很开明而且善解人意,这也许就是原因之一。

杨玲说:“耽美文学当然会带来积极影响。当人们开始接受不同的恋爱方式时,人们也渐渐会对一些争议采取包容态度,比如长期单身、自己认养小孩儿等等。”

据粉龄已达十年之久网友Ducky说,“我是一个独立的女性,不论在工作还是生活中我一直追求自我。”她还说,她喜欢那些故事,故事里的主人公遗世独立、为爱献身。

她说,“然而,我们还是更喜欢具有男子汉气概的男人,当出现两个男性时,我们往往不知道该选哪一个。而且当下男孩子越来越女性化,而女孩们却似乎更有闯劲儿。”

故事中的男子汉,往往就是女性心中最理想的男神形象。

2010年,Jodie Cheng在搜寻偶像男团“Super Junior”的最新动态时,偶然发现了耽美文学作品,讲的是男团成员之间的爱。

Jodie Cheng说:“我认为耽美描述了纯粹的爱,但是只要故事中加入一点现实元素,两个男人在一起就意味着接踵而至的问题、意味着为爱放弃一切。而这些在我们生活中是很少见的,因此,我们一直在书中寻找着这些。”

随着新浪微博和微信这两大即时通讯平台的兴起,耽美这一体裁也不再像十年前那样小众,万千女孩开始撰写耽美小说,由此推动其成为一种主流文学形式。

最近上映的《X战警---逆转未来》是一个巨大成功,在影片里,万磁王和X教授是两个惺惺相惜的对手。

杨玲说,“如今有太多喜欢耽美文学的女孩们,这俨然已成为一大卖点。”

“但是不管女孩们到底是被什么所吸引,这背后真实的、美好的人性将永远是耽美文学的核心。”

(译者 sunqian~~~ 编辑 丹妮)

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