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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The fictional image of post-Mao youth : a thematic study Louis, Winnie Laifong 1985

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THE FICTIONAL IMAGE OF POST-MAO YOUTH: A THEMATIC STUDY by Winnie L a i f o n g L o u i s M.A. The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1976 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY i n (Department of As i a n Studies) We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the r e q u i r e d standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH September 1985 © W i n n i e L a i f o n g L o u i s , COLUMBIA 1985 In presenting t h i s thesis i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements for an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by h i s or her representatives. I t i s understood that copying or p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s thesis f o r f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my written permission. Department of /ItfU^z™ ^^to^^--^ The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 Date DE-6 n/an ABSTRACT The p r e s e n t d i s s e r t a t i o n a t t e m p t s t o examine f i c t i o n a l works w r i t t e n by and about c o n t e m p o r a r y C h i n e s e y o u t h i n t h e post-Mao e r a (1976-1984). Among the s e v e r a l t h o u s a n d s t o r i e s t h a t f l o o d e d t h e C h i n e s e l i t e r a r y s c e n e s i n c e t h e d e a t h o f Mao Zedong and t h e f a l l o f t h e "Gang o f F o u r " , Z h i q i n g F i c t i o n , o r f i c t i o n a b o u t u r b a n e d u c a t e d y o u t h , has p l a y e d an i m p o r t a n t r o l e i n t e rms o f i t s l a r g e q u a n t i t y , i t s d a r i n g s o c i a l c r i t i c i s m , and i t s c o m p r e h e n s i v e r e v e l a t i o n o f t h e p h y s i c a l and s p i r i t u a l j o u r n e y o f c o n t e m p o r a r y C h i n e s e u r b a n y o u t h s i n c e 1966. Z h i q i n g F i c t i o n e n a b l e s us t o t r a c e t h a t j o u r n e y f r o m t h e Red Guard Movement t o t h e r u s t i c a t i o n p r o g ram and l i f e f r o m a f t e r r e t u r n i n g t o t h e i r c i t y homes. In t h i s t h e s i s , a t h e m a t i c s t u d y o f Z h i q i n g F i c t i o n , t h e e x i s t e n c e o f a c y c l i c a l p a t t e r n i s d e m o n s t r a t e d . An e x a m i n a t i o n o f t h i s t h e m a t i c a l l y c i r c u l a r p a t t e r n shows how u n d e r t h e i n f l u e n c e o f s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l , l i t e r a r y and p e r s o n a l f a c t o r s , an i m p o r t a n t p a r t o f C h i n e s e l i t e r a t u r e was t r a n s f o r m e d f r o m t h e a f f i r m a t i o n o f o f f i c i a l ( r e v o l u t i o n a r y ) v a l u e s t o t h e n e g a t i o n o f them and f i n a l l y back t o a r e a f f i r m a t i o n o f s i m i l a r v a l u e s i n a new h i s t o r i c a l c o n t e x t . I t f u r t h e r shows t h a t , d e s p i t e t h e r e l a x a t i o n o f l i t e r a r y p o l i c y , C h i n e s e l i t e r a t u r e has n o t y e t e s c a p e d p o l i t i c a l i n f l u e n c e . A p o l i t i c a l e x p l o r a t i o n o f t h i s f a c t i s a l s o seen t o be t h e C h i n e s e w r i t e r s ' i n h e r e n t d e s i r e t o i n f l u e n c e s o c i e t y t h r o u g h l i t e r a t u r e . In t h i s t h e s i s p o r t r a i t s o f post-Mao y o u t h a r e d i s c u s s e d u n d e r f i v e t h e m a t i c c a t e g o r i e s : t h e Red Guard Movement, r u s t i c a t e d l i f e , r e d i s c o v e r y o f l o v e , r e -a s s e r t i o n o f t h e s e l f , and t h e s e a r c h f o r new o u t l e t s . B e s i d e s s u p p o r t i n g t h e c y c l i c a l model, t h e s e p o r t r a i t s a r e s e e n t o a l s o p r o v i d e a window f o r u n d e r s t a n d i n g t h e l o v e s and h a t e s , a s p i r a t i o n s and f r u s t r a t i o n s , i d e a l s and d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t s , and above a l l , t h e s p i r i t , o f c o n t e m p o r a r y C h i n e s e y o u t h . i i i TABLE OF CONTENTS I n t r o d u c t i o n 1 PART I C h a p t e r One L i t e r a r y S c e ne: " C o l d Winds" and "Warm B r e e z e s " . . . 2 4 I n t r o d u c t i o n 24 The thaw : D e n u n c i a t i o n and R e h a b i l i t a t i o n ..26 The demands o f w r i t e r s 35 M a j o r campaigns and c o n t r o v e r s i e s 40 " F o r w a r d - l o o k i n g " l i t e r a t u r e " 41 " P r a i s i n g V i r t u e and L a c k i n g V i r t u e " 43 S o c i a l e f f e c t s 45 A n t i - B o u r g e o i s L i b e r a l i s m 50 A n t i - S p i r i t u a l P o l l u t i o n Campaign 53 C h a p t e r Two The P a t h o f Y o u t h and t h e Emergence o f Young W r i t e r s 58 The p a t h o f y o u t h 58 R u s t i c a t i o n 60 R e t u r n t o t h e c i t y 62 D i s c u s s i o n s and d e b a t e s 65 The r i s e o f young w r i t e r s 69 PART I I C h a p t e r T h r e e The T r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f Z h i q i n g F i c t i o n : A C y c l i c a l P a t t e r n 86 I n t r o d u c t i o n 86 E a r l y Z h i q i n g F i c t i o n ( 1 966-1 976 ) 89 The Reemergence o f Z h i q i n g F i c t i o n 100 S t a g e I : mid-1 978 t o mid-1 980 100 Sta g e I I : m i d - 1 980 t o e a r l y 1 982 107 S t a g e I I I : e a r l y 1 982 t o mid-1 984 1 1 4 A c y c l i c a l p a t t e r n 119 C h a p t e r F o u r "The F i r e S p i r i t " : R e t r o s p e c t i o n and C o n f e s s i o n . . . 1 2 6 I n t r o d u c t i o n 126 V i o l e n c e and t r a g e d y 127 C o n f e s s i o n and s e a r c h 144 i v C h a p t e r F i v e "The P a t h o f L i f e " : R u s t i c a t e d L i f e 167 I n t r o d u c t i o n 167 The wound 170 S t r u g g l e f o r p e r s o n a l g o a l s 179 T r a g e d i e s 185 The panorama o f r u s t i c a t i o n 198 C h a p t e r S i x "The R i g h t t o L o v e " : R e d i s c o v e r y o f Love 216 I n t r o d u c t i o n 216 R e r e c o g n i t i o n o f l o v e 222 S t r u g g l e s a g a i n s t " f e d u a l i s m " and b u r e a u c r a t i s m 228 S e a r c h f o r an i d e a l