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On the Margins of ModernismXu Xu, Wumingshi and Popular Chinese Literature in the 1940s$
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Christopher Rosenmeier

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780748696369

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748696369.001.0001

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Wartime Literature between Tradition and Modernity

Wartime Literature between Tradition and Modernity

(p.44) Chapter 3 Wartime Literature between Tradition and Modernity
On the Margins of Modernism

Christopher Rosenmeier

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter provides a broad overview of popular Chinese literature during the wartime years, including relevant historical context, such as the attempt at reconciliation between different factions and groups of writers in October 1936. Several authors are discussed, including Zhang Henshui, Ping Jinya, Jin Yi, Wang Dulu, Qin Shou’ou, Zhang Ailing, Cheng Xiaoqing, and Yu Qie. It demonstrates that the popular literature of the time was highly diverse and frequently explored aspects of tradition, modernity, nationalism, character psychology and various narrative styles. Tradition and history were freed from being seen as the enemies of progress and were now used for playful entertainment as well as fostering national pride. Overall, the wartime period saw a collapse of the formerly sharp distinction between “new” and “old” literature and this allowed numerous authors to straddle such divides in novel ways.

Keywords:   Second Sino-Japanese War, Wartime literature, 1940s Chinese fiction, Ping Jinya, Jin Yi, Wang Dulu, Zhang Ailing, Eileen Chang, Cheng Xiaoqing, Yu Qie

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