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Title: Mythic, folk and ethnological elements in the works of six modern Chinese writers
Author: Li, Ningyi
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2007
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I aim to define the functions of mythology, folklore and cultural ethnology in the literary works of six modern Chinese writers and to summarise their influences on contemporary Chinese literature. In addition their writings exhibit three new literary trends besides varieties of realism and romanticism. I also briefly consider querying the appropriation of the concept of a left-wing mainstream in modern Chinese literature. The materials for this research project are fiction, prose, poetry and biography by the six writers: Xu Dishan, Fei Ming, Wang Luyan, Shen Congwen, Mao Zedong and Wang Zengqi. My research scope goes beyond the many studies which have focussed on works characterised by one or other of the many variations of realism in the twentieth century, taking into account Western theories of mythological, folkloristic and ethnological studies and their influences on modern Chinese writers. I have analysed three tendencies during and after the May Fourth era: modern interpretations of mythological events and traditions, the May Fourth folklore movements; and the use of ethnology to explain the regional or local colour in modern writers’ works. The ideological investment of the three tendencies carries within itself the seeds of new writing directions. In the mythology case, Xu Dishan’s early writings and Mao Zedong’s poetry are examples. In folklore cases, short stories by Fei Ming and Wang Luyan are examples. In the ethnology case, Shen Congwen’s fiction and Wang Zengqi’s short stories are examples. Each case launches new writing styles and reveals political and social orientation of different times.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available