Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Fanshen Culturally: The Emergence of People's Literature in the Late 1940s
by Liu, Zhuo, Ph.D., New York University, 2012, 275; 3502774
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation examines the emergence of “People's Literature” as a new mode of subjective formation and literary production, in the historical context of New Democratic period in Yan'an. The deep involvement with politics constitutes one of the defining features of Yan'an literary production. And I would argue that it is the deep involvement with the politics of New Democratic period that makes Yan'an literary production an origin of new literary tradition in twentieth-century China—“People's literature.”

The conceptualization of the People in the New Democratic period aims at mobilizing all the Chinese people to be a potential revolutionary member to achieve the goal of national independence and class emancipation collectively. Along with the process that each social group had been gradually organized to be a collective revolutionary force, the literary creativity and productivity among the previously silent groups, such as peasants, workers, soldiers, had been also emancipated. Centering on the problematic of the collective revolutionary subjectivity, this dissertation analyzes the literary production in Yan'an in three dimensions: the textual, the subjective, and the organizational.

The literary production in New Democratic period does not guarantee the perfection of literary forms in accordant with its content—the formation of collective revolutionary subjectivity, the People. Rather, it indicates a moment in which the literary experiments (on the textual, subjective and organizational levels) is greatly stirred up and mobilized to capture the revolutionary energy of Chinese people and Chinese society. And the formalistic innovation of literary production is not be measured in terms of the conventional aesthetic category, but to what extent it approximates and crystallizes the contradiction of the newly constituted collective revolutionary subjectivity—the People.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Zhang, Xudong
Commitee: Button, Peter, Jiang, Hui, Roberts, Moss, Wang, Ban
School: New York University
Department: East Asian Studies
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 73/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Modern literature, History
Keywords: Literary production, Mass moblization, Subjective formation
Publication Number: 3502774
ISBN: 978-1-267-26080-2
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