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The Limits Of Realism: Chinese Fiction In The Revolutionary Period
by Marston Anderson
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Chinese intellectuals of the early twentieth century were attracted to realism primarily as a tool for social regeneration. Realism encouraged writers to adopt the stance of the independent cultural critic and drew into the compass of serious literature the disenfranchised "others" of Chinese society. As historical pressures forced new ideological commitments in the late twenties and thirties, however, writers grew suspicious both of the "individualism" implicit in the realist model and of the often superficial nature of the sympathies that their fiction evoked in the middle class. Anderson argues that realism must be defined negatively as a "discourse of limitations" and is of minimal utility in the Chinese search for political and cultural empowerment. He shows how hesitations about the realist model affect the fiction of four representative authors, Lu Xun, Ye Shaojun, Mao Dun, and Zhang Tianyi. He also considers the demise of critical realism in the face of a new collectivist understanding of Chinese reality.
From the Inside Flap
"This book occupies that often sought but rarely achieved scholarly ideal: it brilliantly provides a new paradigm at a time when the old has lived beyond its years of useful service."--Theodore D. Huters, University of Oregon
From the Back Cover
"This book occupies that often sought but rarely achieved scholarly ideal: it brilliantly provides a new paradigm at a time when the old has lived beyond its years of useful service." (Theodore D. Huters, University of Oregon)
About the Author
Marston Anderson is Assistant Professor of East Asian Languages and Literatures at Yale University.
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