Politics, Ideology, and Literary Discourse in Modern China

Theoretical Interventions and Cultural Critique

Politics, Ideology, and Literary Discourse in Modern China

Book Pages: 328 Illustrations: Published: November 1993

Asian Studies > East Asia, Literature and Literary Studies > Literary Theory

This collection of essays addresses the perception that our understanding of modern China will be enhanced by opening the literature of China to more rigorous theoretical and comparative study. In doing so, the book confronts the problematic and complex subject of China's literary, theoretical, and cultural responses to the experience of the modern.
With chapters by writers, scholars, and critics from mainland China, Hong Kong, and the United States, this volume explores the complexity of representing modernity within the Chinese context. Addressing the problem of finding a proper language for articulating fundamental issues in the historical experience of twentieth-century China, the authors critically re-examine notions of realism, the self/subject, and modernity and draw on perspectives from feminist criticism, ideological analysis, and postmodern theory. Among the many topics explored are subjectivity in Chinese cultural theory, Chinese gender relations, the viability of a Lacanian approach to Chinese identity, the politics of subversion in Chinese reportage, and the ambivalent status of the icon of paternity since Mao.
At the same time this book offers a probing look into the transformation that Chinese culture as well as the study of that culture is currently undergoing, it also reconfirms private discourse as an ideal site for an investigation into a real and imaginary, private and collective encounter with history.

Contributors. Liu Kang, Xiaobing Tang, Liu Zaifu, Stephen Chan, Lydia H. Liu, Wendy Larson, Theodore Huters, David Wang, Tonglin Lu, Yingjin Zhang, Yuejin Wang, Li Tuo, Leo Ou-fan Lee


“This volume represents an important new trend in studies of Chinese literature in utilizing and debating the theories developed in cultural studies and post-colonialism. . . . A challenging, thought-provoking and immensely useful volume.” — Louise Edwards , The China Journal

"This present volume, as a whole, abundantly demonstrates that the much talked-about 'paradigm shift' in our field is no longer merely wishful thinking or hot air. It provides us with convincing examples of what some new directions and subjects of investigation may be, and what reading strategies we could apply to old, familiar texts. It is a volume that the next generation of students of modern Chinese literature will have to come to terms with." — Leo Ou-fan Lee, from the Postscript


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Liu Kang is Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature and Chinese at Pennsylvania State University. Xiaobing Tang, Assistant Professor of Chinese at the University of Colorado, has translated Fredric Jameson's Postmodernism and Cultural Theories into Chinese.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Foreword / Fredric Jameson

Introduction / Liu Kang and Xiaobing Tang

Part One Problematics of Subjectivity and Modernity

Subjectivity, Marxism, and Cultural Theory in China / Liu Kang

The Subjectivity of Literature Revisited / Liu Zaifu

Split China, or, The Historical/Imaginary: Toward a Theory of the Displacement of Subjectivity at the Margins of Modernity / Ching-kiu Stephen Chan

Narratives of Modern Selfhood: First-Person Fiction in May Fourth Literature / Lydia H. Liu

Female Subjectivity and Gender Relations: The Early Stories of Lu Yin and Bing Xin / Wendy Larson

Part Two Representation, Realism, and the Question of History

Ideologies of Realism in Modern China: The Hard Imperatives of Imported Theory / Theodore Huters

Lu Xun, Shen Congwen, and Decapitation / David D. W. Wang

Red Sorghum: Limits of Transgression / Tonglin Lu

Part Three Cultural Critique and Ideology

Narrative, Ideology, Subjectivity: Defining a Subversive Discourse in Chinese Reportage / Yingjin Zhang

Anxiety of Portraiture: Quest for/Questioning Ancestral Icons in Post-Mao China / Yuejin Wang

Resisting Writing / Li Tuo

The Function of New Theory: What Does It Mean to Talk about Postmodernism in China? / Xiaobing Tang

Postscript / Leo Ou-fan Lee


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Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-1416-5 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-1403-5
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