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Palgrave Macmillan

Debating the Socialist Legacy and Capitalist Globalization in China

ISBN 9781137020765
Publication Date July 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (PDF) Ebook (EPUB) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series China in Transformation

The first English collection of translated essays, by Chinese literary scholars, writers, and critics, this volume focuses on the legacy of socialist culture and post-socialist phenomena within the context of capitalist globalization. By rethinking socialism, literature, and culture in relation to the intellectual and cultural trends since the start of the reform and by debating the rise of the 'new left' culture, this book seeks to offer critical voices while evoking the themes of the socialist past to bear on the 21st-century Chinese intellectual and cultural scenes.

Zhong Xueping is Professor of Chinese Literature and Culture at Tufts University, USA. Her major publications include Masculinity Besieged? Issues of Modernity and Male Subjectivity in Chinese Literature of the Late Twentieth Century (2000) and Mainstream Culture Refocused: Television Drama, Society, and the Production of Meaning in Reform-Era China (2010).

Wang Ban is William Haas Professor in Chinese Studies at Stanford University, USA. His major publications include The Sublime Figure of History (1997) and Illuminations from the Past (2004).


Table of Contents
Introduction: Why Does Socialist Culture Matter Today?
PART I: RETHINKING SOCIALISM, LITERATURE, AND CULTURE
1. Shanghai as a Socialist City and Spatial Reconstruction; Luo Gang and Li Yun
2. One Village and One Novel: Revisiting Wenquantun Village; He Jixian and Lu Taiguang
3. Gender Politics and the Crisis of Socialist Aesthetics; Mao Jian
4. The Crisis of Socialism and Efforts to Overcome It; Cai Xiang
PART II: CRITICAL REFLECTION ON LITERATURE AND CULTURE SINCE THE REFORM
5. Mythification of the Reform-Era History: A Social-Historical Analysis of the Avant-Garde Literature; Liu Fusheng
6. Genealogy and Ideology of the Avant-Garde Fiction; He Guimei
7. Eight Key Terms in Literary Criticism; Cao Zhenglu
8. Enjoyment: A New Experiment on Surrealist Writing: A Dialogue between Li Tuo and Yan Lianke
PART III: DEBATING THE RISE OF 'NEW LEFT' CULTURE AND 'SUBALTERN LITERATURE' IN THE REFORM ERA
9. The Rise of 'Subaltern Literature' in the 21st Century: A Speech at the Utopian Forum (2007); Li Yunlei
10. A Difficult Breakthrough: On Representing Subaltern Experiences; Nan Fan
11. Che Guevara: Notes on the Play, Its Production, and Reception; Huang Jisu
PART IV: PEOPLE'S LITERATURE AND CULTURE: FROM PAST TO FUTURE
12. The White-Haired Girl: Limitations and Potential of the New Interpretation; He Jixian
13. Subjective Identity, Revolutionary Consciousness, and People's Literature: Zhang Chengzhi and His Literature in the New Era; Zhang Hong
14. People's Literature: An Unfinished Historical Project; Kuang Xinnian

Cai Xiang, Shanghai University, China
Cao Zhenglu, Shenzhen University, China
Han Yuhai, Beijing University, China
He Guimei, Beijing University, China
He Jixian, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
Huang Jisu, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
Kuang Xinnian, Qinghua University, China
Li Yunlei, Editor, Arts and Literary Theory and Criticism
Li Tuo, Critic
Liu Fusheng, Hainan University, China
Lu Taiguang, Editor, Fiction Monthly
Luo Gang, East China Normal University
Mao Jian, East China Normal University
Nan Fan, Fujian Academy of Social Sciences
Yan Lianke, Writer
Zhang Hong, Communication University of China

Reviews

"Re-engaging socialist cultural texts, the editors and contributors—all prominent intellectual figures or leading New Left thinkers from China—call for a vigorous engagement with the socialist past as 'a real force of critique and contestation as well as a source of aspiration.' Rang[ing] from an analysis of literary and cultural texts produced during the socialist era to an investigation of recent New Left literature and critiques, the essays in Debating the Socialist Legacy enjoin readers to ponder the imposing and in many cases urgent challenges of rethinking socialism in the post-revolutionary age. How might key socialist concepts be redefined and reimagined in the present? For example, in the case of that crucial term, 'the people,' should it be broadened […] to reflect contemporary socioeconomic realities […] or should it be narrowed to indicate subalterns/peasants/workers in contemporary China? This is but one of the daunting but pressing issues raised by the essays in this timely and engaging volume." - Jie Liu, Professor of Chinese, University of the Pacific, USA (Modern Chinese Literature and Culture Resource Center Publication, 2015)
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