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Skeel, Desmond A. (1995) The Chinese short story in 1979: An interpretation based on official and nonofficial literary journals. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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The short story has been an important genre in 20th century Chinese literature. By its very nature the short story affords the writer the opportunity to introduce swiftly any developments in ideology, theme or style. Scholars have interpreted Chinese fiction published during 1979 as indicative of a "change" in the development of 20th century Chinese literature. This study examines a number of short stories from 1979 in order to determine the extent of that "change". The first two chapters concern the establishment of a representative database and the adoption of viable methods of interpretation. An important, although much neglected, phenomenon in the make-up of 1979 literature are the works which appeared in so-called "nonofficial" journals. In order to provide a more complete picture of the short story in 1979, the database is comprised of works from one "nonofficial" and two "official" literary journals. Differences and/or similarities between the two types of short story are highlighted. The main body of this study is divided into four further chapters, each of which concerns a separate aspect of the short stories. These chapters discuss each aspect with regard to literary development and sociohistorical influences. These aspects include the presentation of themes, subject matter and character; the use of imagery and language; narrative form and plot chronology; and the types of narrative mode explored by the writers. The study is concluded by an evaluation of the Chinese short story in 1979, emphasizing the degrees of continuity and/or innovation it exhibits.

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

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