These writers generally tackled domestic issues, such as relations between the sexes, family, friendship and war, Eileen Chang's writing uses the spatial specificities of the modern apartment as essential to the construction of a vision of life in wartime. Ding Ling 's story Miss Sophia's Diary exposes the thoughts and feelings of its female diarist in all their complexity. The s and s saw the emergence of spoken drama. In the late s and s, literary journals and societies espousing various artistic theories proliferated. Among the major writers of the period were Guo Moruo — , a poet, historian, essayist, and critic; Mao Dun — , the first of the novelists to emerge from the League of Left-Wing Writers and one whose work reflected the revolutionary struggle and disillusionment of the late s; satirist and novelist Lao She — ; and Ba Jin — , a novelist whose work was influenced by Ivan Turgenev and other Russian writers.
In the s Ba Jin produced a trilogy that depicted the struggle of modern youth against the ageold dominance of the Confucian family system. Comparison often is made between Jia Family , one of the novels in the trilogy, and Dream of the Red Chamber. Many of these writers became important as administrators of artistic and literary policy after Most of those authors who were still alive during the Cultural Revolution —76 were either purged or forced to submit to public humiliation. By it had adopted the Soviet doctrine of socialist realism ; that is, the insistence that art must concentrate on contemporary events in a realistic way, exposing the ills of nonsocialist society and promoting a glorious future under communism.
Other styles of literature were at odds with the highly-political literature being promoted by the League. Lin Yutang , who had studied at Harvard and Leipzig, introduced the concept of youmo humor , which he used in trenchant criticism of China's political and cultural situation before leaving for the United States.
The literary ideals of the League were being simplified and enforced on writers and "cultural workers". In , Mao Zedong gave a series of lectures called " Talks at the Yan'an Forum on Art and Literature " that clearly made literature subservient to politics via the Yan'an Rectification Movement.
This document would become the national guideline for culture after the establishment of the People's Republic of China. After coming to power in , the Communists gradually nationalized the publishing industry, centralized the book distribution system, and brought writers under institutional control through the Writers Union.
A system of strict censorship was implemented, with Mao's "Yan'an Talks" as the guiding force. Periodic literary campaigns targeted figures such as Hu Shih and other figures from the New Culture period, especially Hu Feng , a protege of Lu Xun who, along with his wife Mei Zhi , did not toe the Party line on literature. The ability to satirize and expose the evils in contemporary society that had made writers useful to the Communist Party of China before its accession to power was no longer welcomed. Party cultural leaders such as Zhou Yang used Mao's call to have literature "serve the people" to mount attacks on " petty bourgeois idealism" and " humanitarianism ".
This conflict came to a head in the Hundred Flowers Campaign — Mao Zedong initially encouraged writers to speak out against problems in the new society. Having learned the lessons of the anti-Hu Feng campaign, they were reluctant, but then a flurry of newspaper articles, films, and literary works drew attention to such problems as bureaucratism and authoritarianism within the ranks of the party. Shocked at the level of discontent, Mao's Anti-Rightist Movement put large numbers of intellectuals through so-called "thought reform" or sent them to labor camps.
At the time of the Great Leap Forward —59 , the government increased its insistence on the use of socialist realism and combined with it so-called revolutionary realism and revolutionary romanticism. Despite the literary control and strictures to limit subjects to contemporary China and the glories of the revolution, writers produced widely read novels of energy and commitment. During the Cultural Revolution — , Mao's wife, Jiang Qing led the campaign against "feudal" and "bourgeois" culture.
The arrest of Jiang Qing and the other members of the Gang of Four in , and especially the reforms initiated at the Third Plenum of the Eleventh National Party Congress Central Committee in December , led writers to take up their pens again. The writers decried the waste of time and talent during that decade and bemoaned abuses that had held China back.
This literature, often called " scar literature ", or "the literature of the wounded", discussed the experiences of sent-down youth with great though not complete frankness and conveyed disquieting views of the party and the political system. Intensely patriotic, these authors wrote cynically of the political leadership that gave rise to the extreme chaos and disorder of the Cultural Revolution. Many of these themes and attitudes were also found in Fifth Generation films of directors trained after , many of which were based on published novels and short stories.
Some of this fiction and cinema extended the blame to the entire generation of leaders and to the political system itself. The political authorities were faced with a serious problem: how could they encourage writers to criticize and discredit the abuses of the Cultural Revolution without allowing that criticism to go beyond what they considered tolerable limits? During this period, the number of literary magazines rose sharply, and many from before the Cultural Revolution were revived.
Poetry also changed in its form and content. Four " misty poets ", Bei Dao , Gu Cheng , Duo Duo and Yang Lian expressed themselves in deliberately obscure verse which reflected subjective realism rather than the realism of the sort promoted during the Cultural Revolution. There was a special interest in foreign works. Recent foreign literature was translated, often without carefully considering its interest for the Chinese reader. Literary magazines specializing in translations of foreign short stories became very popular, especially among the young. Some leaders in the government, literary and art circles feared change was happening too fast.
The first reaction came in with calls to combat "bourgeois liberalism," a campaign that was repeated in These two difficult periods were followed by the Anti-Spiritual Pollution Campaign in late At the same time, writers remained freer to write in unconventional styles and to treat sensitive subject matter.
A spirit of literary experimentation flourished in the second half of the s. Other writers e. In the wake of the Tiananmen massacre of and with the intensification of market reforms, literature and culture turned increasingly commercial and escapist. As in the May Fourth Movement, women writers came to the fore. China is the largest publisher of books, magazines and newspapers in the world. There are more than literary journals across the country. Living in France but continuing to write primarily in Chinese, Gao Xingjian became the first Chinese writer to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature in In , children's author Cao Wenxuan was awarded the Hans Christian Andersen Award , the first Chinese author to win the top international children's book prize although several Chinese authors had previously been nominated.
In the new millennium, online literature in China plays a much more important role than in the United States and the rest of the world. They cost an average of 2 CNY, or roughly a tenth of the average price of a printed book. Shanda Literature Ltd. China buys many foreign book rights; nearly 16 million copies of the sixth book of the Harry Potter series were sold in Chinese translation.
China was nominated as a Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Bookfair in The book market in China traditionally orders books during book fairs, because the country lacks a national book ordering system. In , 6. Seven percent of all publishers are located in Shanghai. Because the industry lacks a national distribution system, many titles from publishers in the provinces can only be found there. The central publishing houses belonging to ministries or other government institutions have their main seat at Beijing 40 percent of all publishers. Most regional publishing houses are situated in the capitals of the provinces.
Universities also have associated presses. Private publishing is tolerated. Among publishers—almost five times more than thirty years ago— are supervised by ministries, commissions or the army; are controlled by agencies; and six are even more independent. On the other hand, , private bookstores bring in the half of the income of the book industry.
Because all publishers in China are required to be licensed by the GAPP, that agency also has the power to deny people the right to publish, and completely shut down any publisher who fails to follow its dictates. Online bestseller Ghost Blows Out the Light had to be rewritten to remove references to the supernatural before it could be released in print.
Translated literature has long played an important role in modern China. Some writers, such as Lu Xun , Yu Dafu , Ba Jin and others were literary translators themselves, and many present day writers in China, such as the Nobel laureate Mo Yan , listed translated works as sources of enlightenment and inspiration. Chinese literature is increasingly available in translation- there are now several well-established websites sharing information, for example, Paper Republic , Writing Chinese , Chinese Short Stories , My Chinese Books , Chinese Books for Young Readers.
In , the Chinese government started a sponsoring program for translations of government-approved Chinese works, which has already resulted in more than books being translated from Chinese into other languages. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the — English-language magazine, see Chinese Literature magazine. Mythology and folklore. Mythology folklore. New religions Taoism.
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