Contemporary Chinese Literature: From the Cultural by Yibing Huang

By Yibing Huang

This e-book bargains a clean and nuanced viewpoint into modern chinese language literature through proposing 4 authors and cultural bastards--Duo Duo, an underground seer-poet; Wang Shuo, a "hooligan" author; Zhang Chengzhi, an previous crimson protect and new cultural heretic; and Wang Xiaobo, a defiant but depression chronicler of a dystopian glossy global. It analyzes each one of those authors' particular (re)visions of a double-faced chinese language modernity opposed to a collective legacy of the Cultural Revolution, and argues for the recovery of a old horizon of China's transition from the Cultural Revolution to a hybrid second of the current and destiny ridden with uncertainties.

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Extra info for Contemporary Chinese Literature: From the Cultural Revolution to the Future

Sample text

Well then, had my boyhood been but a note in the eulogy for Mao Zedong? ”15 On many other later occasions, Duo Duo has repeatedly affirmed that reading Baudelaire (in Chinese, particularly the translation by Chen Jingrong, a female Chinese poet from the 1940s) inspired him to start writing a totally new style of poetry: As a secondary school student, he [Duo Duo] was not interested in poetry at all. 17 Although this line, “The windows open like eyes,” has never appeared in any of Duo Duo’s finished early poems, it nonetheless serves as an almost visionary note of Duo Duo’s appearance as a seer-poet in the mode of Rimbaudian or Baudelairean modernism.

If Lee’s equation of Duo Duo to a seer-poet is to be allowed, then the same ambiguity and agony surrounding Lu Xun’s Madman would have to haunt Duo Duo as well. Duo Duo was born in Beijing in 1951 to an intellectual family. When the Cultural Revolution broke out in the summer of 1966, he was fifteen years old, a junior high student in Beijing. That summer, like most of his contemporaries, he aspired to join the Red Guards. He experienced several “revolutionary exchanges” and traveled south to different parts of China.

Thus supremation is replaced by marginalization and progress by decadence; the subject himself is hit by further shocks of unfamiliar experiences. In another short poem, “Blessings” (1973),26 Duo Duo imagines a farewell to the nation itself by directly personifying China as an orphan of history vis-à-vis the West in a dramatic scene of alienation, dislocation, and exile: When society had difficulty giving birth That thin, black widow once tied magic charms on a bamboo rod 30 ● Contemporary Chinese Literature And waved them at the rising moon A blood-soaked streamer emitted an endless stench Made vicious mutts everywhere bark the whole night long From that superstitious moment on The motherland was led away by another father Wandering in the parks of London and the streets of Michigan Staring with orphan’s eyes at hurried steps that come and go And again and again stuttering out old hopes and humiliations Once again, here, birth and the initiation of the subject into history has from the very beginning been paired simultaneously with alienation from that very history.

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