From Textuality to Historicity

Subjective Writing in Contemporary Chinese Literature

Jin Siyan. Translated by Isabelle Wen

The Chinese University Press

From Textuality to Historicity

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Pub Date: April 2017

ISBN: 9789629967871

412 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $52.00

From Textuality to Historicity

Subjective Writing in Contemporary Chinese Literature

Jin Siyan. Translated by Isabelle Wen

The Chinese University Press

Translated from the original French publication, this book provides a comprehensive analysis of 20th century Chinese literature and examines the relationship between Chinese literary theory and modernity. Jin Siyan surveys the work of leading writers including Zhang Ailing, Beidao, and Mu Dan. She seeks to answer some fundamental questions in the study of Chinese literary history, such as: How does contemporary Chinese literature go from historical narrative to the narrative of the I, where rhythm and epic merge into writing, and where the instinctive load of the rhythm substantiates the epic? What are the steps and the forms of mediation that allow such a transition? Is the subject the only agent of the transition? What is its status? What is the role of poetic language that led to the birth of the subject and which separates it from empiricism? What are the difficulties faced by Chinese writers today? Young Chinese writers set off in search of a totally new writing to rediscover subjectivity, which is in no way limited to literature; it also covers areas such as the law, and the expression of the I confronted with an overpowering we.
The outstanding work of Jin Siyan deals with what is within the heart of the revolution of the contemporary Chinese literary creation: the eruption of subjectivity. Léon Vandermeersch, Institut de France

About the Author

Jin Siyan is a professor and director of the Chinese studies program at the University of Artois, France. Her research interests include Chinese literature, the Chinese education system, and the reception of the West in China.

Isabelle Wen is a translator living in France.