Description

The Edge of Knowing

Dreams, History, and Realism in Modern Chinese Literature

Roy Bing Chan

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  • $50.00s hardcover (9780295998992) Add to Cart
  • Published: November 2016
  • Subject Listing: Asian Studies / China; Literary Studies
  • Bibliographic information: 233 pp., 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: World Rights
  • Series: Modern Language Initiative Books
  • Contents

The Edge of Knowing explores the relationship between the rhetoric of dreams and realist literary practice in modern Chinese literature from the May Fourth Era in the early twentieth century through the period just following the end of the Cultural Revolution in 1976. The writers' attention to dreams demonstrates the multiple influences of Western psychology, utopian desire for revolutionary change, and the enduring legacy of traditional Chinese philosophy. At the same time, modern Chinese writers used their work to represent social reality for the purpose of nation-building. Recent political usage of dream rhetoric in the People's Republic of China attests to the continuing influence of dreams on the imagination of Chinese modernity.

By employing a number of critical perspectives, The Edge of Knowing will appeal to readers seeking to understand the complicated relationship between literary form and Chinese history and politics.
Roy Bing Chan is associate professor of Chinese literature at the University of Oregon.

"The Edge of Knowing is a pathbreaking study of a long-neglected aspect of modern Chinese literature."
-Charles A. Laughlin, author of The Literature of Leisure and Chinese Modernity

"An innovative reading of literary works that explores the tension between dream narratives and realism."
-Richard King, author of Milestones on a Golden Road: Writing for Chinese Socialism

Contents
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. Sleeping through Catastrophe: Dreams, Cataclysmic Modernity, and the Promises of Literary Realism
2. Dreaming as Representation: Lu Xun's Wild Grass and Realism's Social Address
3. Realism's Hysterical Bodies: Narrative and Oneiric Counternarrative in Mao Dun's Fiction
4. Sleepless Nights in Fast Socialism: Dream Rhetoric and Fiction in the Mao Era
5. Dream Fugue: Jiang Qing, the End of the Cultural Revolution, and Zong Pu's Fiction
Conclusion: Lu Xun and the Dreams of Politics and Literature
Glossary of Chinese Characters
Notes
References
Index
Reviews

"A fascinating study that makes significant contributions to how we understand the relationship between time, dreaming, and materiality in modern literature."
-Carla Nappi, New Books in East Asian Studies

"A fascinating study that makes significant contributions to how we understand the relationship between time, dreaming, and materiality in modern literature."
-Carla Nappi, New Books in East Asian Studies (NBN)