The City in Modern Chinese Literature and Film: Configurations of Space, Time, and Gender

Overview

This study explores the ways in which the city and urban life have been represented in modern Chinese literature and film. The author has three aims: to trace the literary and filmic configurations (i.e., symbolic constructions) of the city in modern China; to investigate the ways the city is placed in an ambivalent - if not negative - light in these configurations; and to work toward an understanding of how one can study the nature of the city/country problematic in modern Chinese literary history. The book ...
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Overview

This study explores the ways in which the city and urban life have been represented in modern Chinese literature and film. The author has three aims: to trace the literary and filmic configurations (i.e., symbolic constructions) of the city in modern China; to investigate the ways the city is placed in an ambivalent - if not negative - light in these configurations; and to work toward an understanding of how one can study the nature of the city/country problematic in modern Chinese literary history. The book draws upon many literary and filmic texts that have been either previously ignored or deemed of no importance, and presents them in such a way that they - together with certain canonical works interpreted from new perspectives - point to an important structure of urban imagination in modern China. Throughout, the author draws upon theoretical insights from a wide variety of disciplines - anthropology, history, psychology, sociology, as well as literature, film, and cultural studies - to illuminate particular issues.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804726825
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 390

Table of Contents

Illustrations
Note on Romanization
Preface: An Invitation to Explore the City
1 Introduction: The City in Modern Chinese Cultural History 3
2 Urban Configurations: Small Town, Ancient Capital, Modern Metropolis 28
3 Mapping the Ancient Capital of Beijing 61
4 The Symbolic Triumph of Chinese Tradition in Beijing 90
5 Reading the Illegible Metropolis of Shanghai 117
6 The Circulation of Temporality and Eroticism in Shanghai 154
7 Imagining the Modern Woman in Shanghai 185
8 The Female Visions of the Modern City 232
Afterword: A Perspective on Modern Chinese Literary History 261
Notes 271
Bibliography 329
Character List 359
Index 377
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