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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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Wumingshi and the Wartime Romances

Wumingshi and the Wartime Romances

(p.89) Chapter 5 Wumingshi and the Wartime Romances
On the Margins of Modernism

Christopher Rosenmeier

Edinburgh University Press

Wumingshi wrote several bestselling novels in the 1940s and these are covered in this chapter, including The Woman in the Tower (Tali de nüren) and North Pole Landscape Painting (Beiji fengqinghua). Both works are principally tragic love stories between stunningly beautiful women and accomplished, patriotic, intellectual men, but they also feature distinctive narrative styles and story frameworks that cross the boundaries between the real and the imagined. Wumingshi worked for the anti-Japanese Korean resistance movement in China, and this influenced several of his works. It is shown that, much like Xu Xu, Wumingshi’s work was initially modernist and highly concerned with narrative style, but it eventually transitioned to the popular romances that became hugely popular. Wumingshi’s multivolume grand opus, The Nameless Book (Wumingshu) is also considered here. In this work, he rejected nationalism and ideology and showed a return to narrative experimentation. The early volumes of this were his last published writings before the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949.

Keywords:   Wumingshi, Wu Mingshi, Bu Naifu, Korean anti-Japanese resistance, The Nameless Book

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