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Chinese literature - Contemporary Literature

Contemporary Chinese literature firstly refers to Chinese literature since 1949; secondly, it refers to literature that occurred in a specific socialist historical context, which is limited to the scope of “Mainland China”.

Development History


Chinese writers after the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 are mainly divided into five categories: traditional literature writers, new era writers, Chinese pioneer literature writers, Chinese freelance writers, and Chinese popular literature writers.
Contemporary Chinese literature firstly refers to Chinese literature since 1949; secondly, it refers to literature that occurred in a specific historical context of socialism.
The development of contemporary Chinese literature to this day is mainly divided into five categories: “initial socialist literature”, “new era literature” after reform and opening up, “Chinese avant-garde literature”, ” Chinese free literature “, and “popular and popular literature”.

Source staging

After the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, China has entered the stage of the “socialist revolution”, and a new literary form inevitably appeared. In this way, by the late 1950s, the use of “new literature” had been greatly reduced and began to appear. The tendency to replace it with “modern literature”, and the understanding that “contemporary literature” is “socialist literature” has continued to the writing of several contemporary literary histories before the 1980s. After the reform and opening up, the diversification of contemporary literature has made various contemporary literary works splendid. The “May Fourth” cultural tradition characterized by Enlightenment is a movement of intellectuals with a unified value orientation. The practice of the “May Fourth” new literature movement represented by Lu Xun is recognized as the mainstream of the new literary tradition. History of Chinese Literature, In fact, two traditions were formed during the development process of “May 4th” new literature: the enlightenment cultural tradition of the “May 4th” new literature and the war cultural tradition since the Anti-Japanese War. These two literary traditions sometimes complement each other or are more consistent, and sometimes they mutually Conflict and replace it to influence contemporary literature.

The first stage(1949-1978)

The convening of the “First Literary Congress” enabled the literary workers who had been separated in the two regions (the Kuomintang ruled area and the liberated area under the leadership of the Communist Party) for a long time to “join their teachers”, the fighting traditions of the “May Fourth” new literature and the war The formed cultural traditions of the Liberated Areas merged under the premise of the same goal, and the new direction of Chinese literature and art as stipulated in Mao Zedong’s “Speech” was officially established as the direction of the national literature and artwork. At that time, when people with gun smoke engaged in peace construction, Cultural and psychological naturally retains traces of the war era. Under the restriction of this cultural atmosphere, literary concepts have shifted from military orbit to political orbit, and the thinking mode of confrontation between the two armies is specifically manifested as a dogmatic mode that unilaterally emphasizes class struggle.

The second stage(1978-1989)

The true “resurrection” of literature is marked by the “scar literature” that began in August 1978. The convening of the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee marks the cultural norms of war that have influenced the construction of Chinese culture for 40 years since the Anti-Japanese War was denied. In October 1979, at the Fourth National Congress of the Communist Party of China, Deng Xiaoping delivered a congratulatory speech on behalf of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. He clearly put forward the opinion of “don’t intervene indiscriminately”, and admitted that literary and artistic creation is a kind of complicated spiritual work, and the party is not a requirement. Literature and art are subordinate to temporary, specific, and direct political tasks, but according to the characteristics and development rules of literature and art, to help literary and art workers obtain conditions to continue to prosper the cause of literature and art. “In 1980, the CPC Central Committee officially proposed.” The general policy of literature and art serving the people and socialism”. In 1984, Hu Qili represented the CPC Central Committee at the Fourth Writers Congress and made the promise of “creative freedom”. Literature in the 1980s was full of vigorous innovative spirit and activity Atmosphere. The “May 4th” new literary tradition gradually regained its vitality.
Deng Xiaoping

The third phase(90s-new century)

The cultural characteristics of the early 1990s: the unified political and social ideals held by intellectuals in the state of “common name” were watered down, and the multicultural pattern gradually formed unconsciously. In literary creation, it is reflected in the writer’s abandonment of the grand historical narrative, Turning to a personal narrative standpoint, especially from this to the rediscovery and active identification of folk standpoints. The tradition of new literature showed new vitality in the 1990s.
The “anonymous” characteristics of the literature in the 1990s: there has been a phenomenon of no owner, no orientation, and no common name. Several literary trends coexist at the same time, expressing multiple value orientations. Secondly, the writer’s narrative position has changed. From a common social ideal to a personal narrative standpoint. Third, due to the disappearance of the “common name” of the era, a group of self-facing writers has realized their writing experiments in opening up personal psychological space. The literary narrative of the personal standpoint has turned closer The personal writing style of life itself, a group of young writers and female writers called the “new generation” came into being.
It is particularly noteworthy that since the beginning of this century, concepts such as Chinese free writers and Chinese free literature have emerged, which have elevated contemporary Chinese literature to a new and unprecedented height, making contemporary Chinese literature more disorderly, vaguer, and more ambiguous. Personal emotions, an age of true self-return to literature are emerging.

Iconic writer

Ba Jin (1904-2005) famous modern writer. Formerly known as Li Fagan, under the pen name Ba Jin, from Chengdu, Sichuan, he wrote his first novel “Destruction” in 1928. Later, he wrote the “Love Trilogy”: “Fog”, “Rain”, and “Electricity”; “The Riptide Trilogy”: “Home”, “Spring”, “Autumn” and other novels. In 1982, he won the “International Dante Award for Literature”. “, Ba Jin successively served as the chairman of the Chinese Writers Association and the chairman of the Shanghai Writers Association.
Ding Ling (1904-1986) modern female writer, formerly named Jiang Wei, also known as Jiang Bingzhi, was from Linli, Hunan. Representative works “Ms. Shafei’s Diary” “The Sun Shines on the Sanggan River “. In 1951, “The Sun Shines on the Sanggan River” won the second prize of the Stalin Prize for Literature.
Zang Kejia (1905-2004) modern poet, from Zhucheng, Shandong. Served as editor-in-chief of “Poetry”. His first collection of poems is “Branding”, and his main work is “Old Horse”. The collection of satirical poems “Baby”, the collection of novels “Hanzhong” etc.
Zhang Tianyi (1906-1985) modern writer. He was born in Xiangxiang, Hunan, and was born in Nanjing. Representative as the satirical short story “Mr. Warwick”, the novel “Ghost Diary”, the short story ” From Emptiness to Fullness “, and children’s literary works such as “Dalin and Kobayashi”, “The Secret of Treasure Gourd” and “Big Bad Wolf”.
Ai Qing (1910-1996) is a modern poet, originally named Jiang Haicheng, from Jinhua, Zhejiang. Joined the “China Left-wing Art League” in 1932 and was arrested the same year. In 1936, he published the first collection of poems “Da Yan River”. His long poem “Da Yan River-My Nanny” was his famous work. During the Anti-Japanese War, he wrote long poems “To the Sun” and “Torch”. After the liberation, he wrote “On the Top of the Waves”, “A Song of Light” and so on.
Xu Chi (1914-1996) modern poet and reportage writer. Formerly known as Xu Gaoshou; from Wuxing, Zhejiang Province. His early works include a collection of poems “Twenty-year-old Man” and a collection of essays “A Collection of Beautiful Essays”; after liberation, he wrote a feature collection “People of Our Time” and “Celebration Banquet”. The reportage collection “Goldbach Conjecture” written in 1978 is a gift to the National Science Conference.
Guo Xiaochuan (1919-1976) modern poet. A native of Fengning County, Hebei. During the Anti-Japanese War, he began to write poetry. His main works include the collection of poems “Plain Old Man”, “Sugar Cane Forest-Green Shazhang”, “Into the Fiery Struggle” and long poem “The General Trilogy”. He is the author of “Selected Poems by Guo Xiaochuan”.
Li Ji (1922-1980) is a modern poet, formerly named Li Zhenpeng, from Tang County, Henan Province. His representative work is the long narrative poem “Yang Gao Biography”. In 1945, he wrote a long narrative poem “Wang Gui and Li Xiangxiang” in the form of the folk song “Xintianyou” in northern Shaanxi.
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