Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

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Erotic Literature
(1,124 words)

Unlike its European counterpart, which until the 18th century usually contained forms of political and social criticism of the authorities and moral standards, erotic literature in China did not have an emancipatory character, but generally affirmed existing social conditions. The overall genre of erotic and pornographic literature in China can be divided into three sub-categories: (1) poetry, (2) erotic and sexual manuals, and (3) erotic and pornographic prose.

(1) Erotic poetry is still the least explored area of this literature. In the West it is largely unkn…

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Bieg, Lutz, “Erotic Literature”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of China, Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese. Consulted online on 28 November 2023 <>
First published online: 2008
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004168633, 20121018

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