拆迁普店街:二十世纪末中国都市小说中摧毁和复兴主题的含混 (Bulldozing Pudian Street: Destruction or Renewal? Ambiguities in Big City Novels in Late 20th Century Chinese Literature)

Xia Li

Abstract


There is little doubt that the most cogent literary representation of the experience of modernity has been realised in big city fiction and cinematographic masterpieces such as Fritz Lang's Metropolis (1926). Despite the formal and aesthetic incompatability of early twentieth century (predominantly Western) works of this literary genre and more recent ones, East and West, the underlying dialectic tension between progressive optimism and disorientation, existential up-rootedness, alienation and angst (Rilke's loss of soul) as archetypal manifestation of mega-city reality and its social structure and organisation, constitutes a generic hallmark, regardless of time and place. Significantly, the relevance of this problem is reinforced, theoretically and practically, by the eminent scholar and architect Rem Koolhaas whose reflections have China as a principal reference point of the global "out-of-control process of modernisation". This paper focuses on the literary representation of the complexity and universality of the problem and the social implications of the blurred and ambiguous vision of urban reality with particular reference to contemporary Chinese literature.

Keywords


the city in Chinese fiction, nostalgia, national traditions

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