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Till, Katalin (1995) A brief flowering: A study of the modern Chinese magazine Literary Renaissance. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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The modern Chinese magazine Literary Renaissance was published monthly in Shanghai between January 1946 and August 1949, edited by Zheng Zhenduo and Li Jianwu Its launch expressed widespread hopes for the revival of Chinese literature after the war and intentions of working towards that revival. The purpose of this study is to examine whether there was indeed a post-war Literary Renaissance reflected by the magazine. Since the editors perceived a parallel between the European Renaissance and the envisaged revival of Chinese literature, various interpretations of the connection are looked at before the magazine's own literary philosophy is traced through the published editorials, reviews and theoretical articles. Creative contributions are discussed according to genre, devoting a chapter each to poetry, short stories, novels and drama. In evaluating individual works, comparisons are sought with outstanding examples of literature from the previous decades, looking for changes and differences, and focusing on foreign or native influences. Where appropriate, the world outlook and allegiances of contributors are also looked into, trying to discover groupings and trends. In the broad spectrum of poems several instances are found that are comparable in quality to pre-war poetry. Among the short stories two significant types of narratives emerge that present reality in a more complex and experimental manner. Of the three serialized novels, two have turned out to rank among the best of modern Chinese novels. The playscripts, however, while giving a glimpse of the previous theatre boom, reflect the post-war decline of drama. Finally, the findings in the various genres are brought together and the basic question of the study is answered. Appendices include a chronology of selected events relevant to the period, reproductions of the evocative cover and content pages of the magazine, translations of two modernist short stories and biographies of significant contributors.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:03

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