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Historical-political spaces recreated : a comparative study of Sherwood Anderson and Su Tong He, Jiao 2002

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HISTORICAL-POLITICAL SPACES RECREATED: A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF SHERWOOD ANDERSON AND SU TONG  by JIAO HE B.A.,  Peking  University,  China,  1997  M.A.,  Peking  University,  China,  2000  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENT FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Graduate Program in Gomparative Literature  We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA April  2002  © Jiao He, 2002  In presenting this thesis in partial fulfillment of the requirement for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, lagree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission.  Department of  Comparative Literature  The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada  Date  April 21, 2002  Abstract  The  Mid-West  America  and  the  south  China  are  both  fundamental to the national consciousness of America and China respectively.  Furthermore, both of them have appealed to  literary imaginations and thus played significant roles in the two national literatures. This paper looks into the political and historical significances of these two spaces and how they are recreated through the powerful imagination of Sherwood Anderson and Su Tong. In Anderson's case, I argue against the popular criticism that reads Anderson as a representative of the "Revolt from the Village" group, because Anderson remains faithful to his small town origin. The evil aspects of industrialization and the problems of the modern world that Anderson sees confirm his faith in the land. His active pursuit after a better future for the small town indicates that he is essentially romantic and idealistic. In contrast, Su Tong's south China is bleak and  ii  hopeless. Writing  against a long literary tradition  that  portrays the South as affluent, peaceful, regenerative, and highly cultured, Su Tong is daring in his deconstruction of the popular image. He not only recreates the symbol of rice but also gives a horrific picture of the declining South, physically and spiritually alike. The two writers also share interest in the youth that are struggling for maturation in these two spaces . Reading  Ninesburg,  Ohio as Bildungsroman instead of protest literature, I argue that Anderson harbors hope for American youth with small town origin. Meanwhile the fatalist and decadent traits persist in Su Tong' s treatment of this theme. The youth in his fictive world, which is marked by grotesqueness, have no future, nor hope, nor escape. They are doomed even before they reach adulthood.  in  >  TABLE OF CONTENTS  Abstract  ii  Table of Contents  iv  Acknowledgements  v * * * * *  INTRODUCTION  1  CHAPTER ONE - SHIFTING WORLD: FROM CORNFIELD TO FACTORY . . . .  9  CHAPTER TWO - DECLINE OF THE SOUTH CHINA: FATALISM IN SU TONG . 34 CHAPTER THREE - YOUNG MAN ON MAIN STREET  68  CHAPTER FOUR - GONE WITH SKATEBOARD: YOUTH IN THE SOUTH . . . .  86  CONCLUSION  103  SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY  107  * * * * * * * *  iv  Acknowledgements  I would like to express my deepest gratitude to my supervisor, Prof essor Michael S. Duke, for without his penetrating comments, careful guidance, and enlightening advice, this thesis would never be finished.  I am also indebted to Professor Jerry Schmidt and Professor Adam Frank for their generous support and unfailing patience. Special thanks are due to Professors Richard Cavell, John Cooper, Eva Maria Kroller, and Geoffrey Winthrop-Young for their critical insights and comments.  I also owe a debt of gratitude to  Professor Steven Taubeneck who kindly helps me through the progress of the thesis writing. The fellowship from the Faculty of Graduate Studies of UBC has freed me from financial worries and enabled me to concentrate on studies.  I would like to embrace my parents, whose love and understanding have always been a source of spiritual supports. My final thanks are given to my husband Yanyi Huang for everything he has done for me.  Introduction  At first glance, Sherwood Anderson (1867 - 1942) and Su Tong (1963 - ) share little in common. Besides the apparent gap of living times,1 the two writers have come to creative writing from completely different roads. Sherwood Anderson was born in a little town in southwestern Ohio  Camden by name  in  1876,2 the third of seven children of Irwin M. Anderson, a harness maker, who by all standards was a never-to-do and poor bread-provider. To save rent, the family moved from one deserted house to another and Anderson' s childhood was marked by poverty, a sense of insecurity and indignation at his happy-go-lucky father. 3 Anderson' s boyhood is spent on such countryside sports  It is also indefinite how much the younger writer has been influenced by the elder one, for Anderson is not on the list of Su Tong's favorite writers. 2 For more information on Anderson's life, see three important biographies: William A. Sutton's The Road to Winesburg, James Schevill's Sherwood Anderson: His Life and Work, and Irving Howe's Sherwood Anderson. 3 Anderson's relationship with his father underwent significant changes with the passage of time. It was not until Anderson's later years that he came to reconcile with his father's self-imposed role of story-teller, what he had viewed as mere bragging. The father-son relationship is a recurrent topic in Anderson's three "autobiographies:" A Story Teller's Story; Tar: A Midwest Childhood; and Memoirs.  1  as horse-racing, which later became highly symbolic in his short stories. Working  as a regular  assistant  to his  father's  house-painting job and roving from one odd job to the next, Anderson had little opportunity for formal education, and later critics often attribute his occasional language errors to this early deficiency. However, Anderson had a heritage of talent, probably from his mother,4 to whom he dedicates Winesburg,  Ohio  with the statement that her "keen observations on life about her first awoke in me the hunger to see beneath the surface of lives." Like many other young mid-westerners, Anderson finally drifted to Chicago. After that, he was a soldier in the Spanish-American war, a special student at Wittenberg College, a factory worker, an advertisement solicitor, a copy-writer, and finally an advertising manager. All this time, Anderson read widely and wildly and practiced writing in secret. Anderson's break with the business world has become a classical American myth.5 Although he started his writing career quite late, before he died in 1941 Anderson had produced a large body of works, including eight novels, numerous short stories, (some of the best collected in the three canonical collections, Horses  and  4  Anderson's mother Emma Smith Anderson died a sudden death at a rather young age, probably from exhaustion. The Anderson Family dissolved upon her death and Anderson in later years attributed the loss of his mother to his father's irresponsibility. As a constant source of inspiration, Emma is prototype for many of Anderson' s women characters who suffer and collapse under the unbearable burden of life. 5 For more description of the incident, please see the ending part of Chapter III.  2  Men,  Triumph  of  "autobiographies,"  the  Egg,  Death  two  collections  in of  the poems,  Wood)  three  hundred  of  articles on literary theory and practice.6 In contrast with Anderson, Su Tong's life and career are much simpler. He discovered his talent for writing at an early age and studied Chinese literature in Bei j ing Normal University, during which years he started to produce and publish poems and short stories. As one of the most prolific writers in Mainland China today, Su Tong has published seven novels and more than one hundred novellas and short stories to date. "A Profusion of Wives and Concubines," "Opium Family," and "1934 Escapes," three novellas written when Su Tong was at his best, were translated and introduced by Michael S. Duke in 1990 and won Su Tong international acclaim. Nowadays, Su Tong enjoys the reputation of one of the representatives of "avant-garde" contemporary Chinese literature whose creative activities draw close attention from international critical circles. Different as they are in life experience and stylistic matters, a careful study will reveal that there are potentially 6  Some recent Anderson criticisms do not read his "autobiographies" as such, but as creative writings, since Anderson took liberties with a great deal of facts and dates. The following statement is included in the preface to Memoirs: "I believe in the imagination, its importance. To me there is a certain music to all good prose writing. There is tone and color in words as in notes in music. Persons also have a certain tones, a certain color. What do care I for the person's age, the color of his hair, the length of his legs? When writing of another being I have always found it best to do so in accordance with my feeling. Besides, men do not exist in facts. They exist in dreams. My readers, therefore, those who go along with me, will have to be patient. I am an imaginative man." 3  /.  rewarding comparative topics to work on. First of all, both Anderson and Su Tong seem to be haunted by their native lands, in Anderson's case, Midwestern America, and in Su Tong's case, South China. The space is so essential an element in their stories that it ceases to be merely the backdrop. Instead, it becomes an indispensable and irreplaceable part of the creative work and demands special critical attention. Secondly, the two spaces are both highly charged with historical and political significances. Anderson's mid-west America once served as the nation's frontier line, when farmers from New England in their passion for cheap and virginal land pushed their way westward and explored the vast prairie. As a result, the wild nature was conquered and an empire of corn was established.  When  the pacific  coast  was  discovered,  the  Mid-West' s mission as the nation' s border-line was over. However, it continued to be regarded as the backbone of the country, in both economy and morality. In American consciousness, as well as in American literature, Mid-West is in contrast with New England, the Old South, and the Far West. Before Anderson, the so-called mid-western writer catalogue had such central figures as Whitman and Twain within it. In this sense, Anderson is working in a long tradition. Su Tong' s southern China works in a different yet no less 4  significant  way  in  Chinese  literature  and  national  consciousness.7 Similarly, Su Tong also has a well-established literary tradition to start from. The most direct one is the so-called "nativist literature" or "nativism" ( p ±.X^)  . The  concept of "nativism" in modern Chinese literature was first raised by Lu Xun (#£&, 1881—1963), who wrote in "Preface to  New Literature  II"  {W\X^%%~^^r  m) :  Jian Xian'ai(1906-1994) describes Guizhou while Fei Wenzhong  is concerned with Yu Guan. Whoever in  Beijing that writes what is in his heart, no matter whether  he  describes  himself  as  subjective  or  objective, is actually writing nativist literature. As  far  as  Beijing  is  concerned,  they  are  sojourner-writers8. . . . Xu Qinwen(1897-1984) names his first collection of short stories as which makes  him  a nativist  writer  Hometown,  without  his  knowledge. . . . It seems that according to the theme and style of some works by Wang Luyan (1902-1944) , he is one of the nativist writers too. (qtd. Jin 46)  mfcycd906-i994)^ftftHM, mx^^mm^,  JI&±-M  There are more discussions in the opening part of Chapter II about the cultural, political, and economical significance of southern China. 8  For more discussions on sojourner-writer, please refer to Rosemary Haddon' s article "Chinese Nativist Literature of the 1920s: The Sojourner-Narrator," published on  Modern Chinese  Literature  (Vol. 8, 1994).  5  (1897-1984) &fofcft}%—*fa1&'^T&M%l ((&%>)), &WL%&7f ftl^f;^ Um%%±-X^m/t%°  # i # ^ (1902-1994) &}  As we can see from Lu Xun's definition, nativism as a literary trend first emerged in China in the wake of the May Fourth Movement (jfUZSiS^t)) of 1919 and fused with many of the social, economic and populist concerns of May Fourth. For instance, it directed a great deal of attention at the common people, especially those in rural areas. It dealt with their struggle for social and economic justice in the chaos of that age, the collapse of the old value system and the building of another, the crisis of national identity under the threat of foreign invasion and domestic wars among warlords. Beside those mentioned above, writers working in this trend in the twenties included XuYunuo {\%~^M, 1893-1958) , Pan Xun ($HII|, 1902-1934) , Peng Jiahuang ( 0 ^ 1 , 1898 —1933) , Xu Jie (i*R&, 1901-1993) , Tai Jingnong ( £ # & , 1903-1990), etc. The trend took a new direction in the 1930s, when leftist and pro-communism writers, such as Xiao Hong (M%L> 1911 — 1942), Ai Wu {%%, 1904-1992), and Mao Dun (^Jjfi 1896 — 1981), took the lead. In the 1940s and 1950s, it was dominated by the demand 6  to serve the spiritual construction of socialism; and finally, in the post-Mao era, it evolved into a new subgenre, the "Root-Searching" literature  (#fit3t^), to which some key  writers belong, such as Mo Yan (]?!ll\ 1956—) ,9 Han Shaogong (ff !>$}, 1953 — ), and Shi Tiesheng (£.&&,  1951- ).  In this paper, I attempt to read some of Anderson and Su Tong's  major.  texts  that  deliberately  include  the  historical-political spaces as part of their understanding of the rapid changes from agrarian to modern society. I want to examine how they address the seemingly inevitable "wheel of history," and the fate of their home towns, that have haunted their adult years and finally found a way to paper and to a vast audience. The  two writers'  repeated  return  in their  literary  imagination to their native lands brings up another topic that this paper will deal with: What is the significance of these political-historical spaces to the youth that grow up in them? What destiny is waiting for puzzled teenagers struggling for adulthood in not so favorable environments? Anderson and Su Tong are both in their adult years when they look back at their For discussion on the significance of space and history in Mo Yan's works, please refer to the following articles: Yiwen Zhong's thesis "Mo Yan's Fiction: Reconstruction of 'History'," Der-Wei Wang's article "Mythmakers of Native Land," and Vivian Lee's dissertation The Representation of History in Contemporary Chinese Fiction.  1  childhoods and ponder on these questions. They have offered different answers . From the difference, we can further look into the different mentality of American and Chinese modernist writers, whose works nurture national imagination and shape national consciousness.  8  Chapter One Shifting World: From Cornfield to Factory  Whitman is in the bones and blood of America. He is the real American singer. What is wanted among us now is a return  to  Whitman,  to  his  songs, his  dreams,  his  consciousness of the possibilities of the land that was his land and is our land.  Sherwood Anderson {The Writer  at  His  Craft  21)  One of the most persistent and misleading readings of Midwestern Literature is the so-called "Revolt from the Village" myth. At the end of 1960s, Anthony Channell Hilfer published an influential book on some Midwestern writers active from 1910s to 1930s. In this book, Hilfer grouped Sherwood Anderson, who spent his early years in an Ohio small town, together with some others prominent writers, including Mark Twain, Willa Cather, Edgar Lee Maters, Sinclair Lewis, and Thomas Wolfe in the so-called revolt movement. As a matter of fact, Hilfer is not the first critic who attempted to construct American literary history from such a perspective. As early as 1921, this view was first put forward by Carl Van Doren. Basically, Van Doren 9  was convinced that many writers of Midwestern origin turned their back on the Midwestern American village and its value system. As a rule, Doren argued, they fled to big cities such as  Chicago,  New  York  and  beyond,  for  intellectual  and  psychological liberation from the enslavement of the Midwestern Village. Only through such renouncement and denunciation could these young men as artists obtain necessary maturity and only with the rejection of the myth of Midwestern American Village did they arrive at the sense of fulfillment. Although Van Doren and Hilfer's interpretation may be illuminating when dealing with some works of Midwestern writers, it is very misleading as far as Sherwood Anderson is concerned. What  is problematic with Hilfer's evaluation of  Sherwood  Anderson is that he bases his argument on a few isolated works. He especially singles out Winesburg,  Ohio as the only work that  is done in the "right" way, attributing the book's superiority over Sherwood Anderson's other works to Anderson's so-called deep understanding and honest (naturalistic) representation of Midwestern American small town life. When defining the concept of "Revolt from the Village, " Hilfer puts emphasis on two points : one the discovery of the "buried life, " that is, the unfulfilled life that people of the Village lead, and two the "attack on conformity" which threatens the individuality of Americans and 10  thus must be rejected and rebelled against. According to Hilfer, Anderson reaches the highest point of his career with  Winesburg,  Ohio more because of his treatment of these two themes than because of anything else. When toward the end of his book Hilfer finally brings himself  to  face  Sherwood  Anderson's  other  works,  his  embarrassment and indignation are apparent, because he finds that these works do not neatly fall into the "Revolt from the Village" catalogue. With one impatient gesture, he dismisses Anderson' s later works, including novels, collections of essays, and autobiographies as degenerations from Anderson's earlier more aggressive social criticism. He views these diverse works as a departure from and thus betrayal of the "Revolt from the Village" movement. Although Hilfer touches upon the stylistic deficiency of these later works, it is apparent that they do not appeal to Hilfer mainly because of the matter of theme and Anderson' s "shifting" attitude toward the Village. For instance, Hilfer labels Hello  Towns as painful "attempts at self-deception  [about the Village] " (Hilfer 238) , even though the book is often acclaimed by most critics as containing sparks of remarkable insight into the life of the American village. Meanwhile, Memoirs,  the third semi-autobiography of Sherwood Anderson and  which was posthumously published in 1942, is derided by Hilfer ll  as Anderson's naive dream of a "warm small-town world that is characterized by the gathering around a drinking keg in the woods after a baseball game" (Hilfer 239). As a final judgment, Hilfer finds Anderson unreliable and confused "when playing the role of village spokesman" (Hilfer 239). But is Anderson really as naive as Hilfer believes him to be? In my opinion, Hilfer's frustration and discontent with Anderson  result  not  from  Anderson's  unreliability  (or  "degeneration", to borrow Hilfer's phrase), but from Hilfer's refusal to see Winesburg, Winesburg,  Ohio in the right light. First of all,  Ohio can be better understood if read symbolically  rather than literally. In other words, this is more "a book of the grotesque" than a "book of small town life." As a matter of fact, Anderson originally intended to use the former for the title of the book and later changed it to its present title following the suggestion from his editor. It is undeniable that in the history of Anderson criticism, numerous materials have been accumulated to prove that Sherwood Anderson based his created town of Winesburg, Ohio on the very real town of his youth, Clyde, in North Central Ohio. For example, in a great effort to produce a would-be "centuries-old, well-loved and newly restored" (White xiii) version of Anderson's masterpiece, Ray Lewis White laboriously places his "identifications of the 12  corresponding characters, occasions, and places in Clyde and its  surrounding  area"  "alongside  the  author's  fictional  character, occasions" (White xiii). However, it is improper to identify Winesburg with Clyde, If a reader is so careless as to identify the two, he will have to face the irony that Clyde in reality enjoys "material prosperity" and "a stimulating cultural life" as well, as Thaddeus B. Hurd points out in his informative article "Sherwood Anderson's Clyde, Ohio"(Hurd 156) . It  is  equally  dangerous  to  identify  the  fictional  Winesburg with a real small town of the same name in Ohio. When Winesburg,  Ohio was-first published, it was often condemned by  some self-righteous readers as being "immoral and ugly"  ("To  Arthur H. Smith" 143) . The citizens of the real Winesburg seemed to share the sentiment against the "filthy" work so that one of its distinguished members, Arthur H. Smith, a Methodist minister, published a book entitled An Authentic Winesburg,  Holmes  County,  History  of  Ohio in early 1930s as an attempt to  correct the "false" impression Sherwood Anderson' s book had made on the world. This Mr. Smith was so eager to have his point of view known by Anderson that he personally sent Anderson a copy of the book with a letter, in which he called the people of Anderson's Winesburg "burlesque" (143). Obviously, Anderson 13  did not buy this reading of his book. In the returning letter, he insisted that his book is written and should be read as well with the deepest "sympathy and understanding" (143) . Anderson again and again assured his contemporary readers and critics:  Referring again to the people of the book people of my own WINESBURG  the  they are people I  personally would be glad to spend my life with. Certainly, I did not write to make fun of these people or to make them ridiculous or ugly, but instead to show by their example what happens to simple, ordinary people  particularly the unsuccessful ones  what life does to us here in America in our times—and on the whole how decent and real we nevertheless are (143) .  Obviously  it is inappropriate to suspect any cynicism or  ridicule on the part of the author of this "book of the grotesque." Although Hilfer is not so naive as to join Mr. Smith's condemnation on the book, he is nevertheless wrong in believing that the book is a muck-racking report on small town life, an expose of the dirty laundry of the Village. But we will drop the topic for now since Chapter III will discuss it in more detail. Another problem with Hilfer' s interpretation of  Winesburg,  14  Ohio is that he seems to have overlooked some fundamental facts concerning the background of the book's writing. In a letter to Arthur Barton, a New York playwright, who once proposed to Anderson that they collaborate on a dramatic adaptation of Winesburg,  Ohio,  Anderson revealed that the stories of the  Winesburg book were really written "in a Chicago tenement, not in a village." Besides, he "got the substance of every character in the book not from an Ohio village but from other people living around me in the Chicago tenement." He simply "transferred them to a small town and gave them small town surroundings" Letters  153). Viewing Winesburg,  {Selected  Ohio in this light, we will  see that the book's significance transcends a mere exposure of the dark side of Midwestern American small town life; rather, it aspires to explore the psychological condition, as well as the social relationship of Modern Man. It is exactly this higher ambition that makes Winesburg,  Ohio appealing not only to those  of Midwestern American Village origin, but also to those Americans who have no experience with the Village. It is also this deep understanding of human nature, not merely a place, that claims for Anderson an international audience of different ethnicities and regions. "The Revolt from the Village" myth also cannot be readily applied to Sherwood Anderson because such an interpretation 15  fails to take a vital factor into consideration. Van Doren and Hilfer assume that Anderson's discontent is directed at the Village which, in Hilfer's word, is characterized by "stasis" that the Village is exactly what it has always been. However, as I will soon argue in more detail, passage of time is such a critical element in reading Anderson that any insufficient attention  will  lead  to  misinterpretation.  The  following  discussion will address these questions: How did Sherwood Anderson react to the apparently shifting world of Mid-West America? That is, when a traditionally agrarian society hurried on its way to industrialization, how did Anderson view the past, as well as the future, of his hometown? The antithesis between nature and civilization has a long history in American literature. Cooper' s forests and garrisons, Hawthorne' s forests and scaffold, and Twain' s Mississippi River and the riverbank society are all examples of American writers' impulse  to  contrast  idealized  natural  landscapes  with  a  degenerating human society. This tradition to dichotomize the two gained new momentum when the industrial age dawned on Mid-West America at the turn of the twentieth century. The rise of the gigantic industrial cities broke the monotonous skyline of the cornfield states, and the smoke of the huge chimneys blackened the Midwestern sky. As rural people rushed into the 16  city for fame and wealth, but ended up in slums, the ranks of the urban proletariat grew larger and larger. The Midwest felt its identity with nature and the community undermined. Different Midwestern writers reacted to the situation differently. Perhaps one thing that distinguished Anderson in the Midwestern American literature was his primitivism. Both publicly and privately, he called for a return to Nature as the cure  to  the  appalling  degeneration  by  industrial  and  materialistic civilization. Proofs are abundant. In a letter in which he discussed Marching  Men, Anderson confessed that the  theme of the book appealed to his "rather primitive nature" (Letters  xv) . In another letter, Anderson claimed that "horses  and Negroes seem to be the two things in America that give me the most ascetic [sic] pleasure. . . We pay something. . . for our silly minds, don't we?"{Letters  101) In Perhaps  Women,  Anderson said, "It may sound childish, but men will have to go back to nature more. They will have to go to the fields and the rivers. There will have to be a new religion, more pagans..." {Perhaps  Women 57) Yes, a new religion. Anderson was eager to  stand up to face the domination of New England Puritanism. In this aspect, Anderson seemed to view himself as a follower of literary fathers. In an "Introduction" to Walt Whitman's of  Grass,  Leaves  Anderson wrote: 17  Whitman is in the bones of America as Ralph Waldo Emerson is in the American mentality, but what is wanted and needed here now is a return to the bones and blood of life  to Whitman. We Americans need  again to have and to be conscious of land hunger, river hunger, sea and sky hunger. For one, two or three generations now the drift of our young American men and women has been away from the land and toward the towns. Industrialism must go on and the machine must be made subservient to man, but here must be also a rebirth of feeling for the fact of America. Now we work too much with our heads. (Writer at  His  Craft  19)  After lamenting the depressing reality of America, Anderson put forward his solution:  There  is something  beyond  this  success we  Americans have been so intent upon. Where is it? What is it? It is in the land, waving cornfields of Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia hills, piny woods of Georgia, hot  red  lands  of Georgia, Alabama,  Mississippi, gigantic flow of the Mississippi River, forests that surround Wisconsin lakes, deserts, skies, men plowing. . . Push hard against horse-collars, broad-breasted horses. . . (Writer at His  Craft  20) 18  Anderson's  self-proclaimed  primitivism  is  also  a  returning theme in his short stories, especially those famous race-track stories and those with cornfield as setting. To Anderson, the Cornfield had a kind of mythical power of rebirth. For instance, "The Corn Planting" is a story about life and death and men's bond with the Cornfield. In the story, Mr. and Mrs. Hutching, an old couple on an ordinary Midwestern farm, has one son, Will, whom they love more than their own lives. The bright boy leaves the farm for Chicago and becomes a popular painter. The greatest pleasure in the old couple's life is to receive a letter from the son and read and reread it. Unfortunately, one day the son is killed in a car accident. When Will's good friend and "I", the first-person narrator, manage to break the news to the old couple, the two old people's reaction is quite beyond their expectation. The old couple perform a kind of ritual in the cornfield. The mid-night scene is almost as "ghostly" yet as fascinating as the famous scene in "Death in the Wood" and worthy a full quotation:  They were both in their nightgowns. They would do a row across the field, coming quite close to us as we stood in the shadow of the storehouse, and then, at the end of each row, they would kneel side by side 19  by the fence and stay silent for a time. The whole thing went on in silence. It was the first time in my life I ever understood something, and I am far from sure now that I can put down what I understood and felt that night. . . I mean something about the connection between certain people and the earth. . . a kind of silent cry, down into the earth, of these two old people, putting corn down into the earth. It was as though they were putting death down into the ground that life might grow again, something like that. (Certain  Things  Last  269-270)  As we can see, the corn planting in this scene is highly ritualistic. The Land is endowed with the power of Goddess of Nature. It seems the old couple is praying to the Goddess by the act of corn planting and their prayer is answered: "They must have been asking of the earth too. . . Hutching and his wife must have got what they were after that night because they were both curiously quiet." {Certain  Things  Last  270)  The symbol of the Cornfield reappears in "Motherhood," a lyrical short story, in which a parallel is developed between corn planting and pregnancy. Playing on the pun "plow, " the story tells how a farm boy achieves his self-fulfillment through plowing "many acres of rich black land" and "plowing deeply" a young woman. With such "plowing," the young man becomes "sure of himself." Meanwhile, the pregnant young woman is portrayed 20  as kind of goddess who saves the world from total barrenness:  There was a field that was barren and filled with stones, in the spring when the warm nights came and when she was big with him she went to the fields. The heads of little stones stuck out of the ground like the heads of buried children. . . A thousand children were buried in the barren field. They struggled to come out of the ground. They struggled to come to her. . . Within herself only the one child struggled. . . Only one small voice coming to her out of the silence of the night. {Triumph  of  the  Egg 169-170)  The Cornfield as an essential symbol is further developed in the short story "Out of Nowhere into Nothing," in which it obtains the mysterious power to give spiritual rebirth. Rosalind, the heroine, comes back to her hometown in the hope of finding a solution to her emotional problem in Chicago. The epiphany comes when she passes the cornfield and experiences spiritual liberation:  A little breeze rustled the corn blades but there were no dreadful significant human sounds, the sounds made by those who lived physically but who in spirit were dead, had accepted death, believed only in death. The corn blades rubbed against each other and there was a low sweet sound as though something was being 21  born, old dead physical life was being torn away, cast aside. Perhaps new life was coming into the land. Rosalind began to run. She had thrown off the town and her father and mother as a runner might throw off a heavy and unnecessary garment. She wished also to throw off the garments that stood between her body and nudity. She wanted to be naked, new born had herself become  something  that within  She itself  contained light. She was a creator of light. At her approach darkness grew afraid and fled away into the distance. (Triumph  of  the  Egg 2 66-2 67)  In the above scene, the device of personification is employed to enhance Cornfield.  the The  rejuvenating  and  garments, products  liberating of human  power  of the  civilization,  metaphorize artificial confinement and the heroine must get rid of them in her imagination for spiritual emancipation. Both Will in "Corn Planting" and Rosalind in "Out of Nowhere into Nothing" leave the Cornfield of their hometown to adventure into Chicago, the industrial metropolis, where one loses his life, while the other gets spiritually and mentally wounded. It is the Cornfield that comes to the rescue, giving new hope and strength to live on. As I have said, Anderson's faith in the power of the Cornfield best demonstrates his primitivism and nostalgia when facing the challenge of industrial civilization. In many of 22  Anderson's works, industrial civilization is represented by Chicago, a perfect example of man-made ugliness, barrenness, and spiritual degeneration. He always spoke publicly of his profound  suspicion  of  the  great  "progress"  that  industrialization supposedly had brought, as well as the warning against what might happen to the once agrarian Mid-West. To Anderson a new religion had arrived with industrialization. He raised his outcry in "The Cry in the Night": "It was a moment of pure machine/ Worship. I was on my knees before/ the new god, the American god." {The Writer  at His  Craft  111)  In this new religion, there was a new goddess  Chicago,  which Anderson personified in a song dedicated to the city as a seductive and destructive mistress, whose locks were "flying, dusty and black" and whose "gigantic, gaunt and drear" body spread over the fields. Fed on "a million men," the mistress crushed not only "our fathers, in the village streets, " but also "old knowledge and all old beliefs." In this new religion, no "thin dream of beauty" could survive (164). Anderson believed that this new religion was responsible for many aspects of degeneration in America. First of all, it made people feel "impotent" in the face of the Machine because the Machine was "far bigger than the men who owned it, who ran it, who worked in it" (77). Secondly, industrialization and 23  commercialization naturally led to standardization, which in turn  threatened  American  individuality.  Witnessing  the  tremendous movement toward industrialized society, Anderson argued that two major harms had been done: "the speeding up and the standardization of life and thought." Furthermore, Anderson saw the second impulse as a definite result of the first. In industrial cities like Chicago, an "attempt is being made to channel the minds of all men into one iron groove," and this, Anderson maintained, was very strange in "the land of the free and the home of the brave" {Notebook  141).  Despite his ruthless attack on the Machine Age, Anderson seemed not to blame the Machine, the object, for all the evils resulted from mechanical advances. "I do not believe there is anything wrong with the machine." Anderson asserted, "Often it is beautiful, a powerful, a strange and lovely thing in the world" {The Writer  at His Craft  122) . Instead of condemning the  Machine itself, Anderson was able to detect its positive potential and it is exactly this rationality that distinguishes Anderson  from  some  other  contemporary  critics  who  sentimentalized the evils of the Machine. Above all, Anderson rebuked the belief that no good literature may be produced in this age of the Machine. On the contrary, Anderson boasted, there were as many materials worthy of writing as before. All you 24  needed was sensitivity:  Why question America as a place for the story-teller or for any other kind of creative workman? If the job is too much for him, if life is too complex and difficult for him to see and feel clearly, that is his failure and not the failure of the civilization out of which he must get his materials if he is to get them at all. And the whole story of the swift, sudden changes in life here, the drive, the rush, the lost sense of values in the modern industrial world, the necessary loss of sensibilities too  is that  not a story? (68)  It is evident that Anderson was very conscious as his role as story-teller in the "go-getter" new age. That is, the story-teller must develop a new kind of sensibility to cope with the swift changes, and then revive in the common people the sensibility to beauty. In this sense, the story-teller played the role of redemptor. Despite Anderson' s declaration that "the artist cannot change life. That isn't his job" (70-71), he was essentially an idealist for his belief in possible changes toward a better future for America. "I have set myself that job. And I do not want to join the chorus of men who cry out against modern life. . . I have little or no sympathy with the man who declares that the creative workman is unappreciated here" (68) . 25  It seems that Anderson was determined to find a way out for a diseased civilization and to bring together the conflicting forces of aesthetic appreciation and mechanical progress. When working toward this goal, Anderson had two lessons that he was eager to share with the younger generation  of  "creative workmen." One was that the story-teller must "stay at where the story i s " to get the story. In order to paint, write, and sing life, the artist had to be "in it and a part of it, with its rhythm in his blood" (71) . As a native American writer who was firmly rooted in his Midwestern origin and who seemed to be proud of this origin, Anderson was very suspicious of those expatriate writers, because by attempting to escape by running off to other countries, they put themselves out of life in America altogether. Besides closeness to native soil, Anderson insisted that the complexity of the modern life must be respected. To Anderson, too many stereotypes of factory-owner, mine investor, mill superintendent, and soap salesman had been recently produced to cater to the general discontent about industrialism. However, these ridiculed people were not less human than the miners and weavers. "Is every man and woman in America who owns stock in a  mill  thereby  outside  impatiently questioned.  the  human  circle?"  (260)  Anderson  In this aspect, Anderson is in the  26  western mainstream of liberalism which insists on the universal value  of  human  beings  on  the  one  hand  and  sufficient  consideration of individuality on the other hand. In Anderson's eyes, unreserved attacks on the Machine, King Coal, King Cotton, or the Railway is as naive as, and thus as futile as, blind worship of them. To better understand the American reality, a more balanced point of view is essential:  I am protesting against an unbalanced view of modern industrial life. I protest against the point of view that sees nothing in the small town but Rotarians and boosters, that sees nothing in industry but devils and martyrs, that does not see people as people realizing that we are all caught in a strange new kind  of life. (The Writer  at His Craft  260)  A s we can s e e , A n d e r s o n r e l a t e d the s t e r e o t y p i c a l p o r t r a y a l of i n d u s t r i a l life to that of the small t o w n , and he w a s as i m p a t i e n t w i t h one as he w a s w i t h the o t h e r . He w a s q u i c k in d r a w i n g a p a r a l l e l b e t w e e n the t w o . For e x a m p l e , in an e s s a y " C o t t o n M i l l " he t o l d how he w a s c o m p e l l e d to read "a c e r t a i n v e r y  popular  n o v e l b u i l t about an A m e r i c a n t o w n " since it w a s b e i n g read a l l over the w o r l d and it had "made a c e r t a i n d e f i n i t e fixed p i c t u r e of l i f e in t h e A m e r i c a n small t o w n in i n n u m e r a b l e m i n d s " (255) . The b e s t - s e l l e r left in the m i n d of e v e r y r e a d e r the i m p r e s s i o n 27  that in all American small towns "no grass ever grows. Grapes and apples never ripen. There are no spring rains" (256). Anderson was convinced that, to a great extent, the success of books written in this tone was due to "that quality in them that arouses people' s contempt. " "There is that streak in all of us. " Anderson said, "We all adore hating something, having contempt for something. It makes us feel big and superior" (256). Anderson's worry over simplistic sketches brings us back to Hilf er' s talk of "Revolt from the Village. " As I have argued, Hilfer's point of view is founded not on an overall evaluation of Anderson' s work, but on a few isolated pieces, which in turn, cannot lead to a closed conclusion. If we take Anderson' s essays and later creative works into consideration, we will see that in  essence,  Anderson  remained  an  idealist.  Despite  his  persistent nostalgia, he saw clearly that the old innocent past was over. He was fully aware of the futility of the attempt to bring back the past. Instead of weeping over lost innocence and doing nothing positive, Anderson struggled to find a solution to the "trap" that had caught everyone, the mine-owner and the miner alike. For instance, in the early phase of his career as a writer, Anderson dabbled with communist ideals. In his first two novels, Windy  McPherson's  Son and Marching  Men,  we see  Anderson the moralist. The reader follows the heroes, Sam 28  McPherson and Beaut McGregor as they moved through three successive stages toward maturity and moral consciousness: the youth spent in a small town, the escape to the city and pursuit of success, and the sudden denouncement of the go-getter ethic. After breaking with the conventions of the business world, the two heroes transformed themselves into reformers. Although neither of them had developed a comprehensive plan, either economic or political, both were determined to help the weak, the oppressed masses to fight with their oppressors. Although neither of them succeeded in bringing about a new world, Anderson seemed to be anxious to let us believe that they had achieved moral victories in making the effort. If we say Anderson's early attention to social injustice originated more from his intuition as a liberal than from any exposure to communism, then his enthusiasm in the 1930s was definitely brought out by the ethos of the time. In 1931, Anderson found himself swept along with the surge of left wing sympathy and he told his lecture agent that he wanted to speak only on "Industries and Modern Machinery." He also spent hours in the mills and factories of Georgia, talking eagerly to laborers or just standing by the machines and studying how they worked. He pondered on his experiences in the factories, and in June came out the little book of essays, Perhaps  Women, which 29  contained his observations on the industrial world. The main thesis of the book was that women might provide a solution to the evils of the industrial age. In the same year, Anderson agreed to give his name to a communist organization for the relief of political prisoners and later even served as chairman of the Prisoner's Relief Fund for a while. It was also in 1931 that Anderson led a group of writers to make a personal protest to President Hoover . Anderson fully participated in the populist movement of his time and answered to the call of the age. Despite his active role in the movement, Anderson never forgot his role as artist. As a matter of fact, even by the time he finished Marching  Men Anderson had come to realize that there  was no easy answer to the problems of the Industrial Age. It is this discovery that makes him a writer instead of a mere propagandist fighting against the corruption of the American ideal by materialism.  As a conscientious writer, Anderson  moved beyond protest and condemnation and attempted to find lasting values on which to build a new world. Just because he managed to go beyond protest literature he safely stayed in the American tradition of idealism. In his firm belief in the possibility of a life that was based on compassion, love, and understanding, he looked forward to theories such as communism for justice, equality and freedom from the tyranny of the Machine 30  on the one hand, and back to the agrarian past, to the old faith in the inherent goodness of the Land and the small town on the other hand. This backward look transcends sentimental nostalgia. In the place of pessimistic nostalgia is the eager pursuit of a source of new strength to face the confused and confusing new age. These romantic and idealist traits of Anderson's work passed almost unnoticed during his lifetime. Instead he was often called a naturalist, a Freudian, and a Marxist, all of which he was not. Sometime he was even associated with the post-World War I decadents, especially T. S. Eliot. However, if we just look at one of the passages in which Anderson uttered his understanding of "Living in American", we will see how misleading the association is:  The main point of this drifting that I so love I tell myself  [is] to remember (may the gods  not let me forget) the land itself. It' s so gorgeous, so big, so infinitely varied. Mountains, valleys, rivers, strips of forests coming down to look at roads, little  creeks, prairies, pine  forests, beaches  facing oceans and lakes, rich land  plenty of rich  land yet. . . the vastness of it. . . the gorgeous swank and richness of it. . . To remember how utterly silly it is to have 31  depression here  down-and-outs apologizing for  being alive. . . how fast they learn to whine. . . whining and apologizing for being alive, even as they walk  homeless and hungry, like as not  across  the face of it. Will we ever have sense enough to take what is so obviously spread out so temptingly before us here? To remember it could be done? {The Writer  at His  Craft  132)  The drifting mentioned above refers to the adventures of Anderson, who drove his car at top speed all across America. By the time of writing this essay, Anderson had overcome his first suspicion of the Machine and devoted himself to this new invention the automobile . Once Anderson asked, "Impotence comes from the fear of impotence. In our machine age can we help fearing?" (121) Anderson's answer to this self-imposed question is apparently "yes, " which may sound overly optimistic. However, it represents the general tone of Anderson's writing, from McPherson's  Son to Memoir.  The image of wasteland can be found  nowhere in Anderson's work. The land is always generous and abundant and never lets down those who have true faith in it. Anderson is a man that can find hope in a despairing situation. To me, what Hilfer and some other critics call the "ambiguity" or "unreliability" of Anderson actually indicates  32  that he is mature enough to reconcile the past and the present, the rural-agrarian and the urban-industrial, the landscape and the cityscape.  This reconciliatory trait can be illustrated  by the following quotation: "All of my success as a writer has been in telling the story of failure. I have told that story and told it well because I know failure" (111). After all, "Life, not death, is the great adventure" Anderson thus told us (qutd. Schevill 259) .  33  Chapter Two D e c l i n e of the South China: Fatalism in Su Tong  Everything is revolting. This is the reality of the gentle and beautiful "South" people used to imagine. I don't care whether I will be accused of smearing and defiling the South. This is the South in my eye. I admit I am an unfilial offspring of the South. I just don't like the mossy, filthy and overcrowded South. So what? 10  Su Tong (The Decline  of the  South)  Just as Mid-West America is constructed in the American national consciousness in contrast with New England, the Old South and the Far West, "South China" is a concept constructed as an antithesis to "North China" in the Chinese national consciousness.  Geographically  speaking,  "South  China"  generally refers to those provinces south of the Huai River, and more specifically to those on the middle and lower reaches of Yangtze River, namely, today's Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Hunan, Hubei, and Jiangxi provinces, etc. Meanwhile, "North China" mainly refers to those provinces north of the Huai River, and  34  more specifically to,those on the middle and lower reaches of Yellow River, namely, today's Shaanxi, Shanxi, Hebei, Henan, and Shandong provinces, etc. Thus in a certain sense, the competition and conflict between South China and North China reflect those between the two civilizations both founded on rivers: the Yangtze River Civilization and the Yellow River Civilization. There are three aspects of the North/South dichotomy: political, economical, and cultural. As the myth goes, in Chinese history, especially before the Song Dynasty, the South had a secondary and inferior political status compared with the North, which claims to be the orthodox origin of Chinese civilization, despite the fact-that many powerful kingdoms were once built in the South, such as the Chu, Yue, and Zhao Kingdoms of the Warring States Period and the Wu Kingdom of the Three Kingdoms Period. Another sign of the political marginality of the South is that in history (especially before the Ming Dynasty) it often served as one of the destinations of political exile. In political struggles losers were not allowed to stay near the emperor, not even around the political center in the north, but were banished to the South. Thus we see the antithesis of Miaotang / Jianghu {J&'sL/tLM)  in Fan Zhongyan's (^Li^fift) famous 35  essay "On Yueyang Tower" (I&P01IBB) , which was written at the request of his good friend Teng Zijing (Ilr~?ijO , who had been banished to Baling (today's Yuyang of Hunan province) and who had rebuilt the Yueyang Tower. Also in exile like his friend, Fan Zhongyan took the opportunity to express his (and in a way Teng's) ambition and courage in the face of an evil fate. One of the most celebrated quotations from the essay is "When I stay as high as Miaotang, I worry about the common people; when I stay as far as Jianghu, I worry about my emperor" IHlJfft^K;; %ttt.MZ&,  MVt%%).  {J^f^i'^.^.m,  The concept of Miaotang is a  combination of Miao (iffi)and Tang CM.) . Miao originally refers to the temple of the royal family, where the emperor paid respects and offered sacrifices to his ancestors. Tang refers to the Ming Tang (BJ H:) , the Bright Hall where all kind of important events and rituals were held, such as royal meetings, offering sacrifices, awards and honors ceremonies, and royal examinations. Thus in Fan Zhongyan's essay, Miaotang stands for the royal court or the central government. Meanwhile the concept of Jianghu (River and Lake, tLM) is much more complex. Literarily speaking, it originally refers to the Yangtze River and Dongting Lake, and later generally refers to the Three Rivers and the Five Lakes (HtC3i^3) , all of which are in the middle and lower 36  reaches of the Yangtze. Metaphysically speaking, the term "Jianghu" denotes local powers that were beyond the control of the central government. This made the South the  other  of the  central government in the north. If we say Fan Zhongyan is in the tradition of Confucianism, then another famous poet, Tao Yuanming (P!|$fflB|) is more in the tradition of Taoism. Disgusted and despairing of political struggles, Tao Yuanming retired to his hometown in today's Jiangxi province. In his most celebrated poem "Peach Blossom Spring" ($k^$f "t-Tf^HB) > Tao Yuanming portrayed an ideal world, which was totally free from the strife, disaster, and suffering that was all too common  in the real world.  Despite  the  long-lasting debate over the prototype of the legendary land, everybody seems to agree that this oriental Eden is intended to be located somewhere in south China. The underlying assumption is that before the Song Dynasty, the South was less urbanized and thus less contaminated by the evils of the city. It was more rural and thus preserved more virtues usually associated with rustic life. Despite the fact that since the Song Dynasty, the South has been more and more populated and urbanized, in literature its rustic and harmonic image persists. As in many other national literatures, nature is frequently celebrated in pastorals about the South. There 37  is a profusion of such images as singing streams, tranquil lakes, refreshing  forests, and  inspirational  mountains.  In this  "natural" background, the rural people live a simple, contented, and untroubled life. Thus the South has gained a regenerating power of uplifting spirits and curing wounds. The bucolic life in the South is always promised to be consoling and rewarding The South has been celebrated as "the Land of Rice and Fish" (i§7fc^l.^) , the main supplier of nutrition of the country. Compared with other parts of China, the middle and lower reaches of  Yangtze  enjoy  many  natural  conditions  favorable  for  agricultural production. As it was more and more populated, it became the granary of China, just as the Mid-West is the granary of America. Beside rice and fish, vegetables, fruit, and silk are also on the list of offerings to the court in the north. One main function of the Grand Canal, which was constructed in the  Sui  Dynasty,  was  to  provide  cheaper  and  easier  transportation of these agricultural products to the North to be consumed by northern cities. This is the South most Chinese believe to be: politically marginalized,  economically  affluent,  and  culturally  sophisticated. This impression is founded not only on historical facts, but also on many literary classics. However, in Su Tong' s stories, they confront a south that is completely beyond their 38  expectation. Bleak, moldy, and poverty-stricken, the South.made up by Su Tong is corruptive, degenerative, and hopeless. In the preface to Folk  Songs  of Maple  Village  {MMffid/ifr)  ,  Su Tong writes about the South he has created:  In this work, I imagine a village called "Maple." Many friends believe that this reveals my "nostalgia" and desire to "return home". There may be some kind of shadow of my ancestor's hometown in Maple Village. However, to me, the shadow is too vague and faint to be represented. I have picked up the fragments of history and sewed and mended them together. This is a good way to write fiction. During the process of writing, I feel the pulse of my ancestors and my hometown. I see where I am from, as well as where I am going. The creation of this work is my spiritual "return home".  As we can see, Su Tong is not interested in representing history. He appropriates historical fragments without qualm and makes  39  them serve his personal imagination. To Su Tong the writer, fiction, rather than history, is a more viable way to get in touch with family history and the geo-political space that is the Southern watercountry. In January 2001, a huge audience was attracted to Su Tong' s "new novel" Folk Songs of Maple Village.  To the critics' surprise,  the book stayed on the bestseller list for many weeks . Ironically, the ten "chapters" in this "novel" were all selected from Su Tong' s short stories and novellas published in the mid-and-late nineteen eighties. Apparently, both Su Tong and the publishing house intended the book to be read as a "novel" rather than a collection of short stories and novellas. On the back cover, the book was called "Su Tong's first novel in which he makes a spiritual trip to his hometown, an unprecedented novel in contemporary Chinese literary history . . . It covers all forms of human existence." For a long time critics have called Su Tong' s stories with Maple Village as background the "Maple Series." While Su Tong himself made his first attempt to systemize these stories when in 1993 he published Both  Sides  of the World  ( # ^ W # ) , in this  book, he divided his formerly published stories into two parts. The first part, entitled "Stories of Maple Village," included nine stories that would later appear in Folk  Songs  of  Maple 40  Village.  There were seven stories in the second part "Tramps  of the City," including "Why the Girl is Crying?" and "Hello, My Beekeeper" and "The Boy in the Well." Despite his attempt, it is apparent that Su Tong did not regard the first part as an inseparable whole, that is, a novel. However, in Folk of Maple  Village,  Songs  Su Tong made his intention clear, for he not  only rearranged and renamed these ten stories, but also turned them into "chapters." For example, his masterpiece "Opium Family" became chapter one "The Landlord' s Two Sons" while "1934 Escapes" became chapter two "Grandmother Jiang, My Grandfather, and My Father." "Flying Over my Hometown Maple Village" which was first published in Shanghai  Literature  became the third  chapter "Little Uncle;" the short story "Escape" was chosen as the fourth chapter "Chen Sanmai;" "The Season of Grandmother" published  in  October  was changed  into the  fifth  chapter  "Grandmother." The titles of the following chapters were "Red Horse" (originally "Sacrifice to the Red Horse"), "Lao Dongye" (originally "Outsiders"), "Nymphs" (originally "Song of the Lost Osmanthus"), "Goose Keeper: Idiot Bian Jin," "Chun Mai and One-Armed Liu E" (originally "Nineteen Houses"). Apparently, Folk  Songs  of Maple  Village  is inherently  insufficient as a. novel. First of all, out of the ten stories, only the first seven definitely have Maple Village as background. 41  As to the other three stories, we can only be certain that they happen in the Southern watercountry (I^[7f7.K^), because there are frequent, references to this network of rivers and lakes. Secondly, as far as the plot is concerned, the book lacks a coherent story line. Characters in one story are not related to those in another. For example, the "Chen family" in chapter two has nothing to do with the "Chen family" in chapter four, while the "Tong family" in chapters three, seven and eight is not one family at all. In this sense, Folk Songs of Maple is not even in the same category as Winesburg,  Ohio.  Village Thirdly,  the narrative perspective is confusing. Even in the first eight chapters that use the first person narration, it would be very misleading to identify " I " in one story with " I " in another. Then what gives these ten stories, unique and complete by themselves, a sense of unity? The answer lies in the general theme, which is revealed by the two original titles of chapter two and four: "1934 Escapes" and "Escape" respectively. It is this theme of "escape" that gives the stories a backbone that qualifies the book as novel. Whether it is escape from the declining village to the degenerating city; or from the rapidly changing history to eternity; or from the emptiness of present reality to a narration based on imagination, folklore, and legend; or from the corruptive  civilization  to purifying 42  primitivism; the theme of escape is repeated and developed in all the stories like the melody of a symphony. This  fascination  with  the  motif  of  "escape"  best  illustrates fatalism in Su Tong's writing. In "1934 Escapes," Su Tong writes, "My old Maple Village home / Has been silent for many years / And we / Who have escaped here / Are like wandering blackf ish / For whom / The way back is eternally lost"  (Duke 103). rm&®Miw%mm£%- / mnm-tmac / &mmmm& Unlike Sherwood Anderson, Su Tong never has first-hand experience with South China countryside. Instead, he is a typical city man, spending almost all his life in big cities.12 However, this lack of experience does not prevent Su Tong from devoting himself to the depiction of a fictional southern watercountry, which has caught the imagination of so many generations of Chinese writers, and which has always been a recurrent topic in Chinese literature. What distinguishes Su Tong' s southern watercountry and what many readers find shocking are its pervasive decadence and fatalism. Probably because of this, The Maple Village stories were not successful in the  11  JKL {im#ihm %-%*&&, m&^ w^m- 01^-1934 ^Maitr-) 73 ju  12 Su Tong was born and grew up in Suzhou, a scenic city in today's Jiangsu province, and finished his college education in Beijing, and after graduation, he has been working as editor and writer in Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu province.  43  popular  market  mid-and-late  when  they  nineteen  were  eighties,  first when  published the  in  the  mainstream  (officially approved) Chinese literature was either idealistic, when  addressing  the  immediate  reality,  such  as  economic  transformation, or introspective, when addressing immediate past, the Cultural Revolution. Whether the work was treating the past or the present, the authorities were anxious to make the writer tell the reader that we were learning lessons from the past disasters, and that we were making good changes. Humanism and socialist idealism were celebrated and recommended. Su Tong's stories of the Southern watercountry, which abound in murder, suicide, rape, loss, and betrayal, were not fit for the national imagination "called for by the age," and thus were not appealing to either the official authorities or the common reader.13 Su Tong fictional southern watercountry revolves around its central symbol  the rice. As I have said, rice, the main  agricultural product of the rural south, transcends material significances in the national consciousness of China. A parallel can be safely drawn between the rice of South China and the corn  13  As I have shown earlier, it was not until the turn of the twenty-first century that the good reputation of these works went beyond critical circles. There was such enthusiasm in Su Tong's work that he was voted "the most promising contemporary Chinese writer" by Chinese college students. (See Songs Cao) There was also much discussion on the so-called "Year of Su Tong." (See Xu) 44  of Mid-West America. Both are lifelines to large populations and both are frequently addressed in national, literatures. Daring  and  unprecedented  is  Su  Tong's  unreserved  deconstruction of the symbol of the rice. First of all, the ricefield stops to be sustainable  a large part of it is  appropriated to grow opium poppies. The "white powder" of opium surpasses the rice as the main source of income of the village, as we see in Su Tong's masterpiece "Opium Family:"  The opium collectors came once a year to Maple Village; the salt boat transported both opium and rice down the river. After this went on for some time, the Maple Villagers considered the two plants equal in status. Grandfathers pointed to the rice on the left bank and the opium fields on the right bank and told their grandsons, "There's food growing on both banks, and we depend on that food to go on living." (Duke 216)  irvgTio " mmzm 30) There is a clear tone of irony in the above quotation. The opium which impairs life brings prosperity to the village. Meanwhile, Liu Laoxia, the largest landlord of Maple Village, successfully 45  transforms himself from the King of Rice to the King of Opium:  His father walked out of the workshop with a handful of opium powder, and held it out in the sunlight to check the quality; his facial expression was as serious and stern as if he were cradling a sacred fire in his hands. Chencao thought, "Perhaps the powder Dad has in his hands really is the sacred fire we all depend on for life. It nurtured Maple Village after a century of hunger, and it nurtured me, but I'm still confused about it." (Duke 213)  Rmflc$$tfio (wmz-m28) Possibly, Su Tong is referring to Prometheus who brings fire from heaven to earth. Thus, Liu Laoxia is sanctified as a modern god. The transformation of "the land of rice and fish" into "the opium kingdom," as well as the parody of Prometheus, should not be read literally, but symbolically, for Maple Village is an epitome of China. As Su Tong tells us: "Prior to 1949 about a thousand people cultivated wet rice and opium poppies for the landlord Liu Laoxia; tenant farmers rented land and paid in food grains; and Liu Laoxia' s renting land to buy more became a fixed  46  way of l i f e . As I see i t , (my I t a l i c s )  (Duke 184).  i t was a typical  southern  village"  (1949 W f f A ^ W 1000 £ # ^ W A £ H l f e ±  zmmwm^wm, mmm&m, m%&ffl&mft, j ^ - i t ' i ^ ^ % The sense of inevitability is developed in another novel Rice (M) , which describes the "success" and destruction of Five Dragons (jE/fe), a peasant that has escaped from Maple Village in famine to the city. When Five Dragons has accumulated enough wealth, he does what every Chinese peasant would do: purchases a great deal of land in the village that he is originally from:  Maybe, he thought, I'll take a walk around that dark, rich earth I've missed for so long. Or survey the paddy fields on the left bank of the river and the poppy fields on the right. His cousin had said that in the spring the farmers had planted only those two crops on his land, as instructed; he knew all about current trends in agricultural production. (Goldblatt 243) 14  Mmik3E*m£M(fi&)lkBB<>  (^272)  14  I have retranslated the last clause here since Goldblatt's translation is not very loyal to the original. "This is Five Dragons's arrangement, and it surely reflects the pragmatism of Five Dragons as one of the new generation of landlords. " 47  This passage has a familiar tone of irony: the wealth of the South comes from the opium poppy, the destructive plant, and it is the dream of every peasant of the legendary "land of rice and fish" to become king of opium one day. Besides the transformation of the ricefield, Su Tong reveals it as a dirty transaction. Annexation of the land is so brutal that the myth of the peaceful and consoling south becomes ridiculous. For example, the last deal between Liu Laoxia {%\]M\%) and his brother Liu Laoxin (^Ij^'ffs) is done in a brothel, where the latter is dying of venereal disease besides a pile of rubbish. The following dialogue between the two brothers is beyond imagination:  The younger brother said, "I' 11 give you my burial plot if you'll take me home, all right?" The older brother took the deed and answered, "Sign it over and we'll go." Liu  Laoxia  pressed  his  younger  brother's  ulcerated fingers down on the deed; signing it not in red ink, but in blood. Everything was finally accomplished when Liu Laoxia had carried his younger brother over to the river and thrown him down in that salt boat; the people of Maple Village said at that point the two streams of the Liu Family bloodline had  48  been united into one. (Duke 189)  mm^^j,  3am&itfn.mmi&&wiP>.#&j&-p.. (mmzm 8-9)  If we say this piece of land coming with a "burial plot" and "ulcer and blood" must be doomed, then the 150 acres of ricef ield at the price of a woman is no less cursed. After Liu Suzi (M %zf)  is sold by her father to a disfigured, impotent, yet rich  businessman, she predicts with malice, "Father, that hundred and fifty acres will be flooded with water and blasted by thunder; that hundred and fifty acres will slip through your hands; you just wait, that will be fate, too." (Duke 202)  1Z_ M-  ( # , M 300 m  1 9 ) ) While Liu Laoxia thinks the deal is perfectly  justifiable, Chen Baonian (Plhal^) feels more guilty when he does the same thing to his younger sister, Fengzi (J*l"?) , whom he sells to landlord Chen Wenzhi {W^JC^a)' for five acres of ricefield. In families rich and poor alike, women are merely high-priced commodities. Punishment on the evil land is quick and appalling.  49  The three babies born to Fengzi are all buried alive in the bamboo garden  their heads are soft and disfigured and covered with  thick golden hairs. Meanwhile, the first four male babies of Liu Laoxia are all "like fish, having neither legs nor arms...with sword-shaped tails . . . " ^MTIIMO  (Duke 185)  ( { M ^ W ^ W l i l - ^ f f > iPW  (H^^LsiC 6)) Fish-like, the disfigured newborns are all  deserted in river. Yanyi {"MSL) is the only surviving male baby of Liu Laoxia before Chencao, but even he is the outcome of murder and incest. Liu Laoxia has committed adultery with Jade Flower (S^^ti^E) , his old father's young concubine, and murdered his father to take over the land and the woman. In the idiot Yanyi, we can see how Su Tong deconstructs the abundant and nutritious image of southern China. Yanyi is introduced into the story in this curious way:  Grandfathers told grandsons, "Maple Village became rich because the people there had the good rural habits of living frugally and running their homes with industry and thrift. Look at the rice stored in the houses in big piles; even if the rice has mildew or maggots, it's still food grain, and you don't want to eat it anytime you feel like it. All of us eat thin rice  gruel  with  salted  vegetables;  every  Maple 50  Villager does the same. Even the landlord Liu Laoxia does the same. " Grandfathers spoke with great emphasis on this point: "Liu Laoxia's family eats thin rice gruel every day, too. Haven't you seen his little brat Yanyi? He' s so hungry he' s a skinny yellow bag of bones, hollering arid complaining all day long  just like  you." (Duke 18 5)  %muTmxT^ immmnmm, m^mm&vq, » - # , en MZM 5-6)  In this apparently nonsensical speech, Su Tong satirizes the Chinese tradition of frugality that is celebrated as one major virtue of good family, imitating the tone of Grandfathers lecturing to Grandsons on how to rise in the world. There are two aspects of the irony. First, everybody in the prosperous and productive village is hungry. This lasting and wide-spread famine is brought out not by any natural disaster, but by an absurd tradition  ( £ J*L ) . Second, this daily practice of  "fasting" is not limited to poor families. The rich people are all starving too: their children are as desperate as those of 51  the poor. A sort of equality is achieved in this absurd way. The absurdity of the Grandfathers' argument about how to get rich and their hardly concealed smugness about the "equality" between the poor and the rich well illustrate the satiric undertone so pervasive in Su Tong's writing. Su Tong makes the idiot Yanyi the incarnation of hunger. At the beginning of the narration, he is locked in the storehouse by his father as a punishment for stealing a steamed roll. To Yanyi, the storehouse resembles a prison while the agricultural tools stored in the storehouse "looked like a line of human beings"  (#±£tfi$H$A(ft7£)tK (WMZW-  1)) . Driven by constant  hunger Yanyi is dehumanized into a "cub" that is aggressive and violent to anyone near him: "Their genealogy also records that Yanyi was an idiot. You would think he looked like a hedgehog rolling around here and there; he used a staff made from a tree branch to attack all the people nearby who were forever strangers to him. It was his habit to swallow his food while repeating his favorite words:  'I'm hungry I'm going to kill you.'" (Duke  185) mmzmmxMi^&m* \mmt\t-p,mmm^m^, \m&*muyi 3iMfc7%m&$L$\XMo f f e ^ ^ - i i ^ - t r - i M : t i M T t o (WMZm 6)) Equally  dehumanized  story, Chen Mao  is a n o t h e r m a j o r  character  of  the  ($j^) , a young tenant of the Liu F a m i l y ,  the  52  lover of Jade Flower, and the biological father of Chencao (tH |j£) . To Liu Laoxia, his master in the daytime, and to Jade Flower, his master at night, Chen Mao is merely a "bulldog." For the sake of survival, he has to repeat after Liu Laoxia that "Chen Mao is a dog of Liu Laoxia" and imitates a dog's barking. When he breaks up with the Liu Family out of rage but has to return some time later, Chencao discovers that "the figure of Chen Mao driving the mule turn into the silhouette of a dog" (fe^fl^l^ ^SiffitB— &M$}tf])MB)  and that "Chen Mao's tired expression  looked just like a dog under the hot sun" (^^ffl^^^lfife'te^ APBEMW^JJ (Wk%Z.W> 25)) . When Chen Mao's first attempt to start a revolution in Maple suppressed, he is hung in mid-air. Once again, Chencao believes he has "the fantastic image of a creature with the body of a dog and the face of a  man." (Affi#l^ffj£!J^ (WMZM  42))  Chen Cao's status is not improved with Jade Flower, who treats him as merely a pet. During their lovemaking, Chen Mao feels like a rooster whose feathers have been plucked while Jade Flower is like a curling white snake with pink tongue. It is not that Chen Mao is not aware of his status, but that he can only attribute his misery to fate. "Chen Mao reflected that all of his days stacked up together amounted to nothing more than 53  a pile of fodder; some of it he wasted in the Liu Family' s fields; this was life, too, and he had to go on living this way" (Duke  210. mmmmitmMB^&m^wt^mm, -m^^±x^±, - ^ s mmmKm&T, &&%%.%, itmrnkmr^, cwmz^ 26)) The curious association of "dog" with man appears again and again in Su Tong's works. Beside Chen Mao, we also have Dingo ($JH) , Little Blind ('Ml-?), and Five Dragons {'£.%),  all  of whom are dehumanized by poverty. In "1934 Escapes," Dingo collects dog-shit everyday, dreaming of saving enough for a pair of shoes, and finally he smells like a dog. Little Blind loses one of his eyes in a fight with a stray dog over a piece of pork; while Five Dragons squats on the ground begging for a bite of pork in Abao' s hand. When Five Dragons agrees to marry into Feng family, which is a great shame to a Chinese man, he describes his marriage in this way: "I am giving myself to the rice emporium, not to you people. What you get in the bargain is a strong, sturdy watchdog for all generations, a bulldog right off the farm." (Goldblatt 84)  ( £ £ ^ J i A 3 £ . %^%.fcm$L,  ^-^*3S^tt#^ic  ft^Jir^^J, i£—&.£T3fe#J;*:&$lo (^ 98)) When Five Dragons first arrives in the city, he notices that "travelers from home are like stray dogs; they sleep when they're tired, wherever they are, and their expressions  lethargic and groggy at times,  54  ferocious at others  are more doglike than human" (Goldblatt  2). m^&ft&}A&®-'&Mi£mmMLffimm§L, mmm^^mt-^m, #,tU#Bfs£#l><lffi¥;S°(^7)) When a plague kills of f a large number of Maple Village people, Grandmother Jiang notices that the new tombs grow out of the ground overnight like numerous piles of dog shit. Besides dogs, human begins in Su Tong's works are also often compared to rats, flies, worms, cats, cows, pigs and chicken. Human nature is repressed when facing the threat of death. Su Tong's ill-fated characters have to go through "voluntary" debasement to survive. In "1934 Escapes," Su Tong further creates a declining and decaying rural south. We follow the narrator in his spiritual trip back to Maple Village in 1934 and witness the whole process of degeneration of the main character, Grandmother Jiang [ME£ ) . In the first part of the story, Grandmother Jiang is portrayed as the goddess of life. Fertile and strong, she gives birth to eight children. The childbirth scene in the rice field is highly symbolic:  In times past there was no sex anywhere in Maple Village in October, but this year was a mystery. Perhaps that warm southerly wind confused the entire network of sexual desire in Maple Village. Why did 55  the men and women cutting rice in the fields throw down their sickles in droves and drift off into the waves of ripe rice without leaving a trace, huh? What sort of a wind would you say that was, anyway? Grandmother  Jiang,  dragging  around  her  ponderous body, was in a daze in that kind of wind. She heard the wanton clamor of men and women, full of happiness and lusty vitality, carry over from the depths of the waves of ripe rice to surround her and her fetus. . . She was pushed and pulled front and back by wave after wave of rice stalks, her whole body a dazzling golden yellow. . . Just before she gave birth to a new life, Grandmother Jiang' s tired body grew abundant and richly beautiful, burning without inhibition like a wild chrysanthemum made large by the sun's light. (Duke 118 - 119)  tt&mmi&o (1934 ^-ttimt: 84-85) However, soon the goddess of life deteriorates to the goddess of plague. Her breasts, which have nurtured eight children, 56  become poisonous. At the dawn of the plague that deprives her of five children, she dreams "her body was blasted to pieces and transformed into the Plague Goddess of popular legend, floating through the length and breadth of Maple Village like a spirit, singing dirges all the way while poisonous vapors spewed from every pore" (Duke 142) .  (§^J$fti&tptfj'Jiiz'MM^M  mw, —i&j&it mw&iib, ffiM&^$MW\htt(i934^mmt: 102)) when Grandmother Jiang intentionally causes the miscarriage of Huan Zi (£F~?) to take revenge on her husband, the former goddess of life further degrades into murderer. The degeneration of Chen Wenzhi's (|^3tVn) white jade jar forms a parallel with that of Grandmother Jiang. According to the local legend of Maple Village, the content of the jar is made of virginal teenagers' semen, and thus is a precious and mysterious aphrodisiac or elixir. For many generations, it has been enshrined and worshipped by villagers. However, before the plague strikes the village, the magical medicine is almost exhausted. As a result, virginal teenagers of the village fall victim to Chen Wenzhi's crazy attempt to reproduce it. Later the medicine is even condemned as the source of the epidemic. There are intersections of these two processes of degeneration. Once Chen Wenzhi witnesses Grandmother Jiang in childbirth in  57  the ricefield and finds it very erotic. He rapes Grandmother Jiang beside "the Pond of the Corpse." At the end of the story, when  Grandmother  Jiang  has  lost  all  her  children,  she  voluntarily walks into the black brick building where Chen Wenzhi resides with his concubines. The union of two people that have  experienced  degeneration  and  lost  their  life  force  highlights the total corruption of the village. The degeneration of the South is accelerated not only by plague,  flood,  and  famine,  but  also  by  the  process  of  urbanization. People desert their native land to live in the city, which is even more corruptive and depraving. For example, in "1934 Escapes," Chen Baonian deserts his newlywed wife and the ricefield and runs to the city for a new start. Strong and aggressive, he makes a fortune out of his skills as a bamboo craftsman and becomes the founder of the famed "Chenji Bamboo Emporium." As a natural result, other Bamboo craftsmen follow him to the city, which promises gold and young woman:  Nineteen thirty-four was the year of escape for Maple Village's bamboo craftsmen; it is reported that by the end of that year men from Maple Village had set up bamboo goods shops in every single town on the lower reaches of the Long River. I imaging Maple Village's wide yellow mud road  58  probably came into being at that time. Grandmother Jiang watched with her own eyes as that road was transformed from a narrow path to a broad thoroughfare and from desolation to prosperity. . . From that time on, that yellow mud road also extended into my family history. The people of my clan crowded together with their Maple Village neighbors like a line of ants on the move; countless pairs of bare feet strode upon the road of their ancestors, hurriedly departing in the direction of unknown cities and towns. (Duke 129)  1934 ^^mmmmamti^mx,  mmm^fe, m,m  nm±m&)kfcWAm&}m$L*o mmmm^Ammm^m (1934 ^WMtl  92-93)  Bamboo craftsmen are all male and have to make desperate escape from their native land and their families. Sometimes their escape is possible only at the price of others' lives. This "progress" is accompanied by murder, desertion, and betrayal and thus must be doomed. What Su Tong sees in this process of urbanization is not new hope and joy for bankrupt peasants. Instead, these wretched people arrive at the city with a mixture 59  of d e s p e r a t i o n and e x p e c t a t i o n only to be f u r t h e r c o r r u p t e d and degenerated. The b a m b o o  k n i f e , the m a j o r  tool of b a m b o o  craftsmen,  s y m b o l i z e s the p r o c e s s of d e g e n e r a t i o n . O r i g i n a l l y , it is one of  the  common  agricultural  tools,  because  in  the  Southern  c o u n t r y s i d e b a m b o o is one i m p o r t a n t p r o d u c t i o n m a t e r i a l . A good b a m b o o knife is p a s s e d from father to son in the family of b a m b o o c r a f t s m a n and t h u s r e p r e s e n t s the c o n t i n u i t y of the f a m i l y l i n e . However,  in  order  to  make  the  escape  to  the  city,  bamboo  c r a f t s m e n t u r n it into lethal w e a p o n , as in the h o r r i f i c scene in w h i c h the last b a m b o o c r a f t s m a n in d e s p e r a t i o n m u r d e r s his w i f e w h o t r i e s to hold him b a c k . In the city, the b a m b o o knife is m a d e the e m b l e m of the c r i m i n a l u n d e r w o r l d of b a m b o o c r a f t s m e n w h o m a k e m o n e y not by honest w o r k , but by m u r d e r , and  robbery.  degenerates Su  A  tool  and  life-making  into a tool for d e s t r u c t i o n and  Tong's  urbanization  for p r o d u c t i o n  suspicion  of  is further c o n f i r m e d  the  abduction, finally  life-taking.  progressiveness  in the n o v e l Rice  of  (^ji) . A s  the t i t l e i m p l i e s , the n o v e l c e n t e r s on the symbol of r i c e . M o r e a u d a c i o u s t h a n the M a p l e s t o r i e s , the t r e a t m e n t of the s y m b o l is t o t a l l y u n p r e c e d e n t e d in m o d e r n C h i n e s e l i t e r a r y For  example,  Five  Dragons,  an  ordinary  peasant  history.  from  Maple  V i l l a g e , b e c o m e s a rice f e t i s h i s t . Not o n l y d o e s he b e l i e v e that 60  rice is the only good thing in the world that is worth fighting for and dying for, he also practices the strange sadism of stuffing woman's vagina with rice during lovemaking.15 Five  Dragons's  spiritual  corruption by the city is  materialized in his physical degeneration. Healthy and strong when he first arrives at the city, he experiences a successive loss of his body organs. First, he loses one of his toes when his father-in-law, Proprietor Feng Cfiki&W*) , hires killers to get rid of him but is too stingy to pay the full fee. Then two more toes are bitten off by his two wives, Cloud Weave  (^HS)  and Cloud Silk (^J"£) . His left eye is dug out by Proprietor Feng, who on his death-bed makes a last attack on him; his right eye is poked blind by his nephew, who has Five Dragons arrested by Japanese occupiers and tortures him half to death. Year in and year out, the violence of city life deprives Five Dragons of parts of his body. The final blow comes from an unexpected direction: he is infected with syphilis which causes his skin and flesh to rot and fall off. This putrescence puts the final touch on the ghastly picture of Five Dragons's decay over the years which started from the first day of his adventures in the city.  15  Ironically, the incredible association of rice and woman's sexual organ evokes the famous Chinese saying, "Appetite for food and sex is human nature" Citfitttf!) . 61  One of the first things that catch his attention on the first day is the gaudy advertisements on which are painted "soap, cigarettes, and a variety of herbal tonics in the hands of pouty, pretty young women with lips the color of blood" (Goldblatt 2) .  7)) The young peasant notices that "tucked in among the sexy women are the names and addresses of VD clinics." (Goldblatt  2) m&izA^mM&^&^mn^mmmi>An®m±°(^i)) Five Dragons's first impression of the city is echoed at the end of the story, when at the threshold of death he recalls his road of escape to the city:  He realizes how little meat he had on his bones; he was like a dislodged branch being carried along atop flowing red vinegar. He pictured a young man fleeing Maple Village through an expanse shoots  and cotton  plants  of rotting  on the surface  rice  of vast  floodwaters, then across raucous roads chocked with refugees. The young man had strong limbs and a pair of radiant eyes filled with the bright light of hope how I envy that young man, and how I miss him . . . It was all he could do to force back thoughts of death that  surfaced  with  the  wrenching  hacks;  he  concentrated on the refugee-packed road as it slowly disappeared  in floodwater.  Everywhere  he saw the  victims and perpetrators of death; all around him were 62  poverty  and  looting.  Penniless  people  hunted  desperately for distant stores of rice. Me, I found one, an endless supply of snowy rice, but with such a long road ahead, I wonder when and where I'll find rest in the grave. (Goldblatt 211-212)  MuffinBIAM^^Mmm*,  \m-mmm^mi.&  imm&&yt^mm—&%£&%&%, g^mmm*  \m  3L&&Aimtmm&M*m%° mmT-m&mzx^MtfjA te#MiP°  (#2 38)  A careful reader will see how this road of escape resembles the yellow mud road in "1934 Escapes" which leads out of Maple Village to the tempting city at the remote end. "The victims and perpetrators of death" as well as "poverty and looting" everywhere on Five Dragons' s road of escape also echo the ghastly scene of murder on the yellow mud road. The vicious cycle implied in the story pattern also illustrates the pervasive decadence depicted in Su Tong' s works . Five Dragons first appropriates the Rice Emporium and replaces  63  the proprietor Feng as the owner of a big business. Then he manipulates Abao's murder by Sixth Master (/\^)  and takes over  Abao's position in the underworld. As the next step, he dresses himself in Abao's clothes to play Abao's ghost at night, scares everybody to death, and finally brings down Sixth Master's criminal empire. Soon afterwards, he inherits the title of the head of the gangsters and thus makes himself a younger generation Sixth Master. Five Dragons's tragedy is destined to be repeated and the vicious cycle fulfilled. The last link is incarnated in the young docker who agrees to call Five Dragons "Dad" for a couple of dollars and is beaten by Five Dragons for doing so. Five Dragons is satisfied to see himself in the outraged young docker and lectures him on how to rise in the world: "[Now] I see hatred in your eyes, he said. That's good. I was more craven than you once.16 Want to know how I managed to become what I am today? By nurturing that hatred. It's the prize of human capital. You can forget your mother and father, but you must never relinquish your hatred." (Goldblatt 172)  ( J l ^ ^ A f ^ W B l B f M M J T f M S ° &$C  *f7o mum&fo&m, mma4;*-w^? Mfc^«<, aitintAWf*. ^ n m ^ ; £ i B # £ | , iBlfc^&iZlKUo  (tf 191-192)) As we can see,  16  I think "cheaper" is a better translation than "more craven. " What drives the young docker to do the despicable thing is not cowardice but poverty, just like Five Dragons who once did the same thing out of hunger. 64  there is a paradox in Five Dragons's argument: the process of climbing the social ladder must be accompanied by the loss of innocence. Corruption is an indispensable condition for success in the city. In Five Dragons' s comments on the city there is a distinct voice of Su Tong. As a young peasant, it is quite unlikely that Five Dragons could systemize his ideas so well when he first arrives in the city. It is the implied narrator who is speaking on his behalf: "This is the city: chaotic and filled with weird things that draw people like flies, to lay their maggoty eggs and move on. Everyone damns the city, but sooner or later they come anyhow" (Goldblatt 2 ) . C & f c ^ S L ^ A f l l ^ W t M f t W , B f W A  yfc0 (Jft 7)) Here the city is portrayed as something reeking of pus and blood. New arrivals are corrupted by it and then corrupt it in return. Five Dragons, "the conquering hero" (Goldblatt 243), who manages to rise to an incredibly high position and acquires everything a peasant dreams of, has to pay for his "success" with everything he treasures. At the end of the story, the narrator summarizes the significance of the city to new comers:  The idea that the city was an immense, ornamental 65  graveyard occurred often to Five Dragons at night. That's what cities are for: They come into being for the sake of the dead. . . For them the city is a gigantic coffin. . . An arm, shapeless yet limber and powerful, grows out of the coffin. . . The arm reaches into the streets and alleys to drag wanderers into the cold depths. (Goldblatt 241)  ;  m,  mm^iMm-a^m^^mu^mmw, t&&  RrtiGWia. ( # 270) The fatalism and decadence of Su Tong's fiction are evident in this metaphor of city-coffin. On the one hand, as I have said, Su Tong emphasizes how historically determined is the escape from the degenerating and disastrous countryside to the city. The force behind the massive migration of southern peasants is beyond their control. On the other hand, the road of escape inevitably leads to corruption and destruction. Equally hopeless is to remain on the native land, where nothing is left after plague, flood, and famine. Everyone is doomed. There is no escape. Once  in  an  interview  Su  Tong  talked  about  his  understanding of "escape:"  66  "Escape" seems to be an action that fascinates me. This action or attitude toward society reveals our panic and rejection. I think this action or attitude is an excellent topic to write on because it is all-inclusive. Many of the so-called values of life, as well as the tragedy of life, are fulfilled in the course of escape.  n  mt:"&&mmjftm&W}-^%}ft  AR^RT>  m&rt£  mwmm-m* <xu) At the beginning of this chapter, I wrote that Su Tong has appropriated historical fragments to build a "history" of his own. Whether he is constructing family genealogy (such as the Tong family, or the Chen Family) or constructing the geo-political space at a critical moment of history (such as 1949 or 1934), what matters to Su Tong is not historical fact, which may be forever lost in the mist of time. Not interested in recapturing and representing the real history of escape, Su Tong insists on telling his story, because only in the course of story telling can he meditate on such fundamental questions as "who I am, where I am from and where I am going."  67  Chapter Three Young M a n on M a i n  Street  The young man' s mind was carried away by his growing passion for dreams. . . when he aroused himself and again looked out of the car window the town of Winesburg had disappeared and his life there had become but a background on which to paint the dreams of his manhood.  Sherwood Anderson (Winesburg,  Ohio  138)  From the very beginning critics have noted the unique form of  Winesburg,  Ohio,  often  praising  its  originality  and  contribution to the development of the short story and novel as well. Indeed, Anderson's masterpiece is composed of twenty short stories, one novella which in turn consists of three short stories and one curious introduction which can also be read as a short story. All these were published in a long span of time and later collected in the form of a book. For example, "Hands" first appeared in Masses  in March 1916 while Seven Arts  published  "Queer" in December 1916 and "Mother" in March 1917. The Review  Little  published three Winesburg stories: "The Philosopher" in 68  June 1916, "The Man of Ideas" in 1918, "An Awakening" in December 1918. While Enoch Robinson's story, "Loneliness," was not published prior to its inclusion in Winesburg,  Ohio as late as  April 1919. What, then, makes Anderson believe that these stories can be taken as an organic whole? It may be helpful to look at one of Anderson' s earliest letters to Waldo Frank, an editor of Seven Arts,  which in its first issue (November 1916) carried his  admiring review of Anderson' s first novel Windy McPherson  ' s Son.  Over the following few years, Frank and Anderson became good friends and corresponded frequently. In the letter, Anderson called his stories that were going to appear in Winesburg "a series of intensive studies of people" {Letters  5) . At the end  of the short letter, Anderson frankly pointed out: "It is my own idea when these studies are published in book form, they will suggest the real environment out of which present-day American  youth  is coming"  (5). Obviously,  from the very  beginning of the publication of the Winesburg stories, Anderson had in mind the general theme that should underlie the whole book. Despite diverse interpretations of Winesburg,  Anderson' s  idea about the general theme did not change with the passage of time. In 1932, sixteen years after the above quoted letter 69  to Waldo Frank, and when Winesburg  had been admitted into the  canon of modern American Literature, Anderson again stated his idea in a letter to Arthur Barton, a New York playwright, who had proposed to adapt Winesburg into a play. In this long and informative letter, Anderson expresses his excitement about the possibility that Winesburg might appear on the stage. Having modestly admitted that he knew very little about drama, Anderson hurried to show his design for the plot of the play. It is evident that in the letter Anderson was fully aware of the unique requirements of drama and made efforts to meet them. First of all, he had to abandon the "loose" form of Winesburg so well acclaimed by critics, and give the whole story more sense of coherence. He started the job from the ending of the story:  You will realize that to make the end effective the boy leaving the town where he has been raised to go out into the world  we will have to build  up this feeling of George' s departure to give it significance. To do that we will have to build all through the play to that one end and this will naturally affect all the characters throughout the play. The feeling will have to be given that George's departure from the town is also a beginning manhood  the beginning of  a thing keenly felt in that way in him  70  at least by the girl Helen. (Selected  Letters  152)  To show how the effect can be achieved, Anderson invited Frank "to go over the actual theme of the book which should be the theme of the play". It is certain that for Anderson the theme "is the making of a man out of the actual stuff of life. " Anderson affirmed that the story was about "an American growing up in an American village. . . an ordinary American town." "There are all sorts of influences playing over him and around him. These influences are presented in the form of characters, playing on his own character, forming it, warning him, educating him." (Selected  Letters  153) However, Anderson immediately warned  against any attempt to read the story as a mere depiction of the Midwestern American village. With much confidence, he pointed out the universal value of the story:  The same sort of influences would be at work on any boy in American life whether he was raised in a small town or a city. In the midst of the confusion of life the  boy  is  suggestions  always thrown  accepting out  or  to him by  rejecting  the  other people,  directly and indirectly. In this play we will have to get from the beginning a feeling of growth in the  boy. (Selected  Letter  153)  71  Unfortunately, Anderson's interpretation of his own book is often ignored by some critics who are eager to group Ohio  Winesburg,  with protest literature and who engage themselves in  excavating the "buried lives" of the small town and in speaking up for "the inarticulate and the meek"(Geismar 245). They are so preoccupied with the defeated and unfulfilled lives that they forget in the center of the book there are a group of confused teenagers struggling for adulthood. Although Anderson agreed with everybody else that "there is a sad note running through" the book (Letter  of Sherwood  Anderson  4) , it is wrong to assume  that Anderson harbored no hope for the future of these young people. Against the arguments of some critics, I do not see a vicious circle implied in the book; that is, Anderson does not seem to suggest that there is no escape, that what has happened to the last generation will inevitably happen to the new generation. What Anderson actually wants to say to the world is that "Here it is. It is like this. This is what the life in America out of which men and women come is like. But out of this life does come real men and women." (Selected A typical reading of Winesburg,  Letters  153)  Ohio as expose literature  can be found in Irving Howe' s influential book Sherwood Anderson. Although most beautifully written, the chapter on Ohio  Winesburg,  is misleading, as so many other contemporary and later 72  criticisms of Winesburg  as, in its unbalanced devotion to the  "grotesques." To Howe, Winesburg  should be read "as a fable of  American estrangement, its theme the loss of love" (Howe 101) . It goes without saying that Winesburg  is populated by  grotesques. The book opens with a recluse, Wing Biddlebaum, who never communicates with anybody except George Willard, because his wish to blend intellectual learning with spiritual communion has been fatally misinterpreted in another village. The striking image of "hand" is going to reappear again and again in other stories, symbolizing the desperate wish to reach out to a fellow human being. It is essential in the second story "Paper Pills," which tells the legendary love story of the retired Doctor Reefy, who, after the death of his wife, resumes his old habit of scribbling on bits of paper the odds and ends of his thoughts and then stuffing them away in his pockets to become round hard balls. In "Respectability" we encounter Wash Williams, an arch-misogynist, who comes to hate unwittingly  discovered  angelic-looking  the  all women because  promiscuity  wife. Then his mother-in-law  of  by  thrusts  he his his  faithless wife into his presence naked, hoping to reconcile the couple. In fact, in more than half of the stories we encounter some sort of grotesque. In contrast with Hilfer, Howe is quite right to point out that these grotesques become what they are 73  not because they fall victim to the traditional values of the village, but because of a sense of loss. These grotesques lack something that was formerly available but now exists only in memory:  The book's major characters are alienated from the basic sources of emotional sustenance  from the  nature in which they live but to which they can no longer have an active relationship; from the fertility of the farms that flank them but no longer fulfill their need for creativity, from the community which. . once bound men together in fraternity but is now merely an institution external to their lives; from the work which once evoked and fulfilled their sense of craft but is now a mere burden; and, most catastrophic of all, from each other, the very extremity of their need for love having  itself become a barrier to its  realization. (Howe 101)  Howe's interpretation becomes problematic only when he insists on calling attention to the grotesque's desperate yet futile need to draw sustenance from young George Willard while ignoring the fact that almost all of the grotesques approach Willard with the conviction that it is they  that have something  to give him. Furthermore, Howe interprets Willard as an inert and inadequate receptacle of the grotesque's passion, unfitted  74  for "the burden" (Howe 104) which the grotesques impose on him. He emphasizes on how once and again Willard lets down the grotesques and fails to play his supposed role of "a small-town Hermes" or "a young priest" (Howe 102). Obviously, Howe's reading and other similar readings of Winesburg  assign George Willard a minor role, never suspecting  that Anderson has intended the young reporter to play a vital role that unifies the stories not only in the sense of form, but also in the sense of theme. However, as I have argued before, Winesburg  safely  belongs  to  the  genre  of  Bildungsroman;  furthermore, it is a portrait of the artist as a young man on the verge of self-discovery. The young man's maturity results first of all from his interaction with the grotesques, each of whom comes to see him in hopes of revealing to him the small piece of truth that he/she has snatched as "the Truth" and tries to live his/her life by. In the first story "Hands, " George Willard forms "something like a  friendship" with Wing  Biddlebaum  the  recluse, who  has  apparently some important message for the would-be writer. Otherwise inarticulate, Wings lets himself walk with the youth and lectures him endlessly on topics that are new to George. But George at that time is not knowledgeable enough to catch the message. "Wing Biddlebaum made a picture for George Willard. 75  In the picture men lived again in a kind of pastoral golden age. Across a green open country came clean-limbed young men, some afoot, some mounted upon horses. In crowds the young men came to gather about the feet of an old man who sat beneath a tree in a tiny garden and who talked to them" (11) . George probably will never realize that Wing is talking about Plato and his wonderful Akademeia, founded in a grove of trees in Athens in 387 B.C. However, the young man may after all, remember the more direct  advice  of this  self-assumed  teacher:  "You have  the  inclination to be alone and to dream and you are afraid of dreams. You want to be like others in town here. You hear them talk and you try to imitate them. . . You must try to forget all you have learned. . . You must begin to dream. From this time on you must shut your ears to the roaring of the voices" (11). In the third story, "Mother," George receives the same encouragement to dream, this time, from his own mother, another grotesque  in the book.  Like Wing  Biddlebaum,  she  lives  a  reclusive and inarticulate life. Moping around the desolate little hotel she owns only in name, she is like a ghost buried in her unloving marriage. There is a secret family war going on between the mother and the father, Tom, and the prize to be won is George's future. The mother, who has been a dreamer all her life, wants the boy to inherit her trait of dreaming and  76  fulfill her unfulfilled dreams of adventure, while her rival, the father, a true believer in "go-getter" ethics, lectures the boy on proper ways of rise in the world. Also noticing George's tendency to daydreaming and lack of responsiveness, he warns him: "Well, I guess you'll get over it. . . 1 told Will that. You're not a fool and you're not a woman. You're Tom Willard's son and you' 11 wake up. I'm not afraid. What you say clears things up. If being a newspaper man had put the notion of becoming a writer into your mind that' s all right. Only I guess you' 11 have to wake up to do that too, eh?" (19) Winesburg,  Ohio,  For the first time in  the reader learns of George's intention to be  a writer. Toward the end of the story, the mother gets the upper hand in the war since the boy seems to have made up his mind not be "a dull clod, all words and smartness" (18). More and more grotesques in the town will influence George's way to becoming an artist. Sometimes, they consciously give him lectures, and at other times, their influence is more indirect, and can be understood only in retrospect. Among these people, there is Doctor Parcival, "the philosopher, " who teaches George the advisability of adopting a line of conduct that he was himself unable to define. He challenges the youth to be a real investigative reporter and to investigate, for example, trie mystery surrounding Parcival himself. He also tries to teach 77  George a philosophy of life, this time, not the Platonist wisdom of Wing Biddlebaum, but superman ethics of the Nietschean type, the supremely egoistic and therefore superior being. In "A Man of Ideas," Joe Welling, only on occasions a grotesque, teaches George the magic and wonder of words through his own successful love affair. Meanwhile, George witnesses the violent outburst of Wash Williams, who tells "his story of hate, " of female deceit and wickedness . Kate Swift, George' s former school teacher, once delivers him a clear message about writing: "It would be better to give up the notion of writing until you are better prepared. Now it's time to be living. I don't want to frighten you, but I would like to make you understand the importance of what you think of attempting." Kate warns George against the temptation of becoming "a mere peddler of words." And she sums up her understanding of the right way to become a real writer: "the thing to learn is to know what people are thinking about, not what they say" (23) . Once George's mother eavesdrops on George speaking his mind, of his decision to go on her way, and she is so pleased by her discovery that she prays, on behalf of all the grotesques, that this boy be allowed to express something for them all. Inarticulate themselves, what these grotesques ultimately want of George Willard is to have their stories told. In their 78  approaches to the artist-in-the-making, they are searching for an author, a voice. Meanwhile, they wish to have a hand in the way that the stories are going to be told, or we can say that they want a share in the making of the young artist. Each grotesque in turn comes forward to offer his/her life secret and carefully hand over his/her little piece of wisdom in exchange for a release into expressiveness which everyone of them needs but only the artist can achieve. It is so easy to have our attention fully engaged by the grotesques, for their problem is apparent and shocking in a certain sense. However, a careful reader should not fail to notice that there is an antithesis between the fixity of the grotesques and the development of George Willard. Actually, Anderson took pains carefully to balance the two forces. Although slow and often hidden, there is a steady undercurrent of George Willard' s growth toward maturity beside the apparent stasis that has trapped the grotesques. Ray Lewis White once laboriously collected pieces of information to construct the following schematic chronology  for Winesburg,  Ohio  (White  54-55):  Narrative Past 1. "Godliness"  79  2. "The Untold Lie" 3. "Adventure" 4. "Paper Pills" and part of the "Death" 5. "Hands" Narrative Present 1894 1. "Mother"  July  2. "Nobody Knows"  August/September  3. "Respectability" 4. "Tandy"  Summer  Summer  5. "Loneliness"  Autumn  1895 1. "An Awakening"  January  2. "The Strength of God" 3. "The Teacher" 4. "Death"  March  5. "Drink"  Spring  January  6. "A Man of Ideas" 7. "The Thinker"  9 . "Sophistication" "Queer"  May  June  8. "The Philosopher"  10.  January  August September/October  November 1896  "Departure"  As we can learn from this chronology, George Willard's growth is viewed as the main storyline. Besides his intellectual growth, George has several sexual adventures that indicate his gradual progress toward maturity. In "Nobody Knows, " George only  80  congratulates himself on a physical conquest of Louise Trunnion, one of the most appealing and more available young women in the small  town. The  short  sexual  encounter, due  to  George's  self-centeredness and naivety, turns out to be nothing more than the sexual initiation of George by a willing young woman. In place of tenderness, gratuity, or love, there is only the carnal joy of wild youth. George's immaturity brings him to his fiasco several months later, when he with his new-felt manliness embarks on another sexual adventure with the beautiful Belle. He has to face a humiliation that he will probably never forget for the rest of his life  he is flung aside three times by  the outrageous bartender, Belle' s shy suitor. Hopefully, George has learned something from his defeat by the silent bartender, so when he finally faces his true love, the rich and beautiful Helen White, the only daughter of the banker of the village, he has come to realize the value of silence and is able to listen rather than babble on about himself. "Sophistication" is one of the few stories in the book which has a happy ending and it concludes with what is for Winesburg  a startling statement: "For  some reason they [George Willard and Helen White] could not have explained they had both got from their silent evening together the thing needed. Man or boy, woman or girl, they had for a moment taken hold of the thing that makes the mature life of men and 81  women in the modern world possible." (136) "Sophistication" as the climax of the whole book, reveals much of Anderson's thinking about human experience in modern society and abounds in paradoxical remarks. For example, the two young people feel that they are surrounded by "ghosts, not of the dead, but of living people." "The place has been filled to overflowing with life. . . and now it is night and the life has all gone away. . . One shudders at the thought of the meaninglessness of life while at the same instant, and if the people of the town are his people, one lives life so intensely that tears come into the eyes" (134-135). Also for the first time in the book, George learns to respect woman as individual on an equal standing. "In that high place in the darkness the two oddly sensitive human atoms held each other tightly and waited. In the mind of each was the same thought. yI have come to this lonely place and here is this other, ' was the substance of the thing felt" (135) . Loneliness is recognized as the universal living condition of human beings, rather than an abnormal personal disaster. Love can temporarily relieve the isolation only through a mutual acceptance by two people of the fact that people must live lonely and die lonely. It is because of this valuable understanding of the human condition that George Willard transcends the grotesques, who will not accept 82  their isolation and thus never grow up. At the end of the book George Willard takes his departure to the big city, presumably Chicago. Like the endings of so many of Anderson' s other works, Anderson deliberately makes George' s future ambivalent and open for many potentialities. Although we should be careful not to identify George Willard with the narrator of Winesburg, or even Anderson himself,17 Anderson's life story does help us to clear up the significance of George' s departure.  After  leaving  his  hometown  Clyde,  Ohio  at  approximately the same age as George, Anderson wandered from factory to factory, working as cheap laborer for several years. Then conquered by the "go-getter" philosophy of the industrial age, Anderson devoted himself to the business world and became "successful." Celebrated by local papers as a perfect example of the viability of the American dream, he became a contemporary proof of the rags-to-riches myth. Yet all through these years Anderson had been reading widely and writing in secret. It was as late as 1912, seventeen years after his departure from his hometown, that Anderson was utterly disillusioned with the business world. He collapsed under psychological pressure and financial crisis and wandered wildly for several days before 17  For more detailed discussion on the relationship between George Willard, the narrator of Winesburg, and Sherwood Anderson, please refer to Marcia Jacobson's article "Winesburg, Ohio and the Autobiographical Moment" in New Essays on Winesburg, Ohio (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1990. 53-72). 83  he was found many miles from home. His aphasia and amnesia hospitalized him and put an end to his Ohio business career. Anderson returned to Chicago and had some of his works published and thus was gradually recognized as a serious writer. After he had succeeded as a writer, Anderson moved to southwestern Virginia, where he bought a small farm and built his only permanent home. He also became owner, reporter, writer and publisher of two local newspapers. As we can see, Anderson went a long way before he finally made up his mind to be a writer. How long George will go before he finds his calling is a question for which Anderson has no ready answer. However, there is one message that Anderson clearly implies in his masterpiece, that is, the artist has a unique role to play in modern society. The same idea is echoed in a famous passage from Poor  All  men  lead  their  White:  lives  behind  a  wall  of  misunderstanding they themselves have built, and most men die in silence and unnoticed behind the walls. Now and then a man, cut off from his fellows by the peculiarities of his nature, becomes absorbed in doing something that is impersonal, useful, and beautiful. Word of his activities is carried over the walls . {Poor White  227)  84  The image of the wall is not so novel in modern literature. What is peculiar about this passage is the way it envisages the artist Isolated as all other men, the artist has a curious power to penetrate the walls of isolation. Isolation and peculiarities in his case lead not to destruction but to creation. Like his faith in the possibility of a way out of a confused age, this faith in the potentiality of the young man as an artist once again places Anderson in the realm of idealism, rather than decadence.  85  Chapter Four Gone on a Skateboard: Youth in the South 1 8  The South is disappearing silently in the dark. Year after year, I walk to and fro on Fragrant Street. I have exhausted my memory and emptied every pocket of prattle and tattle to return them to the street. But now I feel weak, because I have been accused of rumor mongering and defaming my neighbors. I am said to be traitor to Fragrant Street that has nourished and nurtured me.  But what else can I do? Even if I don't  sell Fragrant Street, someone else will do it, and in a more vicious way. After all, the street has become a symbol of decline.19  — S u Tong (The Decline  of the  South)  18  "Gone on a Skateboard" is the title of one of Su Tong's short stories, "^/t$fe $32Ei." The story, which centers on the symbol of a skateboard, depicts the painful growth of adolescences at Fragrant Street.  }&-s-at!&)tt£a#aM«#»#jo ®m&$tfitt&fr&, mmsuvm^mpm,  MA^im&mvkmmm 86  In "Opium Family," Su Tong constructs a family genealogy in his attempt to reconfigure the history of the eventful 1930s to 1950s. The novella records the doom of the largest landlord family in Maple Village. It is a tragedy, but neither in the sense of a Greek tragedy that is caused by gods nor in the sense of a Shakespearean tragedy caused by human nature. Rather, it is through the destruction of Liu Chencao that the sense of tragedy is achieved. Chencao is doomed from birth. Almost all male babies born to his family before him are all disfigured and drowned in the river; his physically normal elder brother Yanyi turns out to be mentally an idiot. Thus, Chencao is destined to be the only heir of the family business  opium.  At first he rejects the role, and when he finally surrenders himself to it, his family's doom is approaching. As a member of the doomed class of landlord Chencao has no escape. Throughout his short life he lives as a scapegoat, never be able to exercise his own will power. Ironically, Chencao has received some modern education. However, his chances for a better future are doomed to be ephemeral. He must forget his modern education to adapt himself to the role of the "second young master" of the Liu Family. His painful degeneration is symbolized by the refined game of tennis that Chencao learned as part of his genteel education: 87  Someone had come from home. Chencao's pace began to slow; he searched in his pocket with his hand, and brought out a tennis ball. The tennis ball was gray; as it rolled along over the lawn, it was quickly swallowed up in the grass. The melancholy feeling that he was saying good-by to all this with a wave of his hand pressed down on Chencao' s slender shoulders; he shrugged and walked toward the horse cart. He felt something slip away from him that afternoon, just like the tennis ball. Chencao looked back repeatedly as he walked slowly along. He heard his father shout, "Chencao, what are you looking at? Let's go home." He answered, "The ball disappeared." (Duke 191)  j£7, mmp,M&Mmn°u^~j£~®tk°imm&vtfi, -u mmi-f^. mu^u -um&, "IPH^IL7O - cmmzm 10)  When he has just returned home, he cannot connect himself with his  father's  land  and  feels  totally  isolated:  "Chencao  discovered that he was standing on an isolated island; he felt  dizzy; the murmuring sound of the waves of opium poppies pushes you onto an isolated island where everything is far far away from you and there is only that murderous odor penetrating your lungs; at that moment Chencao felt his weak, slender body floating off of that isolated island" (Duke 193) . (ffi^^tiMtfc  Chencao  attempts  to break  through  the  isolation  by  reaching out to another marginalized and isolated figure, his idiot brother Yanyi. He makes desperate efforts to teach Yanyi to play tennis, but the experiment is doomed to fail. The home-made tennis ball disappears without a trace. Chencao finally comes to realize that "you will never be able to play tennis in a Maple Village family, never, never, never" (Duke 198) .  ( £ T O $ f t j ^ M M P F $ N l £ , 7faffiffWc. (^MZM  17)) Toward  the end of the story, the sense of doomed fate is reinforced by the encounter between Chencao, the target of communist-led land reform, and Lu Fang (fpTl) , his former classmate and good friend, now a communist cadre in charge of the land reform in Maple Village:  89  Lu Fang said, "Chencao, let's go play tennis." Chencao's whole body convulsed momentarily, his eyes flashed brightly for an instant, and then grew dull once more. He raised his hand and rubbed his eyes; his body gave off the odor of dried opium poppies. "That tennis ball fell off the roof and disappeared." Chencao sighed. Lu Fang quickly pushed Chencao's soft limp arm away and said, "So it fell off and disappeared; if it disappeared, there is nothing I can do about it." (Duke 258-259)  FII$L, -un-, j m * . -uwM^-m,  fcmmn%T-m%'5L  ltt¥ft, fo&ift, "*rF**JJL7, *JE7§Ml&iW£. " (H^tiC 48)  Apparently, the encounter is meant to recall the former two games of tennis, one with Lu Fang on the last day of Chencao' s schooling and one with Yanyi, who devours the tennis ball, mistaking it for steamed roll. The experiment with Yanyi ends with Chencao's accidental fratricide, and Chencao's surrender to his fate. First of all he grows accustomed to the smell of the opium, which once panicked'him. Then he develops the habit of chewing poppy leaves and finally he is addicted to opium. At the age of twenty, Chencao inherits the platinum keys from 90  his father in the family temple and becomes the representative of the new generation of landlords in Maple Village. He loses his former handsome and innocent image, and develops a striking resemblance with Liu Laoxia, his aged, waxy, and stooped over legitimate father. As a last attempt to resist Liu Laoxia, his "father," and his fate, Chencao divides his family's land into small pieces and distributes to tenants only at the price of half harvest. It is worth noticing that this is a very unusual action in his times and vaguely resembles land-form that will later be led by the community party. The idea of dividing land and giving it away to tenants may be influenced by his talks about Marxism with Lu Fang, his good friend in the middle-school. Unimaginably generous as this is to the villagers, it does not prevent the approaching  doom  of  Chencao,  which  arrives  in  the  1949  revolution. Chencao escapes twice after the revolution, yet neither escape is out of his own free will. The first time is after a communist-style "struggle meeting" (4^z?) when and his father sends him to join the local bandits. Curiously, Chencao seems to be indifferent to the outcome of his escape. Neither concerned with his mission of survival, nor the revival of the Liu Family, Chencao only agrees to play his tragic role to the end of the 91  h i s t o r i c a l f a r c e . His i m p a t i e n c e and b o r e d o m are o b v i o u s . The s e c o n d e s c a p e is m o r e absurd. W h e n his e l d e r s i s t e r Liu  Suzi  is r a p e d by C h e n M a o , now a c o m m u n i s t c a d r e , C h e n c a o , as the o n l y y o u n g m a n in the Liu Family, is d e s t i n e d to be her a v e n g e r : the h o n o r of the family m u s t be p r e s e r v e d and the v e n g e a n c e m u s t be  fulfilled.  Ironically,  Chencao himself  d o e s not h a v e  s l i g h t e s t d e s i r e for r e v e n g e . He is first t o l d b y h i s  the  sister  that "if y o u ' r e r e a l l y a m a n of the Liu Family, y o u ' l l go kill C h e n M a o . " W h e n Liu Suzi has c o m m i t t e d s u i c i d e the same m e s s a g e is r e p e a t e d by his f a t h e r , "come b a c k after you kill C h e n M a o . " It is no w o n d e r that w h e n he c a r r i e s out the e x e c u t i o n ,  what  he says is " t h e y w a n t m e to kill y o u " r a t h e r t h a n "I kill you to r e v e n g e m y s i s t e r . " It is in total p a s s i v i t y , t o r p o r , confusion because  that  Chencao  commits  C h e n M a o is a c t u a l l y  passionless,  almost  another  sin  his n a t u r a l  unconscious  patricide,  father. After  murder,  and  Chencao  this  embarks  on  a n o t h e r u n e n t h u s i a s t i c a c t i o n of e s c a p e from the sure p u n i s h m e n t of the c o m m u n i s t As  we  can  party. see,  Chencao's  inchoate  individuality  is  r e p r e s s e d and d i s t o r t e d by the d e m a n d s of a p a t r i a r c h a l f a m i l y . His e f f o r t to d e v e l o p his  self is first  lost  in the  ancient  t r a d i t i o n of the C h i n e s e c o u n t r y s i d e , w h i c h b u r d e n s the  sons  w i t h the role of l a n d - o w n e r and leaves t h e m no chance for an 92  alternative life. When Chencao finally becomes the patriarch himself and gains some power, he is crushed by "the wheel of history. " Chencao' s nightmare can be seen as a key to the story. Even before the arrival of the revolution, Chencao dreams about his destruction:  He heard the sound of rain all over Maple Village. He was walking in the rain. Out of the boundless rain and mist of a long road stretched toward the north. There was a many-storied red brick building on the sandy slope of the northern hills. He saw that he had been transformed into a snail crawling along in the rain. He saw a tennis ball rolling down the roof of the red brick building; the ball fell from the building and bounced away on the rain-soaked ground. The snail was actually crawling toward that tennis ball. By the time the snail reached the grass, the tennis ball had long since disappeared. He heard the sound of rain all over Maple Village. The shell on the snail's back was terribly heavy; he lay down in the shallow pool of water and went to sleep, but many people were running wildly along that road; they were running wildly up behind him; the snail heard the frenzied sound of their running feet; he wanted to hide, but he could not move his shell. He saw his shallow pool of water trampled underfoot as beautiful drops of water splashed up into the air. He heard the loud reverberations of a crisp clear crackling sound  93  as the snail's shell was squashed into the ground. (Duke 235)  ^o ( H H ^ 45) One year later, his nightmare becomes true. Chencao, the snail, perishes in the thunderous gunshot of Lu Fang leading the so-called revolutionary masses. However, his last words "I will be reborn" (Duke 267) implies that the tragedy does not end with the physical destruction of Chencao but will reappear in later generations .20 As I have said in the second chapter, Su Tong divides his stories into two groups: one on rural space and the other on urban space. If we say the Maple Village series reconfigures "the land of rice and fish," then the Fragrant Street series  20  Ironically, the Chinese Communist Party cadres experienced worse fate in a succession of political movements after the success of the "revolution," especially during the Cultural Revolution, than the landlords of the 1930s and 40s that they had suppressed. 94  reshapes the Chinese imagination of the Southern city. As an ancient saying puts it: Heaven is up there, while Su-Hang is right here. (_hW^ilt> TWj^lft) Su-Hang is the short name for Suzhou (Su Tong's hometown) and Hangzhou, two famed southern cities that have long enjoyed the reputation of being scenic, rich, and highly cultured. However, in Su Tong's work, we have a completely different picture of the Southern city:  Never with such affection have I depicted Fragrant Street where I was born. Nor have I extolled the pallid and callous gravel street, those two endless rows of dilapidated, hideous, mossy houses, the moldy air full of flies, the dwarfish, wretched-looking neighbors appearing and disappearing in the murky windows. I grew up in the South. Just like a seed dropped by a wild goose, I have no choice. But I have been long disgusted by the South, which is the eternal imprint of Fragrant Street on me. ("The Decline of the South")  ^mmm£$ttf]7t'\mmz°  muMmm 73)  As we can see, Su Tong intends to make Fragrant Street the epitome 95  of the Southern city. There is a clear tone of irony implied in the identification of the two: instead of "condemning" Su Tong says that his works "extol" the Southern city. He insists on the writer's right to commemorate the city in his own way. First of all, Su Tong sets the Southern city in the general background  of  Maoist  communist  industrialization  and  modernization that started from the 1950s. The process of this industrialization in Su Tong' s works is symbolized by the three chimneys and the railroad that runs through the city. The gigantic chimneys of the coal, cement and chemical factories look over the street with its wretched residents like kings looking down upon their subjects. They belch tons of black and white powder that accumulate on window sills and form a layer of curious mixture which "children often mistake as flour. " (1M =  f\\yiiM.^l%^—BMffi  (fflJkMff  D)  Meanwhile, even the adults  of the street, when looking up at the chimneys, have the illusion that the chimneys are making fragrant components of the air. The grotesqueness is strengthened as the chimneys are painted bright orange, which was a rare and thus beautiful color in the 1970s, when China was dominated by the gloomy colors of black and blue. The railroad is another indication of the presence of modernization. There is a steel bridge over the river, one part 96  of the water-network that marks the uniqueness of Suzhou. If we say the chimneys are chronic killers that poison Fragrant Street residents day by day, then the train is a fast one that brings news of sudden death once in a while, because Su Tong writes "everybody knows that the railroad is a simple and neat death-machine beside a wonderful means of transportation." (i|£  mmmm%nnM7£mT.M;tK ^ ^ - M M f l t i f t ^ t « ° ) 2 1 what is more grotesque is that because of these frequent and violent deaths, the railroad becomes a site for sensational spectacles and public entertainment. Whenever there is an accident or suicide, the railroad is transformed into a kind of "theatre" or "circus" where a large audience watch, remark, and argue about the situation, enjoying a break from their daily toil.22 Su Tong's Fragrant Street is also a world of living ghosts. All sorts of grotesques either wander on the street or hide behind the shut windows of decaying houses. There is Madman Lii (aM.-f')  who has the permanent image of standing before the  pharmacy with a package of medicine in hand telling passing girls that they are "as beautiful as angels."23 There are spinster 21  See Su Tong's short story "Walking Along the Railroad for One Kilometer" (fift $rftM— £ M ) , collected in The Age of Tattoo (M^fff-ft) . 22  The most famous depiction of Chinese spectators can be found in Lu Xun's works, such as short stories "Yao" ($j) and "The True Story of Ah Q"(P»jQlE#).  23  . See Su Tong's short story "As Beautiful as Angles" (H^lfi—#JIW) collected in 97  sisters Jian Shaozhen (fsj^J/T) and Jian Shaofen (faj^^f) , who form a  peculiar  relationship  similar  to  lesbians  in  their  self-imposed reclusive lives for half a century.24 We also have Xian (#9), Xiao (If), and Zhi (5t) , representatives of three generations, whose tragic lives all turn them into grotesques.25 In this grotesque world, a group of teenagers try to reach adulthood, but their failure is certain. In this doomed struggle we see Su Tong' s fatalism and decadence again. Take The Zone of the City  Northern  for example. A typical Bildungsroman, the novel  portrays a group of teenagers living in the northern zone of the city, more specifically, on Fragrant Street. Though the fates of these few teenagers may look exceptional and incredible to contemporary readers, it is clear that Su Tong intends them to be "typical." Like many other Su Tong works, a story pattern is implied in the novel. The book begins with a violent death and ends with another. One rainy season is just over when Dasheng (ii^fci) unwittingly  The Age of Tattoo  causes his father's death  (ffl^fffff)  he steals his  .  24  See Su Tong's n o v e l l a "Another Life of Women" (;£}— ftS^C^feS) , c o l l e c t e d in The Last Love, (jfcftMfff) • The s t o r y i s a l s o e n t i t l e d "Embroidery" (MM) , c o l l e c t e d in The Decline of the South (P&Tjlflttffi) .  25  See Su Tong's n o v e l l a "Life of Women" ( S ^ C ^ S ) , c o l l e c t e d in The Last  Love(^  98  father's bike for fun so that his father has to rush to work with a broken bike without brakes and is then run over by a truck. By the end of the book, several years have passed and the rainy season is coming again. But Dasheng is not going to see this one  he gets killed in a punch-up when he tries to play hero  and challenges a gang of teenagers on his own. Su Tong writes at the end of the book:  The rain drops on Tengfeng's oil-cloth umbrella as well as on our Fragrant Street. For now the weather is cool in the northern zone but we all know that the rainy season comes in haste and leaves in haste. What' s the use of so much rain? After the rain there is always another hot summer. Year after year, the hot and disturbing summer is for certain to return.  What happens in the hot, disturbing and always returning summer? It witnesses the degeneration and corruption of the Fragrant Street teenagers. The leader of the teenagers Hongqi  99  {%LM)26 ends up in prison for raping his neighbor Meiqi (HJ^) , who later drowns herself due to social pressure; another boy Xudeng (^L^iM) almost commits patricide during a fight with his father over a woman but finally elopes with her; the girl Mianhong (tS^C) is raped and strangled by a group of teenagers. Little Cripple's (/JS^) case is different yet no less tragic. Formerly thievish, Little Cripple becomes a "revolutionary star" overnight: he discovers an ammunition depot under the rubbish-collector's cabin. Ironically, his discovery is made partly  by  his  habit  of  burgling.  More  tragically,  the  preposterous transformation of Little Cripple from thief to "hero" is at the expense of another disadvantaged figure, Old Kang {3£SM) , who has lived a marginal life like his. With so many deaths and so much violence, Fragrant Street is doomed to be a world of ghosts. Even before his destruction, Old Kang is regarded by his neighbors as a living ghost, who mourns over the loss of his pharmacy at "liberation." The ghost of Mianhong haunts Fragrant Street, so does Meiqi's, who sticks paper-cut hearts on doors and sings at midnight on the steel bridge with a cat in her arms. After the violent death of Dasheng,  26  In Chinese, the young man's name means "Red Flag." A typical name then, it well captures the ethos of that period (1950s to 1970s) . The irony is that Hongqi becomes the "leader" of the teenagers and sets an example for them, not in "revolution," but in crimes. 100  his mother Tengfeng joins the set of ghosts. Now widowed and childless, she rambles in rain with her oil-paper umbrella. She will suddenly show up and stare into your eyes, inquiring, "Hi, have you seen our alarm clock? It is a Double-Cat. Have you seen  i t ? " (US, #SJl$;itftjlW7ni? -HM&JftfW, im&J^i  ifflhtikft  207)) In this grotesque world, friendship is betrayed, love ridiculed, while homicide, suicide, rape, accidental death, self-mutilation, and madness are all major components of the daily drama of Fragrant Street. Yet the northern zone is not so special in the city. To borrow a saying in the book: "Eastern Zone is savage; Western Zone is cruel; Southern Zone is packed with murderers and arsonists; Northern Zone is a shit-pit." (i$  &M, M » , i l M X M . mtMz^mift*  (MJtMiff 206)) Growing  up in the "shit-pit" are generations of southern youth, the heirs of Mao's revolution. At the end of the story, we witness how an eight-year-old girl attacks a policeman's bike for no reason at all. An attack for no reason is more horrifying than an attack out of hatred. In the policeman's words, "The virus of evil has infected the whole Fragrant Street, and even a lovely little girl is not spared."  ( H S W ^ « B ^ S ^ ^ # ^ M W # ^ r i C , j£-^  HlfRrg#J / h:&&tfe : Ft£#&o (MJtMiff  205))  Su Tong seems to be  101  telling us that the vicious cycle does not stop at the corruption of one generation. It is going to continue in a younger one. Whether it is in the Southern village or the Southern city, the youth in Su Tong's works all share the same fate of and corruption destruction. They must go down with the moldy, decaying, and declining south. There is no escape, nor hope. In the doom of the youth, we again see the fatalism and the decadence so pervasive in Su Tong's writings.  102  Conclusion  Nelson Antrim Crawford once called Sherwood Anderson "the wistfully faithful."27 Indeed, throughout his life and writing career, Anderson remains faithful to his small town origin, as well as the good old faith in land. In contrast with the popular interpretation of Anderson as a representative of "the Revolt from the Village" group, I have argued that there is always a trace of romanticism and idealism in Anderson even at his most despairing moment. Anderson's Mid-West is set in a critical period of American history when industrialization inevitably brings along standardization of living and thought, as well as the displacement of bankrupt farmers and small town people seeking their fortunes in the city. Like other conscientious contemporary intellects, Anderson is discontented about the evils of the city and the appalling impacts of industrialization on the agrarian society of Midwestern America. However, instead of sentimental condemnation, Anderson actively seeks solutions 7  See Crawford's article "Sherwood Anderson: the Wistfully Faithful," originally published in The Midland, 8 (November, 1922), pp 297-308, and reprinted in Critical Essays on Sherwood Anderson (ed. David D. Anderson. Boston: G.K. Halls Company, 1981) .  103  for his diseased civilization and one of the potential solutions is a return to the old morality represented by the Mid-West. Anderson' s lamentation over the lost past and his nostalgia may sound pessimistic in some ways; however, Anderson's activism in a seemingly chaotic age indicates that Anderson is still a firm believer in ever-lasting values and the possibility of salvation. It is also this fundamental faith in hope, future, and value that enables Anderson to reconcile landscape and cityscape, the past and the present. Like Anderson, Su Tong also deals with the painful process of modernization in rural areas. However, Su Tong does not share Anderson' s faith in land. In fact, he subverts the popular image of an affluent, peaceful, regenerative, and highly cultured southern China. Through Su Tong's powerful imagination, we see a completely desolate rural South, which is on the verge of collapse due to draught, flood, plague, and famine. Su Tong's deconstruction of the image of the South is most powerfully rendered in the symbol of rice, because like the cornfields of Anderson's Mid-West, the ricefields of southern China are regarded as the granary of the country. In Su Tong's fictive world, more horrific and pervasive than the decline of the material  world,  however,  is  the  concomitant  spiritual  degeneration. Frequent disasters of mysterious origin seem to 104  be sent from heaven to visit the southern villages where vice pervades. Instead of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism that are supposed to be the pillars of Chinese morality, we see omnipresent  desertion,  betrayal,  homicide,  and  incest.  Villagers that make their escapes to the tempting city are further corrupted there, only in new ways. Thus, in the world of Su Tong's fictional South, there is no escape, and no hope. In Su Tong's total negation of a possible way out, as well as his denial of the progressiveness of history, we see how decadent and fatalistic his writing is. Haunted by their native lands, Anderson and Su Tong also pay a great deal of attention to the youth growing up in these lands and they both write many works that belong to the genre of Bildungsroman. The two writers also differ here. George Willard  of  surrounding intellectual,  Winesburg,  Ohio  grotesques  receives  and  psychological,  messages  successfully and  sexual  from  the  fulfils  his  maturation.  More  importantly, he seems to have made the self-discovery of becoming a writer. Although Anderson cautiously leaves the ending of Winesburg,  Ohio  ambiguous, it is evident that he  harbors hope for American youth. The youth in Su Tong's fictional world, be they rural or urban, seem to have no chance. Their world is marked by 105  oppression, violence, sexual frustration, and intellectual waste. Chencao's gradual degeneration and final destruction in Maple Village, as well as the decline of a dozen young people on Fragrant Street, all imply that their creator Su Tong does not share Anderson's optimism. It seems that Su Tong is so horrified by the reality that in contemporary China he will not even give these youth a chance to grow up into adulthood. Geographically and historically separate as they are, Anderson and Su Tong are interested in similar topics of writing. Their writings reveal their understanding of the historical moments that their native lands have to go through, as well as the impact of these historical moments on the maturing youth. One being idealistic and romantic, while the other is decadent and fatalistic, Anderson's and Su Tong's writings send us into meditation upon our origin: Where are we from and how do we come to where we are? Who are we and how do we become what we are? These questions are fundamental to every serious reader, just as they are to Anderson and Su Tong.  106  Selected Bibliography  Primary  Source  Su Tong  Chengbei  Didai.  (MJfcMffl)  .  (The Northern  Zone of  the  City).  Beijing: Zuojia Chubanshe, 1995. Ciqing  Shidai.  «$]WffIt))  - (The  Age  of  Tattoo).  Wuhan:  Changjiang Wenyi Chubanshe, 1993. Fengyangshu  Shange.  Village). Hongfen.  (MMffldjntfc))  .  (The  Folk  Songs  of  Maple  Beijing: Zhongguo Shehui Kexue Chubanshe, 2001. (ilffi))  . (Rouge).  Wuhan: Changj iang Wenyi Chubanshe,  1992. Lihun  Zhinan.  (MMt&W))  • (A Handbook  to Divorce).  Beijing:  Huayi Chubanshe, 1993. Mi.  (M)) .  Nanfang  (Rice)  De Duoluo.  .  Taipei: Longwind Publication Co., 1991. «jWjjfii/M$f))  .  (The Decline  of  the  South)  .  Taipei: Longwind Publication Co., 1992. "Nanfang Shi Shenme?"  "l^I^IHt^?"  ("What is the South?")  107 Pusaman.  (Wi^S?))•  (Bodhisattva)  .  Hong Kong: Cosmos Books Ltd. ,  1999. Qiqie  Chengqun.  (fjc Jc^fo^. (A Profusion  of Wives and Concubines)  .  Taipei: Longwind Publication Co., 1990. Qiaojbian Chaguan.  ($fHMW))  .  (Teahouse  Beside  the  Bridge)  .  Hong Kong: Cosmos Books Ltd., 1996. Shangxin  De Wudao.  (^^0^00)).  (ASadDance).  Taipei : Longwind  Publication Co., 1991. She Weishenme Harvest Shiyi  Ji.  Hui Fei?  (Ms{7iT4£~%?  Magazine, (~f—-0))  )). (Why Can the Snake Fly?)  .  154(2002:2): 148-208. .  (Eleven  Short  Stories).  Taipei: Maitian  Publication Co., 1994. Su Tong Wenji:  Hudie  Yu Qi.  Su Tong Stories:  (ffMjtM:  Butterfly  MflMt-^M)) . (Collection  and Chess).  of  Nanjing: Jiangsu  Wenyi Chubanshe, 1996. Su TongWenji: of  Su Tong  Hunyin Stories:  Jijing.  (ffMjtM:  Inspiration  MfflBPM)  •  on Marriage).  (Collection Nanjing:  Jiangsu Wenyi Chubanshe, 1993. Su Tong Wenji:  Modal Aiqing.  of Su Tong Stories:  The Last  (s$MJCM: sfcffiMfm)) . Love).  (Collection  Nanjing: Jiangsu Wenyi  Chubanshe, 1995. 108  Yige Pengyou Zailushang.  ((—'^M^-^M-t)).  (A Friend on the Road) .  Hong Kong: Cosmos Books Ltd., 1993. Yijiusansi  Nian De Taowang.  {(—^l^^^^Mt:))  . (1934 Escapes)  .  Shanghai: Shanghai Shehui Kexue Chubanshe, 1988. Wo De Diwan Shengya.  ((M6^J0dE^£M)) . (My Life  as an  Emperor).  Hong Kong: Cosmos Books Ltd., 1993. Wu Ze Tian.  (0£0^))  . (Empress  Wu) .  Hong Kong: Cosmos Books  Ltd., 1994.  Sherwood Anderson  Certain  Things  Modlin. Dark  Letters  Edited and Introduction by Charles E.  New York: Four Wails Eight Windows, 1992.  Laughter.  Horses  Last.  and Men.  New York: Boni & Liveright, 1925. New York: B. W. Huebsch, 1923.  of Sherwood  Anderson.  Walter B. Rideout. "Man and His Imagination,"  Eds. Howard Mumford Jones and  Boston: Little Brown, 1953. The Intent  of  and Introduction by Augusto Centeno.  the Artist.  Edited  Princeton: Princeton  UP, 1941. Many  Marriages.  Ed. Douglas  G. Rogers.  Metuchen, NJ:  Scarecrow Press, Inc, 1978.  109  Marching  Man.  Ed. Ray Lewis White. Cleveland & London: P of  Case Western Reserve U, 1972. Memoirs:  A Critical  Edition.  Ed. Ray Lewis White . Chapel Hill:  U of North Carolina P, 1969. The Portable  Sherwood  Anderson.  Ed. Horace Gregory.  New York:  Viking, 1972. Puzzled  America.  New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1935.  Return to Winesburg: Selections a Country  Newspaper.  from Four Years of Writing  Ed. Ray Lewis White.  for  Chapel Hill: U  of North Carolina P, 1967. Sherwood  Anderson's  Notebook.  New York: Boni & Liveright,  1926. Sherwood  Anderson:  Early  Writings.  Ed. Ray Lewis White . Kent,  Ohio: Kent State UP, 1989. Sherwood Anderson:  Selected  Letters.  Ed.Charles E. Modlin.  Knoxville: U of Tennessee P, 1984. Sherwood Anderson : The Writer at His Craft.  Jack Salzman, David  D. Anderson, and Kichinosuke Ohashi. Eds. New York: Paul P. Appel, 1979. A Story  Teller's  Story:  A  Critical  Introduction by Ray Lewis White.  Text.  Edited and  Cleveland: P of Case  Western Reserve U, 1968. Tar: A Midwest  Childhood.  Edited and Introduction by Ray Lewis no  White.  Cleveland and London: P of Case Western Reserve U,  1969. Winesburg,  "To Arthur H. Smith".  Ohio.  Eds. Modlin Charles &  Ray Lewis White. New York: Norton, 1996, 142-144. Triumph  of  the Egg.  Winesburg,Ohio.  New York: B. W. Huebsch, 1921.  Eds. Modlin Charles & Ray Lewis White. New  York: Norton, 1996.  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