The Return of the Westward Look: Overseas Chinese Student Literature in the 20th century

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/194739
Title:
The Return of the Westward Look: Overseas Chinese Student Literature in the 20th century
Author:
Shi, Xiaoling
Issue Date:
2009
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
By employing the theory of Imagology, this work examines four literature workswritten in overseas study movements in modern Chinese history: Wang Tao's shortstories in Songyin Manlu, Lao She's The Two Mas, Bai Xianyong's A Death in Chicagoand Zhou Li's Manhattan's Chinese Lady. While tracing how Chinese intellectuals workthrough the dichotomy of China/West and Tradition /Modernity, this study alsoendeavors to reveal theoretical issues arising from inter-cultural communication andrepresentation. It argues that the literary projection of the west manifests a complex senseof the Chinese self primarily due to the portrayals of western cities and westerners as anembodiment of Chinese understandings of western modernity at different periods. In theLate Qing, the depiction of London in Songyin Manlu only focuses on gunboats, cannons,museums, and factories, because western modernity for the Chinese at the time wassignified by the mighty weaponry of British navy and advanced technology. In the 1920s,however, the portrayal of London in The Two Mas shifts to reveal how Londoners'lifestyle and culture make Britain the most powerful nation in the world, as the Chineseintellectuals advocated the westernization of Chinese culture in order to strengthen China.In the 1960s, the Chinese protagonist Wu Hanhun in A Death of Chicago feels estrangedand sexually seduced in Chicago, subsequently loses his sense of purpose in life andeventually commits suicide, the depiction of which is consistent with similar themes inwestern modernist literature. This is due to the fact that the modernist movement thrivedin Taiwan in the 1960s, and as such, had a large impact on Taiwanese writers. The 1990seraManhattan's Chinese Lady displays spectacles of America's wealth on the FifthAvenue in Manhattan, as common Chinese strive for becoming rich in contemporaryChina owing to the Chinese government's promotion of market reform after 40 years ofpoverty in socialist China. The study concludes that regardless of whether or not theimages of the west presented in Chinese discourse are idealizations, demonizations, orother related cultural determinations, they all manifest a type of anxiety in regard to theChinese Self.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
Chicago; London; New York; overseas Chinese student literature; western cities; westerners
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
East Asian Studies; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Li, Dian
Committee Chair:
Li, Dian

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoENen_US
dc.titleThe Return of the Westward Look: Overseas Chinese Student Literature in the 20th centuryen_US
dc.creatorShi, Xiaolingen_US
dc.contributor.authorShi, Xiaolingen_US
dc.date.issued2009en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractBy employing the theory of Imagology, this work examines four literature workswritten in overseas study movements in modern Chinese history: Wang Tao's shortstories in Songyin Manlu, Lao She's The Two Mas, Bai Xianyong's A Death in Chicagoand Zhou Li's Manhattan's Chinese Lady. While tracing how Chinese intellectuals workthrough the dichotomy of China/West and Tradition /Modernity, this study alsoendeavors to reveal theoretical issues arising from inter-cultural communication andrepresentation. It argues that the literary projection of the west manifests a complex senseof the Chinese self primarily due to the portrayals of western cities and westerners as anembodiment of Chinese understandings of western modernity at different periods. In theLate Qing, the depiction of London in Songyin Manlu only focuses on gunboats, cannons,museums, and factories, because western modernity for the Chinese at the time wassignified by the mighty weaponry of British navy and advanced technology. In the 1920s,however, the portrayal of London in The Two Mas shifts to reveal how Londoners'lifestyle and culture make Britain the most powerful nation in the world, as the Chineseintellectuals advocated the westernization of Chinese culture in order to strengthen China.In the 1960s, the Chinese protagonist Wu Hanhun in A Death of Chicago feels estrangedand sexually seduced in Chicago, subsequently loses his sense of purpose in life andeventually commits suicide, the depiction of which is consistent with similar themes inwestern modernist literature. This is due to the fact that the modernist movement thrivedin Taiwan in the 1960s, and as such, had a large impact on Taiwanese writers. The 1990seraManhattan's Chinese Lady displays spectacles of America's wealth on the FifthAvenue in Manhattan, as common Chinese strive for becoming rich in contemporaryChina owing to the Chinese government's promotion of market reform after 40 years ofpoverty in socialist China. The study concludes that regardless of whether or not theimages of the west presented in Chinese discourse are idealizations, demonizations, orother related cultural determinations, they all manifest a type of anxiety in regard to theChinese Self.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectChicagoen_US
dc.subjectLondonen_US
dc.subjectNew Yorken_US
dc.subjectoverseas Chinese student literatureen_US
dc.subjectwestern citiesen_US
dc.subjectwesternersen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineEast Asian Studiesen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorLi, Dianen_US
dc.contributor.chairLi, Dianen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberLanza, Fabioen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberRen, Haien_US
dc.contributor.committeememberLiu, Feng-hsien_US
dc.identifier.proquest10438en_US
dc.identifier.oclc659752164en_US
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