How do Western theories interpret modern Chinese literary creation? Take two works of Western studies as examples

Nov. 7,2019
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The theories of postmodernism and post-colonialism are more than often applied to interpret modern Chinese literary creation in Western studies of modern Chinese literature and culture. Though these works have been successively translated, published and widely recommended in the academic community at home around the new century, there lacks a systematic reflection on the methodology employed in them. Take the research works of Marston Anderson and Shu-mei Shih as examples, of which the methodology may be established on historical agnosticism of post-modernism, reflecting a kind of historical dislocation, namely, to project today’s popular position and foreign experience to a heterogeneous society with its own unique history and social experience, or to understand the modern action and thoughts with the ancient tradition, resulting in a paradoxical comparison and conclusion. Or else the concepts of uncertainty and ambiguity of post-colonialism are applied to interpret the life choice and creation of modern Chinese writers, which nevertheless is not completely applicable to the social situation of modern China. These impractical situations in which the Western theories are adopted to interpret the Chinese literary creation indicate that it is necessary for us to give up the blind worship of Western theories, and to reconstruct a discourse system adapted to Chinese historical and social experience, so as to interpret the Chinese experience in literature effectively.

Corresponding Author: WANG Xiaoping
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CNKI Press Officer: ZHONG Ming
Email: zm6946@cnki.net

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