Modernity with a Cold War Face: Reimagining the Nation in Chinese Literature across the 1949 Divide

Modernity with a Cold War Face: Reimagining the Nation in Chinese Literature across the 1949 Divide

by Xiaojue Wang


Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details


The year 1949 witnessed China divided into multiple political and cultural entities. How did this momentous shift affect Chinese literary topography? Modernity with a Cold War Face examines the competing, converging, and conflicting modes of envisioning a modern nation in mid-twentieth century Chinese literature. Bridging the 1949 divide in both literary historical periodization and political demarcation, Xiaojue Wang proposes a new framework to consider Chinese literature beyond national boundaries, as something arising out of the larger global geopolitical and cultural conflict of the Cold War.

Examining a body of heretofore understudied literary and cultural production in mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and overseas during a crucial period after World War II, Wang traces how Chinese writers collected artistic fragments, blended feminist and socialist agendas, constructed ambivalent stances toward colonial modernity and an imaginary homeland, translated foreign literature to shape a new Chinese subjectivity, and revisited the classics for a new time. Reflecting historical reality in fictional terms, their work forged a path toward multiple modernities as they created alternative ways of connection, communication, and articulation to uncover and undermine Cold War dichotomous antagonism.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674726727
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 10/21/2013
Series: Harvard East Asian Monographs , #360
Pages: 376
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Xiaojue Wang is Assistant Professor of Chinese Literature and Culture at the University of Pennsylvania.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Note on Romanization xv

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 Literature, Nationhood, and the Cold War: How Was Modern Chinese Literature Invented? 23

The Institutionalization of Modern Chinese Literary Study in the People's Republic 24

Fashioning Cultural Authenticity in Hong Kong 32

Modern Chinese Literature: The Negative Space in Taiwan 44

Chapter 2 Fragments of Modernity: Shen Congwen's Journey from Asylum to Museum 54

Whither Beijing? "Socrates Talks about What Beijing Needs" 59

The Collector and the Historian 70

The Delirious Mind of the Cold War: The Discourse of Schizophrenia 80

Fragments of Modernity: Studies on Traditional Chinese Costumes 97

Chapter 3 Over Her Dead Body: Ding Ling's Politicization after the Socialist Revolution 108

Is Socialist Realism Gendered? The Sun Shines over the Sanggan River 112

"Du Wanxiang": The Anachronism of a Socialist Realist Fairy Tale 137

Over Her Dead Body: Ding Ling's Leftist Loyalism in the 1980s 147

Chapter 4 Wu Zhuoliu, Orphanization, and Colonial Modernity in Taiwan 155

The Tale of Tap Water: The Contestation among Nationalism, Colonialism, and Modernization 158

An Authentic Modernity: Taiwan Minzhuguo (Taiwan Republic) 165

Wu Zhuoliu's Orphan of Asia: Colonial Modernity in Taiwan Literature 179

From "Orphan of Asia" to "Child of Taiwan" 195

Chapter 5 Fashioning Socialist Affinity: Feng Zhi and the Legacy of European Humanism in Modern Chinese Poetry 202

The Republic of Thousands of Solitude: Feng Zhi's Sonnets and Rainer Maria Rilke 208

Stirb und Werde: Feng Zhi's Wu Zixu and Goethe Studies 227

Shakespeare as a Weapon for Rightists: A Modern China beyond Capitalist Humanism 241

Chapter 6 Eileen Chang, Hong Kong, and the Cold War 255

The Making of the Right and the Left: When Anti-Communism Meets New School Martial Arts 259

Cold War Adaptations of Dream of the Red Chamber 274

A Missed Moment of Modernity: Nightmare in the Red Chamber 283

The Politics of Rewriting: Eileen Chang at the Cold War Frontier 292

Epilogue: Toward a De-Cold War Criticism 297

Character List 307

Bibliography 313

Index 339

Customer Reviews