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Title: Cultural production in Shanghai theatre during the Japanese occupation period : Yang Jiang's reception and transformation of Jane Austen's comedic art
Author: Cheung, Hiu Yan
ISNI:       0000 0004 5989 7107
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2016
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In the wartime China of the 1940s, Yang Jiang wrote two very popular comedies: As You Desire (1943) and Swindle (1943). The genre of these two comedies and their relation to Western literature is discussed, and the connection between the styles of Yang and Austen is noticed and established on the ground that their works are regarded as belonging to the genre of the comedy of manners. This study focuses on Yang's reception of Austen's comedic style in her own comedies and examines how she receives and transforms the comedic elements of Austen's works onto the stage of the 1940s wartime Shanghai theatre. This thesis is divided into three parts. Part I discusses the background and horizon of expectations of Yang's reception of Austen's comedic art. Yang's direct reception of Austen's comic style is observed in her critique of Austen, in which her interpretation of Austen's style is generically related to the comedy of manners. Yang's reading experience of the familiar works of the comedy of manners in classical Chinese literature, as well as the comedies of manners written by Chinese playwrights in the China of the 1920s to 1940s, is the significant key to comprehending her horizon of expectations in the reception of Austen's style. Part II examines Yang's reception of Austen's style of the comedy of manners. The similarities between the styles of these two writers are discovered in the contexts of the Cheung depiction of female laughter, the spatial settings and anti-romanticism. Part III discusses Yang's transformation of Austen's comedic art in her own comedies. Living in a more turbulent environment than did Austen, Yang transforms Austen's comedic art in accordance with wartime Shanghai's socio-historical and socio-literary context. This transformation is demonstrated in two aesthetic orders of Yang's comedies: disillusionment and detachment.
Supervisor: Herd, Ruth Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral