Chinese Literature in the Second Half of a Modern Century by Pang-Yuan Chi, David Der-wei Wang

By Pang-Yuan Chi, David Der-wei Wang

"... a huge contribution to the learn of modern chinese language literature." -- Choice"This wonderful, scholarly survey of chinese language literature considering the fact that 1949... discusses such tendencies as modernism, nativism, realism, root-seeking and 'scar' literature, 'misty' poets, and political, feminist, and societal matters in sleek chinese language literature." -- Library JournalThis quantity is a survey of contemporary chinese language literature in the second one 1/2 the 20th century. It has 3 ambitions: (1) to introduce figures, works, pursuits, and debates that represent the dynamics of chinese language literature from 1949 to the tip of the century; (2) to depict the enunciative endeavors, starting from ideological treatises to avant-garde experiments, that tell the polyphonic discourse of chinese language cultural politics; (3) to watch the historic components that enacted the interaction of literary (post)modernities throughout the chinese language groups within the Mainland, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and out of the country.

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This extreme notion of subversion denied any possibility that aristocratic and people’s literature could coexist symbiotically, and replaced the autocracy of the former with that of the latter. This was, in fact, a new dogmatism in the name of revolution. Chen Duxiu’s mode of thinking and that found in such slogans as Hu Shi’s “Vernacular literature as the orthodox for China” and “Use living literature to replace dead literature”; Qian Xuantong’s “In order to get rid of Confucianism, first get rid of the Chinese script”; and Zhou Zuoren’s “Nearly all writings from Confucianism and Daoism fail to make the grade” are all the same: dogmatism wrapped in the foil of revolution.

Guo Moruo’s writing style, built upon this foundation, exerted an extremely pernicious influence on left-wing literary circles after the 1930s and on mainland literary circles after 1949, infusing them with the smell of gunpowder and their writings with a militant air and tyrannical language. As a result, many cultural monsters, poets-cum-butchers, came into being. Guo Moruo bears some responsibility for this perverse and unfortunate state of affairs. This is only a statement of fact, not intended to fix blame.

By turning the world into a realm of fantastic and uncanny elements or identifying normalcy with the grotesque and insane, writers awaken their readers from aesthetic and ideological inertia, initiating them into a new kind of reality. Defamiliarization—aesthetic and conceptual distancing of a familiar subject in order to restore its perceptual newness—has been invoked frequently by critics to describe this phenomenon. But the term cannot really cover the new rhetoric of Chinese literature. Defamiliarization presupposes a perceptual diminution of life to an apparently banal, repetitious continuum from which readers can be rescued only by parody and disruption, till they lose confidence in the devices of tradition.

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