UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Hero, non-hero, and anti-hero : a critical study of the development of Chen Jiangong's fiction Hu, Lingyi 1990

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata

Download

Media
831-UBC_1990_A8 H82.pdf [ 8.99MB ]
Metadata
JSON: 831-1.0098512.json
JSON-LD: 831-1.0098512-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 831-1.0098512-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 831-1.0098512-rdf.json
Turtle: 831-1.0098512-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 831-1.0098512-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 831-1.0098512-source.json
Full Text
831-1.0098512-fulltext.txt
Citation
831-1.0098512.ris

Full Text

HERO, NON-HERO, AND ANTI-HERO CRITICAL STUDY OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF CHEN JIANGONG'S FICTION By HU LINGYI THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of A s i a n S t u d i e s ) We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s as conforming t o the r e q u i r e d s t a n d a r d THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September, 1990 0 Hu L i n g y i In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree 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 The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date DE-6 (2/88) ABSTRACT T h i s M .A . t h e s i s i s a c r i t i c a l s t u d y o f C h e n J i a n g o n g ' s f i c t i o n , c h i e f l y a t t e m p t i n g t o r e v e a l t h e p r o c e s s o f t h e m a t i c d e v e l o p m e n t i n t h i s a u t h o r ' s w o r k s b y w a y o f t r a c i n g t h e h e r o t h r o u g h n o n - h e r o t o a n t i - h e r o . T h e f i r s t c h a p t e r , w h i c h i s b i o g r a p h i c a l , m a k e s a b r i e f a c c o u n t o f C h e n ' s f a m i l y b a c k g r o u n d , p e r s o n a l e x p e r i e n c e a s w e l l a s t h e u n i q u e p e r s o n a l i t y f o s t e r e d b y h i s t e n y e a r c a r e e r a s a c o a l - m i n e r . T h e s e c o n d c h a p t e r p r e s e n t s an. a n a l y s i s o f t h e t h e m a t i c d e f e c t s o f h i s e a r l y f i c t i o n , a n d m e a n w h i l e some t e c h n i c a l m a t t e r s a r e s u c c i n c t l y i n t r o d u c e d . T h e t h i r d c h a p t e r d e a l s w i t h t h e s t y l i s t i c t r a i t s - - s u b j e c t m a t t e r , n a r r a t i v e t e c h n i q u e a n d l a n g u a g e - - o f t h e t h r e e s t o r i e s w h i c h J « f t u n t o u c h e d i n t h e p r e v i o u s c h a p t e r d u e t o t h e i r d i f f e r e n t w a y o f r e p r e s e n t a t i o n . I n o r d e r t o s h o w c l e a r l y C h e n ' s t w o s t y l e s , a c o m p a r i s o n o f t h e s e t h r e e s t o r i e s w i t h h i s o t h e r e a r l y w o r k s i s f r e q u e n t l y m a d e . T h e f o u r t h c h a p t e r i s a n i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f h i s t w o m a t u r e w o r k s ' ! N o . 9 W i n c h H a n d l e A l l e y " a n d " L o o k i n g f o r F u n . " T h e c e n t r e o f a t t e n t i o n i s m a i n l y c o n c e n t r a t e d o n " t h e s e n s e o f t r a g i c o m e d y " - - a p h i l o s o p h y o f l i f e r a t h e r t h a n a m e r e t e c h n i q u e C h e n a c q u i r e d a f t e r h e d i s p o s e d o f f o r m e r l i t e r a r y d o g m a s . T h e f i f t h c h a p t e r i s d e v o t e d t o a c o m p a r a t i v e s t u d y o f h i s m a s t e r p i e c e " C u r l y l o c k s " a n d how i t w a s i n f l u e n c e d b y J . D . S a l i n g e r ' s T h e C a t c h e r i n t h e R y e T h e a s p e c t o f a n t i - h e r o i s m i s e s p e c i a l l y s t r e s s e d . T h e s i x t h c h a p t e r i s a s u m m a r y i n w h i c h C h e n ' s t h e m a t i c t r a n s f o r m a t i o n f r o m h e r o i s m t o a n t i - h e r o i s m i s r e i t e r a t e d a n d h i s l i t e r a r y a c h i e v e m e n t s a r e e v a l u a t e d . i i i TABLE OF CONTENTS A b s t r a c t i i P r e f a c e . 1 Chapter One: From Miner t o W r i t e r ...3 Chapter Two: The Aura of Heroism 19 Chapter Three: S t y l e : "Two Kinds of Brushes" 69 Chapter Four: "A B a s i c Requirement f o r F i c t i o n 112 Chapter F i v e : A.Chinese Holden C a u l f i e l d 167 Chapter S i x : A n t i - h e r o .213 B i b l i o g r a p h y 219 G l o s s a r y 228 PREFACE "Blooming and c o n t e n d i n g , " though o r i g i n a l l y a p o l i t i c a l term, i s perhaps most a p p r o p r i a t e t o d e s c r i b e the l i t e r a r y scene i n China i n the l a t t e r h a l f of 1980s b e f o r e June 4 t h , 1989. A gr e a t number of young t a l e n t e d w r i t e r s emerged. When J i a P i n g a u , Zhang Chenzhi and Wang A n y i were s t i l l i n the l i m e l i g h t , a b a t c h of newer names had a l r e a d y begun t o r e p l a c e them. The pr o c e s s of s u p e r s e s s i o n was s u r p r i s i n g l y s w i f t . A l t h o u g h Ah Cheng i s a genius who stood head and s h o u l d e r s above most of h i s peers i n 1985, he had t o y i e l d h i s l i t e r a r y " t h r o n e " t o Mo Yan, another u n u s u a l l y g i f t e d w r i t e r , i n 1986. C o n t r a r y t o the e x p e c t a t i o n of c r i t i c s t h a t Mo Yan might produce g r e a t e r works, the yea r s of 1987 and 1988 n e v e r t h e l e s s saw the r i s e of L i X i a o , L i u Heng, and L i u Zhenyun as new s t a r s . D u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d of t i m e , i n f a c t , young authors worthy of c r i t i c a l a t t e n t i o n , f o r example, Can Xue, Ma Yuan, Xu X i n g , Wang Suo, Zhang Wei, Su Tong, Yu Hua, Ge F e i , are too numerous t o be l i s t e d one by one. I t was indeed a c o m p e t i t i v e l i t e r a r y w o r l d " f u l l of sound and f u r y . " In t h i s w o r l d , u n d e n i a b l y , Chen J i a n g o n g seems to be too s i l e n t , or even a c c o r d i n g t o one c r i t i c f e l l i n t o o b l i v i o n t o some e x t e n t . However, no matter how s i l e n t he was, he has a l r e a d y proved w i t h h i s e x c e l l e n t n o v e l l a " C u r l y l o c k s " t h a t he i s one of the 1 i m p o r t a n t w r i t e r s i n t h i s p e r i o d who cannot be e a s i l y n e g l e c t e d . T h i s t h e s i s o f f e r s a study t h a t can r e v e a l , by way of t r a c i n g the hero t h r o u g h non-hero t o a n t i - h e r o , the p r o c e s s of development of Chen J i a n g o n g ' s f i c t i o n from the l a t e 1970s t o the mid-1980s -t h a t i s , a s y s t e m a t i c study of h i s e n t i r e oeuvre. S i n c e my u n d e r t a k i n g i s i n t e r p r e t a t i v e f o r the most p a r t and two f u l l c h a p t e r s are g i v e n t o the a n a l y s i s of Chen's e a r l y j u v e n i l e s h o r t s t o r i e s , I hope t h a t I have not l e f t such a mis t a k e n i m p r e s s i o n t h a t the works i n t h i s a u t h o r ' s i n i t i a l p e r i o d are equal i n i n t r i n s i c l i t e r a r y m e r i t s t o those he l a t e r produced. What are chosen f o r d i s c u s s i o n i s based not o n l y upon t h e i r " l i t e r a r i n e s s , " but a l s o upon the n e c e s s i t y t o i l l u s t r a t e h i s p r o g r e s s . The f i r s t c h a p t e r i s m a i n l y b i o g r a p h i c a l , a t t e m p t i n g t o make a b r i e f account of Chen's f a m i l y background, p e r s o n a l e x p e r i e n c e , as w e l l as unique p e r s o n a l i t y f o s t e r e d by h i s t e n year c a r e e r as a c o a l - m i n e r . The second c h a p t e r p r e s e n t s a a n a l y s i s of the t h e m a t i c d e f e c t s of h i s e a r l y f i c t i o n , and meanwhile some t e c h n i c a l m a t t e r s are s u c c i n c t l y i n t r o d u c e d . The t h i r d c h a p t e r e x c l u s i v e l y d e a l s w i t h the s t y l i s t i c t r a i t s -- s u b j e c t m a t t e r , n a r r a t i v e t e c h n i q u e and language -- of t h r e e s t o r i e s which are p u r p o s e l y l e f t untouched i n the p r e v i o u s c h a p t e r due t o t h e i r d i f f e r e n t way of r e p r e s e n t a t i o n . In orde r t o show c l e a r l y Chen's two s t y l e s , a comparison of the s e t h r e e s t o r i e s w i t h h i s o t h e r e a r l y works i s f r e q u e n t l y made. The f o u r t h c h a p t e r i s an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of h i s two mature works "No. 9 Winch Handle A l l e y " and " L o o k i n g f o r Fun." The c e n t r e of a t t e n t i o n i s c h i e f l y 2 c o n c e n t r a t e d on "the sense of t r a g i c o m e d y " -- a p h i l o s o p h y of l i f e r a t h e r t h a n a mere t e c h n i q u e Chen a c q u i r e d a f t e r he d i s p o s e d of former l i t e r a r y dogmas. The f i f t h c h a p t e r i s devoted to a c o m p a r a t i v e study of h i s m a s t e r p i e c e " C u r l y l o c k s " and how i t was i n f l u e n c e d by J.D. S a l i n g e r ' s The C a t c h e r i n the Rye. The a s p e c t of a n t i - h e r o i s m i s e s p e c i a l l y s t r e s s e d . The s i x t h c h a p t e r i s a summary i n which Chen's t h e m a t i c t r a n s f o r m a t i o n from heroism to a n t i - h e r o i s m i s r e i t e r a t e d and h i s l i t e r a r y achievements are e v a l u a t e d . To t h e a u t h o r Chen J i a n g o n g and t o my f r i e n d Dai Zhengyue, I am d e e p l y g r a t e f u l f o r t h e i r m a i l i n g me books as w e l l as concerned r e f e r e n c e m a t e r i a l , w i t h o u t which my r e s e a r c h would have been next t o i m p o s s i b l e . I a l s o wish t o thank P r o f e s s o r M i c h a e l S. Duke f o r h i s c a r e f u l r e a d i n g and h e l p f u l c r i t i c i s m . I t was h i s s u g g e s t i o n t h a t prompted me t o t a k e up the study of Chen Jia n g o n g ' s f i c t i o n , and a g a i n , i t was h i s c o r r e c t i o n t h a t h e l p e d me a v o i d many m i s t a k e s , though the m i s t a k e s s t i l l l e f t are of course of my own r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . 3 CHAPTER ONE FROM MINER TO WRITER To Chen J i a n g o n g , 1977 was a t u r n i n g p o i n t . I t had been about t e n years by t h a t time s i n c e he worked as an e x c a v a t o r i n a mine i n west B e i j i n g . One day when he was r i d d l i n g g r a v e l at the f o o t of mountains, or more s p e c i f i c a l l y , l y i n g on h i s back on a heap of sand to sunbathe, somebody in f o r m e d him t h a t he. had been a d m i t t e d by the Chinese Department of B e i j i n g U n i v e r s i t y . 1 I t goes w i t h o u t s a y i n g t h a t a new l e a f would soon be t u r n e d over i n h i s l i f e . How f o r t u n a t e , he was, i n comparison w i t h h i s contemporary w r i t e r s , t o be a b l e to e n t e r the u n i v e r s i t y i n the f i r s t y e a r a f t e r d o w n f a l l of the Gang of Four, l e t alone a u n i v e r s i t y t h a t i s a f i r s t - r a t e one i n C h i n a . In e a r l y 1980s, " s t u d e n t w r i t e r s " l i k e Chen J i a n g o n g were q u i t e r a r e , and men of l e t t e r s u s u a l l y were not educated i n i n s t i t u t i o n s of h i g h e r l e a r n i n g . A l t h o u g h some of them 1 Chen J i a n g o n g , "Momo Qiedangge" [Taking S i l e n c e as a Song], The Charm of S p i r i t [ J i n g s h e n de m e i l i ] , B e i j i n g : P e k i n g U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1988: 269. 4 d i d t a k e c e r t a i n c o l l e g i a t e c o u r s e s , they were g e n e r a l l y not f u l l - t i m e r e g u l a r s t u d e n t s . I t comes as no s u r p r i s e t h a t Wang Meng, the e x - M i n i s t e r of c u l t u r e , appealed e n e r g e t i c a l l y at t h a t time t h a t w r i t e r s s h o u l d improve themselves i n knowledge. O b v i o u s l y , he had observed the p r e v a l e n t problem: the d e f i c i e n c y on the p a r t of a u t h o r s i n t h e i r e d u c a t i o n a l background. World renowned as the s c i e n c e f i c t i o n w r i t e r H.G. W e l l s was, he n e v e r t h e l e s s dreamed i n h i s l a t e r y e ars about o b t a i n i n g a degree i n Cambridge or O x f o r d U n i v e r s i t y i n o r d e r to be a p r o f e s s o r . Joseph S.M. Lau, an e s t a b l i s h e d s c h o l a r of Chinese o r i g i n i n the U n i t e d S t a t e s , f r a n k l y a d m i t t e d t h a t when he was a t e e n a g e r , h i s i d e a l was not t o become a w r i t e r , but t o become a u n i v e r s i t y s t u d e n t . 2 To our s u r p r i s e , however, the a d m i s s i o n n o t i c e from B e i j i n g U n i v e r s i t y d i d not cheer up Chen J i a n g o n g at a l l . He was s u n b a t h i n g as h i s f e l l o w worker brought words t o him about t h a t e n c o u r a g i n g news. He o n l y broke i n t o a s m i l e at what t h i s i n f o r m a n t t o l d him, and then t u r n e d over so t h a t h i s back c o u l d be exposed t o the sun, as i f n o t h i n g had o c c u r r e d to him. A f t e r h i s back was warmed up, he got up, g o i n g t o p i c k up the l e t t e r of a d m i s s i o n . 3 2 Joseph S.M. Lau, P o t a t o - e a t i n g Days [Chi m alingshu de r i z i j , Kowloon or Hong Kong: F r i e n d s h i p P r e s s , 1970. 3 "Momo Qiedangge," Charm of S p i r i t : 269. 5 You might c u r s e me. "A man of fake p r o f u n d i t y ! " you say. I was unaware of what was good to be a "man of fake p r o f u n d i t y . " At t h a t time I n e i t h e r knew Takakora Ken [a p o p u l a r Japanese f i l m s t a r ] nor Hemingway. I s i m p l y t h o u g h t : a f t e r my back was sun drenched,: n o t h i n g would be h e l d up. 4 That y e a r he was twenty e i g h t y e a r s o l d . S i n c e he had seen and undergone a v a r i e t y of a b s u r d i t i e s and c r u e l t i e s d u r i n g the l a s t decade of the C u l t u r a l R e v o l u t i o n , he was no l o n g e r prone t o be e m o t i o n a l l y e x c i t e d . His h e a r t , as he d e s c r i b e d h i m s e l f , "had a l r e a d y become as rough as a r o c k . " 5 In 1949, the y e ar i n which the People's R e p u b l i c of China was e s t a b l i s h e d , Chen J i a n g o n g was born i n t o an i n t e l l e c t u a l f a m i l y i n B e i h a i C i t y , Guangxi P r o v i n c e . He was a " h e r e d i t a r y s c h o l a r " [ s h u x i a n g m e n d i ] 6 so t o speak, and t h e r e f o r e , i t i s not w i t h o u t r e a s o n to c o n s i d e r him to be s i m i l a r i n f a m i l y background t o the p r o t a g o n i s t Lu Sen i n h i s n o v e l l a " C u r l y l o c k s " [Juanmao]. As h i s u I b i d . , 270. 5 I b i d . , 270 6 The p r o t a g o n i s t Lu Sen i n " C u r l y l o c k s " i s so d e s c r i b e d by a p o l i c e m a n . See " C u r l y l o c k s " [Juanmao], Pheonix Eyes [Danfengyan] T a i p e i : L i n B a i P r e s s , 1988: 149. 6 f a t h e r had p r o c u r e d a p r o f e s s o r s h i p i n People's U n i v e r s i t y of China i n B e i j i n g , the whole household then moved up to the c a p i t a l i n 1957, and the l a t e r y e a r s a l s o saw h i s mother become a t e a c h e r i n the middle s c h o o l a t t a c h e d to B e i j i n g U n i v e r s i t y . 7 T r u l y , Chen J i a n g o n g was not born a B e i j i n g e r . Yet he spent' almost a l l h i s l i f e t h e r e except the f i r s t e i g h t y e a r s . A f t e r h a v i n g e s t a b l i s h e d h i m s e l f as an eminent w r i t e r , he was f r e q u e n t l y away from B e i j i n g e i t h e r to a t t e n d meetings, or t o l e c t u r e , or s i m p l y to t r a v e l and s i g h t - s e e , and he was even so l u c k y as t o j o i n the Chinese w r i t e r s ' s d e l e g a t i o n and t r a v e l t o Japan, the U n i t e d S t a t e s , Hong Kong and o t h e r c o u n t r i e s s u c c e s s i v e l y . However, t h i s does not mean t h a t he was e s t r a n g e d from the p l a c e where he was brought up. His " r o o t s " were s t i l l t h e r e . I t i s o n l y t h e r e t h a t he f e l t most at home. He was a t r u e , t h o r o u g h g o i n g B e i j i n g e r , so to speak. No wonder t h a t he always took B e i j i n g ( i n c l u d i n g t h e m i n i n g area i n west B e i j i n g ) as a s e t t i n g f o r h i s f i c t i o n (the o n l y e x c e p t i o n i s "Tears of Tawny B a y l i l y " i n which the s t o r y happens i n Inner M o n g o l i a ) , and was a b l e t o use B e i j i n g d i a l e c t , or r a t h e r , s l a n g , w i t h f a c i l i t y when he d i r e c t l y p r e s e n t e d c h a r a c t e r s ' c o n v e r s a t i o n s . 7 Cf. He Z h i y u n , "A Rare Depth or E x p e r i e n c e , " Chinese  L i t e r a t u r e , B e i j i n g : F o r e i g n Languages P r e s s , No. 3, 1988: 129-30. 7 H i s f a t h e r was p r o b a b l y a " p r o b l e m a t i c " 8 i n t e l l e c t u a l . But we are c o m p l e t e l y u n c l e a r as t o what was the "problem" t h a t i m p l i c a t e d t h i s u n i v e r s i t y p r o f e s s o r . Chen Ji a n g o n g i s u n w i l l i n g to t a l k about h i s p r i v a t e l i f e . When I wrote t o him t o ask f o r d e t a i l e d m a t e r i a l about h i s p e r s o n a l h i s t o r y , he r e j e c t e d me f o r the reason t h a t he would not l i k e t o make an u n t i m e l y "exposure" t o the g e n e r a l p u b l i c . B e s i d e s the "problem" of h i s f a t h e r , h i s own love e x p e r i e n c e i s a l s o an enigma. S i n c e most of h i s e a r l y s t o r i e s are more or l e s s r e l a t e d t o l o v e i n s u b j e c t m a t t e r , and moreover, some of them were w r i t t e n so e m o t i o n a l l y , i t i s r e a s o n a b l e to i n f e r t h a t they must be based upon h i s own t r u e e x p e r i e n c e . However, we are unable t o prove i t at t h i s p o i n t by f i r s t - h a n d m a t e r i a l , j u s t as we are unable t o prove h i s f a t h e r ' s "problem." What i s w i t h i n the range of our knowledge i s a c t u a l l y n o t h i n g but the f a c t t h a t h i s p a r e n t ' s " h i s t o r i c a l problem" weighed on h i s mind l i k e a "heavy burden" and "overshadowed the road he took f o r twenty more y e a r s . " 9 In B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament [ M i l u a n de x i n k o n g j , t h e r e i s a s h o r t s t o r y e n t i t l e d "Going to the High S a c r i f i c i a l A l t a r " [Zouxiang gaogao de j i t a n ] , i n which a " p r o b l e m a t i c " f a t h e r i s i n d i r e c t l y p r e s e n t e d t h r o u g h the son's s p e c u l a t i o n . I f we take the s t o r y as something 8 Chen J i a n g o n g , "My Honest C o n f e s s i o n " [Congshi z h a o l a i ] , L i t e r a t u r e and I [Wo yu wenxue]: 145. 9 I b i d . , 145. .8 of an a u t o b i o g r a p h y or s e m i - a u t o b i o g r a p h y , we w i l l perhaps get some i n f o r m a t i o n i n t h i s r e s p e c t . As t h e o n l y c h i l d i n the f a m i l y , Chen J i a n g o n g was undoubtedly i n h i s p a r e n t s ' s good g r a c e s . They sent him t o the middle s c h o o l a f f i l i a t e d w i t h The P e o p l e ' s U n i v e r s i t y of C h i n a . I t was q u i t e p r e s t i g i o u s , and i t s graduates were g e n e r a l l y a b l e t o e n t e r u n i v e r s i t i e s w i t h o u t much d i f f i c u l t y . One can p r e d i c t i n a l l r eason t h a t h i s l i f e would have been p l a i n s a i l i n g but f o r the t e n ye a r s of the c i v i l t u r m o i l . He c o u l d have been e n r o l l e d by a u n i v e r s i t y , and l i k e h i s f a t h e r , c o u l d a l s o have grown i n t o a c e r t a i n e x p e r t i n a c e r t a i n f i e l d a f t e r he f i n i s h e d w i t h h i s h i g h e r e d u c a t i o n . But l i f e was u n p r e d i c t a b l e and t r e a c h e r o u s . As soon as the C u l t u r a l R e v o l u t i o n broke out, he was im m e d i a t e l y branded as an o f f s p r i n g of " d i s c r e d i t e d i n t e l l e c t u a l s . " H i s s e l f - e s t e e m , which he had formed as a c h i l d from a cosy middle c l a s s f a m i l y , was g r e a t l y i n j u r e d . C l e a r l y , he d i d not have a p r o m i s i n g f u t u r e any more, and i t was s u f f e r i n g t h a t was a w a i t i n g him. In 1968 when he had b a r e l y done w i t h h i s h i g h s c h o o l s t u d i e s , he was t o s s e d t o the bottom of China's s o c i e t y -- the mine i n west B e i j i n g , where he worked f o r a f u l l decade u n t i l 1977. A f t e r a l l , h i s f a t e was not the worst among the younger g e n e r a t i o n i n the f a n a t i c days of l a t e 1960s.. P a r a d o x i c a l l y , he was even r a t h e r " l u c k y , " s i n c e he was not so u n p r o v i d e n t i a l as t o be f o r c e d t o s e t t l e i n the remote c o u n t r y s i d e i n i n l a n d C h i n a . I t was t h i r t e e n y e a r s ago. A t h i n a d o l e s c e n t at the 9 age of e i g h t e e n , c o n f i d e n t and presumptuous, I went t o the X i zhimeng S t a t i o n , t a k i n g a very slow t r a i n t h a t was bound t o the mine i n west B e i j i n g -- the road of l i f e t h us began t o u n f o l d i n f r o n t of me.10 T h i s i s the b e g i n n i n g of h i s r e c o l l e c t i o n about h i s hard e x p e r i e n c e as a miner i n an a r t i c l e e n t i t l e d " L i f e w i t h i t s Dancing Waves" [Shenghuo, x i a n q i l e langhua] . He then c o n t i n u e d t o w r i t e : When t h e r e were s t i l l s p a r s e morning s t a r s t w i n k l i n g i n the sky, the remote but lo u d sound of a steam w h i s t l e would wake me up and I would t h e n h u r r y o f f t o the lo c k e r - r o o m . S t a r k - n a k e d , I would put on underground work c l o t h e s . I t was s t i l l so wet w i t h sweat t h a t i t was as i f I had got i n t o an i c e - c o l d i r o n armour. I would c a r r y a heavy r o c k d r i l l t o bore h o l e s , and use e x p l o s i v e s to blow up hard s t o n e , w i t h the sweat f l o w i n g down a l o n g my backbone. Or h o l d i n g a w h i s t l e i n my mouth, I would jump up and down i n the midst of mine c a r s t h a t were g o i n g as f a s t as s h u t t l e s . U n t i l f i n a l l y , I was knocked down onto the r a i l and j u s t missed d y i n g s by a h a i r ' s b r e a d t h . . . How many s i l l y remarks d i d I make? And how many f o o l i s h t h i n g s d i d I do? Wasn't i t my i g n o r a n c e and i m m a t u r i t y ? ! 1 0 Chen J i a n g o n g , China Youth [Zhongguo q i n g n i a n ] , October, 1981. 10 But what became of me as a r e s u l t ? I was s u s p e c t e d and u n f a i r l y t r e a t e d . D i s t r e s s e d and i r r i t a t e d , I s i m p l y wanted t o pound the w a l l and howl! A l l of a sudden, however, I was charged w i t h an " i m p o r t a n t t a s k . " The annoying o f f i c i a l documents, the b o r i n g w r i t i n g on somebody e l s e ' s b e h a l f , -- a l l these t h i n g s made me even more d i s t r e s s e d , even more i r r i t a t e d , and even more want t o pound the w a l l and howl. On the o t h e r hand, whenever 1 s t a y e d w i t h my f o l l o w m i n e rs, t h e i r s i n c e r i t y as w e l l as p r i d e i n t h e i r o c c u p a t i o n made me f e e l as i f I had become a lump of c o a l and had been thrown i n t o the h e a r t h i n which a f i r e was b l a z i n g . . . I a l s o l e a r n e d how t o d r i n k i n t e m p e r a t e l y , how to p r e t e n d to be a " t r o u b l e m a k e r , " and how t o speak i n v u l g a r language and shout abuse i n the s t r e e t w i t h no shame. Of c o u r s e , t h e r e were a l s o such times when I s t u d i e d d i l i g e n t l y , p r a c t i s e d w r i t i n g , and d i d some hard t h i n k i n g and e x p l o r a t i o n . . . 1 1 T h i s i s l i t e r a l l y a comprehensive, though somewhat u n c l e a r , account of what Chen J i a n g o n g underwent d u r i n g the p e r i o d he was w o r k i n g i n the mine i n west B e i j i n g . I t i s e v i d e n t t h a t the t e n y e a r s has made him a t o t a l l y d i f f e r e n t p e r s o n . Ten y e a r s b e f o r e ha used t o be an impetuous and c o n c e i t e d y o u n g s t e r , y e t t e n y e a r s a f t e r he had grown i n t o an i n t r o s p e c t i v e , p r o f o u n d , and mature man 1 1 I b i d . 11 w i t h a miner's temperament. No wonder t h a t Wang Meng had such an i m p r e s s i o n a f t e r he got a c q u a i n t e d w i t h Chen J i a n g o n g at a w r i t e r s ' s meeting: "He i s , a f t e r a l l , a man w i t h t e n yea r s e x p e r i e n c e as a miner: young but not n a i v e , i n s i g h t f u l and knowledgeable but never o s t e n t a t i o u s . " 1 2 Is t h i s what we c a l l i n p r o v e r b "a l o s s may t u r n out to be a g a i n ? " Mencius s a i d : "[W]hen Heaven i s about t o c o n f e r a g r e a t o f f i c e on a man, i t f i r s t e x e r c i s e s h i s mind w i t h s u f f e r i n g , and h i s sinews and bones w i t h t o i l . I t exposes h i s body to hunger, and s u b j e c t s him to extreme p o v e r t y . I t confounds h i s u n d e r t a k i n g s . By a l l these methods i t s t i m u l a t e s h i s mind, hardens h i s n a t u r e , and s u p p l i e s h i s i n c o m p e t e n c i e s . " 1 3 Can i t be t h a t , j u s t as t h i s a n c i e n t Chinese sage p r o p h e s i e d , Chen J i a n g o n g ' s s u f f e r i n g i n t h a t unprecedented c a t a s t r o p h e i s an i n d i s p e n s a b l y p r e p a r a t o r y stage f o r him t o become a w r i t e r ? N e v e r t h e l e s s , the C u l t u r a l R e v o l u t i o n undoubtedly had i t s s t r o n g n e g a t i v e e f f e c t on him. Not on l y d i d i t mould h i s tough c h a r a c t e r and enable him t o "speak i n v u l g a r language and shout abuses i n the s t r e e t w i t h no shame," but i t a l s o d e p r i v e d him of 1 2 Wang Meng, "Yongyuan zuo shenghuo yu y i s h u de k a i t u o z h e --xu' m i l u a n de x i n k o n g ' " [Be a P i o n e e r i n L i f e and A r t F o r e v e r : P r e f a c e t o B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament], B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament: 3. 1 3 Mencius, "The Works of Mencius," Four Chinese C l a s s i c s [Zhongxi s i s h u ] Hong Kong: P r i n t e r & S t a t i o n e r , 1910: 566. 12 h i s honesty and made him become a c y n i c a l h y p o c r i t e who, d e s p i t e b e i n g u n s a t i s f i e d w i t h r e a l i t y , was y e t ve r y w i l l i n g t o be s e r v i l e t o the people i n power. The p r o t a g o n i s t Zhong Qi i n the s h o r t s t o r y "Sinuous R i l l s " [ L i u s h u i wanwan] used t o be an a s p i r i n g y o u t h , but the v i c i o u s r e t a l i a t i o n and h o s t i l e environment e v e n t u a l l y d e j e c t him. He m a r r i e s a c o u n t r y woman and i s unable t o b e s t i r h i m s e l f any more. 1 4 To some e x t e n t , I b e l i e v e , Zhong Qi i s an a u t h e n t i c p o r t r a i t u r e of Chen J i a n g o n g h i m s e l f i n the lon g space of t h a t ho 1ocaust. D u r i n g the n i g h t m a r i s h decade, n o t h i n g was more h o r r i f y i n g t o him t h a n the p o l i t i c a l p e r s e c u t i o n which happened i n the e a r l y 1970s. Suspected of d i s s e m i n a t i n g "dangerous" o p i n i o n s and o r g a n i z i n g a s e c r e t c l i q u e i n the eyes of c e r t a i n l e a d e r s , he was n e a r l y branded as a " c o u n t e r - r e v o l u t i o n a r y . " He was watched, i n v e s t i g a t e d , summoned f o r dressing-down, and was even sent to p a r t i c i p a t e i n a p u b l i c a c c u s a t i o n meeting. When he saw those h a v i n g c o n f e s s e d t h e i r "crime" w i t h t e a r s a l l over t h e i r f a c e s be l e n i e n t l y f o r g i v e n and the o t h e r s who r e f u s e d t o do t h a t h a n d c u f f e d and t a k e n t o the p r i s o n , he was g r e a t l y nervous, f e e l i n g as i f he were on t e n t e r h o o k s . So he was not a b i t f r i g h t e n e d when a severe i n d u s t r i a l a c c i d e n t broke h i s backbone. On the c o n t r a r y , he was happy t h a t he was t h e r e f o r e a b l e t o s t a y i n the haven of the 1 4 See Chen J i a n g o n g , "Sinuous R i l l s , " B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament: 23. 13 h o s p i t a l . 1 5 E v e n t u a l l y , h i s f i r m w i l l c o l l a p s e d . He began t o w i l l i n g l y s e r v e as a "ghost w r i t e r " (zhuodaoren) f o r the l e a d e r who had p e r s e c u t e d him. That i s t o say, every time "Chairman Mao" had h i s " h i g h e s t d i r e c t i o n s " i s s u e d , he would prepare some "guidance m a t e r i a l " f o r h i s bosses. From then on he no l o n g e r had an independent thought and p e r s o n a l i t y . L i k e a reed bending w i t h the wind, he swayed p o l i t i c a l l y . L o o k i n g back to what he d i d i n t h a t phase, he made such a d e s c r i p t i o n of h i m s e l f : On one hand, I was f u l l of i n d i g n a t i o n and d i s t r e s s , on t h e o t h e r I put on a p i t i a b l e look and c u r r i e d f a v o u r w i t h the people i n power; on one hand, I was d e e p l y s c e p t i c a l t h a t something might have gone wrong w i t h the t i m e s , on the o t h e r I t r i e d my best t o f i n d the' t h e o r y t o s u p p o r t the view t h a t whatever had e x i s t e d was r a t i o n a l ; on one hand, I was almost drowned i n the muddy stream, on the o t h e r I d e s p e r a t e l y c l u t c h e d at the wood t h a t c o u l d save my l i f e . (146-47) At any r a t e , i t seems unnecessary f o r him to be f i l l e d w i t h too much remorse. When he was m e n t a l l y metamorphosed under the p r e s s u r e of the " t i m e s , " how c o u l d i t be t h a t o n l y he h i m s e l f was 1 5 "My Honest C o n f e s s i o n , " L i t e r a t u r e and I : 146. F u r t h e r r e f e r e n c e s i n p a r e n t h e s e s i n the t e x t . 14 to blame? N o m i n a l l y , he had been a miner f o r a whole decade, but i n f a c t who knows e x a c t l y how much t i m e , e s p e c i a l l y i n h i s l a t e r y e a r s i n the mine, he spent as a miner and how much time as a "ghost w r i t e r ? " I t i s u n d e n i a b l e t h a t the s t a t u s of "ghost w r i t e r " degraded him i n some measure, but i t a l s o made i t p o s s i b l e f o r him to t r y h i s hand at c r e a t i v e w r i t i n g . I n 1973 when he was 24 years o l d , h i s f i r s t l i t e r a r y p r o d u c t "Seeing O f f " [Huansong] was i s s u e d . (146) That was a poem, p r a i s i n g the "new emerging t h i n g " -- namely, "workers, p e a s a n t s and s o l d i e r s ' s a t t e n d i n g u n i v e r s i t i e s . " L a t e r he p u b l i s h e d a s h o r t s t o r y about the Red Guards's movement under the t i t l e "Lotus Pond With A s t o u n d i n g B i l l o w s " [Heze j i n g l a n ] , w h i ch, a c c o r d i n g t o him, was q u i t e i n f l u e n t i a l at t h a t t i m e . (146) In f a c t , however, they are not l i t e r a t u r e , but propaganda --p i c t o r i a l diagrams of M a o i s t thought and the P a r t y ' s p o l i c i e s . L i t e r a t u r e , i n h i s eyes, was then s i m p l y a " t o o l by which he c o u l d change h i s p e r s o n a l u n f a v o u r a b l e s i t u a t i o n . " (146) In 1977, he passed the ent r a n c e e x a m i n a t i o n s , and became an undergra d u a t e s t u d e n t of B e i j i n g U n i v e r s i t y . R e m i n i s c i n g about h i s w o r k i n g c a r e e r , he f e l t q u i t e n o s t a l g i c f o r i t . To him, such a hard e x p e r i e n c e was s t i l l p r e c i o u s , because i t p r o v i d e d him w i t h what he was unable t o o b t a i n i n o t h e r c i r c u m s t a n c e s and what was p r o b a b l y i n d i s p e n s a b l e f o r making him both a man and a w r i t e r . But meanwhile, he was anxious to t r a n s c e n d i t . He was c l e a r l y aware t h a t l i f e at the bottom - of the s o c i e t y , however u s e f u l t o him, i n e v i t a b l y had i t s v u l g a r and mean a s p e c t s . He wanted t o get r i d 15 of t h e s e a s p e c t s . T h i s was h i s ambivalence, and i t was r e f l e c t e d i n many of h i s e a r l y s t o r i e s , i n which w h i l e he showed h i s h e a r t f e l t sympathy f o r miners's i g n o r a n c e and s u f f e r i n g , he n e v e r t h e l e s s t r i e d h i s b e s t to a v o i d t h e i r v u l g a r i s m and used a r e f i n e d b o o k i s h language. He majored i n Chinese l i t e r a t u r e i n B e i j i n g U n i v e r s i t y . Of modern Chinese a u t h o r s i n the May F o u r t h p e r i o d , he found h i m s e l f most fond of Lu Xun, though Lao She was a l s o a f a v o u r i t e w r i t e r . S i n c e t h e r e i s no d i s c e r n i b l e s i m i l a r i t y i n s t y l e between Lu Xun' s works and h i s s h o r t s t o r i e s , the impact of t h i s g r e a t master upon him i s e a s i l y n e g l e c t e d . I t s h o u l d not come as a s u r p r i s e t h a t so f a r few of h i s r e a d e r s have known t h a t h i s g r a d u a t i o n t h e s i s i s an e x c l u s i v e e x p l o r a t i o n of the s t r u c t u r e of Lu Xun 1s s h o r t s t o r i e s c o l l e c t e d i n O u t c r y and Wandering. What u s u a l l y c a t c h e s our eyes i s h i s humour and h i s l i n g u i s t i c u n i queness, which makes him a p a r a l l e l t o Lao She t o a g r e a t e r e x t e n t . A c t u a l l y , however, he was a t t r a c t e d more to Lu Xun than to Lao She. In one of the l e t t e r he wrote t o me he e x p l a i n e d ( w i t h o u t me s o l i c i t i n g h i s p e r m i s s i o n f o r t h i s q u o t a t i o n ) : T h e m a t i c a l l y , Lao She i s c o n f i n e d to the 'examination of s o c i e t y ' i n most of h i s n o v e l s . In s p i t e of my i n s i s t e n c e upon making an " e x a m i n a t i o n of s o c i e t y , " I would n e v e r t h e l e s s more l i k e t o get i n t o an ' e x a m i n a t i o n of s o u l . ' T h i s always reminds me of Lu Xun. 16 I t was i n the f i r s t semester a f t e r he had been a d m i t t e d t o B e i j i n g U n i v e r s i t y t h a t he resumed h i s c r e a t i v e w r i t i n g , and w i t h i n the space of the en s u i n g two or t h r e e academic years he produced and p u b l i s h e d more th a n t e n s h o r t f i c t i o n a l p i e c e s , two of which were the winners of n a t i o n a l p r i z e s f o r l i t e r a t u r e r e s p e c t i v e l y i n 1980 and 1981. As a new cynosure i n l i t e r a r y c i r c l e s , he was the n indeed i n the l i m e l i g h t . Wang Meng wrote a p r e f a c e t o B e w i 1 d e r i n g  Firmament -- h i s f i r s t c o l l e c t i o n of s h o r t s t o r i e s , commending him as a w r i t e r who had "two k i n d s of brushes" f l i a n g b a s h u a z i ] . 1 6 I t seems t h a t he was incomparable among h i s peers f o r h i s g r e a t s u c c e s s , which overshadowed, among o t h e r s , h i s o u t s t a n d i n g c l a s s m a t e Huang Z i p i n g and p a l e d Huang's l i t e r a r y e f f o r t i n t o i n s i g n i f i c a n c e , though the l a t t e r has now become a well-known c r i t c f o r h i s s u b t l e , i n s i g h t f u l c r i t i c i s m . 1 7 I t i s not hard t o imagine how complacent Chen J i a n g o n g was at t h a t t i m e ! 1 8 However, such good times d i d not l a s t l o n g , and the yea r s a f t e r saw him go d o w n h i l l . I t i s t r u e t h a t he s t i l l p u b l i s h e d s t o r i e s at t i m e s , and some of them p u r p o s e l y pandered t o p o p u l a r 1 6 See Wang Meng, " P r e f a c e , " B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament: 4. 1 7 Huang Z i p i n g ' s c r i t i q u e s are u s u a l l y i n t e r p r e t a t i v e , h a r d l y w i t h e x p l i c i t j u d j e m e n t s . So sometimes h i s a r t i c l e s r e q u i r e a c a r e f u l r e a d i n g . 1 8 Cf. "A Rare Depth of E x p e r i e n c e , " Chinese L i t e r a t u r e , Summer, 1988: 130. 17 t a s t e s , y e t he was no l o n g e r a b l e to a t t r a c t the l a r g e r e a d e r s h i p he used t o be a b l e t o . T h i s s i t u a t i o n remained u n a l t e r e d u n t i l he brought out the b r i l l i a n t n o v e l l a " C u r l y 1 o c k s , " when he was remembered a f t e r a l o n g o b l i v i o n . But even " C u r l y l o c k s " c o u l d not r e s t o r e him to the g l o r y he had enjoyed i n former t i m e s . I t i s s u r e l y not t h a t h i s m a s t e r p i e c e " C u r l y l o c k s " i s i n f e r i o r i n q u a l i t y t o h i s e a r l y oeuvre. I t i s s i m p l y because the emergence of new w r i t e r s l i k e Ah Cheng, L i u S u o l a , Mo Yan, and Can Xue a f t e r 1985 r e n d e r e d i t i m p o s s i b l e f o r him to be the s o l e n a t i o n a l f i g u r e i n the arena of l i t e r a t u r e . 18 CHAPTER TWO THE AURA OF HEROISM Chen J i a n g o n g i s not a p r o l i f i c w r i t e r . A book of some t h r e e hundred pages can i n c l u d e a l l h i s w r i t i n g s p u b l i s h e d from 1978 to 1986. However, i f h i s heavy s c h o o l work i n B e i j i n g U n i v e r s i t y i s t a k e n i n t o c o n s i d e r a t i o n , the q u a n t i t y of h i s c r e a t i v e p r o d u c t i o n s h o u l d not be accounted s m a l l : 1.3 s t o r i e s i n a l l , which were c o l l e c t e d i n t o a book under the t i t l e B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament. L o o k i n g backwards, even the auth o r h i m s e l f i s d i s s a t i s f i e d w i t h t h e s e s t o r i e s . 1 9 True, two of them were n a t i o n a l p r i z e - w i n n e r s : "Phoenix Eyes" [Danfengyan] and "The P a t t e r n e d S c a r f That Was Blown Away" [ P i a o s h i de h u a t o u j i n ] , which, i n a degree, can be re g a r d e d as samples i l l u s t r a t i v e of the g e n e r a l l e v e l of s h o r t f i c t i o n i n e a r l y 1980s. But conferment of p r i z e s , p o s s i b l y swayed by p o l i t i c a l as w e l l as h i s t o r i c a l f a c t o r s , sometimes can not guarantee the q u a l i t y of the works honored. D e s p i t e b e i n g a Nobel P r i z e l a u r e a t e 1 9 Chen J i a n g o n g r e g a r d s h i s e a r l y s t o r i e s as "preachment of l i f e . " See He Z h i y u n , "Chen J i a n g o n g and His F i c t i o n a l World" [Chen J i a n g o n g he t a de xia o s h u o s h i j i e ] , Hundreds of Sc h o o l s [ B a i j i a ] : 24 . 19 f o r L i t e r a t u r e i n 1938, P e a r l Buck was f o r the most p a r t not s u p e r i o r t o o t h e r b e s t - s e l l e r w r i t e r s . By the same t o k e n , Chen Ji a n g o n g ' s p r i z e - w i n n i n g s t o r i e s are not n e c e s s a r i l y e x c e l l e n t , even i f compared w i t h h i s ot h e r p i e c e s of s h o r t f i c t i o n . The bes t t a l e i n B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament i s perhaps the one t h a t g i v e s the book the t i t l e , because i t i s r e l a t i v e l y more r e f i n e d and l e s s d i s a g r e e a b l e than the o t h e r s . Wang Meng i n h i s generous p r e f a c e t o t h i s young w r i t e r ' s maiden book comments: " C o m p a r a t i v e l y s p e a k i n g , ' B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament' i s c o m p l i c a t e d i n s t r u c t u r e , r i c h i n meaning, and deep i n the q u e s t i o n s i t r a i s e s . I t i s so v i g o r o u s t h a t my h e a r t thumped a f t e r I f i n i s h e d r e a d i n g i t . " 2 0 P r o b a b l y t h i s was a l s o Chen J i a n g o n g ' s o p i n i o n i n r e g a r d t o i t s m e r i t s . Otherwise h i s f i r s t book might have been d i f f e r e n t l y e n t i t l e d . Worth a n a l y z i n g and d i s c u s s i n g are a l s o the f o l l o w i n g s t o r i e s : "Sweetness" [ T i a n m i ] , "Sinuous R i l l s , " "Tears of the Tawny d a y l i l y " [Xuancao de y a n l i e ] , "The Broken Morning S u n l i g h t " [ B e i r o u s u i de c h e n x i ] , "A Troublemaker i n West B e i j i n g " [ J i n g x i youge s a o d a z i ] , " A f t e r Death" [Ga i g u a n ] , and "Phoenix Eyes." (The l a s t t h r e e s t o r i e s w i l l be d e a l t w i t h i n the next c h a p t e r due to t h e i r d i f f e r e n t mode of a r t i s t i c r e p r e s e n t a t i o n . ) The weakest of a l l are the e s s a y - l i k e s h o r t p i e c e s under such t i t l e s as: " H e a r t f e l t Emotion" [Zhongqu] and "The Symphony i n Autumn" [ Q i u t i a n j i a o x i a n g y u e ] : they are a c t u a l l y no b e t t e r t h a n c o m p o s i t i o n s by hi g h s c h o o l s t u d e n t s . 20 Wang Meng, " P r e f a c e , " B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament: 8 20 "Sweetness," though not as good as Chen J i a n g o n g l a t e r e x p e c t e d i t t o be, i s a f t e r a l l h i s f i r s t s t o r y . What I mean " f i r s t " i s not a c c o r d i n g t o the t a b l e of c o n t e n t s i n B e w i l d e r i n g  Firmament, but on the b a s i s of the time when i t was w r i t t e n . "Sinuous R i l l s , " t o be s u r e , comes f i r s t i n o r d e r of the l i s t , y e t c h r o n o l o g i c a l l y , "Sweetness" i s the e a r l i e s t . As the c r i t i c Chen D e p e i 2 1 c l a i m e d , i t i s the o n l y one Chen J i a n g o n g i s s u e d d u r i n g the y e a r s of 1977 and 1978. 2 2 He was p r o b a b l y r i g h t , because the r e s t of the p i e c e s i n the c o l l e c t i o n d i d not come i n t o b e i n g u n t i l 1979. . Of an uncouth worker who i s so f o r t u n a t e as t o f i n d f a v o u r i n the eyes of a g o o d - l o o k i n g and t e n d e r - h e a r t e d g i r l , such a l o v e s t o r y s i m p l y sounds i n c r e d i b l e l i k e a legendary t a l e from A Thousand and One N i g h t s , e s p e c i a l l y to the r i s i n g g e n e r a t i o n of 1980s. A l t h o u g h they do f a i r l y match i n t h e i r p a r e n t a l background one's f a t h e r i s the head of a mine, and the o t h e r ' s i s a s e n i o r e n g i n e e r i n the same u n i t , the two p r o t a g o n i s t s are q u i t e unequal i n terms of t h e i r w o r k i n g c o n d i t i o n and s o c i a l s t a t u s . While the e x c a v a t o r Yunhu i s c l i m b i n g up from the opening of a p i t w i t h a 2 1 A c o n c i e n t i o u s but somewhat j u v e n i l e Shanghai c r i t i c . 2 2 Chen Depei , "Rensheng de tanshuo -- du chen j i a n g o n g duanpian x i a o s h u o " [The E x p l o r a t i o n of L i f e : A Survey of Chan Ji a n g o n g ' s Sho r t S t o r i e s ] , The World of N o v e l i s t s [ X i a o s h u o j i a de s h i j i e ] , Z h e j i a n g : Z h e j i a n g L i t e r a t u r e and A r t s P r e s s , 1985: 144. 21 c o a l b a s k e t on h i s back, h i s sweaty work c l o t h e s b e i n g f r o z e n over, L i n j u a n , as a l i b r a r y employee, can c o m f o r t a b l y warm h e r s e l f i n her w o r k i n g p l a c e w i t h the b u r n i n g c o a l which miners have dug out and p r o v i d e d . S u r p r i s i n g l y , however, L i n j u a n f a l l s i n l o v e w i t h Yunhu -- the r a s h f e l l o w . To L i n j u a n , a p p a r e n t l y , Yunhu i s not an o r d i n a r y miner, but a hero w i t h n o b l e q u a l i t y . I t i s i n the f o l l o w i n g s i t u a t i o n t h a t she f e e l s a f f i n i t y f o r him. I t i s a h e a v i l y snowing n i g h t . The c o l d wind i s b l o w i n g w i t h snow f l a k e s , i c y g r a n u l e s d a n c i n g w i l d l y . C a r r y i n g a f u l l y - l o a d e d c o a l basket on h i s back, Yunhu i s p l o d d i n g toward a d i s t a n t s t o r e h o u s e , "to make a c o n t r i b u t i o n t o the c o u n t r y w i t h h i s own s t r e n g t h . " 2 3 Now i t has grown c o m p l e t e l y dark, and everybody i s gone except him. But he s t i l l c o n t i n u e s w i t h h i s work, s l o g g i n g a l o n g the road back and f o r t h f o r a l t o g e t h e r more than 20 i i . When he gets out of the c o a l - t u n n e l , h i s damp c l o t h e s t u r n to i c e ; a f t e r he goes back i n t o i t w i t h h i s empty b a s k e t , the i c e i s melted by the warmth of h i s p e r s p i r i n g body. At l e n g t h , he f e e l s weak and d i z z y , and has t o grasp the r a i l and t a k e a b r e a t h e r , w i t h h i s eyes c l o s e d . Then, the a u t h o r draws a p i c t o r i a l scene f o r us as f o l l o w s : When he opened h i s eyes, he saw the gate of the l i b r a r y which was l o c a t e d i n a near d i s t a n c e s e t 2 3 Chen J i a n g o n g , "Sweetness," B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament: 193. F u r t h e r r e f e r n c e s i n p a r e n t h e s e s i n the t e x t . 22 a j a r . There was no l i g h t on i n the room because of the power f a i l u r e , but the b l a z i n g f i r e on the h e a r t h s e t o f f a s l i m s i l h o u e t t e of a g i r l who was s t a n d i n g i n the doorway. I t seemed t h a t she had been w a i t i n g t h e r e f o r a l o n g t i m e . . . "Look, your c l o t h e s have become f r o z e n . Why don't you come i n t o get warm by the f i r e ! " L i n Juan c a l l e d him, her v o i c e b e i n g a l i t t l e b i t h e s i t a n t . (194) T h i s i s L i n Juan's condescending r a t h e r than Yunhu's b r a z e n -f a c e d wooing. O b v i o u s l y , the former i s p r o f o u n d l y moved by the l a t t e r ' s h e r o i c s p i r i t . J u s t as the p o p u l a r Chinese s a y i n g goes t h a t l o v e f o r a person extends even to the crows on h i s r o o f [aiwu j i w u ] , so L i n j u a n i s w e l l d i s p o s e d l a t e r on even towards Yunhu's malodorous sweat and s o o t y appearance. "In the i m p r e s s i o n of her f e l l o w work-mates, she [ L i n j u a n ] had not been s o i l e d by a s i n g l e speck of d u s t . How U nimaginable now i t was t h a t she l o v e d the c i n d e r y smudges on h i s f a c e and r e e k i n g p e r s p i r a t i o n over h i s body! T h i s , n e v e r t h e l e s s , was the f a c t . I t would not escape any persons who kept t h e i r eyes open t h a t L i n j u a n p r o u d l y walked a b r e a s t w i t h Yunhu who had soot a l l over him. She was a c t u a l l y so c l o s e to him t h a t he was even a b l e to s m e l l l i g h t perfume of her h a i r and hear her s o f t l y humming her f a v o u r i t e l y r i c a l song: 'My h e a r t i s f u l l of h a p p i n e s s , as s p r i n g i s f u l l of b e a u t i f u l s c e n e r y . . . ' When Yunhu warned her not to b l a c k e n her w h i t e d r e s s s h i r t , she would pout her l i p s , s a y i n g 23 l i g h t l y but w i l f u l l y : 'I l i k e t o ! ' " (192) I t seems t h a t the a u t h o r never minded at a l l whether t h e r e i s such a p r e t t y g i r l who i s w i l l i n g to besmear her white b l o u s e . The o n l y t h i n g he c a r e d about i s how to h i g h l i g h t Yunhu's b r i l l i a n t image t h r o u g h the a s s i s t a n c e of t h i s female companion. I t i s t r u e , of c o u r s e , t h a t no hero i n the s t o r y s t r i k e s us w i t h awe more th a n Yunhu's f a t h e r Cui Guangzhi does. D i r e c t o r of the mine, C u i Guangzhi f a l l s i n a f a i n t on the road one day when he i s loaded w i t h a c o a l - b a s k e t . Yunhu c a r r i e s him home. As soon as the f a t h e r comes around and sees h i s son making a f i r e , he jumps o f f the bed. T u r n i n g the c o a l - p a n upsidedown, he r o a r s : "You won't be c o l d to d e a t h , Team Leader! You s t i l l owe 13 tons of c o a l t o the c o u n t r y , and you know what you ought to be d o i n g r i g h t now!" (194) Such s e l f l e s s words, though not so superhuman as to be c o m p l e t e l y i n c r e d i b l e , are r a r e l y heard among commonplace human b e i n g s . I t i n s t a n t l y demonstrates a f o r m u l i z e d heroism of t h i s communist cadre and r a i s e s him to the h e i g h t of something l i k e a f i g u r e of h e r o i c t r a g e d y . But he i s not a major personage i n the s t o r y . As an o l d p r o v e r b s a y s : where t h e r e i s a h e r o i c f a t h e r , t h e r e i s a h e r o i c son, so the purpose of p o r t r a y i n g the f a t h e r ' s g r e a t n e s s i s none o t h e r t h a n to foreshadow the e x c e p t i o h a l n e s s of h i s c h i l d : who, l i k e a p u p i l s u r p a s s i n g the master, i s to o v e r t a k e h i s p a r e n t e v e n t u a 1 l y . T a l k i n g about Chen Jiangong's s h o r t f i c t i o n , a Shanghai c r i t i c d e l i b e r a t e l y e x c l u d e s "Sweetness" from d i s c u s s i o n , because, i n h i s o p i n i o n , " t h i s s t o r y r e f l e c t s the a u t h o r ' s weakness i n 24 l i t e r a r y v i e w p o i n t , " which r e s u l t s i n " h i s n e g l i g e n c e of s p e c u l a t i o n and e x p l o r a t i o n of the f a t e of d i f f e r e n t people and of i n e x p l a i n a b 1 e t h i n g s i n human l i f e . " 2 4 I am not q u i t e c e r t a i n i f the "weakness i n l i t e r a r y v i e w p o i n t " r e f e r s t o Chen J i a n g o n g ' s i n c l i n a t i o n t o mould heroe s . That b e i n g the case, i t i s u n q u e s t i o n a b l e t h a t t h e r e are heroes i n almost every s h o r t s t o r y he wrote i n h i s i n i t i a l p e r i o d . As a c o r o l l a r y , t h e r e f o r e , almost every s h o r t s t o r y i s p o s s i b l y marred by " h i s n e g l i g e n c e of s p e c u l a t i o n and e x p l o r a t i o n of the f a t e of d i f f e r e n t people and of i n e x p l a i n a b l e t h i n g s i n human l i f e . " T h i s i s , i n f a c t , an e x t e n s i v e and t y p i c a l phenomenon. Why s h o u l d o n l y "Sweetness" be p a r t i c u l a r l y r e j e c t e d ? A c u r s o r y r e a d i n g of B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament w i l l l e a d the r e a d e r t o p e r c e i v e t h a t t h e r e seems to be more or l e s s an aura of heroism about the major f i g u r e i n each s t o r y . The word "hero," which has b a s i c a l l y two meanings i n E n g l i s h , r e f e r s t o e i t h e r a p r o t a g o n i s t i n f i c t i o n and drama, or a pers o n w i t h h e r o i c c h a r a c t e r . In the c o n t e x t of t h i s t h e s i s , however, the use of t h i s word i s e x c l u s i v e l y c o n f i n e d t o the l a t t e r d e n o t a t i o n . V a n i t y F a i r , an i n t e r e s t i n g r e a l i s t i c m a s t e r p i e c e by W i l l i a m Thackeray, has a s u b - > t i t l e : "A Novel Without a Hero." The word "hero" i n t h i s case, I b e l i e v e , i s p r o b a b l y a pun, which covers both the meanings I have j u s t mentioned. One may s t r a i n h i s e x p l a n a t i o n t h a t t h e r e i s not 2 U Chen Depei, "The E x p l o r a t i o n of L i f e , " The World of N o v e l i s t s : 144. 25 such a p r o t a g o n i s t r u n n i n g through the whole s t o r y from the b e g i n n i n g t o the end i n V a n i t y F a i r as i n p i c a r e s q u e f i c t i o n , or one may i n t e r p r e t r e a s o n a b l y t h a t no c h a r a c t e r i n t h i s w r i t e r ' s n o v e l i s a b l e to be ranked as a "hero." Indeed, a c c o r d i n g to Thackeray's s t a n d a r d , we h a r d l y see any heroes i n Western l i t e r a t u r e s i n c e the R e n a i s s a n c e . From K i n g Lear i n Shakespeare's p l a y t o J u l i e n S o r e l i n The Red and B l a c k and the m u t i l a t e d c a p t a i n Ahab i n Moby D i c k , who i s a hero i n c r e a t e d by Chen J i a n g o n g are r e a l l y p o s i t i v e personages i n both the October R e v o l u t i o n and the modern M a o i s t e r a t h a t i t s h o u l d not be shameful f o r them t o c l a i m t i t l e s of hero. People l i k e Zhong q i ( i n "Sinuous R i l l s " ) , Gu Z h i d a ( i n " B e w i l d e r e d Firmament") and Qing J i a n g ( i n "The P a t t e r n e d S c a r f That Was Blown Away"), owing to t h e i r d i s t i n c t h e r o i c c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n , w i l l c e r t a i n l y not be o v e r l o o k e d . But can we r e f u s e t o admit t h a t the seemingly f l a w e d p r o t a g o n i s t s , such as Lu J i a n and L i Lu ( i n "The Broken Morning S u n l i g h t " and "Tears of the Tawny D a y l i l y " r e s p e c t i v e l y ) , are not heroes o n l y because of t h e i r e x c e s s i v e c o m p l a i n t s and p e s s i m i s t i c dismay? "The Broken Morning S u n l i g h t " i s a p s y c h o l o g i c a l s t o r y , d e s c r i b i n g the innermost thoughts of Lu J i a n when he goes t o a t t e n d the c e l e b r a t i o n of the t h i r t i e t h a n n i v e r s a r y of h i s Alma Mater. By u s i n g the term " p s y c h o l o g i c a l s t o r y , " I mean t o make a d i s t i n c t i o n from the f i c t i o n of s t r e a m - o f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s i n Western l i t e r a t u r e . I t i s u n d e n i a b l e t h a t Chen J i a n g o n g does make use of i n t e r i o r 26 t r u e sense? But the c h a r a c t e r s d i f f e r e n t . They are so l i k e the R u s s i a n l i t e r a t u r e a f t e r the Chinese l i t e r a t u r e d u r i n g the monologue, a d i f f e r e n t t e c h n i q u e t h a t i s u n c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the b u l k of h i s s h o r t f i c t i o n , t o d e p i c t an u n l u c k y personage who s u f f e r s the way the a u t h o r p r o b a b l y d i d h i m s e l f . But t h i s does not r e n d e r the s t o r y i n t o a t y p i c a l work of s t r e a m - i o f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s i n t h e Western mode. The t e c h n i q u e of s t r e a m - o f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s i n "The Broken Morning S u n l i g h t " d i f f e r e n t i a t e s i t s e l f , f o r i n s t a n c e , from t h a t employed by James Joyce i n U l y s s e s . We might as w e l l c i t e a p a r a g r a p h i n Chapter 6 i n t h a t n o v e l , i n which Bloom i s i n the p r o c e s s of g o i n g t o the cemetery, so t h a t an analogous comparison can be made w i t h Lu J i a n who i s on h i s way to Hong Guang M i d d l e Schoo1: Mr Bloom e n t e r e d and s a t i n the vacant p l a c e . He p u l l e d the door a f t e r him and slammed i t t w i c e t i l l i t shut t i g h t . He passed an arm through t h e armstrap and l o o k e d s e r i o u s l y from the open c a r r i a g e w i n d o w at the lowered b l i n d s of the avenue. One dragged a s i d e : an o l d woman pe e p i n g . Nose w h i t e f 1 a t t e n e d a g a i n s t the pane. Thanking her s t a r s she was passed over. E x t r a o r d i n a r y the i n t e r e s t they take i n a c o r p s e . Glad t o see us go we g i v e them such t r o u b l e coming. Job seems t o s u i t them. Huggermugger i n c o r n e r s . S l o p about i n s 1 i p p e r s 1 a p p e r s f o r f e a r he'd wake. Then g e t t i n g i t ready. L a y i n g i t out. M o l l y and Mrs F l e m i n g making the bed. P u l l i t more to your s i d e . Our w i n d i n g s h e e t . Never know who w i l l t o u c h you dead. Wash and shampoo. I b e l i e v e they c l i p the n a i l s 27 and the h a i r . Keep a b i t i n . a n envelope. Grows a l l the same a f t e r . U n c lean j o b . 2 5 In t h i s p a r a g r a p h , the b e h a v i o r a l and p s y c h o l o g i c a l a c t i v i t i e s of Bloom are both p r e s e n t e d i n such a way t h a t they are o r g a n i c a l l y i n t e r w o v e n w i t h each o t h e r w i t h o u t a u t h o r i a l e x p l a n a t i o n . By c o n t r a s t , the p r o t a g o n i s t ' s a c t i o n i n "The Broken Morning S u n l i g h t , " almost i n u n d a t e d by h i s o b s e s s i o n w i t h the p a s t , can o n l y be r e p r o d u c e d i n h i s remembrance. Thus, the s t r e a m - o f -c o n s c i o u s n e s s Chen J i a n g o n g d e l i b e r a t e l y a v a i l s h i m s e l f of i n the s t o r y does not have an e f f e c t of p s y c h o l o g i c a l v e r i s i m i l i t u d e as James Joyce c r e a t e s i n U l y s s e s . On the o t h e r hand, however, the l y r i c i s m of s t r e a m - o f -c o n s c i o u s n e s s makes "The Broken Morning S u n l i g h t " s i m i l a r t o some e x t e n t w i t h V i r g i n i a Woolf's Mrs B a l l o w a y . As soon as we open the n o v e l , the passage as f o l l o w s w i l l i m m e d i a t e l y u n f o l d i t s e l f b e f o r e our eyes: What a l a r k ! What a plunge! For so i t had always seemed t o h e r , when, w i t h a l i t t l e squeak of the h i n g e s , which she c o u l d hear now, she had b u r s t open the French windows and plunged at s t i l l e r than t h i s of c o u r s e , the a i r was i n the e a r l y morning; l i k e the f l a p of a wave; the k i s s of a wave; c h i l l and sharp and y e t ( f o r a g i r l 2 5 James J o y c e , U l y s s e s , New York: V i n t a g e Books, 1986: 72. 28 of e i g h t e e n as she then was) solemn, f e e l i n g as she d i d , s t a n d i n g t h e r e at the open window, t h a t something a w f u l was about t o happen; l o o k i n g at the f l o w e r s at the t r e e s w i t h the smoke w i n d i n g o f f them and the rooks r i s i n g , f a l l i n g ; s t a n d i n g and l o o k i n g u n t i l P e t e r Walsh s a i d , "Musing among the v e g e t a b l e s ? " was t h a t i t ? "I p r e f e r men to c a u l i f l o w e r s , " was t h a t i t ? 2 6 L e t us now compare i t w i t h the second p a r a g r a p h i n "The Broken Morning S u n l i g h t , " t o b r i n g t o l i g h t more c l e a r l y t h e i r l i k e n e s s i n e m o t i o n a l e x p r e s s i o n : I t was m o t t l e d , the road: the morning s u n l i g h t , h a v i n g been r i p p e d up by dense l a r g e l e a v e s r e s e m b l i n g many a d a r k l y green claw and thrown down on t o the ground, was broken. Numerous spots made of the l i g h t were jumping b e f o r e my eyes. What was u n f o l d e d i n the f r o n t looked l i k e a r i v e r , f u l l y f i l l e d w i t h d r i f t i n g duckweed, and w i t h thousands of f l o a t i n g shreds of a broken m i r r o r . . . How r i d i c u l o u s man i s , sometimes. P u r s u i t , d i s i l l u s i o n ; a s p i r a t i o n , f r u s t r a t i o n . . . but he w i l l s t i l l w ish to see a s h i n i n g morning s u n l i g h t t h a t i s i n t a c t , t o l e t i t c o n s o l e h i s wounded mind. What d i d he get as 2 6 V i r g i n i a Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway, San Diego: HBJ Books, 1953: 3-4 . 29 a r e s u l t ? These g l i t t e r i n g fragmented p i e c e s . They were p r i c k l i n g h i s eyes and l a c e r a t i n g h i s n e r v e s ! How I wi s h I c o u l d make my w h e e l c h a i r run over t h e s e l i g h t e d s p o t s thousands of t i m e s , and c r u s h them i n t o powder!... 2 7 N e v e r t h e l e s s , t h e i r d i f f e r e n c e i s s t i l l e v i d e n t . We n o t i c e t h a t Mrs. Woolf uses i n her whole n o v e l , not merely i n the f o r e g o i n g e x c e r p t , such phrases as " i t had always seemed to h e r , " 2 8 " t h e n , thought C l a r i s s a D a l l o w a y , " 2 ' "she t h o u g h t , " 3 0 t o s t r i c t l y d i s t i n g u i s h r e a l scenes from d e s c r i p t i o n of the f l o w i n g of c o n s c i o u s n e s s . 3 1 But t h e r e are no such analogous e q u i v a l e n t s i n Chen J i a n g o n g ' s "The Broken Morning S u n l i g h t . " So the au t h o r ' s a s i d e s sometimes can not be e a s i l y d i s t i n g u i s h e d from the s o l i l o q u y of t h e f i r s t p erson n a r r a t o r when the c o n t e x t i s ambi guous. Lu J i a n , i n f a c t , i s v e r y happy at the o u t s e t when he goes t o Hong Guang M i d d l e School f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n of i t s c e l e b r a t i o n . 2 7 "The Broken Morning S u n l i g h t , " B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament: 58. 2 8 Mrs. Da 11oway: 3 and passim. 2 9 I b i d . , 3 and passim. 3 0 I b i d . , 11 and passim. 3 1 For a d i s c u s s i o n of the t e c h n i q u e s Mrs. Woolf used i n Mrs. Dal 1oway, see David D a i c h e s , V i r g i n i a Woolf, London: 1962. 30 " E a r l y i n the morning I [Lu J i a n ] drove f a s t i n m y s m a l l w h e e l c h a i r on a q u i e t r o a d , t o g e t h e r w i t h her who was p e d d l i n g her o l d b i k e . Not h a v i n g y e t made i t s appearance, the sun a t daybreak s t i l l c o n c e a l e d i t s e l f b e h i n d mountains. How p e a c e f u l , how c o n g e n i a l , was my mind at t h a t t i m e . And how d i d I wi s h t o s i n g a song, accompanied by the t w i t t e r i n g of b i r d s on t w i g s , t o g r e e t the advent of the mo r n i n g . " 3 2 But u n f o r t u n a t e l y he meets Zhen Zinang at the ceremony. A former c l a s s m a t e of Lu J i a n and a l s o h i s r i v a l i n love f o r a t i m e , Zhen Zinang i s a w e l l - d r e s s e d handsome young man, who, by v i r t u e of the power of h i s f a t h e r , f i r s t r e t u r n s from the c o u n t r y s i d e t o B e i j i n g , then i s sent t o work i n Moscow. Now i t i s s a i d t h a t he w i l l soon get a r e d c o l o u r e d p a s s p o r t f o r a d i p l o m a t i n replacement of h i s former b l u e one, and go t o Hong Kong f o r a new p o s t . Zhen's suc c e s s i n h i s c a r e e r not o n l y b e l i t t l e s Lu J i a n ' s endeavour, but makes him l o s e h i s mental b a l a n c e . E v e n t u a l l y , Lu J i a n q u i t s and goes back home b e f o r e the ceremony i s over. In the s t o r y , Lu J i a n does appear l i k e a person who i s no b e t t e r than a m e n t a l l y unbalanced grumbler. However, i f we do not wis h t o f o l l o w W.K. Wimsatt or M.C. B e a r d s l e y t o sev e r the t i e t h a t l i n k s the auth o r and the work he produces on the excuse of " i n t e n t i o n a l f a l l a c y , " 3 3 we s h a l l c e r t a i n l y see t h a t the a u t h o r ' s 3 2 "The Broken Morning S u n l i g h t , " B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament: 58-59. 3 3 " I n t e n t i o n a l f a l l a c y , " f i r s t put f o r w a r d by Wimsatt and B e a r d s l e y i n 1946, means t o judge an a r t i s t i c work i n accordance 31 o r i g i n a l purpose i s q u i t e beyond the mere r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of h i s persona's unhappiness. In f a c t , what he r e a l l y wishes t o d i s p l a y i s Lu J i a n ' s r e c t i t u d e i n p e r s o n a l i t y i n s t e a d of h i s disgrunt1ement w i t h s o c i a l i n j u s t i c e . Lu J i a n ' s morbid j e a l o u s y , even i f i t i s a f l a w , i s i n the a u t h o r ' s eye undoubtedly e x c u s a b l e because of h i s d i s a b i l i t y . F o l l o w i n g the reminescence of h i s own, one knows t h a t t h i s poor young man i s not c o n g e n i t a l l y handicapped. H i s p h y s i c a l impairment does not b e f a l l him u n t i l a f t e r he breaks h i s backbone i n "Dazhai f i e l d " 3 4 by working too s t r e n u o u s l y . T h i s a c c i d e n t i t s e l f s h o u l d not be i n s u f f i c i e n t t o i l l u s t r a t e h i s d i s t i n c t h e r o i s m . However, what i s more amazing of him i s h i s r e f u s a l l a t e r on t o l i v e o f f the s t i p e n d which w i l l be p r o v i d e d by the government a f t e r he i s back i n B e i j i n g , and h i s i n s i s t e n c e upon making h i s own l i v e l i h o o d by p a i n t i n g c o l o u r f u l eggs. From then on, he p a i n t s them every day, p a i n t s so hard t h a t h i s neck h u r t s and s h o u l d e r s ache. I t i s p u r e l y f o r the purpose of " f u l f i l l i n g h i s duty to the c o u n t r y , " not t h a t of e a r n i n g more money. He says t o Yu X i n , h i s g i r l f r i e n d : w i t h the a u t h o r ' s i n t e n t i o n i s m i s l e a d i n g . 3 4 D a z h a i , a v e r y poor area i n Shanxi P r o v i n c e , was an a g r i c u l t u r a l "model" i n the Maoist e r a . Here i n t h i s c o n t e x t , "Dazhai" i s used as an a d j e c t i v e . , meaning "exemplary." 32 We are not a b i t shameful, are we? I s n ' t i t t r u e t h a t we, e s p e c i a l l y you, do as w e l l as we can i n our r e s pons i b i 1 i t y ? 3 5 Such i s h i s d u t i f u l l o y a l t y t o the s t a t e . I t seems to him t h a t he s h o u l d deserve s o c i a l r e s p e c t . But what he gets i n h i s Alma Mater i s a c t u a l l y a contemptuous g l a n c e from h i s former t e a c h e r who used t o i n d o c t r i n a t e him t o c o n t r i b u t e t o s o c i e t y . H i s V e x a s p e r a t i o n , t h e r e f o r e , i s not s h e e r l y out of an abnormal m e n t a l i t y . At any r a t e , i t i s the a u t h o r ' s aim t h a t we s h o u l d r e a l i z e t h a t Lu J i a n ' s undue g r i e v a n c e , l i k e Zhong Qi's d e p r e s s i o n f o r a time i n "Sinuous R i l l s , " i s at most a s l i g h t b l e m i s h i f c o n t r a s t e d w i t h h i s v i r t u e -- the d e v o t i o n i n h i s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y t o the c o u n t r y . L i Lu, a female major c h a r a c t e r i n "Tears of the Tawny D a y l i l y , " seems t o have an as i l l - o m e n e d f a t e as her c o u n t e r p a r t Lu J i a n does. While Lu J i a n has h i s bad l u c k of b r e a k i n g h i s backbone i n the C u l t u r a l R e v o l u t i o n , as we have seen b e f o r e , L i Lu i s a l s o unable t o a v e r t an i n e v i t a b l e trauma i n s p i r i t . One b e i n g p h y s i c a l l y handicapped, and the o t h e r b e i n g m e n t a l l y wounded, both of them thus f a l l i n t o the same c a t e g o r y of the u n f o r t u n a t e . "The Broken Morning S u n l i g h t , " B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament: 61. 33 A c c o r d i n g t o the r e c o u n t i n g i n the s t o r y , L i Lu's f a m i l y background i s " r e a l l y t e r r i b l e . " 3 6 Her f a t h e r , " h a v i n g done a crime t o p eople b e f o r e the l i b e r a t i o n , " f l e e s t o a f o r e i g n c o u n t r y i n 1948, l e a v i n g her mother b e h i n d . The d e s e r t e d woman then sees no way out but t o k i l l h e r s e l f by s w a l l o w i n g a p i e c e of g o l d . L i Lu, o r i g i n a l l y so smart and l i v e l y , so fond of l i t e r a t u r e and good at p a i n t i n g and s i n g i n g , i s doomed t o s u f f e r f o r her f a m i l i a l "ignominy." In the C u l t u r a l R e v o l u t i o n she i s e v e n t u a l l y accused of a t t a c k i n g the P a r t y , o n l y because of her v o c a l performance i n C h i l d r e n ' s P a l a c e f o r the then P r e m i e r Zhou E n l a i . Under the p o l i t i c a l p r e s s u r e she f e e l s d e p r e s s e d and i n f e r i o r , and her mind becomes g r a d u a l l y w i t h e r e d . When her would-be boy f r i e n d Ding Qi f i r s t meets her i n the y u r t , she j u s t e n t e r t a i n s him w i t h a cup of t e a . She t h e n r e t r e a t s i n t o a c o r n e r w i t h o u t a s i n g l e word, l o o k i n g as i f she does not care a b i t whom she i s r e c e i v i n g and where the r e c e i v e d p e r s o n i s from. Even a f t e r Ding Qi a r t i c u l a t s h i s love f o r her, she s t i l l can not t h o r o u g h l y t r u s t him: " W i l l happiness come to me so e a s i l y ? " (167) she doubts. She has been r e a l l y h u r t too much and her wounded mind i s no l o n g e r a b l e t o l e a d her to the p l e a s u r e of l i f e . Having l e a r n e d t h a t Ding Q i 's mother i n t e n d s t o s t o p them from b e i n g m a r r i e d , she at l e n g t h commits s u i c i d e . T h i s i s a sad s t o r y of a poor g i r l who i s p o l i t i c a l l y and s o c i a l l y v i c t i m i zed. 3 6 Chen J i a n g o n g , "Tears of the Tawny D a y l i l y , " B e w i 1 d e r i n g  Firmament: 156. F u r t h e r r e f e r e n c e s i n pa r e n t h e s e s i n the t e x t . 34 In h i s p r e f a c e t o Chen Jia n g o n g ' s B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament, Wang Meng makes the f o l l o w i n g remarks on "Tears of Tawny D a y l i l y : " " M i l d l y e m o t i o n a l and s u c c i n c t l y f l u e n t , t h i s s t o r y i s v e r y easy t o r e a d , as though ' i t f e d our eyes w i t h i c e cream.' A f t e r r e a d i n g i t , however, I f e l t t h a t I had not been d e e p l y s t r u c k by the' t r a g e d y of a g i r l who has a 'bad' f a m i l y background. The d r a m a t i c scenes, e s p e c i a l l y the one i n which the mother defended her inn o c e n c e , are s h a l l o w though a l i t t l e b i t t o u c h i n g . I t was my i m p r e s s i o n then t h a t t h i s s t o r y , j u s t l i k e L i Lu -- the name of i t s female p r o t a g o n i s t t h a t means dew at daybreak, i s c l e a r , f r e s h , but i s not v a l u a b l e , nor w i l l i t leave deep t r a c e s on r e a d e r s ' s mind." 3 7 Wang Meng's c r i t i c i s m i s no doubt a c u t e . But i t i s at the same time t i n g e d by h i s v e r y i n d i v i d u a l i z e d humour. L i Lu, the name s t a n d i n g f o r dew at daybreak i n C h i n e s e , i s s u r e l y not a metaphor f o r her s h a l l o w n e s s and w o r t h l e s s n e s s , as Wang Meng j o k i n g l y p o i n t s out. On the c o n t r a r y , i t i s her m e r i t o r i o u s p u r i t y and innocence t h a t Chen J i a n g o n g wishes to s i g n i f y by g i v i n g such a meaningful name t o t h i s h e r o i n e . T h i s w i l l be c l e a r i f one pays a t t e n t i o n t o the ending paragraph, i n p a r t i c u l a r the l a s t s e n t e n c e , i n the s t o r y : "At daybreak, I was w a l k i n g on the boundless s t r e t c h of the p r a i r i e , h o l d i n g the d a y l i l y L i Lu l e f t f o r me. In the morning s u n l i g h t , t h e r e g l i t t e r e d numerous dew drops which were c r y s t a l c l e a r . " (176) We might as w e l l , q u o t e another e u l o g i s t i c d e s c r i p t i o n f o r a f u r t h e r i l l u s t r a t i o n : Wang Meng, " P r e f a c e , " B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament: 1. 35 What she had been do i n g was so amazing, as i f she c o u l d have s h o u l d e r e d the heavy burden of l i f e w i t h her f r a i l body. D u r i n g the days of i c e and snow, she t u r n e d out t o be the o n l y g i r l i n the w e l l - d i g g i n g team i n the commune. She went a l o n g w i t h the t r a i n of horses i n the w h i s t l i n g of the n o r t h wind, t r a v e l l i n g t h r o u g h f r o z e n r i v e r s and waste l a n d , the back of her hands chapped by the c o l d , and i c i c l e s hanging from her f u r h a t . . . How unmatched i t was w i t h her n i c e - l o o k i n g c o m p lexion! But she was w i l l i n g to work i n t h i s way. She r e q u i r e d n o t h i n g , and was even a b l e to put up w i t h the h u m i l i a t i o n p e o p l e u s u a l l y c o u l d n ' t . Year i n and y e a r out, young educated people t h e r e e i t h e r r e t u r n e d t o B e i j i n g , or found another way out. Only d i d she s t i l l remain t h e r e . She was always s a y i n g : "Let o t h e r people go f i r s t . I ought t o be h e r e . " Once she was recommended by the herdsmen f o r e n t e r i n g a u n i v e r s i t y , but was f i n a l l y t u r n e d down by the l e a d e r s of the commune. The p a r t y s e c r e t a r y summoned her f o r a t a l k , and she s a i d : " I s h o u l d l e t o t h e r people go to the u n i v e r s i t y f i r s t . I w i l l not c o m p l a i n about t h a t . Workers and peasants had been unable to e n t e r u n i v e r s i t i e s i n the p a s t , v and now t h e i r c h i l d r e n s h o u l d c e r t a i n l y have the p r i o r i t y . " . . . (160) 36 Sometimes, we f e e l , she r e s i g n s h e r s e l f too much t o i n j u s t i c e . The a u t h o r seems t o be i n c a p a b l e of p r e s e n t i n g her goodness i n a s u b s t a n t i a l way w i t h o u t r e s o r t i n g t o her meek s u b m i s s i o n t o a d v e r s i t y . Whenever she i s m a l t r e a t e d , she w i l l c ondole h e r s e l f s a y i n g : " I n t h i s unprecedented movement, t h i s i s an u n d e r s t a n d a b l e measure, though a l i t t l e b i t e x c e s s i v e . " (163) "Maybe the p o s i t i o n of w o r k e r s , p e a s a n t s , and s o l d i e r s r e a l l y need to be c o n s o l i d a t e d by a r e v o l u t i o n . B e f o r e the C u l t u r a l R e v o l u t i o n , the P a r t y was indeed too b e n e v o l e n t t o people l i k e me. I t i s r i g h t t o be hard on us i n o r d e r t h a t China may not change the c o l o u r . " (160) In some r e a d e r s ' s eyes, t h i s type of f o r g i v i n g n e s s h a r d l y d i f f e r s from Ah Q's s p i r i t u a l p a r a l y s i s . However, one must r e a l i z e t h a t i t i s p r a i s e d i n the s t o r y as moral e x c e l l e n c e . The most i n c r e d i b l e scene i n i t , of c o u r s e , i s i t s c l i m a x , i n which L i Lu, upon l e a r n i n g t h a t Ding Qi's mother i s coming to d i s s u a d e her son from m a r r y i n g her, chooses t o d i e w i t h o u t making a s l i g h t e s t e f f o r t i n o r d e r to change her s i t u a t i o n . I have no i n t e n t i o n here to get i n t o such a d i s c u s s i o n as t o whether t h i s denouement i s too m e l o d r a m a t i c . What I l i k e t o make c l e a r i s s i m p l y t h a t L i Lu's c o m m i t t i n g s u i c i d e i s by no means out of her a p p r e h e n s i o n or c o w a r d i c e . She d i e s j u s t f o r the love of Ding Qi,. or i n another words, she s a c r i f i c e s h e r s e l f f o r the o t h e r p e r s o n . So her outward impotence a c t u a l l y makes an apt r e v e l a t i o n of her inward v i r t u o u s n e s s . L e t us note what she says t o Ding Q i : "You don't know what I w i l l p o s s i b l y b r i n g t o you 37 ... You are a P a r t y member, you have your own f u t u r e . . . I t has r e a l l y been not easy f o r me." (169) The f o l l o w i n g u t t e r a n c e makes her s e l f l e s s n e s s much more e x p l i c i t : Ding Q i , don't t a l k any more p l e a s e . I l o v e you! I would r a t h e r d i e as long as i t i s good f o r you!. (169) Moreover, the a u t h o r does not l e t L i Lu d i e i n a u s u a l way. He d e l i b e r a t e l y makes such an arrangement i n the end t h a t L i Lu can k i l l h e r s e l f w h i l e r e s c u i n g a t r a i n from B e i j i n g which c a r r i e s Ding Qi ' s mother. To make her end her l i f e f o r the b e n e f i t of thousands of people r a t h e r than o n l y f o r the l o v e of her boy-f r i e n d , Chen J i a n g o n g c e r t a i n l y goes a s t e p f u r t h e r t o i n t e n s i f y the h e r o ism of h i s p r o t a g o n i s t . With "Tears of the Tawny D a y l i l y " as a s t a r t , the c r i t i c He Z h i y u n 3 8 s a i d , Chen J i a n g o n g m a n i f e s t e d u n e x c e p t i o n a l l y i n every p i e c e of h i s c r e a t i v e works a " d i r e c t i o n a l c r i t i c i s m , " t h a t i s , h i s " d e n u n c i a t i o n and c a s t i g a t i o n " of the u l t r a - l e f t i s t l i n e . A c c o r d i n g t o him, the s u f f e r i n g of o r d i n a r y young p e o p l e , as what L i Lu has undergone i n the C u l t u r a l R e v o l u t i o n , " i s i n f a c t more 3 8 He Z h i y u n , d i r e c t o r of the e d i t o r i a l department of China Youth magazine, i s p r o b a b l y the most a u t h o r i t a t i v e c r i t i c i n study of Chen Jia n g o n g ' s f i c t i o n . 38 t h a n s p e a r - l i k e p r o t e s t a g a i n s t , and vehement censure o f , the s o c i a l i n h u m a n i t y i n the t e n - y e a r c a t a s t r o p h e . " 3 9 But -- I am a f r a i d t h a t I have t o make a c l a r i f i c a t i o n here -- whatever c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n s are a p p l i e d t o Chen Jiangong's e a r l y s h o r t s t o r i e s , " d e n u n c i a t i o n and c a s t i g a t i o n , " or " s p e a r l i k e p r o t e s t and vehement censure," one has no reasons to ta k e h i s f i c t i o n a l c h a r a c t e r s as " s o c i a l p r o t e s t e r s . " At t h i s p o i n t Chen J i a n g o n g i s d i s t i n c t l y d i f f e r e n t from the American w r i t e r Upton S i n c l a i r . S i n c l a i r ' s The J u n g l e i s a l s o a s o c i a l p r o t e s t work, but i t s major f i g u r e J u r g i s Rudkus, who i s unable to bear the d a i l y g r i n d of l i f e and s o c i a l p e r s e c u t i o n , r i s e s e v e n t u a l l y i n r e v o l t a g a i n s t c a p i t a l i s t i n s t i t u t i o n s and t a k e s the s o c i a l i s t r e v o l u t i o n a r y r o a d . The c h a r a c t e r s d e p i c t e d by Chen J i a n g o n g , however, are not r e b e l l i o u s people of such a k i n d . C o n t r a r i l y , they are models of o f f i c i a l m o r a l i t y , o u t s t a n d i n g r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s of p a r a d i g m a t i c b e h a v i o u r , and prim gentlemen who make p o s s i b l e the s u r v i v a l of the s o c i e t y . In s h o r t , they are " r e v o l u t i o n a r y h eroes." The " r e v o l u t i o n a r y hero" i s the term used by V i c t o r Brombert t o c l a s s i f y d i f f e r e n t t y p e s of the people w i t h h e r o i c q u a l i t y . T h i s concept c h i e f l y r e f e r s t o the person who has the w i l l i n g n e s s and a b i l i t y t o submit h i m s e l f t o a l a r g e r scheme and t o a s s o c i a t e h i m s e l f w i t h the d e s t i n y of a group. In another words, he can make an e p i c s a c r i f i c e of s e l f t o a s o c i a l or p o l i t i c a l i d e a l , or f o r 3 9 He Z h i y u n , "Chen J i a n g o n g and h i s F i c t i o n a l World," Hundreds of S c h o o l s , No. 1981: 23. 39 the good of most of the p e o p l e . 4 0 T h e r e f o r e the " r e v o l u t i o n a r y hero" i n Brombert's terms, i f I have not m i s u n d e r s t o o d him, i s a l s o equal t o what R.W. Mathewson c a l l s the " p o s i t i v e h e r o " 4 1 i n R u s s i a n l i t e r a t u r e . Of c o u r s e , the n o t i o n of hero i s v e r y c o m p l i c a t e d . A l t h o u g h i t b a s i c a l l y e x p r e s s e s the i d e a of the d e i f i c a t i o n of human b e i n g , y e t no unanimous o p i n i o n has so f a r been drawn on i t . There are e p i c h e r o e s , C h r i s t i a n heroes, r o m a n t i c h e r o e s , modern a n t i - h e r o e s , and so on. They are so d i f f e r e n t , so f a r as t h e i r h i s t o r i c a l c i r c u m s t a n c e s and p e r s o n a l i d i o s y n c r a s i e s are concerned, t h a t Raymond G i r a u d r e f u s e s t o g i v e "hero" a c o n c l u s i v e d e f i n i t i o n . He s a y s : "Everyman i s e n t i t l e d t o h i s own c o n c e p t i o n as to what a hero s h o u l d be." 4 2 In t h i s t h e s i s I am not g o i n g to d e a l w i t h the i s s u e of hero; even i f I l i k e t o , I s h a l l not be up t o i t . My purpose of u s i n g Brombert's concept of " r e v o l u t i o n a r y hero" i s no more th a n t h a t of r e v e a l i n g more c l e a r l y what k i n d of h e r o i c c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n Chen J i a n g o n g makes i n h i s s h o r t s t o r i e s . 4 0 See V i c t o r Brombert, "The Idea of the Hero," The Hero i n  L i t e r a t u r e , C o n n e c t i c u t : Fawcett P u b l i c a t i o n , 1969: 13. 4 1 A c c o r d i n g t o Mathewson, p o s i t i v e heroes are " e m b l e m a t i c a l l y v i r t u o u s images of p o l i t i c a l men". See R.W. Mathewson, P o s i t i v e  Hero i n R u s s i a n L i t e r a t u r e , New York: Columbia U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1958: 2. 4 2 Quoted from E d i t h Kern, "The Modern Hero: Pheonix or Ashes," The Hero i n L i t e r a t u r e , ed., V i c t o r Brombert: 267. 40 In "My Honest C o n f e s s i o n , " Chen J i a n g o n g a d m i t s : " S i n c e I wrote 'Sinuous R i l l s , ' I have always been p u r s u i n g an i d e a l -- God knows how s u c c e s s f u l I am i n my e f f o r t . Anyway, I have been working towards t h i s g o a l : t o be s i n c e r e and to f a c e up t o r e a l i t y by t r a n s c e n d i n g the ego which i s wrapped by the s h e l l of p e r s o n a l g a i n s and l o s s e s ; t o w r i t e r e g a r d l e s s of p o p u l a r t a s t e s and to show my unique m e d i t a t i o n and e x p l o r a t i o n of l i f e ; and t o b r i n g i n t o view the s t r e n g t h of a l o f t y p e r s o n a l i t y t h a t i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d by i t s l o v e f o r b oth p e o p l e and c o u n t r y . Have I ever a c h i e v e d a b i t what I w i s h t o i n my p u r s u i t ? Is t h e r e any s t o r y i n which I expose my i g n o r a n t s h a l l o w n e s s and i n s i n c e r e one-sidedness? Or low t a s t e i n a e s t h e t i c a p p r e c i a t i o n and i n s u f f i c i e n c y of g r e a t n e s s i n i n d i v i d u a l i t y ? I would ask myself t h e s e q u e s t i o n s whenever I take up my pen and f i n i s h up w i t h my w r i t i n g . I am so c a u t i o u s as though I were, l i k e what a n c i e n t people s a i d , ' t r e a d i n g over the t h i n i c e ' ' w i t h f e a r . ' 1 , 4 3 T h i s c o n f e s s i o n not o n l y makes known what i s Chen Jia n g o n g ' s motives f o r s t o r y w r i t i n g , but more i m p o r t a n t l y , summarizes the major f e a t u r e s of the heroes i n h i s f i c t i o n . Lu J i a n i s undoubtedly not L i Lu, and Zhong Qi i s q u i t e d i f f e r e n t from Gu Z h i d a , or v i c e v e r s a . However, a l l t h e s e c h a r a c t e r s have h e r o i c temperament i n common. J u s t as Chen J i a n g o n g s a y s , they can a l l " t r a n s c e n d the ego which i s wrapped by the s h e l l of p e r s o n a l g a i n s and l o s s e s " and " b r i n g i n t o view the s t r e n g t h of l o f t y p e r s o n a l i t y t h a t i s 4 3 "My Honest C o n f e s s i o n " , L i t e r a t u r e and I : 148. 41 c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of i t s love f o r both the people and c o u n t r y . " ( I can not pay a t r i b u t e as to whether he has shown h i s "unique m e d i t a t i o n and e x p l o r a t i o n of l i f e " i n what he wrote i n h i s f i r s t book.) To be s i m p l e r and c l e a r e r , we can sum i t up j u s t i n one sentence: a l l Chen Jia n g o n g ' s heroes are communists who never g i v e a thought t o p e r s o n a l success and f a i l u r e . "Being communists" and " g i v i n g no thought t o p e r s o n a l success and f a i l u r e , " t h e s e are the two most d i s t i n c t i v e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the p o s i t i v e personages i n h i s e a r l y c r e a t i v e w r i t i n g s . What I c a l l "communists" does not r e f e r t o P a r t y membership. Whether they are P a r t y members we do not know f o r s u r e , because the a u t h o r does not make p a r t i c u l a r e x p l a n a t i o n s on t h a t i n most of the c a s e s . They might be P a r t y members and might be not. T h i s a c t u a l l y does not matter much. Bein g P a r t y members and b e i n g so-c a l l e d communists are a f t e r a l l two e n t i r e l y d i f f e r e n t t h i n g s . Nowadays t h e r e i s no l a c k of such P a r t y members i n China who have a l r e a d y been c o n v e r t e d from communism to Western democracy, or whose communist creed i s i n c r i s i s . So they are no l o n g e r communists i n r e a l sense. N e v e r t h e l e s s , the heroes i n Chen Ji a n g o n g ' s s h o r t f i c t i o n are t r u l y communists, pure and s i m p l e , no matter whether they are P a r t y members or no n - P a r t y members. The re a s o n I c o n s i d e r them t o be e n t i t l e d t o t h i s a p p e l l a t i o n i s c h i e f l y because they embody an o u t l o o k on l i f e and f i r m n e s s i n b e l i e f t h a t the communists f e a t u r e i n t h e i r propaganda i n the M a o i s t e r a . Zhong Qi i n "Sinuous R i l l s " i s a prime example. Not long a f t e r 42 the s t o r y b e g i n s he appears i n f r o n t of us as a communist f a n a t i c . "He [Zhong Qi] had p r a c t i c a l l y been ' s p o i l e d , ' he s a i d , w o r k i n g as a miner i n Y a n l i n Mine. S i x t y d o l l a r s a month he earned, and he d i d n ' t even know how to spend them. Moreover the d a s h i n g s p i r i t he had had as he was a Red Guard was now on the verge of b e i n g d i s s i p a t e d , when he j u s t m e c h a n i c a l l y worked e i g h t hours a day i n a d d i t i o n t o h a v i n g t h r e e meals and one n i g h t of s l e e p . He then d e c i d e d not to work any more and to go t o look f o r h i s former c l a s s m a t e s who had s e t t l e d i n the c o u n t r y s i d e i n Shanxi P r o v i n c e . He t o l d me [Dandan] t h a t the s t u d e n t s t h e r e , a l l i n one p r o d u c t i o n team, had e s t a b l i s h e d a Red Guards's Commune. How w o n d e r f u l ! They were p r a c t i s i n g communism! E v e r y t h i n g would be put t o g e t h e r and owned by a l l : t h e i r w o r k p o i n t s , t h e i r g r a i n r a t i o n , and even the candy which was m a i l e d t o them by t h e i r mothers... He s a i d t h a t the C u l t u r a l R e v o l u t i o n had sh o r t e n e d i n an i n s t a n t our p r o g r e s s t o the communist s o c i e t y f o r at l e a s t s e v e r a l s c o r e s of y e a r s , or p r o b a b l y even more t h a n a hundred y e a r s . The Red Guards's Commune, which would not have come i n t o b e i n g but f o r t h i s g r e a t r e v o l u t i o n , was an e n c o u r a g i n g s p r o u t . I t was no comparison, he s a i d , w i t h the u t o p i a n s o c i a l i s m imagined by S a i n t Simon and F o u r i e r because i t had Mao Zedong thought as i t s s p i r i t u a l f o o d . " 4 4 The Red Guards' Commune, as i t i s , t u r n s out t o be more i m p r a c t i c a l t h a n S a i n t Simon and F o u r i e r ' s f a n t a s i z e d s o c i a l i s t 4 4 "Sinuous R i l l , " B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament: 3-4. F u r t h e r r e f e r e n c e s i n pa r e n t h e s e s i n the t e x t . 43 s o c i e t y . I t i s no wonder t h a t i t ends up i n f a i l u r e . But Zhong Qi does not t h e r e f o r e l o s e h i s s t u b b o r n b e l i e f i n communism. A f t e r he r e t u r n s t o the mine, he s t a r t s at once h i s r e s e a r c h program on underground c o a l g a s i f i c a t i o n , d e s p i t e b e i n g r e p r o a c h e d and even p u n i s h e d by the l e a d e r s of the mine. I t i s t r u e t h a t t h e r e i s no n e c e s s a r y c o n n e c t i o n between underground c o a l g a s i f i c a t i o n and communism. Communism may have i t s underground c o a l g a s i f i c a t i o n , y e t i t i s a l s o a p p l i c a b l e i n the c a p i t a l i s t s o c i e t y . R i d i c u l o u s l y , however, underground c o a l g a s i f i c a t i o n i s t a k e n by Zhong Qi s o l e l y as the p a r t of the communist cause. " L e n i n has a l r e a d y s a i d on c e r t a i n page i n c e r t a i n volume of h i s works t h a t underground c o a l g a s i f i c a t i o n w i l l be the second l i b e r a t i o n of workers," (6) he e x p l a i n s t o Dan Dan, h i s g i r l f r i e n d , w i t h L e n i n ' s words as h i s c o r r o b o r a t i o n . However, what i s i r o n i c i s t h a t Zhong Q i , the men who has been w h o l e - h e a r t e d l y engaged i n h i s work f o r communism, s h o u l d be re g a r d e d as a c l a s s enemy by communist l e a d e r s of the mine. They a l l e g e t h a t the o l d e n g i n e e r who cooperates w i t h Zhong Qi i n t h i s program used t o be a " r i g h t i s t , " and i t i s obvious t h a t Zhong Qi gets roped i n by t h i s "bad man" and wants to t a k e the t e c h n i c a l road t h a t d e v i a t e s from p o l i t i c s . Thus, i t i s not w i t h o u t r e a s o n f o r t h e s e communist l e a d e r s t o s i n g l e him out as a l i v i n g t a r g e t f o r p u b l i c d e n u n c i a t i o n when the c l a s s s t r u g g l e movement i s underway i n the mine. Yet Zhong Qi i s r e a l l y a d m i r a b l e : he does not take t h e s e cadres s e r i o u s l y , nor does he ever wish to v i n d i c a t e h i m s e l f . In 44 f a c t , he f o r g i v e s them i n an e x c e p t i o n a l l y magnanimous manner t h a t i s v i r t u a l l y s a i n t l i k e . A f t e r he i s r e l e a s e d from the " c l a s s s t r u g g l e s t u d y c l a s s , " he e x p l a i n s t o Dandan: "The l e a d e r s of our mine are by no means bad guys; they j u s t want t o f o l l o w the t r e n d . I t i s i m p o s s i b l e f o r them t o c a r r y out the c l a s s s t r u g g l e w i t h o u t a l i v i n g t a r g e t . To be a l e a d i n g cadre i n b a s i c p r o d u c t i o n u n i t i s now indeed not easy. They have t o s e i z e upon something l i k e t h i s and make an i s s u e of i t . " (9) In Zhong Qi's mind, e v i d e n t l y , what those l e a d e r s have done i n o r d e r t o " f o l l o w the t r e n d " has n o t h i n g t o do w i t h communism. "True communism" i s s t i l l the d o c t r i n e to which he f i r m l y s t i c k s : " I d i d n ' t compromise at a l l on the i s s u e s of p r i n c i p l e . I have a l r e a d y lodged a p r o t e s t to the ' X i u c a i ' [a ghost w r i t e r f o r the l e a d e r s of the m i n e ] , s a y i n g t h a t a l t h o u g h I d i d n ' t care much i f you put me i n your b l a c k name l i s t f o r the purpose of e n r i c h i n g your m a t e r i a l , you were not a l l o w e d to do a n y t h i n g h a r m f u l t o the program of underground c o a l g a s i f i c a t i o n . I t i s q u i t e g r o u n d l e s s t o say, you know, t h a t the program i s merely a f a n t a s t i c i d e a . I f you don't b e l i e v e me, then you can loo k up i n The Complete Works of L e n i n and make an i n v e s t i g a t i o n of the examples of experiments i n f o r e i g n c o u n t r i e s . They s u r e l y won't cheat you..." (9) What Zhong Qi c o n s i d e r s t o be the " i s s u e s of p r i n c i p l e " i s 45 a c t u a l l y something r e l a t e d t o the cause of "communism." To him the s e l f was unimportant and can be even s a c r i f i c e d , but t h e r e i s no way t o make him abandon h i s communist b e l i e f . Even when he i s f i n a l l y d e p r e s s e d , as the r e s u l t of h a v i n g been p e r s e c u t e d c o n s e c u t i v e l y and f o i l e d everywhere i n the h o s t i l e environment i n the mine, he does not c o m p l e t e l y g i v e up hope. He i s s t i l l w a i t i n g , w i t h the e x p e c t a t i o n t h a t some day he w i l l be a b l e t o c o n t i n u e t o c o n t r i b u t e h i m s e l f t o the communist cause. "What can I be d o i n g now but w a i t i n g ? L i k e everybody e l s e , I , t o o , get more than t e n d o l l a r s as my bonus every month. But n o t h i n g can be done except w a i t i n g . " (26) People l i k e Zhong Qi who are so o b s t i n a t e i n t h e i r adherence to the communist c r e e d are not r a r e i n B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament. D i s c u s s i n g "Tears of the Tawny D a y l i l y , " I m a i n l y f o c u s e d my a n a l y s i s on the c h a r a c t e r of L i Lu w i t h few r e f e r e n c e s t o her boy-f r i e n d Ding Q i . As the male p r o t a g o n i s t , Ding Qi i s a c t u a l l y a f a r more thorough communist. He does not f o r g e t to t e a c h L i Lu w i t h communist i d e o l o g y even a t the time when he i s i n the e c s t a c y of making love w i t h her. "What was shameful was not one's l o w - r a n k i n g p o s i t i o n , but the sense of i n f e r i o r i t y i n one's c o n s c i o u s n e s s . I t o l d her t h i s f o r her e d i f i c a t i o n , and e x p l a i n e d t h a t i t was not o n l y the p o i n t of view h e l d by Marx and L e n i n , but by Mao Zedong as w e l l . " 4 5 As the s t o r y i s drawing t o i t s end, t h e r e i s a v e r y e m o t i o n a l passage of Ding Qi's i n t e r i o r monologue, which bears out "Tears of the Tawny D a y l i l y , " B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament: 163. 46 how i n v e t e r a t e he i s i n h i s communist c o n v i c t i o n s : Lu Xun was i n s i g h t f u l , s a y i n g : r e v o l u t i o n i s not t o make pe o p l e d i e , but t o make them l i v e . What t h i n g i s t o blame f o r r u i n i n g our dynamic l i f e so much? R e v o l u t i o n i s g r e a t , b r i n g i n g t o thousands of people c o n f i d e n c e , p r i d e and courage. What t h i n g i s to blame f o r d i s t o r t i n g i t so much? L i f e i s not supposed t o be l i k e t h a t ! R e v o l u t i o n i s not supposed t o be l i k e t h a t ! L i f e s h o u l d l e t everybody b r i n g i n t o f u l l p l a y h i s c a p a c i t y and wisdom; r e v o l u t i o n s h o u l d a l l o w each s i n g l e b e l i e v e r t o c o n t r i b u t e h i m s e l f t o i t p r o u d l y and w i t h o u t the s l i g h t e s t r e s e r v a t i o n . 4 6 T h i s s o l i l o q u y i s made a f t e r L i Lu i s f o r c e d t o d i e by so-c a l l e d r e v o l u t i o n . Ding Qi might p r o b a b l y be d i s s a t i s f i e d w i t h the r e v o l u t i o n because of the l o s s of h i s b e l o v e d g i r l - f r i e n d , i f he a c t e d i n a u s u a l way. But he does n o t , m a t t e r - o f - f a c t l y . A l t h o u g h he i s f i l l e d w i t h i n d i g n a t i o n , h i s b i t t e r f e e l i n g i s d i r e c t e d a g a i n s t the " d i s t o r t e d " r e v o l u t i o n r a t h e r t h a n r e v o l u t i o n per se. I t goes w i t h o u t s a y i n g t h a t he i s s t i l l a p i o u s d i s c i p l e of what he h o l d s t o be the " t r u e r e v o l u t i o n , " b e l i e v i n g i t to be " g r e a t , " " b r i n g t o thousands of people c o n f i d e n c e , p r i d e , and courage," and " a l l o w each s i n g l e b e l i e v e r t o c o n t r i b u t e h i m s e l f t o i t p r o u d l y and 46 I b i d . , 17o 47 w i t h o u t the s l i g h t e s t r e s e r v a t i on." What Ding Qi c a l l s " r e v o l u t i o n , " to make i t c l e a r , i s a c t u a l l y a e u p h e m i s t i c e x p r e s s i o n of communism. The communist b e l i e f of heroes i n Chen Ji a n g o n g ' s f i c t i o n i s t h e i r p r o p e n s i t y t o understand the p h i l o s o p h y about l i f e and c o n c e p t i o n of m o r a l i t y which the P a r t y has been a d v o c a t i n g . T h i s b e l i e f i s r e a l i z e d i n a c t i o n when the author i s a t t e m p t i n g t o show how h i s c h a r a c t e r s " t r a n s c e n d t h e i r s e l f i s h egos" and " g i v e no thcTught to t h e i r p e r s o n a l success and f a i l u r e . " In Chen J i a n g o n g ' s s t o r i e s , " b e l i e f " and " a c t i o n " are so i n t e r w o v e n w i t h each o t h e r t h a t i t i s hard t o d i s t i n g u i s h one from the o t h e r . " B e l i e f " i s embodied i n " a c t i o n " and " a c t i o n " c a r r i e s out " b e l i e f . " That I d i s c o n n e c t e d them h e r e t o f o r e w i t h emphasis l a r g e l y on the e x p l o r a t i o n of what those heroes b e l i e v e i n i s o n l y f o r t h e sake of convenience of a n a l y s i s and i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . Now I s h o u l d t u r n t o d e a l w i t h t h e i r " a c t i o n . " A c c o r d i n g t o Wang Meng, the s t o r y " B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament" i s q u i t e r e a d a b l e , "as i f i t f e d r e a d e r s ' eyes w i t h i c e cream." I t i s r e a l i s t i c t o be s u r e , but owing t o i t s f l u e n t s t y l e , e l a b o r a t e s t r u c t u r e , and l e g e n d a r y c h a r a c t e r s , i t reads l i k e a r o m a n t i c t a l e . What i s even more worth n o t i c i n g i s the a u t h o r ' s p u r p o s e f u l use of s y m b o l i c t e c h n i q u e , though symbolism i s r a r e l y a p p l i e d i n h i s w r i t i n g s . One has t o admit t h a t the way Chen J i a n g o n g handles t h i s t e c h n i q u e i s v e r y u n u s u a l . The symbol i n h i s s t o r y t u r n s out t o be none o t h e r t h a n another f i c t i o n a l work which i s , t o o , m e t a p h o r i c , -- t h a t i s Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea. As Huiwen's 48 f a v o u r i t e book, t h i s famous n o v e l l a comes i n t o Chen J i a n g o n g ' s s t o r y q u i t e n a t u r a l l y when t h i s good-natured female c h a r a c t e r wants her husband to r e c i t e something to her to k i l l t ime every n i g h t . In " B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament," The Old Man and the Sea i s read t w i c e w i t h s h o c k i n g m o d i f i c a t i o n s . The f i r s t time i t i s b e i n g g i v e n a r e c i t a t i o n , t h e r e appears such a long passage of the seemingly o r i g i n a l t e x t as f o l l o w s : The o l d Cuban f i s h e r m a n S a n t i a g o had gone f i s h i n g on the sea f o r e i g h t y f o u r days w i t h o u t t a k i n g a f i s h . He was d e f i n i t e l y s a l a o , h a v i n g had i l l f a t e d e i g h t y - f o u r days i . . . But on the e i g h t y - f i f t h day he was a g a i n out f i s h i n g i n h i s s k i f f , f u l l of c o n f i d e n c e . A f t e r two days and one n i g h t of f o r m i d a b l e f i g h t i n g , he f i n a l l y caught a b i g f i s h . On h i s voyage back home, shar k s t u r n e d up, one at the b e g i n n i n g , then f o l l o w e d by two, and then f o l l o w e d by another one... They h i t the b i g f i s h t h a t was f a s t e n e d to the s k i f f , r i p p i n g i t s meat w i t h t h e i r sharp t e e t h . The o l d man, s i n g l e and f a t i g u e , combated a g a i n s t s h a r k s around the boat, w i t h a harpoon h e l d i n h i s hands. The harpoon was grabbed away. Then he t i e d a k n i f e onto the oar, and the k n i f e blade was snapped by them, t o o . However, he s t i l l had the two oars and the s h o r t c l u b and the t i l l e r . . . At l a s t he k i l l e d the s h a r k s . . . I t became dark, and the sea was rough w i t h the i n c r e a s i n g b r e e z e . The o l d man, t h i r s t y , hungry, and wounded, thought w h i l e 49 f l o a t i n g on t h i s c o l d sea: what i f sharks h i t me ag a i n ? What can a man do a g a i n s t them i n the darkness w i t h o u t a weapon? I hope I do not have to f i g h t a g a i n , he th o u g h t . I hope so much I do not have t o f i g h t a g a i n . 4 7 The second much too a l t e r e d e x c e r p t of The Old Nan and the  Sea i s quoted at the end of the s t o r y : By m i d n i g h t the o l d man fought w i t h the sharks once more, and t h i s time he knew the f i g h t was u s e l e s s . They came i n a pack, t e a r i n g o f f the p i e c e s of meat one a f t e r the o t h e r . . . The o l d man cl u b b e d d e s p e r a t e l y at what he c o u l d o n l y f e e l and hear, and he f e l t something s e i z e the c l u b and i t was gone. He j e r k e d the t i l l e r f r e e from the rud d e r and beat and chopped w i t h i t , h o l d i n g i t i n b o th hands and d r i v i n g i t down a g a i n and a g a i n . . . E v e n t u a l l y , most of the sharks t h a t came had been k i l l e d and d r i v e n away, except f o r the l a s t one... The s k i f f was back i n the harbour. The o l d man was s h o u l d e r i n g the mast when he f e l l at the top of the bank. He c o u l d n ' t get up -- he was too exhausted. What happened to t h a t b i g f i s h he dragged back? A h , i t ' s r e a l l y m i s e r a b l e . Only the backbone was l e f t . (142) 4 7 " B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament," B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament: 117. F u r t h e r r e f e r e n c e s i n p a r e n t h e s e s i n the t e x t . 50 The p r e c e d i n g c i t a t i o n s v i r t u a l l y make up the s y n o p s i s of the whole s t o r y of The Old Nan and the Sea. People who t r y t o f i n d t h e s e two n o n - e x i s t e n t passages i n Hemingway's s h o r t n o v e l w i l l s u r e l y s e a r c h i n v a i n . They are not q u o t a t i o n s , e v i d e n t l y ; they are Chen J i a n g o n g ' s w i s t f u l a d a p t a t i o n , which s e r v e s o n l y f o r a metaphoric purpose. An E n g l i s h r e a d e r p r o b a b l y knows t h a t i n h i s n o v e l Hemingway aimed at the r e v e l a t i o n of man's unswerving p u r s u i t of b e l i e f by d e p i c t i n g the f i s h i n g p r o c e s s of a tough o l d man. To S a n t i a g o , h i s " b e l i e f " i s to c a t c h f i s h . A l t h o u g h the b i g f i s h he drags back has had n o t h i n g l e f t but backbone, S a n t i a g o i s u n d o u b t e d l y a winner i n terms of the f u l f i l m e n t of what he t r i e s t o a c h i e v e . 4 8 The two d e l i b e r a t e l y adapted e x c e r p t s seem t o g i v e a f u l l , though c o n c i s e , a l l e g o r i c d e s c r i p t i o n of h i s endeavour and hence a c q u i r e an a s s o c i a t i o n t h a t t h e r e e x i s t s a s i m i l a r i t y between S a n t i a g o and Gu Z h i d a , the hero of " B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament." Chen J i a n g o n g , f o r f e a r t h a t Hemingway's symbolism may be too obscure f o r Chinese r e a d e r s h i p , adds u n n e c e s s a r i l y h i s own comment r i g h t a f t e r the second remoulded " q u o t a t i o n : " 4 8 Marcus C u n l i f f s a y s: "The Cuban's f i g h t w i t h a g r e a t f i s h i s i n a way an i l l u s t r a t i o n of the Hemingway code, but i n t i s p u r e s t form." "In The Old Man he managed t o t e l l a s t o r y of a man on h i s own t h a t i s a p a r a b l e of a l l humanity." See h i s The  L i t e r a t u r e of the U n i t e d S t a t e s , London: Penguin Books, 1970: 266. 51 "No, he won." (142) "He," of c o u r s e , i s a pun, r e f e r r i n g t o S a n t i a g o on one hand, and on the o t h e r hand, i n c l u d i n g Gu Z h i d a , t o o . The c h a r a c t e r s i n the f o r e g r o u n d i n t h i s s t o r y are P r o f e s s o r Chen Hao and h i s daughter Weiwei. They a r e , however, o r d i n a r y p e o p l e , l a c k i n g the q u a l i t y t h a t i s r e s p l e n d e n t w i t h heroism. The persons who are r e a l l y h e r o i c are the p r o f e s s o r ' s f i r s t w i f e Huiwen and Weiwei's b o y - f r i e n d Gu Z h i d a , though they appear o n l y o c c a s i o n a l l y . S i n c e Huiwen i s s k e t c h i l y d e s c r i b e d i n p l a i n language, her c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n a c q u i r e s i n consequence a p u r i f i e d s i m p l i c i t y and t r a n s p a r e n t c l e a r n e s s , which make her a l t r u i s m f a r more s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d t h a n t h a t of her c o u n t e r p a r t s . She i s born and brought up i n a s e n a t o r ' s f a m i l y . I n f l u e n c e d by Ibsen's A D o l l ' s House and Ba J i n ' s The F a m i l y which she has r e a d , she runs away from home. She becomes a nurse t h e n , l e a d i n g an independent l i f e of her own. Of c o u r s e , i m p e t u o s i t y l i k e t h i s i s not r a r e among young p e o p l e . Yet i t u s u a l l y ends up i n f a i l u r e . To our s u r p r i s e , however, Huiwen -- the daughter of a noble f a m i l y i s by no means impetuous as t o choose to abandon her f a m i l y and work i n h o s p i t a l : her f e r v o u r i s e n d u r i n g . What i s more s u r p r i s i n g i s t h a t she even f a l l s i n love w i t h Chen Hao, the young man who does odd j o b s i n the h o s p i t a l at t h a t t i m e . ( U n l i k e Weiwei whose m a r r i a g e - i n t e n d e d a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h Gu Zhida i s always the major concern of her f a t h e r , Huiwen's love w i t h Chen Hao i s never 52 i n t e r f e r e d w i t h by her p a r e n t s . J u d g i n g from t h i s t h i n g o n l y , Huiwen's f a t h e r seems t o be r e a l l y an e n l i g h t e n e d Member of P a r l i a m e n t . ) She encourages him to take courses i n the evening s c h o o l and s u b s i d i z e s him w i t h t u i t i o n f e e s . She then urges him to a p p l y t o be a r e g u l a r s t u d e n t i n the department of astronomy. In o r d e r t o l e t him be w h o l l y absorbed i n h i s s t u d i e s , she s u p p o r t s h i s p a r e n t s w i t h her meagre income w i t h o u t t h e i r knowledge. A f t e r f o u r y e a r s of h a r d - w o r k i n g Chen Hao g r a d u a t e s . Now i t i s time t h a t he f i n d a j o b and take f a m i l i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . But Huiwen persuades him, i n s t e a d , to go abroad t o f u r t h e r h i s s t u d y , -- "to open up a b r i g h t e r c a r e e r . " (115) She says t h a t she can earn her l i v e l i h o o d by d a r n i n g brocade, l a u n d e r i n g c l o t h e s , and washing d i s h e s , and i n the meantime h e l p out h i s mother. When Chen Hao r e t u r n s home w i t h Ph.D. degree, he sees at the f i r s t s i g h t t h a t the y e a r s of her s e l f l e s s s a c r i f i c e have a l r e a d y l e f t i t s mark on her: Huiwen met him i n Qianmen S t a t i o n , d r e s s e d i n a worn b l u e s l i t s k i r t . Her chubby cheeks had now grown p a l e and sunken. Moreover, the g o l d n e c k l a c e was gone, and so was the g o l d watch she used t o wear -- they had a l r e a d y been s o l d when money was needed to arrange the f u n e r a l s f o r Chen Hao's p a r e n t s . What she got from the l i f e was s e v e r a l c h r o n i c d i s e a s e s and a p a i r of r e d , c o a r s e , and s w o l l e n hands... (115) The t e n years of her p r e c i o u s youth thus e l a p s e s i n her 53 s a c r i f i c e f o r Chen Hao. "Not o n l y d i d she s a c r i f i c e a decade, but a c o m f o r t a b l e l i f e , and a young g i r l ' s dream of becoming a w r i t e r as w e l l . " These t h i n g s o n l y are s u f f i c i e n t t o d i s p l a y her commendable u n s e l f i s h n e s s . But the author seemes t o be more a m b i t i o u s . When Huiwen goes from bad to worse i n h e a l t h and f i n a l l y has t o t a k e r e s t at home f o r r e c u p e r a t i o n , a f u r t h e r d e s c r i p t i o n i s made of her a l t r u i s t i c c o n s i d e r a t i o n f o r her husband: Now i t was time t h a t he show h i s l o v e f o r Huiwen i n r e t u r n . But Huiwen s a i d : "you have your own t h i n g s t o do, and i t ' s not n e c e s s a r y f o r you t o accompany me a l l the t i m e ! " She t o l d him t h a t she o n l y needed him t o read e i t h e r n o v e l s or poems f o r one hour every day a f t e r supper, and the r e s t of time she c o u l d t a k e care of h e r s e l f . And then she asked: " I s t h i s demand too much f o r you?" (116) Compared w i t h Huiwen, u n q u e s t i o n a b l y , Gu Zhida i s more exemplary i n t h i s r e s p e c t . While Huiwen's a l t r u i s m , i f we i n t e n d to f i n d f a u l t w i t h i t , i s somewhat bl e m i s h e d by the f a c t o r of her l o v e , t h e r e i s no such problems at a l l w i t h Gu Z h i d a . A young man of g r e a t a t t a i n m e n t s v i a means of s e l f - s t u d y , he reads whatever books he can r e a c h , no matter whether they are modern or a n c i e n t , and i n Chinese or i n f o r e i g n languages. N e v e r t h e l e s s , h i s d i l i g e n t s tudy has n o t h i n g to do w i t h academic honour, nor does he have d e s i r e t o e s t a b l i s h h i s r e p u t a t i o n as an eminent s c h o l a r . With 54 Chinese o l d type men of l e t t e r s , the u l t i m a t e aim i s t o l e a v e t h e i r fame f o r hundreds of g e n e r a t i o n s . T h i s however, i s t o t a l l y u n r e l a t e d t o Gu Z h i d a . I t i s a b l u n d e r to assume t h a t he wishes t o be a g r e a t man i n l i t e r a r y f i e l d i n h i s days. "Only f o o l s b e l i e v e d t h a t they would become g i a n t s . " (128) What i s even more s u r p r i s i n g i s t h a t he r e g a r d s both e n t r a n c e t o graduate s c h o o l s and p u b l i c a t i o n of a r t i c l e s t o be the ways people f i s h f o r t h e i r r e p u t a t i o n and p r o f i t s . He would r a t h e r remain obscure i n the f a c t o r y as a worker and put away a number of the t h e s e s he has a l r e a d y completed, when h i s peers -- some of them are much i n f e r i o r t o him i n s c h o l a r s h i p -- become graduate s t u d e n t s one a f t e r the o t h e r , and mediocre c r i t i c s are v y i n g t o p u b l i s h t h e i r a r t i c l e s on the t h e o r y of l i t e r a t u r e which i s t h e n a g a i n open t o p u b l i c d i s c u s s i o n . R e g r e t t a b l y , h i s detachment from p r a c t i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n i s not a p p r e c i a t e d even by h i s r o m a n t i c i d e a l i s t i c g i r l f r i e n d s (one of them i s Weiwei), not to mention w o r l d l y wise common p e o p l e . They le a v e him i n s u c c e s s i o n at the end. N e v e r t h e l e s s , he does not care at a l l and c o n t i n u e s t o t r y t o do what he l i k e s t o , because he has h i s own c o n v i c t i o n i n mind: " s e e k i n g not honours and p o s i t i o n s , but t r u t h o n l y . " (129) Reading of heroes i n g r e a t l i t e r a r y works, one w i l l f e e l e l e v a t e d . With Gu Z h i d a , however, one does not have such an a e s t h e t i c e x p e r i e n c e . D e s p i t e h i s seeming d i f f e r e n c e from o r d i n a r y m o r t a l s , he s t r i k e s us as s h a l l o w and i m p r a c t i c a l . The 55 "uncompassionate" 4 9 c r i t i c Zeng Zhennan 5 0 remarks b l u n t l y : "Gu Zhida i s too o b s t i n a t e , too gloomy about the cause he i s u n d e r t a k i n g , " because he does not know f o r sure whether the t r u t h he has a c q u i r e d w i l l be u n d e r s t o o d by masses. A c c o r d i n g t o Zeng, famous s c h o l a r s i n former t i m e s who have indeed t r u t h i n t h e i r p o s s e s s i o n -- say, Sima Qian f o r example -- w i l l not pose as i f they are sombre, unconcerned, and m i s a n t h r o p i c . A l t h o u g h they might be " u n i n t e r e s t e d i n t h e i r s e c u l a r g a i n s and posthumous name," t h e y w i l l " s u r e l y not i g n o r e the u t i l i t a r i a n s i g n i f i c a n c e of t h e i r l e a r n i n g a f t e r i t has been o b t a i n e d by o r d i n a r y human b e i n g s . " "They were e n t h u s i a s t i c i n d i s s e m i n a t i n g knowledge and eager t o be engaged i n mundane a f f a i r s . " He comes t o the c o n c l u s i o n t h e n t h a t Gu Zhida's " a l o o f n e s s from w o r l d l y p u r s u i t s " i s " v i r t u a l l y a contempt of the masses" i n c o n t r a s t t o g r e a t men i n h i s t o r y , and h i s " i n d u l g e n c e i n s e 1 f - a d m i r a t i o n . . . i s c e r t a i n l y no good t o s o c i e t y and h i s own c a r e e r which i s y e t t o be d e v e l o p e d . " 5 1 Whether famous s c h o l a r s i n former times "are e n t h u s i a s t i c i n 4 9 See Wang Meng, " P r e f a c e , " Zeng Zhengnan, S o i l and Thorn, T i a n j i n g : Baihua Wenyi P r e s s , 1983: 8. 5 0 A p r o f e s s i o n a l c r i t i c at the L i t e r a y Research I n s t i t u t e of China Academy of S o c i a l S c i e n c e s . 5 1 Zeng Zhengnan, "Let the S t a r shed i t s l i g h t i n t o the M u l t i t u d e of p e o p l e " [Rang xingguang h u i r u guangmao de r e n h a i ] , S o i l and Thorn: 46-47. 56 d i s s e m i n a t i n g knowledge and eager to be engaged i n mundane a f f a i r s , " I am not c l e a r , nor can I a s s e r t w i t h assurance t h a t "Gu Zhida's i n d u l g e n c e i n s e l f - a d m i r a t i o n i s no good t o both s o c i e t y and h i s own c a r e e r . " I admit I f i n d Zeng Zhennan's moral judgement of " B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament" r a t h e r d i s t u r b i n g . On the o t h e r hand, however, he i s perhaps r i g h t : Gu Zhida i s not a mature hero. P r o b a b l y a r a d i c a l at t h a t t i m e , the autho r h i m s e l f seems a male c h a u v i n i s t i n h i s o u t l o o k on l o v e . He longs f o r such an i d e a l s e x u a l u n i o n , i n which man w h o l l y devotes h i m s e l f t o h i s work, w h i l e woman t r u s t s , s u p p o r t s , and submits h e r s e l f t o , w i t h o u t the s l i g h t e s t r e s e r v a t i o n , the person whom she l o v e s , no matter whether he i s s u c c e s s f u l i n h i s u n d e r t a k i n g . In the l i g h t of t h i s n o t i o n he c r e a t e s Gu Zh i d a (as w e l l as Zhong Qi and Lu J i a n ) . A l t h o u g h Gu Zhid a i s s e l f l e s s l y d e d i c a t e d t o h i s p u r s u i t of t r u t h , " s e e k i n g not honours and p o s i t i o n s , but t r u t h o n l y , " y e t i n s e x u a l r e l a t i o n s h i p he i s v e r y e g o i s t i c , almost on the verge of n i t p i c k i n g and re 1 e n t 1 e s s n e s s . I t never dawns upon him t h a t he sometimes s h o u l d a l s o s toop t o p l e a s e the female he l o v e s . What he wishes i n h i s mind i s e x c l u s i v e l y how t o be c o u r t e d p a s s i o n a t e l y and worshipped u n c o n d i t i o n a l l y . For a p o s i t i v e hero, i s t h i s not too s e l f - c e n t r e d i n s e n t i m e n t ? F u r t h e r m o r e , Gu Zhida's arrogance and e c c e n t r i c i t y are not a n a t u r a l r e v e l a t i o n of h i s i n s i g h t f u l t r a n s c e n d e n c e over m a t e r i a l m a t t e r s , but a sham endeavour f o r the i d e a l of d e t a c h i n g h i m s e l f from the w o r l d l y p u r s u i t . As a r e s u l t , h i s i n d i f f e r e n c e t o fame and w e a l t h , as i f they were f l o a t i n g c l o u d s t o him, o n l y s t r i k e s 57 r e a d e r s as a f f e c t e d and p r e t e n t i o u s , and b e t r a y s the p e d a n t i c s h a l l o w n e s s of t h i s young man who tends to go t o extreme. I t i s not t h a t I mean to c r i t i c i z e the moulding of h e r o e s . A l l w r i t e r s are s u r e l y e n t i t l e d to do t h a t of t h e i r own w i l l . What I am m a i n l y concerned i s t h e i r a t t i t u d e . In h i s semi-a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l n o v e l My L i f e As a Nan, P h i l i p Roth s a y s : "In the s t o r y a t hand, i t would seem t o me t h a t from the p e r s p e c t i v e of t h i s decade p a r t i c u l a r l y , t h e r e i s much t h a t c o u l d be r i d i c u l e d h a v i n g t o do w i t h the w o r s h i p of o r d e a l and f o r b e a r a n c e and the s u p p r e s s i o n of the s e x u a l man. I t would not r e q u i r e too much i n g e n u i t y on my p a r t t o c o n v e r t the p r o t a g o n i s t here i n t o a f a r c e . Or i f not the p r o t a g o n i s t , ' then the n a r r a t o r . To some, the f u n n i e s t t h i n g of a l l , or perhaps the s t r a n g e s t , may not be how I conducted mys e l f back t h e n , but the l i t e r a r y mode i n which I have chosen t o n a r r a t e my s t o r y t o d a y : the d e corousness, the o r d e r l i n e s s , the u n d e r l y i n g s o b r i e t y , t h a t ' r e s p o n s i b l e ' manner t h a t I c o n t i n u e to a f f e c t . " 5 2 In t h i s passage, what Roth i s c h i e f l y concerned i s a c t u a l l y none o t h e r than the a t t i t u d e of w r i t e r s . The " a t t i t u d e of w r i t e r s , " I am a f r a i d , i s r a t h e r vague i n c o n c e p t i o n . By u s i n g t h i s term I mean to r e f e r s to the depth of a u t hors ' s t h o u g h t s and the f i n e s s e they possess i n d e a l i n g w i t h t h e i r c h a r a c t e r s . "The f u n n i e s t t h i n g " i s u s u a l l y not the b e h a v i o u r of personages i n l i t e r a t u r e , but the l i m i t a t i o n of authors t h e m s e l v e s . Take Cervantes as an example. Is i t t h a t h i s d e s c r i p t i o n of 5 2 P h i l i p Roth, My L i f e As a Man, Bantham Books, 1975: 82. 58 Don Q u i x o t e ' s f i g h t i n g w i t h w i n d m i l l p u r p o r t s t o p a n e g y r i z e the heroism embodied i n h i s p r o t a g o n i s t ' s p e r s i s t e n t p r a c t i c e of c h i v a l r y ? Of c o u r s e , the answer i s n e g a t i v e . The theme of Don  Q u i x o t e i s j u s t the o p p o s i t e . Cervantes wants to show i n h i s n o v e l how u n r e a l i s t i c and a n a c h r o n i s t i c the c h i v a l r y i s t h a t i s r i d i c u l o u s l y t a k e n by Don Q u i x o t e as h i s c o n v i c t i o n . 5 3 C e r v a n t e s i s not Don Q u i x o t e . Far more j u d i c i o u s than the c e n t r a l r o l e he c r e a t e s , he l o o k s down, on a h i g h e r p l a n e , at h i s "hero" w i t h a humorous and s a r c a s t i c a t t i t u d e . Thus the p r o f u n d i t y of h i s i n s i g h t i n t o l i f e and u n d e r s t a n d i n g of humanity, which are p r o b a b l y u n p a r a l l e l e d among h i s contemporary n o v e l i s t s , made what might have been o r i g i n a l l y "the f u n n i e s t t h i n g " become an e d i f i c a t i o n f o r the r e a d e r . Chen J i a n g o n g , however, i s d i f f e r e n t . A l t h o u g h he i s v e r y eager t o p o r t r a y noble heroes i n h i s f i c t i o n , the l i m i t a t i o n i n h i s thought and i n o b s e r v a t i o n r e n d e r s him i n c a p a b l e of consummating h i s j o b . Unaware of the s u p e r f i c i a l i t y and f a k e r y of h i s s o - c a l l e d h e r o i s m , he i s n e i t h e r more i n s i g h t f u l , nor more s a g a c i o u s , t h a n the heroes he made. On the c o n t r a r y , he sometimes even u n c o n s c i o u s l y took t h e i r d e f e c t s as m e r i t s f o r e u l o g y , and t o t a l l y i d e n t i f i e d h i m s e l f w i t h them ( i n most c a s e s , the p o s i t i v e 5 3 C e r v a n t e s says i n h i s p r e f a c e t o Don Quixote t h a t the e n t i r e book "aims at no more than t o d e s t r o y the a u t h o r i t y and acceptance of the books of c h i v a l r y have had i n the w o r l d " . Don Q u i x o t e , New York: Ramdon House, 1941: 22. 59 f i g u r e s i n B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament). One i s j u s t i f i a b l e t o say t h a t he i s Zhong Q i , i s Lu J i a n , i s Gu Z h i d a , and i s Qing J i a n g . They are o n l y v a r i o u s " i m p l i e d v e r s i o n s " 5 4 of the au t h o r h i m s e l f i n d i f f e r e n t s t o r i e s . I t i s i n e v i t a b l e , t h e r e f o r e , t h a t Chen J i a n g o n g and h i s heroes f a l l t o g e t h e r i n t o a d r e a d f u l mire of anachronism. In "The P a t t e r n e d S c a r f That Was Blown Away," Qing J i a n g appears as i f he were a s e 1 f - s c r u t i n i z e r , but i n f a c t , he i s so c o n f i d e n t and so f i n i c k y t h a t i t i s not a b i t i n a p p r o p r i a t e f o r him to be a judge of Shen P i n g , the female major c h a r a c t e r i n the s t o r y whom Qing J i a n g both admires and e n v i e s . He o b s e r v e s , s p e c u l a t e s , and above a l l , passes e v a l u a t i o n on what he sees of t h i s unusual g i r l . He l i t e r a l l y s e r v e s as a moral y a r d - s t i c k of what i s r i g h t and what i s wrong i n accordance w i t h the a u t h o r ' s c r i t e r i o n . When he f o r the f i r s t time c a t c h e s s i g h t of Shen P i n g on the passenger s h i p "Red S t a r No. 215," he d e s c r i b e s the scene as f o l l o w s : When I went out of the engine room t o ta k e a b r e a t h , I saw a g i r l s t a n d i n g on the board. With her back l e a n i n g a g a i n s t the r a i l i n g on the s i d e of the s h i p , she was q u i e t l y r e a d i n g a book, u n l i k e o t h e r passengers who were e i t h e r making i n q u i r i e s around, or c u r s i n g and s w e a r i n g , or l o o k i n g up at the sky w i t h t h e i r hands p l a c e d above 5 4 T h i s i s a term used by Wayne Booth. For i t s d i s c u s s i o n , see h i s The R h e t o r i c of F i c t i o n , C h i c a g o : U n i v e r s i t y of Chicago P r e s s , 1983: c h a p t e r 8. 60 t h e i r eyebrows to shut out s u n l i g h t . . . She was c o m p l e t e l y engrossed i n her book, her eyes b r i g h t , and the c o r n e r of her mouth s l i g h t l y h e l d up, w i t h o c c a s i o n a l p a l p i t a t i o n as though her mind were b e i n g s t i r r e d by something i n the book. She was a s l i m , t a l l , h e a l t h y , and n i c e - l o o k i n g g i r l . Dressed i n a s i m p l e a t t i r e and r e a d i n g w i t h a p r e o c c u p i e d mien, she was somehow s i n g u l a r l y a t t r a c t i v e t o me.55 There i s brimming between the l i n e s Qing J i a n g ' s a d m i r a t i o n f o r t h i s e x t r a o r d i n a r y female, w i t h whom he has not y e t made a c q u a i n t a n c e . But what i s a l l the more a d m i r a b l e i s Shen P i n g ' s a g r e s s i v e n e s s , and t h a t makes him f e e l i n f e r i o r : "Are you a t r u e man? You s h o u l d not be so g u t l e s s ! " (224) she s a y s , g a z i n g at her ad m i r e r w i t h a p l a y f u l e x p r e s s i o n i n her eyes. Then she c o n t i n u e s : " I am not g u t l e s s ! Not o n l y am I not g u t l e s s , but u n y i e l d i n g t o my f a t e , e i t h e r ! " (224) T r u l y , she le a v e s f o r Qing J i a n g a sweet i m p r e s s i o n . But her c o n f i d e n c e and courage are even more s t r i k i n g and u n f o r g e t t a b l e t o him. I t i s i n the famous S U n i v e r s i t y i n B e i j i n g where Qing J i a n g meets Shen P i n g a g a i n a f t e r two years s e p a r a t i o n . He i s at t h a t t i m e , t h r o u g h h i s d i l i g e n t s t u d y , j u s t a d m i t t e d by the same department of the u n i v e r s i t y i n which Shen P i n g has been s t u d y i n g 5 5 "The P a t t e r n e d S c a r f That Was Blown Away," B e w i l d e r i n g  Firmament: 222. F u r t h e r r e f e r e n c e s i n pa r e n t h e s e s i n the t e x t . 61 f o r y e a r s . Now h i s o r i g i n a l a d m i r a t i o n f o r her begins t o melt away i n h i s s u s p i c i o n . When Shen P i n g complains t o him t h a t she w i l l p o s s i b l y have to go back t o t e a c h i n her n a t i v e s m a l l town a f t e r g r a d u a t i o n , " I [Qing J i a n g ] was s t a r t l e d , and suddenly f e l t t h a t she was v e r y s t r a n g e . " (230) With the days gone by, h i s d i s a p p o i n t m e n t becomes i n c r e a s i n g l y a p p arant, f o r he has found out t h a t her s p i r i t u a l source f o r e x e r t i n g h e r s e l f t o be d i l i g e n t had come from her v a n i t y . "Not a l l who work hard i s g r e a t , " (234) he t h i n k s . At l a s t he l e a r n s t h a t Shen P i n g i s i n l o v e w i t h a son of a h i g h - r a n k i n g c a d r e , and t h i s b o y - f r i e n d of her has a l r e a d y t a k e n the T o e f l t e s t and i s about t o go abroad t o study at the Massachusets I n s t i t u t e of Technology. The words such as " d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n " are now q u i t e i n c a p a b l e of d e s c r i b i n g Qing J i a n g ' s f e e l i n g . He i s r e a l l y mad, c u r s i n g at Shen P i n g and her b o y - f r i e n d ' t o h i m s e l f : "The muddy stream! The muddy stream i n s o c i e t y ! The muddy stream of l i f e ! " (236) I t i s not Chen Jiangong's purpose, i n i t i a l l y , t o p l a y the r o l e of "guide of l i f e " 5 6 t o t e a c h young people "which road they s h o u l d t a k e . " 5 7 He o n l y wishes t o express through Qing J i a n g -- h i s f i c t i o n a l personage -- what he t h i n k about l i f e h i m s e l f . 5 6 Chen J i a n g o n g , "A Random Thought That Has Not Been Blown Away" [Shangwei p i a o s h i de g a n x i a n g ] , B e i j i n g L i t e r a t u r e [ B e i j i n g wenxue] No. 5, 1982: 64. 5 7 I b i d . , 65 . 62 N e v e r t h e l e s s , h i s p r o t a g o n i s t e v e n t u a l l y t u r n s out t o be none o t h e r t h a n a t e a c h e r of y o u t h , or r a t h e r , a p o t e n t i a l c a n d i d a t e f o r the t i t l e of h e r o . But. t h i s hero, r e g r e t t a b l y , i s a l s o somewhat beh i n d the t i m e s l i k e h i s c o u n t e r p a r t Gu Z h i d a . I t i s obvious t h a t he knows t h a t a g r e a t change has a l r e a d y t a k e n p l a c e : Shen P i n g , a f t e r two y e a r s s t u d y i n the m e t r o p o l i s , i s no l o n g e r the p r o v i n c i a l g i r l as she used t o be b e f o r e , w h i l e at the same time China has woken up from her l o n g h i b e r n a t i o n , s t r i d i n g i n t o the b o i s t e r o u s era of t h e e a r l y , 1980s. However, he s t i l l o b s t i n a t e l y l o o k s f o r the p a t t e r n e d s c a r f and i t s m i s t r e s s . Of c o u r s e , i t i s as i m p o s s i b l e as R i p Van W i n k l e ' s v a i n attempt to f i n d h i s f o l k a f t e r " s l e e p . " When he f i n a l l y comes t o r e a l i z a t i o n t h a t he i s unable t o r e g a i n what t h e r e used t o be i n the p a s t , he does not have the s l i g h t e s t d e s i r e of t r y i n g t o u nderstand the new p e r i o d and new environment. I n s t e a d , he i s d i s g r u n t l e d , f r o w n i n g upon e v e r y t h i n g t h a t i s new. He even r e g a r d s T o e f l Test and l o v e w i t h o f f s p r i n g of h i g h - r a n k i n g cadres as a "muddy stream." I f they are indeed a "muddy stream," a q u e s t i o n w i l l t hen n a t u r a l l y be r a i s e d by r e a d e r s -- how many young people w i l l be i n s u l t e d by t h i s d efamatory d e n u n c i a t i o n who have gone abroad by way of t a k i n g the T o e f l t e s t and who used to f a l l , or are f a l l i n g , i n love w i t h d e s c e d a n t s of s e n i o r o f f i c i a l s ? I s n ' t i t , i n f a c t , t h a t Zhong Qi i s such a man of p e d a n t i c s h a l l o w n e s s ? A l t h o u g h he bears i n h i s mind a n o b l e i d e a l , t h i s i d e a l has been proved by h i s t o r y to be absurd and i m p r a c t i c a l . H i s enthusiasm i n h e l p i n g e s t a b l i s h the "Red Guards's Commune" and i n 6 3 w o r k i n g on the r e s e a r c h program of underground c o a l g a s i f i c a t i o n h a r d l y makes any d i f f e r e n c e from the courage Don Quixote d i s p l a y s i n f i g h t i n g w i t h the w i n d m i l l . To make a f u r t h e r comment on Zhong Qi's f o o l i s h n e s s seems unnecessary. As I have a l r e a d y p o i n t e d out, t h e r e i s no s i m i l a r i t y between Chen Ji a n g o n g and C e r v a n t e s . While C e r v a n t e s s y m p a t h e t i c a l l y s c o f f s at h i s l u d i c r o u s k n i g h t , Chen J i a n g o n g , on the c o n t r a r y , t r i e s h i s best to p r a i s e h i s hero t o the sky, and f u r t h e r m o r e does not l e t o f f any o p p o r t u n i t y t o censure Mingwei, a p e r s o n of the type t h a t i s j u s t a n t i t h e t i c to Zhong Q i . A c t u a l l y , t h e r e i s almost n o t h i n g wrong w i t h Mingwei. Indeed, i t i s u n d e n i a b l e t h a t he does not have any noble i d e a l borne i n h i s mind, but he i s cbmmendably a r e s p o n s i b l e and c o n s i d e r a t e husband. People as f o o l i s h as Dandan (a c h a r a c t e r of " f l a t t y p e " 5 8 who never d e v e l o p s , she remains unchanged i n thought as a t e enager even a f t e r she becomes a m a r r i e d woman) can not even h e l p acknowledging t h a t Mingwei i s b l a m e l e s s as f a r as the m a t r i m o n i a l l i f e i s concerned. "He [Mingwei] l o v e d me v e r y much," Dandan r e c o u n t s , "and a l s o knew how t o t a k e care of me. Nowadays f o r m a r r i e d c o u p l e s , t h e r e might be a g r e a t d e a l of t r o u b l e s : s e p a r a t i o n , h o u s i n g problem, d i f f i c u l t y i n h a v i n g t h e i r b a b i e s t a k e n by a day care c e n t e r , and the l i k e . However, a l l these unhappy t h i n g s were u n r e l a t e d t o us. Mingwei s a i d : we are not born o n l y t o be s l a v e s of l i f e ; we know 5 8 For a d i s c u s s i o n of a " f l a t c h a r a c t e r , " see E.M. F o r s t e r : A s p e c t s of the N o v e l , New York: H a r c o u r t , Brace & World, 1954: c h a p t e r 4. 64 how t o enjoy o u r s e l v e s . He even d i d n ' t a l l o w me to wash s h e e t s , and would r a t h e r send them o u t s i d e t o be l a u n d e r e d . He s a i d he d i d n ' t want me t o be a 'housewife.' He a l s o s a i d even i f we had a baby, he would not l e t me be busy around w i t h the house chores a l l day l o n g . We c o u l d spend more money than o t h e r people to have a day c a r e c e n t e r look a f t e r our c h i l d . When the baby grew o l d e r , then we c o u l d , w i t h o u t making much e f f o r t , send i t to June F i r s t K i n d e r g a r t e n . . . " 5 9 In o r d e r t o e n r i c h t h e i r l i f e , moreover, Ming Wei o f t e n manages to get h o l d of t i c k e t s f o r " r e f e r e n c e m o v i e s " 6 0 so t h a t t h e y can almost every week go t o see those f e a t u r e s which are u s u a l l y o n l y open to r e s t r i c t e d c i r c l e s . On the New Year's Day as w e l l as o t h e r h o l i d a y s he w i l l t a k e h i s w i f e t o d a n c i n g p a r t i e s , o n l y t o provoke her sometimes, q u i t e t o h i s s u r p r i s e . Once Dandan le a v e s the d a n c i n g p a r t y f o r the S p r i n g F e s t i v a l b e f o r e i t i s over. I n s t e a d of b e i n g vexed w i t h her i n d e c o r o u s conduct, Mingwei, as a c o n s i d e r a t e and t o l e r a n t husband, f o r g i v e s her, and even t h i n k s t h a t he may p r o b a b l y be r e p o n s i b l e f o r her u n t i m e l y l e a v i n g . So he asks h e r , s o l i c i t o u s l y : "What happened to you, Dandan? I t seems you 5 9 "Sinuous R i l l s , " B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament: 2. 6 0 In China c e r t a i n k i n d s of movies such as f o r e i g n " e r o t i c " movies as w e l l as movies which have been c r i t i c i z e d f o r p o l i t i c a l r e a s o n were u s u a l l y banned, o n l y a c c e s s i b l e t o h i g h - r a n k i n g cadres and people of l i t e r a r y c i r c l e s f o r t h e i r " r e f e r e n c e and c r i t i c i s m . " 65 have something on your mind these days. You s h o u l d not h i d e i t from me. Is i t t h a t I d i d something h a r m f u l t o y o u ? " 6 1 When he l e a r n s t h a t n o t h i n g but s t u d y i n g E n g l i s h makes Dandan worry, he c o n s o l e s h e r , s a y i n g t h a t he h i m s e l f i s a l so a b o u t . t o s t a r t a s e l f - s t u d y p l a n on E n g l i s h and they can improve t h e i r f o r e i g n tongue by p r a c t i s i n g d i a l o g u e at home. Then he t a k e s the i n i t i a t i v e : Dandan, you look b e a u t i f u l t o d a y ! . May I be i n l u c k as to be your p a r t n e r i n dance? Oh, I'm s o r r y t o have stepped on y o u . 6 2 . v I t i s not my i n t e n t i o n here to defend Mingwei or Shen P i n g on t h e i r b e h a l f . I t goes without, s a y i n g t h a t they are d e f e c t i v e . But as human b e i n g s , one of the fundamental c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s i s t h a t they w i l l e r r . T h e i r s h o r t c o m i n g s , t h e i r compromises, and t h e i r f a i l u r e s c o n s t i t u t e a u n i v e r s a l e x p e r i e n c e which can not be i g n o r e d . A n o v e l i s t does not have t o p r a i s e , nor ce n s u r e , the c h a r a c t e r s he c r e a t e s . His t a s k l i e s i n h i s f a i t h f u l r e c o r d (not n e c e s s a r i l y u s i n g the method of r e a l i s m ) of human e x p e r i e n c e , or i n o t h e r words, of the way men u s u a l l y conduct t h e m s e l v e s . Leo T o l s t o y i s p r o b a b l y exemplary i n t h i s r e s p e c t . O b j e c t i v e , t r u t h f u l , and a c c u r a t e , h i s f i c t i o n a l personage Vronsky ( i n Anna K a r e n i n a ) 6 1 "Sinuous R i l l s , " B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament: 16. 6 2 I b i d . , 17. The o r i g i n a l i s i n E n g l i s h . 66 i s not p o r t r a y e d merely as a dandy. A c h a r a c t e r of v e r i s i m i l i t u d e , he i s manysided, and hence i s open t o a v a r i e t y of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s . U n l i k e T o l s t o y , however, Chen J i a n g o n g aimed at a g i t p r o p i n h i s s t o r i e s . He seemed t o have made up h i s mind t h a t h i s heroes be c r e a t e d o n l y f o r our a d m i r a t i o n and h i s n e g a t i v e f i g u r e s o n l y f o r our contempt. I t i s by no means h i s hope t h a t we s h o u l d have our own o p i n i o n s i n r e g a r d t o h i s c h a r a c t e r s . T h e r e f o r e , h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h r e a d e r s -- to use a f i g u r e of speech which may not be v e r y a p p r o p r i a t e -- i s j u s t l i k e t h a t of an a u t o c r a t w i t h h i s p o p u l a c e . A c c o r d i n g t o h i s own c o n f e s s i o n , he was indeed f i l l e d w i t h a s t r o n g emotion when he was i n i t i a l l y engaged i n c r e a t i v e / w r i t i n g . Whatever was produced by him, i t s theme must be v e r y p i a i n , \ e i t h e r e u l o g i s t i c and e d i f y i n g , or c r i t i c a l and c e n s o r i o u s . He was t o t a l l y unaware of t h i s problem of propagandism u n t i l he embarked on w r i t i n g "The P a t t e r n e d S c a r f That Was Blown Away." A l t h o u g h he does make an e f f o r t i n t h i s s t o r y t o "express more m e d i t a t i v e c o n t e m p l a t i o n upon r e a l i t y and h i s t o r y , " h i s h a b i t u a l e x p l i c i t n e s s i n theme n o n e t h e l e s s r e n d e r s h i s worthy attempt q u i t e i n e f f e c t u a l . In f a c t , owing to i t s e v i d e n t d i d a c t i c i s m , t h i s l a s t s t o r y i n B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament s t i l l cannot be d i s t i n g u i s h e d from the o t h e r ones he wrote e a r l i e r . To the m a j o r i t y of r e a d e r s , t h e r e f o r e , t h i s immature book reads awkwardly, as i f i t brought them back to the p a s t , t o the dark epoch when Ch i n a was under the r e i g n of Mao as w e l l as the Gang of Four. But we s h o u l d not be too h a r s h on Chen J i a n g o n g , 67 s i n c e he was a l s o a v i c t i m of p o l i t i c s . No matter how d i f f e r e n t i t was from what . i t used t o be i n former t i m e s , China i n the t r a n s i t i o n p e r i o d between 1970s and 1980s was s t i l l l i n k e d i n many ways w i t h the p a s t , and a c c o r d i n g l y , w r i t e r s were unable t o c o m p l e t e l y e x t r i c a t e themselves from the o s s i f i e d l i t e r a r y dogmas the C u l t u r a l R e v o l u t i o n had l e f t f o r them. T h i s was a c t u a l l y not so much of t h e i r w i l l i n g n e s s t o p o r t r a y r e v o l u t i o n a r y heroes as t h e i r impotence t o break t h r o u g h the s t a l e formulae f o r c r e a t i v e w r i t i n g under p o l i t i c a l p r e s s u r e . I f we t a k e a survey of the l i t e r a t u r e produced d u r i n g p e r i o d of t i m e , we w i l l be a s s u r e d t h a t t h e e l a b o r a t i o n of the hero was a common malady of the time r a t h e r t h a n Chen J i a n g o n g ' s own p e r s o n a l problem. True, t h e r e were indeed some' genuine a r t i s t i c works, say Zhu L i n ' s "The Net" [Wang] and S h i T i e s h e n g ' s " B l a c k y " [ H e i h e i ] , y e t t h e y were v e r y r a r e t o be s u r e . He Z h i y u n was perhaps j u s t i f i e d , i n s p i t e of an e v i d e n t attempt t o g l o s s over h i s l i t e r a r y i m p e r f e c t i o n , when he c l a i m e d t h a t most of Chen J i a n g o n g ' s e a r l y s t o r i e s were p r o d u c t s of the s o c i a l t r e n d at t h a t t i m e . 6 3 6 3 He Z h i y u n : "Chen J i a n g o n g and h i s F i c t i o n a l World," Hundreds  of S c h o o l s , No. 1, 1981: 23. 68 CHAPTER THREE STYLE: "TWO KINDS OF BRUSHES"64, There i s one p o i n t I have t o complement f i r s t . Chen J i a n g o n g ' s e a r l y s t o r i e s are a l l r e l a t e d t o lo v e so to speak. A young man a t the age of t h i r t y h a v i n g not y e t chosen h i s l i f e l o n g companion, he seemed i n c a p a b l e , whenever he took up h i s pen, of g e t t i n g r i d of the o b s s e s s i o n w i t h h i s l i b i d o , even though i t i s m a n i f e s t e d i n a c o n s i d e r a b l y r e p r e s s e d and d i s g u i s e d form. H i s f i r s t work of f i c t i o n p u b l i s h e d a f t e r he e n t e r e d B e i j i n g U n i v e r s i t y i s j u s t such a s t o r y , r a t h e r p l a t i t u d i n o u s , about an attachment a c o a l e x c a v a t o r and a l i b r a r y employee h o l d f o r each o t h e r . There are a l s o o t h e r s t o r i e s b e s i d e s "Sweetness" i n which l o v e i s a major s u b j e c t m a t t e r , f o r i n s t a n c e , "Tears of the Tawny D a y l i l y , " "Sinuous R i l l s , " " B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament," and "The P a t t e r n e d S c a r f That Was Blown Away." In s p i t e of i n a p p r o p r i a t e n e s s f o r some s t o r i e s t o be c a t e g o r i z e d as of such t y p e , they are u s u a l l y woven around something more or l e s s r e l a t e d t o romance. "Going t o the High S a c r i f i c i a l A l t e r " i s a good example. S u r e l y i t See Wang Meng, " P r e f a c e , " B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament: 4 . 69 can d i s p e n s e w i t h s e n t i m e n t a l i t y , s i n c e i t s theme i s t o v o i c e g r i e v a n c e s f o r a " p r o b l e m a t i c " f a t h e r who d i e s an u n r i g h t e o u s death d u r i n g the C u l t u r a l R e v o l u t i o n . But Chen J i a n g o n g put i t i n t o a frame of l o v e . He c r e a t e d X i a o G u i , a smart, l o v e l y g i r l who, by l e a d i n g r e a d e r s i n t o the t o r t u r o u s i n n e r w o r l d of the f i r s t p e r s o n n a r r a t o r , makes them know t h a t h i s f a t h e r i s i n f a c t an honest and k i n d - h e a r t e d i n t e l l e c t u a l . Someone may d i s a g r e e on t h i s p o i n t , h o l d i n g t h a t t h e r e i s n o t h i n g between Xiao Gui and " I " t h a t can be c a l l e d l o v e . What a c t u a l l y happens to them i s o n l y an unexpected encounter i n a park. But i n my o p i n i o n , i t i s j u s t due to such an unexpected encounter t h a t the s t o r y reads more r o m a n t i c and i n t e r e s t i n g . A f t e r f i n i s h i n g r e a d i n g i t , one may p o s s i b l y s t i l l keep p o n d e r i n g over t h e s e two personages: what becomes of them l a t e r on? Do t h e y e v e n t u a l l y f a l l i n l o v e and get m a r r i e d ? Moreover, almost a l l l o v e s t o r i e s i n B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament are s e t i n B e i j i n g . Dandan and Mingwei go window-shopping on Wangfujing B o u l e v a r d (a famous downtown s t r e e t ) , Weiwei keeps a t r y s t w i t h Gu Z h i d a i n h i s s m a l l shabby house s i t u a t e d i n Shuncheng S t r e e t ( i n s o u t h e r n B e i j i n g ) , and Qing J i a n g attempts i n v a i n t o win Shen P i n g i n famous S U n i v e r s i t y . 6 5 The s t o r y which i s somewhat c o n t r o v e r s i a l i n t h i s r e s p e c t i s perhaps "Tears of the Tawny D a y l i l y . " Yet i t s background i s v i r t u a l l y i n s i g n i f i c a n t . I f words which are not i n t r i n s i c a l l y c o h e r e n t w i t h the theme, such as " y u r t , " "Wujia R i v e r " ( i n Inner I t o b v i o u s l y r e f e r s t o B e i j i n g Normal U n i v e r s i t y . 70 M o n g o l i a ) , and " Q i l i " (the term f o r s m a l l town i n Inner M o n g o l i a ) , were removed from t h i s t r a g i c romance, L i Lu's m i s f o r t u n e might t a k e p l a c e i n any l o c a l i t y . F u r thermore, both p r o t a g o n i s t s Ding Qi and L i Lu are born and brought up i n B e i j i n g . I t i s the C u l t u r a l R e v o l u t i o n t h a t c o m p e l l s them t o go t o s e t t l e i n the c o u n t r y s i d e i n i n l a n d C h i na which i s t o t a l l y s t r a n g e to them. But i n essence, t h e y are a l l the same educated urban youth. I t i s because of t h e i r s i m i l a r i t y i n urban background t h a t Ding Qi f a l l s i n l o v e w i t h L i Lu soon a f t e r he gets a c q u a i n t e d w i t h h er, and i t i s a l s o because of the c o n n e c t i o n which Ding Qi s t i l l keeps w i t h h i s f a m i l y i n B e i j i n g t h a t he f i n a l l y b r i n g s about h i s g i r l - f r i e n d ' s t r a g e d y . J u s t as B a l z a c who d i v i d e d h i s Comedie Humaine i n t o "Scenes of P a r i s i a n L i f e , " "Scenes of P r o v i n c i a l L i f e , " "Scenes of P r i v a t e L i f e , " so Chen J i a n g o n g , i f i t i s not u n s u i t a b l e f o r him t o f o l l o w the example of t h i s l i t e r a r y g i a n t , might c l a s s i f y h i s s c a r c e oeuvre i n t o a number of c a t e g o r i e s : one about urban y o u t h , one about c o a l m i n e rs, one about o l d c i t y r e s i d e n t s of the lower c l a s s e s , and one about h i g h s c h o o l s t u d e n t s or a d o l e s c e n t s . The s t o r i e s he wrote when he was a s t u d e n t at B e i j i n g U n i v e r s i t y are a l l about young urban B e i j i n g e r s , except f o r the f o l l o w i n g t h r e e : "A Troublemaker i n West B e i j i n g , " " A f t e r Death," and "Phoenix Eyes." These t h r e e s h o r t s t o r i e s were e x c l u d e d d e l i b e r a t e l y from d i s c u s s i o n i n the p r e v i o u s c h a p t e r f o r the r e a s o n I have e x p l a i n e d . Of them, c r i t i c s are s u r p r i s i n g l y unanimous i n p o s i t i v e e v a l u a t i o n , whereas i t i s not r a r e f o r them to have d i f f e r e n t 71 o p i n i o n s , e i t h e r v e i l e d or s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d , c o n c e r n i n g the b u l k of works of f i c t i o n produced by Chen Ji a n g o n g i n h i s e a r l y s t a g e . Wang Meng i n h i s p r e f a c e t o B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament f r a n k l y c o n f e s s e s t h a t he p r e f e r s the s t o r i e s of "Phoenix" t y p e 6 6 -- r e f e r r i n g t o t h a t about t h e l i f e of c o a l miners. To be s u r e , i t was l a r g e l y out of h i s p e r s o n a l p r e d i l e c t i o n t h a t he gave c r e d i t s - t o them, and t h e r e i s n o t h i n g a b s o l u t e i n h i s judgement ( f o r he knew t h a t younger g e n e r a t i o n might p r e f e r s t o r i e s of "Firmament" type -- r e f e r r i n g t o t h a t about young urban B e i j i n g e r s ) . Zeng Zhennan, however, was q u i t e d i f f e r e n t . He tended t o a c t l i k e a l i t e r a r y judge. H i s comment, though f o r t u n a t e l y l a u d a t o r y , i s much more d e f i n i t e , d e c i s i v e and c o n c l u s i v e : What i s worth our r e j o i c i n g i s t h a t t h i s h a t c h e t [I can not see any re a s o n why he s h o u l d employ t h i s metaphor h e r e ] , which i s sharp but not f i r m l y h e l d , i s not the o n l y one Chen J i a n g o n g p o s s e s s e s . He a l s o has i n h i s hand t h r e e o t h e r "Rambling Chats About E v e r y t h i n g Under the Sun" [ r e f e r r i n g t o the t h r e e s t o r i e s i n q u e s t i o n ] . I t i s th e s e t h r e e h a t c h e t s t h a t he indeed swung e x c e l l e n t l y , Wang Meng, " P r e f a c e , " B e w i l d e r i n g 72 Firmament: and we can not but admire h i s m a s t e r l y s k i l l . Zeng Zhennan d i d not:, seem t o f e e l u n j u s t i f i e d i n p r a i s i n g s t o r i e s of "Phoenix" t y p e , a t the expense of those of "Firmament" type -- t o use Wang Meng's terms f o r c a t e g o r i z a t i o n . To him, the re a s o n t h a t the former are m e r i t o r i o u s i s t h a t Chen J i a n g o n g , " b e i n g d e e p l y concerned w i t h the f a t e of l a b o u r i n g people and t h e i r fee1ings...made s u b s t a n t i a l e x p l o r a t i o n of l i f e " i n these s t o r i e s . On t h e c o n t r a r y , "the e x c l u s i o n of the l a b o u r i n g p e o p l e " i n the r e s t of h i s works "rendered h i s l i t e r a r y endeavour, however w i t h d e l i c a t e s k i l l , f r i v o l o u s and s h a l l o w . " 6 8 T h i s i s , I am a f r a i d , s t i l l s o c i a l c r i t i c i s m of l i t e r a t u r e based upon M a r x i s t c l a s s t h e o r y . In h i s well-known random essay [zawen] " L i t e r a t u r e and Sweat" [Wenxue yu chuhan] , Lu Xun d i d a s s e r t , as d i s s e m i n a t i n g of Marxism was g a i n i n g momentum i n China h a l f a c e n t u r y ago, t h a t the sweat of " e x q u i s i t e " l a d i e s and t h a t of s t u p i d s t r o n g workers are d i s s i m i l a r . 6 9 But he was n o t , a f t e r 6 7 Zeng Zhengnan, "Chen J i a n g o n g he t a de duanpian x i a o s h u o " [Chen J i a n g o n g and h i s Short S t o r i e s ] , S o i l and Thorn [ N i t u yu l i j i ] : 35. 6 8 I b i d . , 35 . 6 9 "Take s w e a t i n g , f o r example. I imagine men sweated i n the d i s t a n t p a s t , they sweat today and w i l l sweat f o r some time t o come. T h i s s h o u l d t h e r e f o r e count as a c o m p a r a t i v e l y ' e t e r n a l ' 73 a l l , so unwise as t o make judgement on which sweat i s more a r t i s t i c a l l y v a l u a b l e . Whoever has common sense of l i t e r a t u r e knows t h a t Dream of the Red Mans i o n s and The Water Margin are both m a s t e r p i e c e s , though Cao Xueqin d e s c r i b e s Chinese g e n t r y i n h i s s t o r y , w h i l e S h i Naian, i n s t e a d , t a k e s f o r e s t outlaws as h i s f i c t i o n a l h e r o e s . He knows, t o o , t h a t no matter how d i f f e r e n t the n o v e l s of Leo T o l s t o y and C h a r l e s Dickens are -- one i s c h i e f l y about R u s s i a n a r i s t o c r a t s and the o t h e r about people of l o w e r -middle c l a s s e s i n England, both are g r e a t works so f a r as l i t e r a r y m e t i t s are concerned. Is t h e r e any c r i t i c who has ever p r o f e s s e d t h a t Cao Xueqin's " e x p l o r a t i o n of l i f e " would not be " s u b s t a n t i a l " i f not i n works of S h i Naian? Or T o l s t o y ' s t e c h n i q u e s c o u l d o n l y a v o i d b e i n g " f r i v o l o u s and s h a l l o w " when t h e y were handled by D i c k e n s ? Without c o n v i n c i n g us t h a t t h e s e t h r e e s t o r i e s are t h e m a t i c a l l y b e t t e r , Zeng n e v e r t h e l e s s d i d not m i s u n d e r s t a n d at l e a s t on one p o i n t : t hey are indeed remarkably d i f f e r e n t i n s u b j e c t m a t t e r . Chen J i a n g o n g was t h e n o b v i o u s l y an urban youth h i m s e l f . I t i s n a t u r a l t h a t s t o r i e s about t h i s type of people a c q u i r e s an a u t o b i o g r a p h i c f l a v o u r , w i t h the t r a c e of the a u t h o r h i m s e l f human q u a l i t y , but the sweat of ' e x q u i s i t e ' young l a d i e s i s sweet, w h i l e the sweat of workers 'dumb as oxen' i s rank." See Lu Xun, " L i t e r a t u r e and Sweat," S e l e c t e d Works of Lu Xun, v o l . 2, t r a n s . Yang H s i e n - y i and Gladys Yang, B e i j i n g : F o r e i g n Languages P r e s s , 1960: 382. 74 b e t r a y e d now and t h e n . When he c a s t h i s eye on woes and happi n e s s of c o a l m i n e r s , of v a r i o u s types of m o r t a l s o t h e r t h a n t h a t t o which he h i m s e l f belonged, he c o n s c i o u s l y c o n t r i v e d f o r thos e s t o r i e s a s u b - t i t l e : "Rambling Chats About E v e r y t h i n g Under the Sun." Taken l i t e r a l l y , i t suggests t h a t the s t o r i e s b e a r i n g such a s u b - t i t l e may p r o b a b l y d e a l w i t h d i v e r s i f i e d people and m u l t i f a r i o u s t h i n g s t h a t are not n e c e s s a r i l y r e l a t e d t o the a u t h o r ' s own e x p e r i e n c e . Chen J i a n g o n g planned t o w r i t e t e n s t o r i e s under t h i s s u b - t i t l e , and so f a r he has, f i n i s h e d f i v e (one of them i s a c t u a l l y a n o v e l l a ) . They have made him more n o t i c e a b l e , , e s p e c i a l l y o u t s i d e the mainland C h i n a . I f the s t o r i e s d i s c u s s e d i n the p r e v i o u s c h a p t e r m a i n l y d e s c r i b e young B e i j i n g e r s , i n p a r t i c u l a r s o c i a l ' i n j u s t i c e from which t h e y s u f f e r , t h e n , as soon as Chen J i a n g o n g was engaged, i n w r i t i n g the s e r i e s of "Rambling Chats," namely, s t o r i e s of "Phoenix" t y p e , he devoted h i m s e l f t o the p r e s e n t a t i o n of the g r i e f and j o y of c o a l - m i n e r s . "A Troublemaker i n West B e i j i n g " 7 0 i s about l o n g - s t a n d i n g s e p a r a t i o n of the miner P i Debao and h i s w i f e and d i f f i c u l t y i n l o o k i n g a f t e r t h e i r baby; " A f t e r Death" d e a l s w i t h an i l l - s t a r r e d l i f e of the o l d e x c a v a t o r Stone Wei who, d e s p i t e hard w o r k i n g f o r dozens of ye a r s i n a mine, can not even get due 7 0 The l i t e r a l t r a n s l a t i o n : of- the phrase " s a o d a z i " ( t r o u b l e m a k e r ) s h o u l d be "sausy T a r t a r . " See Yang X i a n y i ' s A Dream  of Red Mansions, v o l . 2, 133. 75 p r a i s e a f t e r h i s death; and "Phoenix Eyes," l i k e Shakespeare's Love's Labour's L o s t i n mood, i s a comedic r e c o u n t i n g of trou b l e s o m e n e s s the male miners u s u a l l y undergo i n the p r o c e s s of l o o k i n g f o r a g i r l - f r i e n d . In f a c t , "A Troublemaker i n West B e i j i n g " does not be l o n g t o the group of "Rambling Chats," and t h e r e are o n l y two s t o r i e s i n B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament -- t h a t i s , " A f t e r Death" and "Phoenix Eyes" -- which r e a l l y have t h a t s u b - t i t l e . When Zeng Zhennan observed t h a t "he a l s o has i n h i s hand t h r e e o t h e r 'Rambling Chats,'" he o b v i o u s l y made an e r r o r w i t h the unco n s c i o u s i n c l u s i o n of "A Troublemaker i n West B e i j i n g . " T h i s s u r e l y r e s u l t e d from h i s c a r e l e s s n e s s i n r e a d i n g . Even though, however, "A Troublemaker" does not have t h i s s u b - t i t l e , i t i s not un r e a s o n a b l e t o r e g a r d i t as one of t h a t s e r i e s , f o r i t bears conspicuous a f f i n i t y i n s u b j e c t m a t t e r . The s u b j e c t matter i s not the s o l e mark t h a t d i s t i n g u i s h e s s t o r i e s of "Phoenix" type from those of "Firmament" t y p e . J u d g i n g from i t o n l y , "Sweetness" i s a l s o supposed t o f a l l i n t o t he former c a t e g o r y . That s t o r i e s of "Phoenix" type are d i f f e r e n t i s not merely because they are i d i o s y n c r a t i c i n s u b j e c t m a t t e r , but c h i e f l y because they are i d i o s y n c r a t i c i n d i c t i o n and mode of r e p r e s e n t a t i o n . They r e v e a l the autho r ' s o t h e r d i f f e r e n t i a t i v e s t y l e i n a r t i s t r y , and hence b r i n g t o l i g h t t h a t Chen J i a n g o n g , a n o v i c e as he was i n c r e a t i v e w r i t i n g , had i n h i s hands "two k i n d s 76 of weapons, two k i n d s of p u g i l i s m , and two k i n d s of b r u s h e s . " 7 1 Wang Meng b e l i e v e d t h a t "Tears of the Tawny D a y l i l y " and "A Troublemaker i n West B e i j i n g " are so u n l i k e t h a t i t i s i m p o s s i b l e f o r t he r e a d e r t o see at f i r s t g l i m p s e t h a t they were w r i t t e n by the same a u t h o r . Twice r e a d i n g s are perhaps s t i l l i n s u f f i c i e n t . One has t o read t h r e e t i m e s , or even f o u r t i m e s , b e f o r e t u r n i n g them over i n h i s mind f o r some moments. 7 2 The change i n s u b j e c t m atter i s p r o b a b l y p r e r e q u i s i t e , and t h e n . t h e r e i s an a c c o r d i n g a l t e r a t i o n i n d i c t i o n and mode of r e p r e s e n t a t i o n . O r i g i n a l l y , Chen J i a n g o n g wished t o adhere t o an i n v a r i a b l e " s t y l e . " 7 3 Even a f t e r p u b l i s h i n g "Sinuous R i l l s , " he " s t i l l c o n f i d e n t l y moved' ahead i n the d i r e c t i o n of h i s ' f i x e d s t y l e , ' " which he p r o b a b l y thought was most s u i t a b l e f o r him. B e f o r e l o n g , however, he encountered a problem: a number of c o a l miners and towns people w i t h whom he was v e r y f a m i l i a r began t o i n t r u d e themselves i n t o h i s i m a g i n a r y w o r l d , b r i n g i n g a l o n g w i t h them t h e i r gross language and u n r e f i n e d w i t t i c i s m . Would he s t i l l c h e r i s h the e s t a b l i s h e d s t y l i s t i c g o a l , " i n s i s t i n g t h a t t h e s e p e o p l e be p o r t r a y e d i n the minute and d e l i c a t e way," (70) or would 7 1 Wang Meng, " P r e f a c e , " B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament: 4. 7 2 I b i d . , 4. 7 3 See Chen J i a n g o n g , "Changshi yu xiwang" [Attempt and Hope], Study of L i t e r a t u r e and A r t s [Wenyi y a n j i u ] No. 5, 1983: 70. F u r t h e r r e f e r e n c e s i n p a r e n t h e s e s i n the t e x t . 77 he adopt, i n accordance w i t h the m a t e r i a l he had p o s s e s s e d , a more a p p r o p r i a t e method i n o r d e r t o d i s p l a y them more v i v i d l y and more e f f e c t i v e l y ? F i n a l l y he was . determined t o choose the l a t t e r , and took up another "brush." Of c o u r s e , he was not f o r c e d t o make t h i s change. The v a r i a t i o n i n h i s s t y l e was s u b j e c t not o n l y t o the raw m a t e r i a l which was c o n d i t i o n e d and p r o v i d e d by l i f e , but more i m p o r t a n t l y , to h i s i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c , p s y c h o l o g i c a l f a c t o r s . He made such an e x p l a n a t i o n : As a w r i t e r who l i v e s i n a d e v e l o p i n g s o c i a l m i l i e u and d e v e l o p i n g e r a , as a w r i t e r who keeps, e x p e r i e n c i n g , e x p l o r i n g , and m e d i t a t i n g upon l i f e , he i s bound t o be d e v e l o p i n g i n h i s t h o u g h t , h i s f e e l i n g s , and h i s a e s t h e t i c t a s t e . He w i l l c e r t a i n l y p r e s e n t t o the r e a d e r a l i f e d e s c r i b e d from the angle of h i s a l t e r e d a e s t h e t i c v i e w p o i n t . I s n ' t i t i n e v i t a b l e , t h e r e f o r e , t h a t a new s t y l e w i l l come out? (70) He even quoted Mao Dun f o r an i l l u s t r a t i o n . -When Mao Dun wrote the t r i l o g y E c l i p s e [ S h i ] i n 1927, h i s s t y l e i s melancholy and p e s s i m i s t i c . Yet The T w i l i g h t [ Z i y e ] , which was p u b l i s h e d i n 1932, i s not melancholy and p e s s i m i s t i c any more; i n s t e a d , i t i s f u l l of c o n f i d e n c e , l i v e l i n e s s , and o p t i m i s t i c s p i r i t . (70) 78 L a c k i n g s u f f i c i e n t r e s o u r c e s , r e g r e t t a b l y , I am unable to make a more c o n v i n c i n g e x p l a n a t i o n than Chen J i a n g o n g d i d h i m s e l f of the c o n n e c t i o n between "a d e v e l o p i n g s o c i a l m i l i e u " and "a w r i t e r who keeps e x p e r i e n c i n g , e x p l o r i n g , and m e d i t a t i n g upon l i f e , " l e t alone make a d e t a i l e d study i n l i t e r a r y s o c i o l o g y and l i t e r a r y p s y c h o l o g y which goes too f a r beyond the scope of t h i s t h e s i s . What I am m a i n l y concerned w i t h i s how Chen Ji a n g o n g d e s c r i b e d l i f e i n terms of h i s "new a e s t h e t i c v i e w p o i n t . " "The new a e s t h e t i c v i e w p o i n t " might not m a n i f e s t i t s t r a i t s d i s t i n c t i v e l y u n l e s s put i n t o the c o n t r a s t w i t h the " f i x e d s t y l e . " The term " s t y l e , " once a p p l i e d i n the s c h o l a r s h i p of l i t e r a t u r e , i s i n c a p a b l e of f r e e i n g i t s e l f from d i v e r s i f i e d -- f a r - f e t c h e d and w e l l - g r o u n d e d a l i k e -- i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s made by l i t e r a r y t h e o r e t i c i a n s . We have t o leave t h i s g e n e r a l term a s i d e , w i t h our c o n c e n t r a t i o n o n l y f o c u s e d on the more s p e c i f i c s i d e of the i m p l i c a t i o n of Chen Jia n g o n g ' s nomenclature. A c c o r d i n g t o him, the " f i x e d s t y l e " i s , " j u s t l i k e xiaokai [ s m a l l r e g u l a r s c r i p t ] . . . a minute and d e l i c a t e way of a r t i s t i c e x p r e s s i o n . " O b v i o u s l y , i t b a s i c a l l y r e f e r s t o the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of l i n g u i s t i c a s p e c t . To d e f i n e the language of the " f i x e d s t y l e , " one of the c r i t i c s used " b o o k i s h " 7 4 as a m o d i f i e r , which, w i t h o u t 7 4 See Zhang Weian, "On Some C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of Chen Jia n g o n g ' s s h o r t s t o r i e s " [Lun c h e n j i a n g o n g duanpian xiaoshuo de j i g e t e d i a n ] , L i t e r a r y Review [Wenxue p i n g l u n ] , No. 12, 1982: 181. 79 p r i o r r e a d i n g of h i s c r i t i q u e , happens t o be the word I would v e r y much l i k e t o make use of myself f o r a comprehensive g e n e r a l i z a t i o n . R e f i n e d and e l e g a n t , d e l i c a t e and f e m i n i n e , f l o w e r y and b e a u t i f u l , l y r i c a l and p o e t i c a l , t h e s e are the major f e a t u r e s of the language a p p l i e d i n s t o r i e s of "Firmament" t y p e . With a q u o t a t i o n of the b e g i n n i n g paragraph i n "Sinuous R i l l " as an example, one may perhaps get an o v e r a l l i m p r e s s i o n of what the " f i x e d s t y l e " a c t u a l l y i s : One may have l o v e e x p e r i e n c e a number of t i m e s . But once m a r r i e d , one must get r i d o f f o l d l i n g e r i n g s e n t i m e n t , and s t a r t a brand new m a t r i m o n i a l l i f e . T h i s was the a t t i t u d e I adopted when I f e l l i n l o v e w i t h Mingwei and m a r r i e d him. I t o l d him what had happened between Zhong Qi and me, and he unde r s t o o d t h a t . Then we m a r r i e d . How f r e s h our l i f e was at the b e g i n n i n g ! L i k e a newly bloomed f l o w e r , I enjoyed h a v i n g the g e n t l e b r e e z e , sweet dew, b e a u t i f u l s u n l i g h t , and azure sky. Now one year has b a r e l y e l a p s e d s i n c e our wedding, y e t somehow I can't h e l p coming t o t h i s s m a l l creek at t i m e s , and g a z i n g a t i t , l e t myself be immersed i n r e m i n i s c e n c e of Zhong Q i . S i x ye a r s b e f o r e , I had broken up w i t h him. He s c o l d e d me. T h i n k i n g of t h a t I would be f i l l e d w i t h resentment. Now t h a t I had got my husband, and had got a new l i f e , why was I s t i l l coming here now and the n t o 80 r e v i e w those o l d dreams? T h i s i s a n a r r a t i o n from a woman's p o i n t of view, a l t e r n a t e d w i t h her commentary and d e s c r i p t i o n . The n a r r a t i o n i s b o o k i s h , and the commentary and d e s c r i p t i o n are m i l d and e m o t i o n a l . The s i m i l e s ' and metaphors a p p l i e d i n the e x c e r p t , such as " l i k e a newly bloomed f l o w e r , " " g e n t l e b r e e z e , " "sweet dew," " b e a u t i f u l s u n l i g h t , " and "azure s k y , " are not o n l y p o e t i c a l , but s t r i k e us as f e m i n i n e as w e l l . Under the guidance of "the new a e s t h e t i c v i e w p o i n t , " Chen J i a n g o n g t h o r o u g h l y remoulded h i s language: Everyone says t h e r e are more women than men i n B e i j i n g , y e t somehow many young guys i n West B e i j i n g s i m p l y cannot f i n d m a r r i a g e p a r t n e r s . Is i t t h a t they are u g l y , l i k e i l l - s h a p e d melons or s p l i t d a t e s ? Or they are i d l e r s l o a f i n g at s t r e e t c o r n e r w i t h n o t h i n g t o do a l l day long? No, not at a l l . I f you don't b e l i e v e , you can go loo k y o u r s e l f . O u t s i d e S a n j i a d i a n , handsome young men are everywhere to be seen! No sooner do you c a t c h s i g h t of a n i c e - l o o k i n g guy, w i t h a p a i r of charming eyes and l o v e l y brows, than another f e l l e r , t a l l , s t r o n g , and m a s c u l i n e , w i l l have appeared i n f r o n t of you. Among them, t h e r e are not o n l y model "Sinuous R i l l s , " B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament: 1. 81 workers and c r a c k a j a c k s at t e c h n i c a l i n n o v a t i o n , , but amateur s i n g e r s , amateur v i o l i n i s t s , amateur p i a n i s t s and the l i k e . I f they were c i t y r e s i d e n t s , i t i s not i m p o s s i b l e t h a t g i r l s would be f a s c i n a t e d by them. However, they l i v e i n the suburb -- i n West B e i j i n g . They are m i n e r s . That's the r e a l problem! Most g i r l s w i l l frown when they l e a r n t h e i r would-be b o y - f r i e n d s , s t a n d i n g b e f o r e them, are engaged i n t h i s o c c u p a t i o n . So however o t h e r w i s e p e r f e c t , they w i l l e q u a l l y g i v e a one-word answer: "No!" 7 6 As the opening of "Phoenix Eyes," t h i s passage, l i k e t h a t i n "Sinuous R i l l s " which I j u s t c i t e d a w h i l e ago, i s a l s o made up of e x p o s i t o r y n a r r a t i o n . But how d i f f e r e n t i t i s ! P o e t r y , S h e l l e y s a y s , i s u n t r a n s l a t a b l e , and t r a n s l a t o r s are t r a i t o r s . In my o p i n i o n , what i s u n t r a n s l a t a b l e i s not merely p o e t r y . I f f i c t i o n i s remarkable f o r i t s s t r o n g l o c a l or n a t i o n a l f e a t u r e s , i t i s bound t o l o s e i t s o r i g i n a l charm i n t a r g e t language, no ma t t e r how s k i l f u l l y i t i s t r a n s l a t e d . U n l e s s I quote the o r i g i n a l , I w i l l not be abl e t o make E n g l i s h r e a d e r s f u l l y a p p r e c i a t e t h r o u g h my E n g l i s h v e r s i o n the s t y l i s t i c d i f f e r e n c e between Chen Jia n g o n g ' s two types of s t o r i e s . What I can p r o b a b l y do t o the b e s t of my a b i l i t y i n t r a n s l a t i o n i s a rough d i s c r i m i n a t i o n . "Pheonix Eyes," B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament: 87. 82 At any r a t e , one may have perhaps made out t h a t the l i n g e r i n g s e n t i m e n t i n "Sinuous R i l l s " has c o m p l e t e l y v a n i s h e d here i n "Phoenix Eyes." The b o o k i s h language i s t r a n s f o r m e d i n t o t h a t of l i v e l i n e s s and toughness, and v u l g a r phrases emerge i n a g r e a t q u a n t i t y . F o r i n s t a n c e s , "not easy t o get h o l d of marriage p a r t n e r s , " " l i k e i l l - s h a p e d melons and s p l i t d a t e s , " and " i d l e r s l o a f i n g at the s t r e e t c o r n e r s w i t h n o t h i n g t o do a l l day l o n g . " (My E n g l i s h i s not so.good t o make them tough enough.) T h i s k i n d of language i s no l o n g e r r e f i n e d and e l e g a n t . On the c o n t r a r y , they are r a t h e r c o a r s e , w i t h s t r o n g miners' f l a v o u r . Western f i c t i o n of the t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y has a marked c h a r a c t e r i s t i c -- namely,- i t does not a v o i d u s i n g obscene words any more. I f w r i t e r s l i k e C h a r l e s Dickens i n the n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y c o u l d o n l y c o n f i n e themselves to the use of m i s s p e l l i n g s and ungrammatical e x p r e s s i o n s when they d e s c r i b e d d i r e c t l y i l l i t e r a c y and v u l g a r i s m , t h e n i n works of modern n o v e l i s t s i t seems t h a t t h e i r language would no l o n g e r be v i v i d , f o r c e f u l , and t r u e - t o - l i f e w i t h o u t b e i n g seasoned w i t h " s h i t , " " f u c k , " or some such t h i n g . As Chen J i a n g o n g d e l i b e r a t e l y v e r n a c u l e r i z e d h i s p h r a s e o l o g y , the words t h a t used t o be u n p r e s e n t a b l e came f u r t i v e l y i n t o h i s s t o r i e s one a f t e r the o t h e r : " S h i t , i t ' s r e a l l y d i s a p p o i n t i n g . " 7 7 " A f t e r Death," B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament: 96. 83 " S h i t , what are you e a t i n g f o r . . . " 7 8 " S h i t , a r e n ' t you shameful t o bo t h e r the l e a d e r s w i t h t h a t l i t t l e m a t t e r . " 7 9 But l i k e a foot-bound woman who has j u s t been unbound and i s t r y i n g to ambulate, he seems t o be r a t h e r c a u t i o u s and h e s i t a n t a t the b e g i n n i n g w h i l e making use of the bawdy v e r b a l i s m . Even when Stone Wei i s ou t r a g e o u s , h i s abuse i s s t i l l t emperate: "How come the Communist P a r t y s h o u l d have done such a goddamned t h i n g ! I t i s n ' t t h a t I o b j e c t t o s t e r i l i z a t i o n , but can they c a r r y put t h i s p o l i c y t he way p i g s are c a s t r a t e d , making c o u n t r y women so s c a r e d t h a t they have t o f l e e t o o t h e r p l a c e s ? " 8 0 C e r t a i n l y , " A f t e r Death" i s not comparable i n t h i s r e s p e c t w i t h " C u r l y l o c k s " i n which " s h i t " seems e x c e s s i v e l y f r e q u e n t . At t h a t t i m e , the most common v i t u p e r a t i o n Chen J i a n g o n g used i s a r e l a t i v e l y l e s s c o a r s e word " p i " ( l i t e r a l l y meaning " f a r t " ) . A c c o r d i n g t o my i n a c c u r a t e s t a t i s t i c s , t h e r e are i n thes e t h r e e s t o r i e s a p p r o x i m a t e l y t e n a b u s i v e phrases t h a t are r e l a t e d t o t h i s 7 8 "Pheonix Eyes," B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament: 88. 7 9 "A Troublemaker i n West B e i j i n g , " B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament; 36. 8 0 " A f t e r Death," B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament: 77. 84 word. A r e a d e r of acute o b s e r v a t i o n w i l l p r o b a b l y f e e l at f i r s t s i g h t t h a t t h e r e i s something q u i t e d i f f e r e n t w i t h the t i t l e s of s t o r i e s produced under the guidance of the a u t h o r ' s "new a e s t h e t i c v i e w p o i n t . " I t i s u n d e n i a b l e t h a t "Phoenix Eyes" c o u l d make i t s e l f i d e n t i c a l w i t h the t i t l e s of o t h e r s t o r i e s i n B e w i 1 d e r i n g  Firmament but f o r the accompaniment of the s p e c i o u s l y c h a r l a t a n i s t i c s u b - t i t l e "Rambling Chats About E v e r y t h i n g Under the Sun." I t i s , t h e r e f o r e , unable t o convey a g r a c e f u l and p o e t i c a l sense. The same i s t r u e of the term " t r o u b l e m a k e r " ( s a o d a z i ) i n the t i t l e "A Troublemaker i n West B e i j i n g . " A l t h o u g h i t i s i n h e r i t e d from the female p r o t a g o n i s t L i n Daiyu i n Dream of  the Red Mansions i f Chen Jiangong's " t e x t u a l r e s e a r c h " 8 1 i s r e l i a b l e , i t i s s t i l l u nable t o p r o c u r e f o r i t s e l f "a decent p o s i t i o n i n s o c i a l i n t e r c o u r s e . " Not o n l y w e l l - e d u c a t e d i n t e l l e c t u a l s i n B e i j i n g a v o i d t h i s bawdy phrase as a taboo, but even o r d i n a r y B e i j i n g e r s of lower s o c i a l s t r a t a f e e l shameful to use i t . "Only a f t e r one t a k e s a west-bound t r a i n , t r a v e l s t h r o u g h Wukong B r i d g e , t h r o u g h the apple o r c h a r d , t h e n c o n t i n u o u s l y goes westward, goes beyond S a n j i a d i a n , and f i n a l l y reaches the m i n i n g a r e a i n West B e i j i n g , " 8 2 t h e n one may perhaps hear i t when miners 8 1 T h i s term i s used by Zhang Weian f o r the purpose of p r o v i n g t h a t Chen J i a n g o n g ' s s t y l e i s " b o o k i s h . " 8 2 "A Troublemaker i n West B e i j i n g , " B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament: 29. 85 are j o k i n g w i t h each o t h e r . L e t us tak e f o r comparison the t i t l e s of s t o r i e s of "Firmament" t y p e . Of "Sweetness, " "Sinuous R i l l s , " " B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament," "The P a t t e r n e d S c a r f That Was Blown Away," "The Broken Morning S u n l i g h t , " " R a i n , l a s h i n g the Neon Lamps," i s t h e r e any one t h a t does not sound l y r i c a l ? J u d g i n g from the t i t l e s o n l y , w i t h o u t knowledge of the gender of the a u t h o r , one w i l l perhaps b e l i e v e t h a t t h e s e s t o r i e s were p o s s i b l y w r i t t e n by a woman w r i t e r . With h i s c r i t i c a l acumen, Wang Meng found them r a t h e r u n s a t i s f y i n g , e s p e c i a l l y " R a i n , L a s h i n g the Neon Lamps" and "The Broken Morning S u n l i g h t . " He h e l d t h a t they are too verbose and " l a c k due e m b e l l i s h m e n t . " 8 3 H i s c r i t i c i s m i s no doubt p e r t i n e n t . N e v e r t h e l e s s , the p o i n t i s t h a t Chen J i a n g o n g as a slow and c o n s c i e n t i o u s s t o r y -w r i t e r c o u l d not have been so c a r e l e s s as t o n e g l e c t p o l i s h i n g h i s t i t l e s . A l t h o u g h "my w r i t i n g s are not p r o l i f i c , nor e x c e l l e n t , " he acknowledges i n the p r e f a c e t o h i s se1f-compi1ed c o l l e c t i o n , "they are not i r r e s p o n s i b l e p r o d u c t s . " 8 4 T h e r e f o r e the seeming t i t u l a r c l u m s i n e s s b e t r a y s n o t h i n g but h i s i n c l i n a t i o n f o r o v e r - o r n a t e n e s s (though i t i s u n s u c c e s s f u l ) . By c r e a t i n g t h i s k i n d of l i n g e r i n g and em o t i o n a l t i t l e s , he i n f a c t t r i e d t o s t r e n g t h e n h i s e l a b o r a t e p o e t i c a l s t y l e , at l e a s t not t o go a g a i n s t i t . 3 3 Wang Meng, " P r e f a c e , " B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament: 6. 8 4 Chen J i a n g o n g : " P r e f a c e , " S e l e c t e d Works of Chen J i a n g o n g ( B e i j i n g , 1985). 86 He was even m e t i c u l o u s i n g i v i n g h i s c h a r a c t e r s p r o p e r names i n o r d e r t h a t they c o u l d be c o m p a t i b l e w i t h h i s s t y l e . The names of c h a r a c t e r s i n s t o r i e s of "Phoenix" type m o s t l y c o n s i s t of t h r e e s y l l a b l e s , f o r example, P i Debao, Wei S h i t o u , and X i n X i a o l i a n g . They are p l a i n and u n p o e t i c a l , e m i t t i n g a s p e c i a l savour which i s u n m i s t a k a b l y of c o a l m i n e r s ' s . But i n s t o r i e s of "Firmament" t y p e , almost a l l the names are made up of two s y l l a b l e s : Zhong Q i , Ming Wei, L i Lu, Yu X i n , Lu J i a n , Qing J i a n g , Shen P i n g , Chen Hao, and Wei-wei. T h i s k i n d of two s y l l a b i c c o m b i n a t i o n i s not o n l y musical, i n t o n e , but metaphoric i n meaning. "Zhong Q i " can be r e a s o n a b l y i n t e r p r e t e d as "zhongguo q i c a i " [genius or g r e a t man i n C h i n a ] ; "Shen P i n g " i s equal t o "chen-ping" [sunken duckweed] because the surname."shen" i s i n t e r c h a n g e a b l e w i t h "chen" [ s i n k ] i n c l a s s i c a l C h i n e s e ; as f o r L i Lu, as I have a l r e a d y s t a t e d i n the p r e v i o u s c h a p t e r , i s none o t h e r t h a n an a b b r e v i a t i o n of " l i m i n g de l u z h u " [dew i n e a r l y morning] which i s o b v i o u s l y a metaphor of p u r i t y and inn o c e n c e . In "Sinuous R i l l s , " Zhong Qi and Dandan are so e x c i t e d i n f r o n t of a q u i e t creak w h i l e they are unbosoming themselves t o each o t h e r about t h e i r i d e a l s , as i f they were l o s t i n r e v e r i e . I t seemed t o the auth o r t h a t such an i n t o x i c a t e d s t a t e of daydream would not be f u l l y e x p r e s s e d u n l e s s i n form of p o e t r y . Thus, t h r o u g h Dandan's c h a n t i n g t h e r e i n t e r p o s e s n a t u r a l l y a poem i n the s t o r y : F a c i n g the s m a l l , q u i e t creek 87 We have many, many a t h i n g t o say Oh, P l e a s e don't do i t i n haste Look, the s t a r s i n heaven So numerous, t h a t i n the creek are r e f l e c t e d . , . F a c i n g the s m a l l , q u i e t creek We have many, many a wish t o put i n t o phrase Oh, P l e a s e don't do i t i n haste Look, the s t a r s i n heaven So numerous, t h a t i n the creek g l i s t e n . . . 8 5 When Lu J i a n sees the sun s t i l l h i d e b e h i n d the b l a c k green mountains, h i s mind i s so p e a c e f u l , so c o n g e n i a l , t h a t he f e e l s t h a t prose language i s not q u i t e q u a l i f i e d t o d e s c r i b e i t . "How I wis h t o s i n g a song, accompanied by the t w i t t e r i n g of b i r d s on t w i g s , t o g r e e t the advent of the morning." Then a f r a g m e n t a l poem appears as f o l l o w s : I am l o o k i n g f o r w a r d t o The r i s e of the sun which i s v e r y b r i g h t ; By a t e n d e r s t r o k e of h e r s , "Sinuous R i l l , " B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament: 7. 88 I am made warm at the bottom of my mind. In f a c t , the " c i t a t i o n s " from The Old Man and the Sea i n the s t o r y of " B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament" can a l s o be r e g a r d e d as a v a r i a n t of p o e t r y . I t s a l l e g o r i c meaning and e x o t i c f l a v o u r are s u f f i c i e n t t o make i t a c q u i r e a k i n d of l y r i c a l n a t u r e d i f f e r e n t from o r d i n a r y n a r r a t i v e . Chen J i a n g o n g seemed t o have a fondness f o r v e r s e s , and h i s f i r s t c r e a t i v e work p u b l i s h e d w e l l b e f o r e d o w n f a l l of the Gang of Four was a poem e n t i t l e d "Seeing-of f. " But the o c c a s i o n a l i n s e r t i o n of poems i n h i s s t o r i e s i s not merely f o r the sake of showing o f f h i s p o e t i c a l t a l e n t , which i s a c t u a l l y r a t h e r average. J u s t as he; was m e t i c u l o u s ' i n s e l e c t i n g s u i t a b l e sentence p a t t e r n s f o r t i t l e s ; so he took p a i n s i n making use of poems t o r e n d e r h i s s t y l e more e l e g a n t and more e x q u i s i t e . When he was no l o n g e r c o n f i n e d by the " f i x e d s t y l e " and managed t o handle another "brush," the v e r s e s t h a t used to be e x p l o i t e d f o r the sake of s t y l e t hus d i s a p p e a r . No t r a c e of them can be seen i n s t o r i e s of "Phoenix" t y p e . "Old Wang, Old Wang, a bad l o s e r i n chess game who dares not show up any more," 8 7 t h i s i s perhaps the o n l y d o g g e r e l -l i k e rhyme i n t h e s e t h r e e t a l e s . A p p a r e n t l y , i t i s not t o convey p o e t i c a l emotion, but to r e f l e c t c h i l d r e n ' s m i s c h i e v o u s n e s s as they are making fun of t h e i r o l d chessmate. 8 6 "The Broken Morning S u n l i g h t , " B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament: 59. 8 7 "A Troublemaker i n West B e i j i n g , " B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament: 42. 89 As an o l d n a r r a t i v e ! t e c h n i q u e , the a p p l i c a t i o n of p o e t r y i n f i c t i o n can be t r a c e d back t o the Song Dynasty. C l a s s i c a l Chinese f i c t i o n downwards from t h a t p e r i o d used p o e t r y e i t h e r t o b e g i n a t a l e , or t o e l u c i d a t e a theme, or t o express emotion, or t o sum up. 8 8 I t i s w i t h a ci (a type of p o e t r y most p r e v a l e n t i n the Song D y n a s t y ) , f o r i n s t a n c e , t h a t The Romance of Three Kingdoms b e g i n s : " S u r g i n g eastward has been the t o r r e n t of Y a n g t s i R i v e r / S e e i n g a v a r i e t y of heroes embarking on m i l i t a r y v e n t u r e / Ere Long, however, t h e y ended up s u c c e s s i v e l y i n f a i l u r e / What t h e r e are s t i l l here are green mountains/ And r e d g l a r e of t w i l i g h t t h a t once i n a w h i l e a p p e a r s . . . " 8 9 What i s more worth m e n t i o n i n g i s t h a t i n huaben ( l i t e r a l l y meaning " s c r i p t f o r s t o r y - t e l l i n g , " but here I t a k e i t as a genre of f i c t i o n ) p o e t r y i s a t e c h n i q u e most f r e q u e n t l y used f o r ruhua.90 However, when Chen J i a n g o n g p u r p o s e l y i m i t a t e d the form of huaben, he d i d not show as much i n t e r e s t i n t h i s t r a d i t i o n a l t e c h n i q u e as he used t o do i n s t o r i e s of "Firmament" t y p e . On one hand, he found 8 8 For a d i s c u s s i o n of v e r s e s i n huaben, see Fan Ning: " I n t r o d u c t i o n , " S e l e c t e d Works of Huaben [Huaben xuan], B e i j i n g : P e o p l e ' s L i t e r a t u r e P r e s s , 1984: 3-4. 3 9 Luo Guanzhong, The Romance of Three Kingdoms, B e i j i n g : P e o p l e ' s L i t e r a t u r e P r e s s , 1985: 1. 9 0 A s p e c i a l term i n study of c l a s s i c a l Chinese f i c t i o n , meaning "to make an i n t r o d u c t i o n , or get i n t o theme of the s t o r y . " 90 ruhua q u i t e a d o p t a b l e as an i n t e r e s t i n g means t o b e g i n h i s s t o r i e s , y e t on the o t h e r hand he seemed t o be u n w i l l i n g t o plunge h i m s e l f i n t o the d i f f i c u l t y i n w r i t i n g c l a s s i c a l rhymed v e r s e s . Was he not good at t h a t , or was he a f r a i d t h a t they might read too p e d a n t i c , too a n t i q u a t e d ? Anyway, h i s i m i t a t i o n was then g r e a t l y metamorphosed, w i t h a roundabout t i t u l a r e x p l a n a t i o n s u b s t i t u t i n g f o r the p o e t r y t h a t s h o u l d have been adopted at the b e g i n n i n g of h i s s t o r i e s : The pure B e i j i n g d i a l e c t i s not as same as what we c a l l common speech. In B e i j i n g d i a l e c t , t h e r e i s a g r e a t d e a l of s l a n g which may not be u n d e r s t a n d a b l e t o people who can speak mandarin. One of the examples i s "zhuang s a o d a z i " [to s i m u l a t e a t r o u b l e m a k e r ] . T h i s phrase, as a m a t t e r of f a c t , came i n t o use hundreds of years ago. L i n D a i y u , i n the f o r t y - n i n t h c h a p t e r i n Dream of the Red  Mans i o n s , makes fun of S h i Xiangyun, s a y i n g : "You look l i k e a sausy l i t t l e T a r t a r , " when she sees the l a t t e r coming t o Paddy-sweet Cottage wearing an ermine coat g i v e n t o her by the Lady Dowager, a w o o l l e n hood and a s a b l e c o l l a r . Here by u s i n g "zhuang s a o d a z i , " L i n Daiyu o n l y means t o say t h a t S h i Xiangyun "pretends t o be a bumpkin." Handed down from g e n e r a t i o n t o g e n e r a t i o n , t h i s phrase has now g r a d u a l l y become a synonym f o r " f e i g n i n g 91 i g n o r a n c e . " Of the t i t l e "Gaiguan" [the l i d i s l a i d on one's c o f f i n ] , he d i d f o l l o w i n g " t e x t u a l r e s e a r c h : " "Gaiguan l u n d i n g " [ f i n a l e v a l u a t i o n which i s passed on a person a f t e r the l i d i s l a i d on h i s c o f f i n ] i s a l s o c a l l e d "gaiguan s h i d i n g . " The " p a t e n t " of c o i n i n g t h i s i d i o m p r o b a b l y belonged t o a man l i v i n g a thousand more y e a r s ago by the name of L i u Y i . He s a i d t h a t gentlemen c o u l d not as c a s u a l l y conduct themselves as people of lower s o c i a l s t a t u s . "One i s unable t o be f i n a l l y judged u n t i l a f t e r one's d e a t h ! " S i n c e then t h i s i d i o m had been f r e q u e n t l y c i t e d by men of l e t t e r s i n the d y n a s t i e s of 9 1 "A Troublemaker i n West B e i j i n g , " B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament: 29. We can indeed f i n d a v e r y s i m i l a r paragraph i n f o r t y n i n e t h c h a p t e r of A Dream of Red Mansions. Yang X i a n y i ' s t r a n s l a t i o n of t h i s p a r a g r a p h i s as f o l l o w s : " P r e s e n t l y Hsiang-yun a r r i v e d w earing an ermine coat l i n e d w i t h grey s q u i r r e l g i v e n her by the Lady Dowager, a s c a r l e t w o o l l e n hood w i t h a g o s l i n g - y e l l o w a p p l i q u e of c l o u d d e s i g n s and a golden l i n i n g , and a b i g s a b l e c o l l a r . 'Look, here comes the Monkey K i n g ! ' e x c l a i m e d T a i - y u l a u g h i n g . 'She's got a cape t o o , y e t she's d r e s s e d h e r s e l f up l i k e a sausy l i t t l e T a r t a r . ' " A Dream of Red Mansions, B e i j i n g : F o r e i g n Languages P r e s s , 1978: v o l . 2, 133. 92 Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming, Qing. Thus, i t was w i d e l y s p r e a d , and i s not o b s o l e t e even a t p r e s e n t t i m e . 9 2 Ruhua i n c l a s s i c a l Chinese f i c t i o n i s u s u a l l y r e l a t e d t o theme, or t e l l s a g i s t of what w i l l be happening i n t h e . s t o r y . I t i s an e s s e n t i a l p a r t , so t o speak, s i n c e l i t e r a t u r e was a way t o expre s s i d e o l o g y i n former t i m e s . But Chen Jia n g o n g ' s "ruhua" has o n l y f o r m a l i s t i c f u n c t i o n s . D e s p i t e the d i g r e s s i o n of " t e x t u a l r e s e a r c h " on t i t l e s from t h e m a t i c i m p l i c a t i o n , i t i s i n d i s p e n s a b l e i n c r e a t i n g a l i v e l y atmosphere f i t t i n g f o r the d e p i c t i o n of mine r s ' s i n e l e g a n t l i f e . With such an. humorous . t i t u l a r i n t e r p r e t a t i o n as an i n t r o d u c t i o n , he enables r e a d e r s e a s i l y t o get accustomed t o h i s " o t h e r b r u s h . " A number of c r i t i c s were somewhat b e w i l d e r e d by Chen Ji a n g o n g ' s seeming e r u d i t i o n . Zhang Weian s a i d : "The n o t a t i o n of the phrase ' s a o d a z i , ' the expounding of the o r i g i n of the i d i o m 'gaiguan l u n d i n g , ' the d e s i g n a t i o n of the a l i a s 'phoenix eyes,' -- a l l of them r e v e a l t o r e a d e r s a c e r t a i n i n c l i n a t i o n -- a charming b o o k i s h n e s s — which o n l y i n t e l l e c t u a l s p o s s e s s . " 9 3 He Zh i y u n , an u n d e n i a b l y e x p e r t on Chen J i a n g o n g , u s u a l l y d i d a good j o b i n h i s c r i t i c a l judgement, and most of times h i s c r i t i c i s m i s s u b s t a n t i a l 92 " A f t e r Death," B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament: 70. Zhang Weian, On Some C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of Chen J i a n g o n g ' s s h o r t s t o r i e s , L i t e r a r y C r i t i c i s m , No. 12, 1982: 181. 93 and i n s i g h t f u l . However, q u i t e to my s u r p r i s e , he s i m p l y echoed Zhang's o p i n i o n on t h i s p o i n t i n a p u b l i s h e d l e t t e r t o Chen J i a n g o n g : "You c l e a r l y showed a p a r t i c u l a r b o o k i s h n e s s i n the s t o r i e s d e s c r i b i n g the l i f e of miners and r e s i d e n t s of o l d e r g e n e r a t i o n i n B e i j i n g when you d i d a r e s e a r c h on the o r i g i n of ' s a o - d a - z i , ' e l u c i d a t e d the i d i o m ' g a i guan l u n d i n g , ' d e s i g n a t e d the a l i a s 'phoenix eyes,' and quoted the poems l i k e 'as the house i s r a r e l y v i s i t e d , t h e r e are h a r d l y any v e h i c l e s i n f r o n t of i t . ' T h i s b o o k i s h n e s s i s o n l y c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of i n t e l l e c t u a l s . " 9 4 To me, i t seems t h a t Chen J i a n g o n g d i d not aim at p e d a n t i c a l o s t e n t a t i o n i n s t o r i e s of "Phoenix" t y p e , s i n c e they were m a i n l y i n t e n d e d t o pander t o t a s t e s of the masses. I n s t e a d of p a r a d i n g knowledge, h i s " t e x t u a l r e s e a r c h " of e i t h e r " s a o d a z i " or "gaiguan l u n d i n g " s e r v e s o n l y as the means f o r ruhua, which I have e x p l a i n e d . A l t h o u g h "zhuang s a o d a z i " o r i g i n a t e d i n Dream of the Red  Mans i ons, i t s i m p l y means "to p r e t e n d t o be a bumpkin." At f i r s t g l i m p s e , the i d i o m "gaiguan l u n d i n g " i s perhaps s t a r t l i n g s i n c e i t was i n v e n t e d by such a c e l e b r i t y c a l l e d L i u Y i l i v i n g a thousand more y e a r s ago. Yet i n f a c t , r e a d e r s w i l l not be a w e - s t r i c k e n , because Chen Ji a n g o n g ' s n a r r a t i o n i s f a i r l y humorous and s p r i g h t l y . I n s t e a d of s a y i n g " L i u Y i , " he s a i d "a man by the name of L i u Y i . " He might as w e l l have made use of d i g n i f i e d e x p r e s s i o n such as "'gaiguan l u n d i n g ' o r i g i n a t e d . . . " i f he meant to be b o o k i s h ; but 9 4 He Z h i y u n , "My U n d e r s t a n d i n g and P e r p l e x i t y " [Wo de l i j i e yu kunhuo], Study of L i t e r a t u r e and A r t s , No. 5, 1983: 62. 94 he simply, put i t i n t h i s ^ w a y : "the 'patent' of c o i n i n g t h i s i d i o m p r o b a b l y belonged t o . . . " What i s more n o t i c e a b l e i s t h a t i n both the f o r e g o i n g quoted passages t h e r e appears the f u n c t i o n word " l a , " f o r examples, " t a shuo l a " [he s a i d ] , " 'zhuangshuai chonglen' de d a i m i n g c i l a " [a synonym f o r " f e i g n i n g i g n o r a n c e " ] . "La" i s one; of the most common i n t e r j e c t i o n s e s p e c i a l l y i n n o r t h e r n d i a l e c t s . In s t o r i e s of "Rambling Chats" s e r i e s , " l a " as w e l l as "ah" i s so o f t e n used t h a t t h e y are perhaps unmatchable i n f r e q u e n c i e s w i t h any o t h e r words. To express the r e f i n e d " b o o k i s h n e s s " w i t h the r a t h e r c a s u a l word " l a , " or "ah," i s j u s t l i k e t a k i n g a s p i r i n i n orde r t o cure a t o o t h a c h e . What w i l l be the e f f e c t ? I do not mean t o a s s e r t t h a t s t o r i e s of the "Phoenix" type and s t o r i e s of the "Firmament" type as works produced by "two k i n d s of br u s h e s " are c o m p l e t e l y d i s s i m i l a r w i t h o u t a n y t h i n g i n common a t a l l . A c t u a l l y t h e r e i s a s i m i l a r i t y between them, though i t i s c e r t a i n l y not t h e i r " b o o k i s h n e s s . " I f one i n s i s t s t h a t e x p l a n a t i o n of t i t l e s be re g a r d e d as b o o k i s h n e s s , one has t o admit t h a t i t i s t o t a l l y a nother s o r t of b o o k i s h n e s s . O b v i o u s l y , the b o o k i s h n e s s i n s t o r i e s of "Phoenix" type i s t r a d i t i o n a l Chinese i n n a t u r e , whereas the b o o k i s h n e s s i n s t o r i e s of "Firmament" type has an e x o t i c and modern f l a v o u r . What makes t h e s e two types of s t o r i e s bear the i d e n t i c a l "Chen's brand" are t h e i r heroes. Only at t h i s p o i n t are they a b l e to be p l a c e d on a par as though they were produced by the same c a s t i n g mould. 95 L i k e her c o u n t e r p a r t L i n j u a n ( i n "Sweetness") who i s a t t r a c t e d by Yunhu, Meng B e i ( i n "Phoenix Eyes") f e e l s a s t r o n g a f f i n i t y f o r the miner X i n X i a o l i a n g " s i m p l y because t h i s young man she l o v e d was m a s c u l i n e and u p r i g h t . " 9 5 I t i s t r u e t h a t Stone Wei ( i n " A f t e r Death") i s so f o o l e d by the s o - c a l l e d c l a s s s t r u g g l e t h a t he i s q u i t e at a l o s s as to which way he s h o u l d conduct h i m s e l f , but he remains a f a i t h f u l b e l i e v e r i n the Communist P a r t y , p r e s e r v i n g u n t i l h i s death a s l i p of note t h a t w i t n e s s e s h i s d e l i v e r y of t h r e e hundred j i n of c o a l t o the communists b e f o r e " l i b e r a t i o n . " What seems t o deserve f u r t h e r commendation i s Stone Wei's unusual courage. At the c r i t i c a l moment when L i n K a i has a f a t a l a c c i d e n t , a l l work-mates are s c a r e d out of t h e i r w i t s by t h a t gory scene except t h i s o l d e x c a v a t o r : D e s p e r a t e l y he threw h i m s e l f over t o the spot where the a c c i d e n t had ta k e n p l a c e . R aking the c o a l - s l a c k o f f L i n K a i w i t h h i s s k i n n y hands, he c a r r i e d the dead i n h i s arms, and c r i e d i n an outmoded language: " B i g b r o t h e r , b i g b r o t h e r , you can't go! You can't go!..." 9 6 At l e n g t h , he h i m s e l f i s k i l l e d by another a v a l a n c h e . Stone Wei a c t s so h e r o i c a l l y t h a t he w i l l not be i n f e r i o r by any means i f he 9 5 "Pheonix Eyes," B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament: 110. 9 6 " A f t e r Death," B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament: 81-82. 96 i s p l a c e d i n j u x t a p o s i t i o n w i t h Ou Y anghai, the r e a l hero i n 1960s who s a c r i f i c e d h i s l i f e i n o r d e r to p u l l away a stampeded horse on the r a i l t o r e s c u e a coming t r a i n . As f o r Old Man Wang ( i n "A Troublemaker i n West B e i j i n g " ) , Wang Meng has a l r e a d y made such a comment: "Once the m a g n i f i c e n t image of Old Man Wang i s s e t up, the images of D i r e c t o r L i u and P i Debao suddenly t a r n i s h i n i t s sharp c o n t r a s t . " 9 7 D i r e c t o r L i u and P i Debao are not at a l l bad p e r s o n s , though they have f l a w s and s h o r t c o m i n g s which human bei n g s u s u a l l y do. However, by comparison w i t h the C h r i s t - l i k e Old Man Wang who o n l y t h i n k s of s o l v i n g o t h e r p e o p l e ' s problems w i t h o u t t a k i n g a b i t c o n s i d e r a t i o n of h i m s e l f , how can t h e s e two o r d i n a r y men not f e e l dwarfed? I t seems t h a t Chen J i a n g o n g f o l l o w e d the p r i n c i p l e of " t h r e e p r o m i n e n c e s . " 9 8 When he d e s c r i b e d minor r o l e s , h i s u l t i m a t e purpose was t o u t i l i z e them to h i g h l i g h t major ones. Because of the aura of h e r o ism around p r o t a g o n i s t s , some of minor c h a r a c t e r s who had been s t r o n g l y i n f l u e n c e d by them are a c c o r d i n g l y r e s p l e n d e n t w i t h 9 7 Wang Meng, " P r e f a c e , " B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament: 2. 9 8 The p r i n c i p l e of " t h r e e prominences" i s : among o r d i n a r y c h a r a c t e r s prominence s h o u l d be g i v e n to p o s i t i v e c h a r a c t e r s ; among p o s i t i v e c h a r a c t e r s prominence s h o u l d be g i v e n to h e r o i c c h a r a c t e r s ; and among h e r o i c c h a r a c t e r s prominence s h o u l d be g i v e n t o the major h e r o i c c h a r a c t e r / c h a r a c t e r s . W r i t e r s were o b l i g e d t o observe t h i s p r i n c i p l e d u r i n g the C u l t u r a l - R e v o l u t i o n e r a . 97 h e r o i c q u a l i t i e s . In t h i s r e s p e c t , s t o r i e s of "Firmament" type and s t o r i e s of "Phoenix" type h a r d l y d i f f e r . The most d i s t i n c t i v e example i n s t o r i e s of the l a t t e r type i s Stone Wei's w i f e . S i n c e she has been t a u g h t by her s i n g u l a r husband w i t h "orthodox" m o r a l i t y , she i s n a t u r a l l y b e t t e r than o t h e r o r d i n a r y c o u n t r y women. On t h a t day when the f u n e r a l i s b e i n g h e l d , she does not d e s p e r a t e l y c a t c h h o l d of the c o f f i n w i t h t e a r s a l l over her f a c e , a s k i n g f o r more p e n s i o n t h a n what i s supposed t o g r a n t her ( a c c o r d i n g t o the. a u t h o r , t h i s o f t e n o c c u r r e d w i t h r u r a l women who had l i t t l e e d u c a t i o n ) . What she does at her l a t e husband's f u n e r a l i s a s t o n i s h i n g l y r e a s o n a b l e . She f i r s t r e q u e s t s t h a t the s l i p of note which her husband p r e s e r v e s a l l h i s l i f e be b u r i e d t o g e t h e r w i t h him.. A f t e r t h a t , she b e g i n s to admonish her c h i l d r e n i n e a r n e s t : "You s h o u l d make p r o g r e s s i n s t u d i e s . Look, your dad was superb even on the f i r s t day he f o l l o w e d the Communist P a r t y . You s h o u l d never l e t me l o s e f a c e . " 9 9 Such an u n p e r t u r b a b l e n e s s at the f u n e r a l i s r e a l l y e x c e p t i o n a l , as i f the dead were not her spouse. I i i o r d e r t o make h i s heroes more s u b l i m e , Chen J i a n g o n g had a f a v o u r i t e t r i c k : t o c o n t r i v e t o l e t them d i e . In "Tears of the Tawny D a y l i l y , " he u n e x p e c t e d l y pushed L i Lu t o s a c r i f i c e h e r s e l f w i t h o u t h e s i t a t i o n . Nor was he more m e r c i f u l toward the t r a g i c hero i n " A f t e r Death," who i n the end i s unable to escape d e a t h , e i t h e r . In f a c t , I do not see any n e c e s s i t y f o r Stone Wei t o l a y down h i s l i f e . A c c o r d i n g to what the author, s a i d i n an a r t i c l e , death never 9 9 " A f t e r Death," B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament: 84. 98 b e f e l l i n r e a l l i f e the o l d miner who had been t a k e n as the p r o t o t y p e f o r Stone Wei i n " A f t e r D e a t h . " 1 0 0 As a v e r y e x p e r i e n c e d e x c a v a t o r h a v i n g worked i n a mine f o r dozens of y e a r s , he a p p a r e n t l y knows how to behave h i m s e l f as he sees L i n K a i d i e a v i o l e n t death at h i s p o s t . N e v e r t h e l e s s , he i s u n u s u a l l y impetuous so t h a t r e g a r d l e s s of h i s own l i f e , he rushes t o the dead s i m p l y to u t t e r such s e n s e l e s s words as " b i g b r o t h e r , b i g b r o t h e r , " o n l y to get h i m s e l f k i l l e d at l a s t by another c o l l a p s e . . To Chen J i a n g o n g , i t seemed t h a t Stone Wei would not be a b l e to d i s t i n g u i s h h i m s e l f from the commonplace k i n d of people u n l e s s he gave h i s l i f e away as a s a c r i f i c e t o the b e n e f i t of o t h e r persons. In "A Troublemaker i n West B e i j i n g , " Old Man Wang i s indeed amazing i n k i n d n e s s even w i t h o u t c o n t r i b u t i o n at the expense of h i s death. But the author wished to make h i s hero g r e a t e r . He e v e n t u a l l y had t h i s o l d man tumble over on h i s way t o the shop where he i s g o i n g t o buy m i l k f o r P i Debao' s baby. As a r e s u l t , Old Man Wang gets a severe s t r o k e and i s sent t o h o s p i t a l , w i t h h i s death b e i n g expected at any moment. No wonder Wang Meng s i g h e d a f t e r r e a d i n g the s t o r y : the a u t h o r was too a b s o l u t e i n assignment of the j o b f o r h i s poor c h a r a c t e r . 1 0 1 1 0 0 Cf. Chen J i a n g o n g , " L i f e With I t s Dancing Waves," China  Youth, No. 10, 1981. 1 0 1 See Wang Meng, " P r e f a c e , " B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament: 2. 99 I t i s u n d e n i a b l e , however, t h a t the aura of heroism i n s t o r i e s of "Phoenix" type i s l e s s conspicuous than t h a t i n s t o r i e s of "Firmament" t y p e . Hence i t i s e a s i e r f o r t h i s heroism t o be n e g l e c t e d as a common t r a i t s hared by a l l t h a t are c o l l e c t e d i n B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament when the s t y l i s t i c uniqueness i n the s e t h r e e s t o r i e s becomes o v e r w h e l m i n g l y r e m a r k a b l e . What u s u a l l y caught c r i t i c s ' s eye i s the d i s s i m i l a r i t y i n s t y l e , not the i d e n t i t y i n theme. F or t h i s r e a s o n , Wang Meng was perhaps b l a m e l e s s no matter how he ex a g g e r a t e d the u n l i k e n e s s between th e s e two typ e s of s h o r t f i c t i o n . When we pay c l o s e a t t e n t i o n t o t h e i r t e c h n i c a l d i f f e r e n c e , we w i l l s u r e l y f i n d out t h a t the most obvious s t y l i s t i c f e a t u r e of s t o r i e s of "Phoenix" type i s t h e i r use of o m n i s c i e n t p o i n t of view. O m n i s c i e n t p e r s p e c t i v e i s a t r a d i t i o n a l n a r r a t i v e t e c h n i q u e . I t was w i d e l y employed both i n Chinese and Western c l a s s i c a l f i c t i o n b e f o r e the n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y . S i n c e Henry James broached the d i s c u s s i o n of the i s s u e of p o i n t of v i e w , 1 0 2 Western w r i t e r s of t h i s c e n t u r y , i n Europe and America a l i k e , began t o n o t i c e the ac c u r a c y of n a r r a t o r ' s v i s i o n . I t i s t r u e , as Henry James's d e t a i l e d r e c o r d s show, t h a t "to d e c i d e t h a t your n a r r a t o r s h a l l 1 0 2 See h i s c r i t i c a l p r e f a c e s c o l l e c t e d i n The A r t of the No v e l , New York, 1948. 1.00 not be o m n i s c i e n t d e c i d e s p r a c t i c a l l y n o t h i n g , " 1 0 3 and "to d e c i d e on f i r s t - p e r s o n n a r r a t i o n s e t t l e s o n l y p a r t of one's problem, perhaps the e a s i e s t p a r t , " 1 0 4 w i t h such q u e s t i o n s as f o l l o w s s t i l l r e m a i n i n g t h e o r e t i c a l l y u n s o l v e d : "What k i n d of f i r s t , person? How f u l l y c h a r a c t e r i z e d ? How much aware of h i m s e l f as n a r r a t o r ? How r e l i a b l e ? How much c o n f i n e d t o the r e a l i s t i c i n f e r e n c e ; how f a r p r i v i l e g e d t o go beyond r e a l i s m ? At what p o i n t s h a l l he speak t r u t h and at what p o i n t u t t e r no judgement or even u t t e r f a l s e h o o d ? " 1 0 5 But at any r a t e , the c o n s c i o u s i n t r o d u c t i o n of the l i m i t e d p o i n t of view i n n a r r a t i o n showed a marked p r o g r e s s i n the a r t of f i c t i o n , and i t s impact i n China can be e a s i l y seen i n l i t e r a t u r e of the May F o u r t h p e r i o d as w e l l as of post-Mao e r a . Skimming t h r o u g h the c o l l e c t i o n B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament, one w i l l s u r e l y note t h a t w i t h . t h e e x c l u s i o n of s t o r i e s of "Phoenix" t y p e , almost a l l Chen Jia n g o n g ' s e a r l y works were w r i t t e n from a f i r s t - p e r s o n p e r s p e c t i v e . The o n l y e x c e p t i o n s are "Sweetness" and the t i t l e s t o r y , i n which n a r r a t i o n i s r e s p e c t i v e l y done t h r o u g h the v i s i o n of the t h i r d - p e r s o n miner Yunhu and the t h i r d - p e r s o n p r o f e s s o r Chen Hao f o r the most p a r t . When Chen J i a n g o n g "swung the h a t c h e t s of 'Rambling Chats'" and d e l i b e r a t e l y t u r n e d t o o l d 1 0 3 Wayne Booth, The R h e t o r i c of F i c t i o n , The U n i v e r s i t y of Chicago P r e s s , 1983: 165. 1 0 4 I b i d . , p.165. 1 0 5 I b i d . , 1 6 5 . 101 Chinese t r a d i t i o n , he t h e n t r a n s f o r m e d the f i r s t - p e r s o n p o i n t of view i n t o t h a t of a u t h o r i a l o m n i s c i e n c e . T h i s change makes us f e e l b o t h f a m i l i a r and o l d - f a s h i o n e d , and both customary and p l a t i t u d i n o u s . In t h e s e t h r e e s t o r i e s , Chen J i a n g o n g i s no l o n g e r a n a r r a t o r of l i m i t e d v i s i o n . I n s t e a d , s t a n d i n g on a h i g h p l a n e which o v e r l o o k s a l l t h a t i s t a k i n g p l a c e on the stage of h i s s t o r i e s , he not o n l y knows what h i s c h a r a c t e r s say and how they behave t h e m s e l v e s , but i s capable of g o i n g i n t o t h e i r i n n e r w o r l d t o observe t h e i r mental a c t i v i t i e s . I f he had d e s c r i b e d the p r o t r a c t e d c o n f l i c t between P i Debao and D i r e c t o r L i u i n the s t y l e of s t o r i e s of "Firmament" t y p e , he would s u r e l y have s e l e c t e d e i t h e r of them as a c e n t r a l f i g u r e and would have then p r e s e n t e d the s t o r y t h r o u g h a chosen f i g u r e ' s p o i n t of view. But i n "A Troublemaker i n West B e i j i n g , " t h e r e i s no such a c e n t r a l f i g u r e at a l l , or r a t h e r , P i Debao and D i r e c t o r L i u are both c e n t r a l f i g u r e s so t o speak. As an o m n i s c i e n t n a r r a t o r , the a u t h o r was commanding, p e n e t r a t i n g , and u b i q u i t o u s i n o b s e r v a t i o n . He not o n l y had the knowledge of P i Debao ' s d i f f i c u l t y , but of D i r e c t o r L i u ' s i r r e s p o n s i b i l i t y as w e l l . At the b e g i n n i n g of the s t o r y he f i r s t made a s k e t c h y d e s c r i p t i o n of P i Debao ' s background: O r i g i n a l l y , P i Debao was not at a l l a " t r o u b l e m a k e r . " He worked hard and e n t h u s i a s t i c a l l y , and was always warm-hearted and w i l l i n g t o l e n d h i s hand t o h i s "buddies." At most he would c r a c k a j o k e , put on an a i r of a clown, s i n g a l l of a sudden a few bars of 102 B e i j i n g Opera, and t u r n a s o m e r s a u l t t h a t took people around unawares. Everyone l i k e d t o get a l o n g w i t h him. But r e c e n t l y he was ve r y d e p r e s s e d . H i s w i f e worked i n a g e o l o g i c a l p r o s p e c t i n g team, and he had been s e p a r a t e d from her f o r seven or e i g h t y e a r s . He knew i t was p r e t t y d i f f i c u l t t o s o l v e the problem of t h e i r s e p a r a t i o n , but he d i d n ' t care much i n t h i s m a t t e r . He was quite,,easy-g o i n g , and moreover, t h e r e were not many household chores to b o t h e r them. H a l f a year ago, however, t h e i r . f i r s t baby was born. Because he got. the son at the age of t h i r t y f i v e , i t does not come as a s u r p r i s e t h a t he l o v e d i t v e r y much, l e t alone t h a t the baby wasv a Caesarean , b i r t h . S i n c e the geo1ogica1 ; p r o s p e c t i n g team was always on move from.one p l a c e t o a n o t h e r , he was u n w i l l i n g t o l e t h i s son l e a d a v a g r a n t l i f e i n bad l i v i n g , c o n d i t i o n s . How s h o u l d he do? He had b e t t e r go t o see the l e a d e r a g a i n . But the l e a d e r happened to be none o t h e r than the " D i r e c t o r L i u " [ i r r e s p o n s i b l e d i r e c t o r ] . 1 0 6 Then he i m m e d i a t e l y s w i t c h e d h i s v i s i o n on t o the " i r r e s p o n s i b l e d i r e c t o r : " On Chinese Lunar Year's Eve, a t h i c k l e t t e r from P i 106 "A Troublemaker i n West B e i j i n g , " B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament: 2 9 - 3 0 . 103 1 04 D i r e c t o r L i u thought: Why had t h i s o l d man done t h i s work i n my name? 1 0 8 As f a r as p o i n t of v i e w . i s concerned, " A f t e r Death" i s unique among the s e t h r e e s t o r i e s , because i t seems to have been w r i t t e n i n f i r s t - p e r s o n n a r r a t i o n . B e f o r e long the s t o r y has begun, the f i r s t - p e r s o n n a r r a t o r i n t r u d e s t o make remarks d i r e c t l y : Somebody might say: "What's the purpose you t a k e us.here around the c o f f i n , b a b b l i n g out nonsense a l l day long? Do you want us f e e l nauseous?" Wait a minute, p l e a s e . Don't you see I myself am a l s o w a i t i n g here f o r the opening of the memorial meeting? As I am s t a n d i n g i n • f r o n t of the c o f f i n , the images of Stone Wei and L i n K a i f l a s h i n t o my i m a g i n a t i o n a l t e r n a t e l y . I cann't h e l p b e i n g immersed i n m e d i t a t i o n . G r a d u a l l y I seem t o come to the r e a l i z a t i o n of what i s the 'proper way' f o r one to behave h i m s e l f . 1 0 9 In t h i s passage, i n f a c t , the comment made by the f i r s t - p e r s o n n a r r a t o r can be t a k e n j u s t i f i a b l y as the a u t h o r ' s v o i c e . " I " i s not a c e r t a i n c h a r a c t e r i n d i s p e n s a b l e i n development of the s t o r y , 1 0 8 I b i d . , 46. 1 0 9 " A f t e r Death," B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament: 72. 105 l i k e h i s c o u n t e r p a r t s i n f i c t i o n of "Firmament" t y p e . In f i c t i o n of "Firmament" t y p e , " I " i s both a n a r r a t o r and p a r t i c i p a n t . " I " can be e i t h e r Dandan, or Lu J i a n , or Ding Q i , and " I " p l a y s an i m p o r t a n t r o l e . T h e r e f o r e the v i s i o n of " I " cannot but be l i m i t e d . But " I " i n " A f t e r Death," except f o r making o c c a s i o n a l comments, i s not i n v o l v e d i n c o n c r e t e events t a k i n g p l a c e i n the s t o r y . At t h i s p o i n t we can l i k e n Chen Jiangong's s t o r y to Thackeray's n o v e l V a n i t y F a i r , i n which the f i r s t person n a r r a t o r a l s o s e r v e s as a mere commentator. 1 1 0 The complete detachment of " I " from o t h e r c h a r a c t e r s i n " A f t e r Death" makes " I " a s u b s t i t u t e f o r the a u t h o r and c o n s e q u e n t l y become o m n i s c i e n t i n p o i n t of view (so does " I " i n V a n i t y F a i r ) . As what we may p r o b a b l y f i n d out a f t e r r e a d i n g the s t o r y , " I " i s e q u a l l y competent i n l e a r n i n g of Stone Wei's p e r s o n a l h i s t o r y and i n g e t t i n g the i n f o r m a t i o n of what t h i s o l d miner t a l k s about t o h i s w i f e i n t h e i r p r i v a t e c o n v e r s a t i o n . Few days a f t e r the L i b e r a t i o n , a m i l i t a r y r e p r e s e n t a t i v e p a i d him [Stone Wei] a v i s i t i n h i s h o v e l . "Stone Wei, you s h o u l d go to s t u d y ! " Stone Wei s a i d : "Study? Study f o r what?" The m i l i t a r y r e p r e s e n t a t i v e no j r o r example: "Indeed I am a f r a i d t h a t her nose was r a t h e r s h o r t t h a n o t h e r w i s e , and her cheeks a g r e a t d e a l too round and r e d f o r a h e r o i n e , . . . " O b v i o u s l y " I " i s not a c h a r a c t e r , but the a u t h o r h i m s e l f . See W i l l i a m Thackeray, V a n i t y F a i r , New .York: American B o o k - S t r a t f o r d P r e s s : 3. 106 s a i d : "When you f i n i s h your study i n B e i j i n g and come back, you w i l l be a cadre i n charge of the whole mine." "I'm not up t o t h a t , " Stone Wei simpered, ,and th e n h e s i t a t i n g f o r a w h i l e , he s a i d a g a i n : " B e s i d e s , I . . . I don't have a p a i r of t r o u s e r s . . . " L i u Z h i s a i d : " B r o t h e r Wei, you can wear my t r o u s e r s . " Stone Wei: s a i d : "What a t r o u b l e i f I t a k e the rags o f f me and make you put them on. W e l l , you have the t r o u s e r s and you can go i n s t e a d of me!" As the r e s u l t , L i u Z h i went. L a t e r L i u Z h i became d i r e c t o r of t h e mine, w h i l e Stone Wei remained a worker t i l l h i s d e a t h . 1 1 1 T h i s i s a p i e c e of the anecdote about Stone Wei i n the e a r l y p e r i o d a f t e r the " l i b e r a t i o n . " Then we have the f o l l o w i n g p r e s e n t a t i o n of the c o n f i d e n c e s exchanged between t h i s worker and h i s w i f e : No sooner had t h r e e days passed s i n c e Stone Wei r e t u r n e d from v i s i t i n g h i s f a m i l y i n Henan P r o v i n c e , than h i s w i f e came a t h i s h e e l s , t o g e t h e r w i t h t h r e e c h i l d r e n . Stone Wei was a s t o n i s h e d : "How come you came here, t o o ! " His o l d woman dared not speak t r u t h and evaded h i s q u e s t i o n . Stone Wei got mad: "Are you c r a z y t o f o l l o w me here at my h e e l s o n l y a f t e r t h r e e days s e p a r a t i o n ? " The 1 1 1 " A f t e r Death," B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament: 72-73. 107 o l d woman then s a i d : " I t i s not t h a t I want to come here. They would f o r c e me t o have the o p e r a t i o n of s t e r i l i z a t i o n i f I s t a y e d i n the v i l l a g e . So I come t o t a l k over t h i s matter w i t h you." Stone Wei was so provoked by t h i s r e p l y t h a t the b l u e v e i n s s t o o d out on h i s neck: "You s t u p i d woman! Don't you know how o l d you are? Even i f I want you t o have c h i l d r e n , you won't be a b l e t o do t h a t any more. How come they wanted you t o have the o p e r a t i o n of s t e r i l i z a t i o n ? " H is w i f e broke i n t o sobs, s a y i n g : "The cadres i n our v i l l a g e s a i d t h a t s t e r i l i z a t i o n was the i n s t r u c t i o n from above, and each v i l l a g e must a c h i e v e c e r t a i n percentage i n h a v i n g t h i s o p e r a t i o n . So a l l women i n our v i l l a g e r a n t o o t h e r p l a c e s to t a k e r e f u g e . . . I f I r e j e c t i t , t h en I can't get the g r a i n r a t i o n f o r next y e a r . " 1 1 2 J u s t as the e x c e s s i v e use of s t r u c t u r a l words " l a " and "ah" on the p a r t of Chen J i a n g o n g i s to pander to a t a s t e f o r p o p u l a r l i t e r a t u r e , so the r e v e r s i o n t o the t r a d i t i o n a l o m niscience i n p e r s p e c t i v e shows h i s d e 1 i b e r a t e n e s s i n c u r r y i n g f a v o u r w i t h the masses who do not have good l i t e r a r y a p p r e c i a t i o n . As soon as he abandoned the more s o p h i s t i c a t e d l i m i t e d p o i n t of view, he was w h o l e - h e a r t e d l y engaged i n b u i l d i n g up the s t y l e i n which phenomenal o m n i s c i e n t n a r r a t o r s are a b l e to compare f a v o u r a b l y w i t h 1 1 2 I b i d . , 76-77 . 108 Chinese s t o r y - t e l l e r s i n o l d days, or even t o outdo them. He d i d not merely w r i t e : "Meng B e i ( i n "Phoenix Eyes") drove away Zhao Tao and s t o o d as i f i n a t r a n c e at the w i c k e t at which food was s o l d . " In i t s s t e a d , he l e t t h i s sentence be preceded by a somewhat a r c h a i c phrase " q i e s h u o " 1 1 3 ( i t i s r o u g h l y equal t o " l e t me put the t o p i c back t o the o r i g i n a l t r a c k " ) , which i m m e d i a t e l y b r i n g s us back i n t o an atmosphere c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of t r a d i t i o n a l n o v e l --"zhanghui x i a o s h u o " [ c h a p t e r - d i v i d e d f i c t i o n ] . F u r t h e r m o r e , the use of "you" i n these t h r e e s t o r i e s i s so f r e q u e n t t h a t r e a d e r s may p o s s i b l y f e e l t h e y are l i s t e n i n g t o a s t o r y - t e l l e r i n an a u d i t o r i u m i n s t e a d of r e a d i n g a f i c t i o n a l work at home. "H a r d l y had few days passed when Meng B e i s t a n d i n g at the w i c k e t d i d she have X i n X i a o l i a n g p u n i s h e d . Don't you t h i n k i t was e x t r a o r d i n a r y ? " 1 1 4 " I f you are s 1 a c k - w i t t e d , w i t h the b r a i n as i n f l e x i b l e as an g n a r l on an elm, then you are doomed to s u f f e r , to be t a k e n as a l a u g h i n g s t o c k by o t h e r p e o p l e . " 1 1 5 True, the f r e q u e n t i n t e r v e n t i o n of t h i s pronoun makes these s t o r i e s 1 1 3 "Pheonix Eyes," B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament: 104. 1 1 4 I b i d . , 96 . 1 1 5 " A f t e r Death," B e w i l d e r i n g Firmament: 73. 109 more i n t e l l i g i b l e f o r o r d i n a r y r e a d e r s , but as a c o r o l l a r y , t h e a r t i s t i c s u b t l e t y and r e f i n e m e n t v a n i s h at the same t i m e . He Zhiyun was a c u t e . As he s t r e s s e d the " e s s e n t i a l " sameness of t h e s e two types of s t o r i e s , he had a l r e a d y n o t i c e d the nuance i n h e r o i s m due t o the d i f f e r e n t p o i n t s of view. In h i s o p i n i o n , Chen J i a n g o n g d i d not t o t a l l y i d e n t i f y h i m s e l f w i t h the c h a r a c t e r s l i k e Old Man Wang and Stone Wei as he d i d w i t h the heroes i n s t o r i e s of "Firmament" t y p e . In h i s l e t t e r t o Chen J i a n g o n g he wrote: "You l o v e d them (Old Man Wang and the l i k e ) , f e l t s y m p a t h e t i c w i t h them, y e t meanwhile d i d not l a c k i n b i t t e r sarcasm and pungent c r i t i c i s m of them. I t seems t h a t you were not fond of them u n c o n d i t i o n a l l y . When you p l a c e d the k i n d - h e a r t e d Old Man Wang between the "tr o u b l e m a k e r " P i Debao and the f l y - b y - n i g h t D i r e c t o r L i u , and l e t him f a b r i c a t e w h i t e l i e s to m a i n t a i n the p r e s t i g e of t h a t u n t r u s t w o r t h y l e a d e r even a f t e r b e i n g met w i t h h i s i r r e s p o n s i b l e r e b u f f , d i d n ' t you a c t u a l l y express your deep d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n w i t h h i s r i d i c u l o u s b r a i n l e s s n e s s and h i s e x c e s s i v e meek s u b m i s s i o n ? A l t h o u g h Stone Wei i s c o n s i d e r e d by some c r i t i c t o be 'a man of a g o l d h e a r t h a v i n g a complete a l l e g i a n c e t o the P a r t y , ' t h a t s l i p of note he p r e s e r v e s demonstrates t o r e a d e r s h i s f o o l i s h n e s s and ig n o r a n c e r a t h e r than h i s commendable b e l i e f . " 1 1 6 I f the l i m i t a t i o n i n p o i n t of view prompted Chen J i a n g o n g t o 1 1 6 He Zhi y u n , "Wode l i j i e yu kunhuo" [My U n d e r s t a n d i n g and P e r p l e x i t y ] , Study of L i t e r a t u r e and A r t s [Wenyi y a n j i u ] , No. 5, 1983: 65. 110 p l a y a h e r o i c r o l e i n s t o r i e s of "Firmament" t y p e , the o m n i s c i e n t p e r s p e c t i v e i n n a r r a t i o n i n these t h r e e s t o r i e s seemed t o p r e p a r e a way f o r him to adopt a detached, humorous, and s a r c a s t i c manner. Indeed, he was no l o n g e r i d e n t i c a l w i t h h i s heroes. He began t o o v e r l o o k them w i t h a s a t i r i c a l eye somewhat i n the way C e r v a n t e s d i d t o h i s Don Q u i x o t e . In s p i t e of a s l i g h t h e r o i c aura around Old Wang, Stone Wei, and X i n X i a o l i a n g , they are n e v e r t h e l e s s not as p e r f e c t as p o s i t i v e p r o t a g o n i s t s i n most of the s t o r i e s w r i t t e n by him i n the same p e r i o d . Owing t o the i m p e r f e c t i o n of c h a r a c t e r s -- namely, owing t o t h e i r t r a g i c " s u b l i m i t y " i n t e r w o v e n w i t h comedic l u d i c r o u s n e s s , L i Tuo 1 1 7 and o t h e r c r i t i c s t h e r e f o r e d e f i n e d s t o r i e s of "Rambling Chats" as " t r a g i c o m e d y . " 1 1 8 That "A Troublemaker In West B e i j i n g , " " A f t e r Death," and "Phoenix Eyes" are i m p o r t a n t as j u v e n i l e s t o r i e s i s , i n my o p i n i o n , c h i e f l y because t h e y p o r t e n d a t r a n s i t i o n a l p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t i n c r e d i b l e consummate heroes w i l l be r e p l a c e d by more c r e d i b l e f l a w e d personages i n Chen J i a n g o n g ' s e n s u i n g c r e a t i v e w r i t i n g s . 1 1 7 A former a s s o c i a t e e d i t o r - i n - c h i e f of B e i j i n g L i t e r a t u r e magaz i n e . us p o r i t s d e t a i l e d d i s c u s s i o n , see next c h a p t e r . I l l CHAPTER FOUR A BASIC REQUIREMENT FOR FICTION" 1 1 9 "A Troublemaker i n West B e i j i n g " r e c e i v e d f a i r l y e x t e n s i v e c r i t i c a l a t t e n t i o n a f t e r i t s p u b l i c a t i o n . The a c c l a i m as w e l l as the encouragement from c r i t i c s thus prompted Chen J i a n g o n g t o c o n t r i v e such a g e n e r a l t i t l e as "Rambling Chats about E v e r y t h i n g under the Sun," under which he i s s u e d i n s u c c e s s i o n " A f t e r Death" and "Phoenix Eyes." L a t e r , upon h i s g r a d u a t i o n from B e i j i n g U n i v e r s i t y , he resumed t o w r i t e the t h i r d s t o r y of t h i s s e r i e s , and almost two ye a r s t h e r e a f t e r , a f o u r t h one. Owing t o the extreme s i m i l a r i t y i n s u b j e c t m a t t e r , these two "Rambling Chats" s t o r i e s — "No. 9 Winch Handle A l l e y " [ L u l u b a hutong j i u h a o ] and "Looking f o r Fun" [Zhaole] -- may w e l l be re g a r d e d as companions to each o t h e r . For i n s t a n c e , b oth of them are s e t i n a c e r t a i n d i s t r i c t i n B e i j i n g , or more s p e c i f i c a l l y , a s m a l l r oad c a l l e d Winch Handle A l l e y . I t i s s a i d t h a t t h e r e are two a l l e y s of the same name i n the c i t y : one i n the west, and o t h e r 1 1 9 T h i s i s a l s o the t i t l e of the e p i l o g u e t o S e l e c t e d Works  of Chen J i a n g o n g [Chen J i a n g o n g xiaoshuo xuan], B e i j i n g , October L i t e r a t u r e P r e s s , 1985. 112 i n the s o u t h . What Chen Jiangong's s t o r i e s d e s c r i b e i s the l a t t e r one : The a l l e y i s not v e r y l o n g , l o o k i n g as i f i t was a winch handle above a w e l l i n former t i m e s , w i t h a t i n y curve i n the m i d d l e . When the house number goes up t o 9, i t i s j u s t the p l a c e t h a t goes around a c u r v e , t o o . The facade of No. 9 i s not s p l e n d i d : t h e r e i s not even a r o c k f o r mounting h o r s e s , to say n o t h i n g of d e c o r a t i v e stone l i o n s . However, the compound i s the p r i d e of our C a p i t a l -- i t i s a t y p i c a l B e i j i n g s t y l e q u a d r a n g l e . 1 2 0 T h i s i s where the s t o r y i s g o i n g t o happen i n "No. 9 Winch Handle A l l e y . " " L o o k i n g f o r Fun" a l s o has the same a l l e y as i t s l o c a l i t y . The o n l y d i f f e r e n c e i s i t s house number: i t i s No 10, t h a t i s , the b i g compound which f a c e s d i r e c t l y the p l a i n f o r e f r o n t of No. 9. The c o n t i n u i t y , or r e l a t e d n e s s , between th e s e two s t o r i e s would be c l e a r e r i f the t i t l e of "Looking f o r Fun" were changed i n t o "No. 10 Winch Handle A l l e y . " S u i t a b l e f o r t h i s u n d i g n i f i e d p l a c e where t h e r e i s not even a p i e c e of r o c k f o r mounting horses are i t s r e s i d e n t s of lower s o c i a l s t r a t a . T h e i r l i f e , i n p a r t i c u l a r t h a t of the o l d e r g e n e r a t i o n , c o n s t i t u t e s the major c o n t e n t of both the s t o r i e s . Han 1 2 0 Chen J i a n g o n g : "No. 9 Winch Handle A l l e y , " S e l e c t e d Works  of Chen J i a n g o n g , p.65. 113 D e l a i i s a son of poor o r i g i n s . When he i s young, h i s f a m i l y o f t e n runs s h o r t of money and he has t o go begging i n the v i l l a g e from door t o door w i t h a c l u b t o fend o f f dogs. S t a r v i n g t o deat h , he l u c k i l y meets Uncle L i , a k i n d - h e a r t e d o l d man who, h a v i n g g i v e n him a p i e c e of r e d p o t a t o and taught him some passages from the opera L o t u s , f i n a l l y t a k e s him out of the f a m i n e - r i d d e n c o u n t r y s i d e . I t i s t r u e t h a t t h i s former mendicant has good l u c k d u r i n g the C u l t u r a l R e v o l u t i o n : b e i n g chosen as a "worker p r o p a g a n d i s t " and even s h a k i n g hands w i t h Chairman Mao, but h i s r e a l s t a t u s b e f o r e r e t i r e m e n t remains a c a r e t a k e r of b o i l e r s i n a paper m i l l . L i Zhongxiang, another o l d f e l l o w w i t h h i s ch e s t and stomach t h r u s t out and h i p s t u c k e d i n w h i l e w a l k i n g , used t o be a c o f f i n c a r r i e r . B e s i d e s , he a l s o works at d i f f e r e n t times as a p e d i c a b d r i v e r , a w a i t e r , p l u s q u i t e a few ot h e r j o b s . The g r e a t e s t success i n a l l h i s l i f e i s , p i t i a b l y , no b e t t e r than becoming a doorman f o r a famous t h e a t r e i n B e i j i n g . The more decorous persons l i v i n g at No. 9 and No. 10 compounds are perhaps Old Man He and He X i n . Old Man He i s q u i t e w e l l - o f f . In the C u l t u r a l R e v o l u t i o n h i s household i s search e d by the Red Guards; the c o n f i s c a t e d metal items are so p l e n t i f u l t hey can even make an e x h i b i t i o n . When the p o l i c y i s c a r r i e d out t h a t the money and p r o p e r t y e x p r o p r i a t e d s h o u l d be r e t u r n e d t o o r i g i n a l owners and he i s compensated i n cash f o r a l l h i s f o r f e i t e d t h i n g s , h i s son S t i n k y buys a m o t o r c y c l e and thus a l l of a sudden becomes a c e l e b r i t y i n the a l l e y . Yet Old Man He i s f a r from b e i n g a w e l l -114 educated gentleman. Upon h i s r e - a p p e a r a n c e 1 2 1 i n "Looking f o r Fun," he i s s i m p l y an o l d t i m e r h a v i n g n o t h i n g t o do but s i t t i n g i n a l i t t l e cranny of the Bean S t r e e t C u l t u r a l Club to b e g u i l e h i s r e m a i n i n g y e a r s w i t h "sawing away" on an erhu [a type of Chinese s t r i n g e d i n s t r u m e n t s ] . He X i n , t o be s u r e , i s by no means more hon o u r a b l e . A l t h o u g h he i s an i n s t r u c t o r at Qing Hua U n i v e r s i t y and has even p u b l i s h e d a book "as t h i c k as a b r i c k , " 1 2 2 h i s conduct i s a c t u a l l y not much d i f f e r e n t from t h a t of people of lower l e v e l s . P e r t u r b e d by h i s w i f e , a n o t o r i o u s shrew p a s t i n g c ardboard boxes f o r a s m a l l f a c t o r y , he i s unable, t o be engaged i n academic work and has t o k i l l t ime i n the C u l t u r a l Club -- a stamping-ground f o r o l d t i m e r s , w i t h L i Zhongxiang and Qiao Wangyou as h i s c o n s t a n t companions. Can we go a s t e p f u r t h e r : Han D e l a i and L i Zhongxiang, the two o l d men from the bottom of the s o c i e t y , are v a r i a t i o n s d e r i v e d from the same p r o t o t y p e ? Han D e l a i i s good at s i n g i n g The F o u r t h  Son V i s i t i n g H i s Mother [ S i l a n g tanmu], " h i s p r o n o u n c i a t i o n b e i n g c o r r e c t , h i s v o i c e mellow and f u l l ; " (98) w h i l e L i Zhongxiang l o v e s B e i j i n g opera so much t h a t he i s adept i n a v a r i e t y of tunes such 121 Old Man He i s a l s o a c h a r a c t e r i n "No. 9 Winch Handle A l l e y . " 1 2 2 Chen J i a n g o n g , "Looking For Fun," S e l e c t e d Works of Chen  J i a n g o n g , 130. F u r t h e r r e f e r e n c e s of t h i s s t o r y are put i n p a r e n t h e s e s i n the t e x t . 115 as the ones from E i g h t B i g Hammers [Badachui] , S p r i n g i n . a  B e a u t i f u l H a l l [Yutang chun], Qin X i a n g l i a n , and The C e n s u r i n g of  Wang K u i [ Y i z e wangkui]. Han D e l a i l i k e s t o s i t on a s m a l l s t o o l i n h i s doorway t o t e l l a t a l l s t o r y or two, w i t h a cup of t e a b e i n g h e l d i n h i s hand; w h i l e L i Zhongxiang, " s t i l l as cocky as a young whippersnapper," i s no i n f e r i o r as a b r a g g a r t . C e r t a i n l y , the ephemeral appearance of the former i n "Looking f o r Fun" r e v e a l s on one hand t h a t he i s not the same person as the l a t t e r ; y e t on the o t h e r hand, i t b e t r a y s u n w i t t i n g l y the d i r e c t i o n of h i s development: h i s l i f e e v e n t u a l l y c o n t i n u e s t o l a s t i n t h e person' by the name of L i Zhongxiang. I f Hai D e l a i i s a c o n t o r t e d , or somewhat exa g g e r a t e d " f l a t c h a r a c t e r " i n an e x t r e m e l y p o l i t i c a l l y a l i e n a t e d c i r c u m s t a n c e s , i t may be t h a t h i s c o u n t e r p a r t i n ."Looking f o r Fun" i s a r e v e l a t i o n of the normal a s p e c t s of h i s p e r s o n a l i t y i n an o r d i n a r y m i l l i e u . Of c o u r s e , t h i s i s s i m p l y my p e r s o n a l c o n j e c t u r e , which may be r a t h e r s u b j e c t i v e . But no matter how d i f f e r e n t t h e s e two s t o r i e s are from Chen Jia n g o n g ' s e a r l i e r works i n s u b j e c t m a t t e r , no ma t t e r how i d e n t i c a l t h ey are w i t h each o t h e r i n background and c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n , t h e s e c o n t r i b u t e l i t t l e t o the c o n s t i t u t i o n of the uniqueness which they both share i n common. In f a c t , t h e i r d i s t i n c t i v e g e n e r a l i t y l a r g e l y r e s u l t s from an a c q u i s i t i o n and a p p l i c a t i o n of the sense of tra g i c o m e d y -- a detached and p e r s p i c a c i o u s o u t l o o k on l i f e . I f "A Troublemaker i n West B e i j i n g , " " A f t e r Death," 116 and "Mo. 9 Winch Handle A l l e y " are compared, one w i l l p r o b a b l y f i n d q u i t e a few s i m i l a r i t i e s i n t h e i r o v e r a l l s t r u c t u r e and mode of e x p r e s s i o n . They are a l l outcomes of the a u t h o r ' s same a e s t h e t i c s t a n d a r d s , though " A f t e r Death" i s more mature than "A Troublemaker i n West B e i j i n g " and "No. 9 Winch Handle A l l e y " i s b e t t e r than " A f t e r Death." For example, a l l these t h r e e s t o r i e s adopt a method of what i s c a l l e d "tragicomedy," t h a t i s , the a u t h o r w r i t e s of a t r a g e d y on the whole, or endows h i s f i c t i o n w i t h a c e r t a i n t r a g i c element, w h i l e i n p a r t i t i s s t i l l comedic, f u l l of r i d i c u l o u s p l o t s and d e t a i l s . T h i s a r t i s t i c c h a r a c t e r i s t i c b egins w i t h "A Troublemaker i n West B e i j i n g , " and i s r e n d e r e d more conspicuous i n " A f t e r Death" and "No. 9 Winch Handle A l l e y . " A l t h o u g h the l a t t e r two s t o r i e s succeed i n p o r t r a y i n g Stone Wei and Hai D e l a i as t y p i c a l f i g u r e s w i t h d i f f e r e n t f e a t u r e s and i d i o s y n c r a s i e s , the method Chen J i a n g o n g made use of i n w r i t i n g them i s u n l i k e t h a t employed i n t r a d i t i o n a l f i c t i o n . He saw some funny a s p e c t s i n the persons of t h e s e two c h a r a c t e r s : they are o f t e n mocked by o t h e r people i n l i f e and caught i n awkward s i t u a t i o n s ; t hey have c e r t a i n t h i n g s i n t h e i r p e r s o n a l i t y t h a t are incongruous w i t h the times and m i l i e u i n which they l i v e . T h i s k i n d of i n c o n g r u i t y , though absurd and f a c e t i o u s i n c o n c r e t e m a t t e r s , i s d e p l o r a b l e , as f a r as t h e i r f a t e and p r o s p e c t are concerned. Whether i t i s Stone Wei's 117 stubbornness and /honesty, or Han D e l a i ' s s h o w i n g - o f f p r o c l i v i t y branded by the " l e f t i s m , " a r e a d e r i s sure t o frown and m e d i t a t e upon i t when he f i n d s out t h a t i t s r i d i c u l o u s n e s s i s r a t h e r b i t t e r and a s t r i n g e n t . 1 2 3 " L o o k i n g f o r Fun" would have c e r t a i n l y been i n c l u d e d i n the genre i n q u e s t i o n i f L i Tuo had w r i t t e n t h i s c r i t i c a l s urvey from which the above e x c e r p t i s t a k e n a few ye a r s l a t e r . P a r t l y because of h i s s t a t u r e as an i n f l u e n t i a l c r i t i c , p a r t l y because of the vagueness and a l l u s i v e n e s s i t bears when a p p l i e d as a n o n - p o l i t i c a l term, "tragicomedy" has become p o p u l a r i n study of contemporary Chinese f i c t i o n , p a r t i c u l a r l y Chen J i a n g o n g ' s oeuvre. S i n c e the p u b l i c a t i o n of L i Tuo's essay, more and more c r i t i c s have p a i d a t t e n t i o n t o t h i s "new" l i t e r a r y phenomenon. He Zhiyun spared no e f f o r t i n h i s f u r t h e r e x p l i c a t i o n of i t s n a t u r e t y p i c a l i n the s t o r i e s Chen J i a n g o n g wrote; Wang Xuezhong even i s s u e d a t h e s i s on t h i s s u b j e c t , "On the t r a g i c o m e d y of Chen Jia n g o n g ' s f i c t i o n , " 1 2 4 i n which he develops the argument L i Tuo made i n t o a d e t a i l e d , though not ve r y cogent, a n a l y s i s . Nor has Chen J i a n g o n g h i m s e l f seemed t o be a b l e t o a v o i d the t o p i c . When he v i s i t e d Hong Kong, he s p e c i a l l y addressed an audience w i t h a l e c t u r e under the t i t l e 1 2 3 L i Tuo, "The V a r i o u s Types of S t o r i e s " [Geshi geyang de xiaoshuo]. , October, No. 2, 1982, p.245. 1 2 4 See B e i j i n g L i t e r a t u r e , No. 7, 1985: 77-79. 118 "The Tragicomedy: i t s P o s s i b i l i t y and S t r u g g l e " [ B e i x i j u : keneng yu zhengzha]. C o n c e r n i n g the f i c t i o n c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of t r a g i c o m e d y , Chen. Jia n g o n g and L i Tuo are e s s e n t i a l l y at v a r i a n c e , though i n a h a r d l y p e r c e p t i b l e way. A c c o r d i n g t o the p r e v i o u s q u o t a t i o n , i t i s c l e a r ' t h a t L i Tuo ' s e x p l a n a t i o n i s no d i f f e r e n t , ; from the g e n e r a l d e f i n i t i o n i n o r d i n a r y l i t e r a r y d i c t i o n a r i e s , t h a t i s , a t r a g e d y as a whole p l u s p a r t i a l comedy(s). So e v i d e n t l y , h i s f o c u s of a t t e n t i o n i s i n l a r g e measure c o n c e n t r a t e d on mode of r e p r e s e n t a t i o n . What Chen J i a n g o n g u n d e r s c o r e s i n t h i s r e g a r d , however, i s more th a n mere t e c h n i c a l m a t t e r s . He i s c h i e f l y concerned w i t h an a t t i t u d e toward, o r . a n u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f , l i f e and s o c i e t y , which he thought s h o u l d be o b t a i n e d by w r i t e r s . In a n o ther words, he i s c h i e f l y concerned w i t h the sense of t r a g i c o m e d y . The sense of t r a g i c o m e d y , as he i n t e r p r e t e d i t , i s a c t u a l l y a p e r c e p t i o n by which "one i s a b l e to t r a n s c e n d t r a g i c r e a l i t y and do what ever one l i k e s w i t h l i f e on a h i g h e r o v e r l o o k i n g p l a n e , " 1 2 5 and by which, moreover, "one i s a b l e t o be s c e p t i c a l of the e x i s t i n g s t a t e so as to a c q u i r e a c o n s t a n t sense of c r i s i s and see a b s u r d i t y and sadness t h r o u g h a s u p e r f i c i a l l y happy l i f e . " 1 2 6 1 2 5 "Tragicomedy: i t s P o s s i b i l i t y and S t r u g g l e , " W r i t e r [zuoj i a ] , No. 8 1989 : 75 . 1 2 6 I b i d . , 75. 119 i v That B e i j i n g e r s t a l k of death i n an o p t i m i s t i c way i s perhaps r e l e v a n t i n t h i s c ase. They do not say: "So-and-so d i e d . " They have euphemisms t o express t h i s s o r r o w f u l n o t i o n : "He i s gone to hear c r i c k e t s c h i r p , " or "he i s gone t o the chimney a l l e y , " or "he's gone t o enjoy the on l y p l e a s u r e i n a l l h i s l i f e as a camel does when i t gets on a c a r t , " and so f o r t h . 1 2 7 The more a p p r o p r i a t e example t o i l l u s t r a t e Chen Jiangong's v i e w p o i n t i s a passage from a comic d i a l o g u e c a l l e d The P r e c i o u s Rang 1 2 8 [Baokang] which i s c i t e d by h i m s e l f i n the speech made i n Hong Kong: A: Our f o l k s at home can't s u f f e r from hunger; we have never had a t a s t e of i t . B: Your f a m i l y must have p l e n t y of g r a i n . A: No, we don't have much g r a i n . But we have a p r e c i o u s kang. L y i n g on i t , y o u ' l l be f u l l at once i f you are hungry. B: Why, t h i s i s r e a l l y a p r e c i o u s kang. Could you t e l l me how t o make i t ? I want t o have one of our own. A: I t ' s s i m p l e . Go back to your home t o p u l l down the o l d kang and r e - b u i l d i t . 1 2 7 I b i d . , 75. 1 2 8 A "kang" i s a N o r t e r n Chinese bed made of adobe b r i c k s under which a f i r e can be b u i l t . 120 B: How t o do i t ? A: With one s i d e a l i t t l e h i g h e r and the o t h e r s i d e a l i t t l e l o w e r, t h a t ' s i t . B: That's i t ? I t w i l l thus become a p r e c i o u s kangl A: E x a c t l y . I f you've j u s t had meal -- t h a t ' s a c t u a l l y not our concern -- you may l i e on i t p u t t i n g your head on the h i g h e r end and l e g s on the lower one. When you're hungry, what you s h o u l d do i s j u s t the o p p o s i t e -- put your head on t h e lower end and l e g s on the h i g h e r one. I s n ' t - i t good enough? B: Oh, — t o make the food come b a c k ! 1 2 9 Can "A Troublemaker i n West B e i j i n g " and " A f t e r Death" be c o n s i d e r e d s t o r i e s which have the sense of t r a g i c o m e d y ? A l t h o u g h both of them indeed adopt a method c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of t h i s genre, i t i s not n e c e s s a r i l y t h a t they are w r i t t e n i n the mode of what Chen J i a n g o n g means by t h a t term. A c t u a l l y , Wang Fengxiang's a p o p l e x y and Stone Wei's s a c r i f i c e m a n i f e s t the a u t h o r ' s i n d i g n a n t p r o t e s t out of a sense of r i g h t e o u s n e s s r a t h e r than h i s "transcendence over t r a g i c r e a l i t y " and "ascent t o the h i g h e r plane t h a t can o v e r l o o k human l i f e . " So i n my view, t h e s e two s t o r i e s can at most c l a i m to be the ones which have been " t r e a t e d " by t a g i c o m e d i c t e c h n i q u e s . 1 2 9 I b i d . , 75. 121 Chen J i a n g o n g wrote: In the eye of some s h a l l o w w r i t e r s , tragicomedy i s indeed a mere " t r e a t m e n t . " They do not r e a l i z e t h a t i t i s a p h i l o s o p h y , or an o u t l o o k on l i f e . W r i t e r s of "the s c h o o l of a b s u r d i t y , " f o r i n s t a n c e , s i m p l y take " a b s u r d i t y " as such a t h i n g , b e l i e v i n g t h a t they are s u r e l y a b l e t o keep a b r e a s t w i t h Eugene Ionesco p r o v i d e d they t r u n d l e monsters and demons. In t h e i r hands, t h e r e f o r e , t r a g i c o m e d y i s n o t h i n g but a scoop of condiments. What the y w r i t e behind i t s camouflage i s v i r t u a l l y s t i l l S t o r i e s to Awaken Men [ X i n g s h i h e n g y a n ] . 1 3 0 T h i s c r i t i c i s m of the " s h a l l o w w r i t e r s " i s perhaps a p p l i c a b l e t o h i s own s t o r i e s , "A Troublemaker i n West B e i j i n g " and " A f t e r Death." To r e g a r d them as modern S t o r i e s to Awaken Men 1 3 1 i s not at a l l i n a p p r o p r i a t e . I f L i Tuo took these two works of f i c t i o n as examples whose t e c h n i q u e s are t y p i c a l of t r a g i c o m e d y , then i n terms of what Chen J i a n g o n g d e f i n e d s i x or seven years l a t e r , one has a 1 3 0 I b i d . , 77 . 1 3 1 A n o v e l w r i t t e n by Feng Menglong i n the Ming dyn a s t y . Some of h i s s t o r i e s , f o r example, "The Pearl-sewn S h i r t " [ J i a n g x i n g g e chonghui zhenzhushan], have been t r a n s l a t e d by C y r i l B i r c h . See B i r c h : S t o r i e s from a Ming C o l l e c t i o n , New York: Grove P r e s s , 1958. 122 good r e a s o n t o d i s m i s s them as shoddy p i e c e s of t h i s k i n d . S t r i c t l y s p e a k i n g , h i s s t o r i e s w i t h the sense of t r a g i c o m e d y began w i t h "No. 9 Winch Handle A l l e y . " One of the n o t a b l e f e a t u r e s of "No. 9 Winch Handle A l l e y " i s i t s c o m b i n a t i o n of t r a g i c substance w i t h a l i g h t , comic n a r r a t i v e . Take the t y p i c a l quadrangle f o r i n s t a n c e . I t used to be "a p r i d e of the C a p i t a l , " but a f t e r the s t a r t of the C u l t u r a l R e v o l u t i o n , i t has ceased t o e x i s t except i n name owing t o r a p i d i n c r e a s e i n p o p u l a t i o n and s t a g n a t i o n i n m u n i c i p a l h o u s i n g c o n s t r u c t i o n . Not o n l y B e i j i n g e r s , but r e s i d e n t s i n o t h e r b i g c i t i e s , were a l l g r e a t l y p e r t u r b e d by the problem of t h e i r accommodation. However Chen J i a n g o n g seems no l o n g e r f i l l e d w i t h i n d i g n a t i o n f a c i n g t h i s d e p l o r a b l e r e a l i t y r e s u l t i n g from t e n years of the c i v i l t u r m o i l , q u i t e u n l i k e how he used t o appear i n h i s e a r l i e r f i c t i o n . Acute but s c o r n f u l , i n s i g h t f u l y e t p e s s i m i s t i c , he appears as i f he has a l r e a d y seen t h r o u g h i n c o r r i g i b l e n e s s of the s o c i e t y . "Have you ever seen a q u a d r a n g l e ? " he thus s t a r t e d "No. 9 Winch Handle A l l e y . " In h i s view, a few words about the quadrangle t h a t can d i s p l a y h i s humour as w e l l as knowledge i s perhaps not d i g r e s s i v e , s i n c e such k i n d of compound i s the stage on which h i s f i c t i o n a l f i g u r e s are going to make t h e i r performance. " A c c o r d i n g to the study of an a r c h i t e c t , " he c o n t i n u e d , "The Temple of Heaven was made i n i m i t a t i o n of the sky, Sidney T h e a t r e i n i m i t a t i o n of the sea, The Pagoda of Kuwait i n i m i t a t i o n of the moon, and the Sears s k y s c r a p e r i n Chicago i n i m i t a t i o n of mountains. Then, how about the quadrangle? Someone says t h a t i t f o l l o w e d i n p a t t e r n the 123 a r r a y of men h o l d i n g t h e i r c h i l d r e n hand i n hand. Hey, what a human e x p l a n a t i o n t h i s i s ! I t makes us common people l i v i n g t h e r e i n f e e l j o y f u l a l l of a sudden." (65-66) To compare the quadrangle to world-famous b u i l d i n g s has a l r e a d y been s u r p r i s i n g ; but t h i s d i d not s u f f i c e f o r Chen J i a n g o n g . Once a g a i n , he r i d i c u l e d i t v i a f u r t h e r p e r s o n i f i c a t i o n : "However, i t i s not so a p p r o p r i a t e t o say 'men h o l d i n g t h e i r c h i l d r e n hand i n hand' as to put i t i n another way, 'men c a r r y i n g t h e i r c h i l d r e n i n arms.' I f you don't b e l i e v e , you s h o u l d come and t a k e a l o o k . U n d e n i a b l y , 'quadrangular w a l l s ' s t i l l s t a n d as t h e y were, but can you c a t c h s i g h t of 'compounds?' They are a l l s t u f f e d w i t h s i m p l e c a b i n s or shacks put up by people l i v i n g i n t h e r e . What i f i t ' s not men c a r r y i n g t h e i r c h i l d r e n i n arms?'... W e l l , of c o u r s e , t h e r e i s no a l t e r n a t i v e f o r us. S i n c e C h ina has become more and more l a r g e i n p o p u l a t i o n , i t i s unable t o h o l d i t s c h i l d r e n hand i n hand any more. The o n l y way out i s , u n d o u b t e d l y , to c a r r y them i n arms." (66) With the p l i g h t of people t a k e n as a l a u g h i n g s t o c k , i t i s c l e a r t h a t Chen J i a n g o n g i n t e n d e d t o produce an e f f e c t of " l a u g h t e r i n t e a r s . " 1 3 2 T h i s i s one of few examples t o show the sense of t r a g i c o m e d y by way of a u t h o r i a l d i r e c t i n t r u s i o n . In "No. 9 Winch Handle A l l e y , " Chen J i a n g o n g as an o v e r t n a r r a t o r i s a c t u a l l y not v e r y 1 3 2 Wang Xuezhong, "On the Tragicomedy of Chen J i a n g o n g ' s F i c t i o n " [Lun chen j i a n g o n g xiaoshuo de b e i x i j u s e c a i ] , B e i j i n g  L i t e r a t u r e , No. 7, 1985: 77. 124 much v i s i b l e . I n s t e a d of always assuming the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of an o f f i c i o u s commentator, he i s detached sometimes, l e t t i n g the l u d i c r o u s p r o t a g o n i s t Han D e l a i d i s p l a y t o the f u l l h i s i g n o r a n c e t h r o u g h h i s own t a l k , which i s r i d i c u l o u s t o be s u r e , but i n the meantime, a l s o p i t i a b l e : "How t e r r i b l e , you know, i f we workers had not gone to u n i v e r s i t i e s t o r e o r g a n i z e them!" Old Man Han began t o t a l k about h i s " s t a t i o n i n g " once a g a i n . "They were a l l b a s t a r d s of c a p i t a l i s t s and l a n d l o r d s , c o r r u p t e d and even t a k i n g p a r t i n what was c a l l e d ' F e t o f i ' ( P e t o f i ) c l u b . E a r l i e r I had been i g n o r a n t , m i s t a k i n g the c l u b as a p l a c e where you can wor s h i p something l i k e a p i g . A c t u a l l y i t was f a r from b e i n g t h a t . A l l c u l t u r e d guys t h e r e read books about a d u l t e r y . One of them c a l l e d Thunderstorm [a famous p l a y by Cao Yu which was t r a n s l a t e d i n t o E n g l i s h by Wang Z u o l i a n g ] i s w r i t t e n of a whole f a m i l y making a d u l t e r y on a r a i n i n g day and a b r o t h e r r a p i n g h i s younger s i s t e r ! How d i s g r a c e f u l i t was! I gave them a good l e s s o n : t h i s p l a c e of yours i s f i l l e d w i t h l o o s e women! But they d i d n ' t b e l i e v e me. So what do you t h i n k would have happened i f we workers hadn't gone t h e r e t o manage them?" (68) Another example i s Han D e l a i ' s " b r i l l i a n t " remark about d e f i c i t . I t i s e l i c i t e d when he sees h i s nei g h b o u r s l i v i n g at 125 same compound q u i t e i n a f l u r r y , b e i n g a f r a i d of a p o t e n t i a l i n f l a t i o n which may be caused by the t h i n g t hey do not q u i t e u n d e r s t a n d : "... Whether r e d d e f i c i t or w h i t e d e f i c i t , you don't have t o worry. I t e l l you, e v e r y t h i n g i s a l l r i g h t i n our c o u n t r y ! O t h e r w i s e , why are newspapers always t a l k i n g about good s i t u a t i o n s ? Can i t be t h a t t h e y are a l l nonsense? Take water as an example. Even such a t h i n g i n C h i n a s e l l s ! Haven't you ever heard t h a t ; at Mount Lao, Shandong P r o v i n c e , the water makes f o r t u n e s ! You get a b o t t l e , f i l l i t w i t h water, put i n f r o n t of a f o r e i g n e r , and t h e n h e ' l l pay you! W e l l , water i s i n e x h a u s t i b l e ; i t a l o n e e n a b l e s you to be i n the money. So a l e a d i n g cadre has s a i d t h a t from now on every household s h o u l d keep g l a s s b o t t l e s i n good care and don't waste them any more. At p r e s e n t , water i s enough. The problem i s t h a t we don't have s u f f i c i e n t g l a s s b o t t l e s . I f t h e r e were more of them, the money would f l o w i n l i k e water from the sea! Four m o d e r n i z a t i o n s ? E i g h t would a l r e a d y be r e a l i z e d ! . . . " (73) P r e t e n t i o u s l y o p t i m i s t i c as he i s i n h i s b r a g g i n g , Han D e l a i ' s l a c k of r u d i m e n t a r y knowledge, p a r t i c u l a r l y h i s m i s p r o n u n c i a t i o n of " P e t o f i , " m i s c o n s t r u c t i o n of Thunderstorm, as w e l l as m i s c o n c e p t i o n of the " f o u r m o d e r n i z a t i o n s , " b e t r a y s h i s 126 i r r e t r i e v a b l e t r a g i c n e s s as an ignoramus. The t r a g i c n e s s , t o be s u r e , i s not the d e f i n i t i o n A r i s t o t l e g i v e s to the word i n h i s P o e t i c s : namely, a good man f a l l i n g from success i n t o a d v e r s i t y . Han D e l a i i s by no manner of means a good man, and i t i s n a t u r a l t h a t h i s f a t e , no matter how changeable, has n o t h i n g t o do w i t h the t r a g e d y i n c l a s s i c a l : sense. What I mean by " t r a g i c n e s s " i s q u i t e l o o s e , m a i n l y r e f e r i n g t o the "pathos" demonstrated e i t h e r by c h a r a c t e r s or e v e n t s . Both the a b o v e - c i t e d monologues by Han D e l a i may have w e l l s e r v e d as s u i t a b l e i l l u s t r a t i o n s . A c t u a l l y , s i m i l a r examples can be seen everywhere i n "No. 9 Winch Handle A l l e y : " t h e y are too numerous t o be quoted one by one. Yet they are r a t h e r p a r t i a l and s u p e r f i c i a l . The r e a s o n I t h i n k t h a t Chen Jia n g o n g ' s f i c t i o n w i t h the r e a l sense of t r a g i c o m e d y b e g i n s w i t h "No. 9 Winch Handle A l l e y " i s not merely because of t h e s e p a r t i a l and s u p e r f i c i a l t r e a t m e n t he made i n the s t o r y , but m a i n l y because of h i s o v e r a l l and s u b s t a n t i a l grasp of d e p r e s s i n g r e a l i t y w i t h a comedic a t t i t u d e . C e r t a i n l y , t h i s sense of t r a g i c o m e d y e n t a i l s a deep u n d e r s t a n d i n g of the work. One has t o admit t h a t a f u l l a n a l y s i s or i n t e r p r e t a t i o n has not y e t been made so f a r of "No. 9 Winch Handle A l l e y . " " S i n c e i t s p u b l i c a t i o n , " a c r i t i c o bserved, " i t seems t h a t t h i s s t o r y has not r e c e i v e d s u f f i c i e n t c r i t i c a l a t t e n t i o n . " 1 3 3 The o n l y essay w r i t t e n 1 3 3 He Z h i y u n , "My U n d e r s t a n d i n g and P e r p l e x i t y , " Study of  L i t e r a t u r e and A r t s , No. 5, 1983: 66. 127 s p e c i a l l y f o r i t s d i s c u s s i o n i s p r o b a b l y the one by L i G u i x i a n , e n t i t l e d "Watch Out: T h i s S p e c t r e I s S t i l l Wandering" [ J i n g t i : zhege y o u l i n g h a i z a i y o u d a n g ] . 1 3 4 The o t h e r fragmentary commentaries are s c a t t e r e d i n a r t i c l e s r e s p e c t i v e l y by L i Tuo, Qian Guangpei and He Z h i y u n . He Zhiyun s a i d : "This t h i r d work of the 'Rambling Chats' s e r i e s , owing to i t s p r o f u n d i t y i n thought and s u b s t a n t i a l i t y i n c o n t e n t , and a l s o owing t o i t s v i t a l i t y , v i v a c i t y , c o n s i s t e n c y , and harmony i n a r t i s t i c r e p r e s e n t a t i o n . . . i s much b e t t e r than h i s o t h e r s t o r i e s , q u a l i f i e d f o r l i t e r a t u r e of h i g h o r d e r . " 1 3 5 T h i s i s what he wrote i n 1982. U n q u e s t i o n a b l y , " h i s o t h e r s t o r i e s " i n the c o n t e x t r e f e r s t o Chen Jia n g o n g ' s e a r l i e r c r e a t i v e works, e x c l u s i v e of "Looking f o r Fun" and " C u r l y l o c k s " which came i n t o b e i n g much l a t e r . I t was the s a g a c i t y of He Zhiyun t h a t he d i d not l i m i t h i m s e l f to a mere i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of i t s s o c i a l s i g n i f i c a n c e . H i s judgement i n terms of the l i t e r a r y m e r i t s of the s t o r y showed h i s i n s i g h t as a c o n s c i e n t i o u s c r i t i c , though what he meant by " p r o f u n d i t y i n th o u g h t " and " s u b s t a n t i a l i t y i n c o n t e n t " i s a b i t too sweeping, a w a i t i n g more c o n v i n c i n g expounding. 1 3 4 See Xinwenxue Luncong [ C r i t i q u e s on L i t e r a t u r e i n the New P e r i o d ] , No. 3, 1982. 1 3 5 He Zh i y u n : "My U n d e r s t a n d i n g and P e r p l e x i t y , " Study of  L i t e r a t u r e and A r t s , N o . 5 , 1 9 8 3 , p . 6 6 . 128 At any r a t e , I agree w i t h him at l e a s t on one p o i n t : "No. 9 Winch Handle A l l e y " was Chen Jia n g o n g ' s b e s t s t o r y b e f o r e 1982. A p r o d u c t of Lao She's, and e s p e c i a l l y , Lu Xun's i n f l u e n c e , which I have mentioned i n the f i r s t c h a p t e r , t h i s s t o r y i s an i m i t a t i o n of A True S t o r y of Ah Q c h i e f l y by v i r t u e of i t s s a t i r i c a l p h r a s e o l o g y as w e l l as g e n e r a l a r t i s t i c framework. L i k e the l a t t e r , which i s b o t h a r e a l p o r t r a y a l of a b e n i g h t e d peasant d u r i n g the p e r i o d of the 1911 R e v o l u t i o n and a metaphoric s a t i r e of Chinese n a t i o n a l c h a r a c t e r , "No. 9 Winch Handle A l l e y " i s r e a l i s t i c on one hand, and a l l e g o r i c on the o t h e r . I f i t i s not "blasphemous" t o Lu Xun, we may even as w e l l say t h a t i t i s a contemporary A True S t o r y of Ah Only when we ' r e a l i z e i t s t w o f o l d l a y e r s , e s p e c i a l l y t h a t of a 11 e g o r i z a t i o n , can we f u l l y a p p r e c i a t e at a deeper l e v e l i t s sense of t r a g i c o m e d y . The a p p r o p r i a t e n e s s of He Zhiyun's g e n e r a l e v a l u a t i o n of "No. 9 Winch Handle A l l e y " d i d not imply h i s t h o u g h t f u l u n d e r s t a n d i n g of t h i s s t o r y . H i s u n c o n v i n c i n g view r e s u l t e d i n a l a r g e measure from h i s d e l i b e r a t e r e j e c t i o n of i t s a l l e g o r i c meaning: he o n l y took i t as a work of r e a l i s m , which, h o l d i n g i t s m i r r o r up t o r e a l i t y l i k e a g r e a t d e a l of s h o r t s t o r i e s at t h a t p e r i o d , f a i t h f u l l y r e c o r d s the s i t u a t i o n of Chinese populace m e n t a l l y p e r s e c u t e d by " l e f t i s m . " In h i s o p i n i o n , Han D e l a i i s not at a l l a symbol of t o t a l i t a r i a n i s m . Along w i t h h i s neighbours of No. 9 Winch Handle A l l e y , t h i s o l d codger h i m s e l f i s too a v i c t i m of p o l i t i c s . He remarked: 129 I t i s u n d e n i a b l e t h a t he has h i s golden age f o r a time when he gets a m e t e o r i c r i s e i n s o c i a l s t a t u s . But i f we had v i s i t e d him b e f o r e the t e n years of the d i s t u r b a n c e , would we have been a b l e t o d i f f e r e n t i a t e him from people who l i v e d nearby? I s n ' t i t t h a t we a l s o see, a f t e r h i s ephemeral a s c e n t , h i s i n e x p l i c a b l e f a l l i n g t h a t i s so awkward and m i s e r a b l e ? There i s n o t h i n g but t h a t c r a z y p o l i t i c a l storm which can account f o r the v i c i s s i t u d e of h i s f o r t u n e s , j u s t as i t accounts f o r the s u f f e r i n g and r e h a b i l i t a t i o n of Widow Feng, the o l d couple of the Hes, and the couple of the Wangs. 1 3 6 He Zhiyun i s not alone i n i n t e r p r e t i n g t h i s s t o r y o n l y from the r e a l i s t i c s t a n d p o i n t . Wrhen L i Tuo a s s e r t e d the i m p o s s i b i l i t y of the p l o t i n which Han D e l a i r e s e l l s t i c k e t s b e f o r e a movie t h e a t r e , he i n f a c t a l s o c a s t h i s eye on the s u r f a c e of r e a l i s m . I do not mean t o deny the r e a l i s t i c a s p e c t of "No. 9 Winch Handle A l l e y . " As a l i f e l i k e c h a r a c t e r , Han D e l a i i s c r e d i b l e w i t h h i s d i s t i n c t i v e p e r s o n a l i t y and p e c u l i a r i t i e s , e s p e c i a l l y w i t h h i s d i s t o r t e d m e n t a l i t y moulded by " l e f t i s m . " A g r e a t many people were the n indeed swayed by p o l i t i c s i n China the way he i s . At t h i s p o i n t , He Zhiyun s h o u l d not be c o n s i d e r e d i n c o r r e c t i n h i s c r i t i c i s m , and one can even c o r r o b o r a t e h i s argument by s a y i n g t h a t the b a s i c method Chen J i a n g o n g employed to w r i t e h i s s t o r y does not 1 3 6 I b i d . , 67. 130 go a s i n g l e s t e p beyond r e a l i s t i c scope. T r u l y , "No. 9 Winch Handle A l l e y " i s blown up i n some p l a c e s , but i t i s by no means u n r e a l i s t i c a l l y b u r l e s q u e , l e t alone t o rank i t as a work of the s c h o o l of a b s u r d i t y ( the o p i n i o n t h a t the s t o r y i s mixed up w i t h the absurd elements i s d e b a t a b l e ) . The i n c i d e n t of Han D e l a i 1 s r e s e l l i n g f i l m t i c k e t s , c o n t r a r y t o what L i Tuo t r i e d t o conv i n c e us, i s q u i t e f e a s i b l e : Chen J i a n g o n g h i m s e l f d i d see i n person an o l d man do such k i n d of t h i n g i n f r o n t of a movie t h e a t r e . Moreover, f i c t i o n , l i k e " p o e t r y " expounded by A r i s t o t l e , i s d i f f e r e n t from h i s t o r y i n t h a t i t i s a l l o w e d t o d e s c r i b e the t h i n g w h i ch, though not n e c e s s a r i l y happened i n r e a l i t y , i s a c c e p t a b l e w i t h i n the l i m i t s of human e x p e r i e n c e and i m a g i n a t i o n . However, r e a l i s m i s not enough to i n t e r p r e t "No. 9 Winch Handle A l l e y . " I t i s , on a h i g h e r l e v e l , a l s o a l l e g o r i c . An a n a l y s i s a t t e m p t i n g t o e x p l o r e i t s symbolism i s made by L i G u i x i a n , though i n h i s a r t i c l e he s t i l l d i d not c o m p l e t e l y a v o i d p o l i t i c a l c l i c h e s . Perhaps he was the o n l y c r i t i c who h e l d t h a t the o b s e s s i o n of Han D e l a i -- a c l o s e homonym of " h a i d e l a i " [ s t i l l w i l l come back] --w i t h " l e f t " a p p a r i t i o n i s m e t a p h o r i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t . At t h i s d i s t a n c e we f e e l he i s r i g h t . However, even Chen J i a n g o n g h i m s e l f d i d not t a k e him s e r i o u s l y t h e n . I t was a s u r p r i s e t o him, he s a i d , t h a t the name of Han D e l a i was so i n g e n i o u s l y e x p l a i n e d as something w i t h a p o l i t i c a l l y i m p l i e d meaning. L i G u i x i a n , to be s u r e , d i d not t a l k nonsense; h i s i n s i g h t f u l view w i l l be more e a s i l y a g r e e a b l e e s p e c i a l l y when the f a c t has been n o t i c e d t h a t "No. 9 Winch Handle A l l e y " was i s s u e d i m m e d i a t e l y a f t e r the 131 d e n u n c i a t i o n of B a i Hua's f i l m s c r i p t B i t t e r Love [ K u l i a n ] on. n a t i o n a l s c a l e i n 1981 . 1 3 7 3 One can be even more e x c e s s i v e than L i G u i x i a n by t a k i n g the t i t l e as a metaphor. P o s s i b l y , t h i s w i l l too make Chen J i a n g o n g s u r p r i s e d . But anyway, a p u b l i s h e d a r t i s t i c work i s an independent e n t i t y , and a c r i t i c i s e n t i t l e d t o express h i s own o p i n i o n on i t , no matter how u n a c c e p t a b l e i t may be t o the a u t h o r . What i s worth n o t i c i n g h e r e , i t seems, i s t h a t the t i t l e i s c a r e f u l l y composed. Why i s i t Winch Handle A l l e y i n s t e a d of any o t h e r one? Why i s i t No. 9 i n s t e a d of No. 1 or No. 10? A l t h o u g h "Winch Handle A l l e y " and "9" are not o b v i o u s l y r e l a t e d , t hey are n e v e r t h e l e s s on brie p o i n t a c c i d e n t a l l y i d e n t i c a l . T h i s has a c t u a l l y been made c l e a r i n the s t o r y by the a u t h o r h i m s e l f : "The a l l e y i s not v e r y l o n g , l o o k i n g as i f i t i s a winch handle above a w e l l i n former t i m e s , w i t h a t i n y curve i n the m i d d l e . When the house number goes up to 9, i t i s j u s t the p l a c e t h a t goes round a c u r v e , t o o . " (65) Not o n l y No. 9 house i s r i g h t on the curved l o c a t i o n , but a l s o "Winch Handle" and "9" are both curved i n the v e r y shape of t h e m s e l v e s . Thus, the Chinese ideograms and A r a b i a n numeral i n the t i t l e combine t o produce an a s s o c i a t i o n t h a t t h e r e i s i n i t M.S. Duke, Blooming and 1985: c h a p t e r 5. 137 p o r a d e t a i l e d d i s c u s s i o n , see C o n t e n d i n g , U n i v e r s i t y of I n d i a n a P r e s s , 132 something cr o o k e d , or z i g z a g , or even bending. Such an a s s o c i a t i o n , when put i n t o a p r o p e r h i s t o r i c a l background, has c l e a r l y a p o l i t i c a l r e f e r e n c e the way the homonym " h a i d e l a i " does, though the l a t t e r i s more d i r e c t and e v i d e n t . Of c o u r s e , our e x p l a n a t i o n of the t i t l e and the name of Han D e l a i would be too t r i v i a l and f a r - f e t c h e d but f o r the a l l e g o r i c meaning of the s t o r y i t s e l f . To understand "No. 9 Winch Handle A l l e y " at a s y m b o l i c l e v e l r e q u i r e s a rough knowledge of the C u l t u r a l R e v o l u t i o n and i t s a f t e r m a t h , j u s t as an adequate r e a l i z a t i o n of the h i s t o r y around the 1911 R e v o l u t i o n as w e l l as Chinese n a t i o n a l i s m i s e s s e n t i a l t o understand a l l u s i o n s i n A True  S t o r y of Ah Q. Lu Xun's n o v e l l a , though an u n p a r a l l e l e d c l a s s i c i n modern Chinese l i t e r a t u r e , i s not c o m p l e t e l y permanent, g e n e r i c , and c o s m o p o l i t a n i n i t s i m p l i c a t i o n . C e r t a i n l y , Chen J i a n g o n g d i d not exceed h i s master i n t h i s r e s p e c t , b e i n g engaged i n c r e a t i v e w r i t i n g t o t a l l y under h i s huge shadow. "No. 9 Winch Handle A l l e y , " as f a r as i t s a l l e g o r y i s concerned, i s s t i l l h i s t o r i c a l , s p e c i f i c , and n a t i ona 1 . Maybe t h i s i s where Chinese and Western w r i t e r s d i f f e r e n t i a t e t h e mselves from each o t h e r . I t seems t h a t Chen Ji a n g o n g h i m s e l f was a l s o q u i t e c o n s c i o u s of t h i s d i s p a r i t y , as he a s s e r t e d i n "Tragicomedy: a. p o s s i b i l i t y and S t r u g g l e : " " In g e n e r a l , the most wonted mode of e x p r e s s i o n f o r the w r i t e r s on Main l a n d China i s s t i l l r e a l i s m . . . [ T h e i r ] tragic'bmedy i s more concerned w i t h the pr o c e s s of h i s t o r y and s t a t e of e x i s t e n c e , and what they l i k e t o p r e s e n t i s a s e n t i m e n t a l p a t t e r n a f t e r the m i s s i o n and 133 r e s p o n s i b i l i t y have been r e - e s t a b l i s h e d . . . T h i s type of s e n t i m e n t a l p a t t e r n . . . i s s c e p t i c a l i n essence, but s i m u l t a n e o u s l y , i s p a t r i o t i c a l l y l i n g e r i n g and m e l a n c h o l y . " 1 3 8 C o n t r a r i l y , Western w r i t e r s , from h i s o p i n i o n , "appear as i f t h e y have smashed the r e a l i s t i c w o r l d w i t h t h e i r r e s o l u t e w i l l , and t h e n by means of s i n g u l a r i m a g i n a t i o n and w i t t y language, they r e -c r e a t e a t r a g i c o m e d y of f a n t a s i z e d cosmos to express t h e i r o v e r a l l g r a sp of human c i v i l i z a t i o n and i t s p r o s p e c t , as w e l l as t h e i r p h i l o s o p h i c a l o u t l o o k on the l u n a t i c , t w i s t e d and i n d i f f e r e n t r e a l i t y i n which t h e y l i v e . " 1 3 9 'Indeed, . t h e r e e x i s t such r e p r e s e n t a t i v e works as The C a s t l e , L o r d of the F l i e s , and C a t c h - 22 produced r e s p e c t i v e l y by the f o r e r u n n e r of e x p r e s s i o n i s m Franz K a f k a , the winner of the Nobel P r i z e f o r l i t e r a t u r e W i l l i a m G o l d i n g , and the master of b l a c k humour Joseph H e l l e r , and they may w e l l s e r v e as i l l u s t r a t i o n s f o r what Chen J i a n g o n g meant about Western w r i t e r s i n h i s a b o v e - c i t e d e x c e r p t . N e v e r t h e l e s s , Chinese a u t h o r s do not have t o f e e l i n f e r i o r : t h e i r c r e a t i v e w r i t i n g has i t s own v a l u e . There i s no d e n y i n g t h a t the a l l e g o r y i n "No. 9 Winch Handle A l l e y , " i n s p i t e of the l i m i t a t i o n , has s t i l l an e x c e l l e n c e , which c h i e f l y l i e s i n i t s n o t i c e a b l e r e l e v a n c y w i t h 138 "Tragecomedy: i t s P o s s i b i l i t y and S t r u g g l e , " W r i t e r , No. 8, 1989: 77. 1 3 9 I b i d . , 77 . 134 c e r t a i n a s p e c t s i n China's s o c i a l framework. 1 4 0 / At the a l l e g o r i c l a y e r , the t i n y q u a d r a n g l e of No. 9 Winch Handle A l l e y stands f o r the e n t i r e Chinese s o c i e t y . T h i s m i n i a t u r e , i n s t e a d of b e i n g as r i c h and c o l o u r f u l as the s y m b o l i c Yoknapatawpha County i n F a u l k n e r ' s f i c t i o n , i s p u r p o s e l y monochrome, aimed at the p r e s e n t a t i o n of abnormal human r e l a t i o n s under d i c t a t o r s h i p . I t i s s h e e r l y a t o t a l i t a r i a n w o r l d , i n which almost a l l s o c i a l communications and a c t i v i t i e s are p o l i t i c a l l y t i n g e d . There are o n l y two o p p o s i t e k i n d s of people i n i t : the governor and the governed, or r a t h e r , the b u l l y i n g a u t o c r a t s and h u m i l i a t e d p o p u l a c e . R e p r e s e n t i n g the l a t t e r k i n d are the people l i k e Widow Feng, the o l d couple of the Hes , the c o u p l e of the Wangs, and Zhang Chunyuan. They a r e , t o be s u r e , not the same c h a r a c t e r s . Widow Feng i s hard to p l e a s e , the o l d co u p l e of the Hes are s u b m i s s i v e , Zhang Chunyuan i s t h o u g h t f u l and knowledgeable, the couple of the Wangs are of p h l e g m a t i c temperament. Sometimes, they have even d i s c o r d and f r i c t i o n w i t h each o t h e r . For i n s t a n c e , Zhang Chunyuan's r e f u s a l t o i n s t a l l i n h i s home a meter f o r 140 p o r a d i s c u s s i o n of u n d e r s t a n d i n g modern and contemporary Chinese l i t e r a t u r e from a h i s t o r i c a l a n g l e , see M.S. Duke's t h e s i s "The P r o b l e m a t i c Nature of Modern and contemporary Chinese F i c t i o n i n E n g l i s h T r a n s l a t i o n . " World Apart -- Recent Chinese W r i t i n g and  i t s A u d i e n c e s , ed. Howard G o l d b l a t t , New York: M.E. Sharpe, I nc. 1990: 198-227. 135 measuring e l e c t r i c i t y g i v e s r i s e t o Widow Feng's resentment, and the m a l i c e which Old Lady He bears towards the s m a l l room, whose shape i s l i k e an edge of k n i f e , e v e n t u a l l y i n v o l v e s the t e n a n t l i v i n g i n t h e r e . But a f t e r a l l , t o quote what Mao s a i d i n h i s well-known a r t i c l e , t h ey are s t i l l " n o n - a n t a g o n i s t i c c o n t r a d i c t i o n s , " and whatever happens among them, they as the governed people have t h e i r own common b e n e f i t , and, t o o , t h e i r own common enemy -- t h a t i s , Han D e l a i . When Han D e l a i l o o k s t r i u m p h a n t because of r e s u r g e n c e of the " l e f t " f o r c e , t h e r e i s i n the s t o r y such a d e s c r i p t i o n of the a p p r e h e n s i o n of Old Lady He and Widow Feng as f o l l o w s : E s p e c i a l l y Old Lady He. The door of the " k n i f e - e d g e l o o k i n g " room i s , a f t e r a l l , r i g h t o p p o s i t e t o t h a t of her own. I f Zhang Chunyuan i s down on h i s l u c k , who can say f o r sure t h a t the n o r t h e r n room i n which her f a m i l y l i v e s won't be i n v o l v e d ? Things l i k e t h a t has a l r e a d y happened b e f o r e ' When she met Han D e l a i , h i s m a l i c i o u s remarks made her even more s c a r e d . B o u r g e o i s i e ? R e t a l i a t i o n ? Who do they r e f e r t o ? Is i t p o s s i b l e t hey r e f e r to us? Worship f o r e i g n t h i n g s ? I t must be d i r e c t e d at S t i n k y . T h i n k i n g of t h i s , she hated Zhang Chunyuan f o r c o u r t i n g d i s a s t e r and b r i n g i n g i t to n e i g h b o u r s , but she even more r e s e n t e d Han D e l a i . He would never l e t go any o p p o r t u n i t y to cause people t r o u b l e s i f he saw them l i v i n g a happy l i f e . I s n ' t he too abominable! 136 As f o r Widow Feng, she had a l r e a d y gone back t o her room, l i s t l e s s , u t t e r i n g no words a l l the a f t e r n o o n . In the e v e n i n g when her son was back home, she i m m e d i a t e l y f i r e d a v o l l e y of a b u s i v e s c o l d i n g at him: "What f o r you come home? Why don't you go back t o the f a c t o r y t o work y o u r s e l f t o the bone! I brought you up and never l i v e d a s i n g l e day at peace. In summer I s t i t c h e d your s h i r t s ; i n w i n t e r I sewed up your padded j a c k e t . For what? For what? Was i t f o r you -- a man of f o r t y y e a r s o l d now --l o o k i n g f o r t r o u b l e s so t h a t I won't be a b l e t o d i e w i t h my eyes c l o s e d ? The son was confounded: "What's goi n g on w i t h you?" "What's g o i n g on? I don't u n d e r s t a n d why you l i k e t o t a k e the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of something l i k e a d i r e c t o r of the f a c t o r y . B e i n g a worker i s good enough! E l e c t i o n , e l e c t i o n , now, i t ' l l soon be your t u r n t o be slammed..." The son s a i d , s m i l i n g : " I t ' s i m p o s s i b l e . The h i g h e r -ups have s a i d t h a t t h e r e w i l l be no p o l i t i c a l movement." Widow Feng had not at a l l been c o n v i n c e d and s t i l l went on w i t h her c o m p l a i n t s a g a i n s t him. B e i n g w o r r i e d about the t h i n g s r e l a t e d to the f a c t o r y , Da Shan f e l t q u i t e at unease w i t h h i s mother's babbles going on and on f o r n o t h i n g but those p u r e l y f a b r i c a t e d by her i m a g i n a t i o n . He then s a i d : " I t ' s not me alone t h a t ' s worth your t a l k i n g - t o ! I f a movement i s launched, don't t h i n k you w i l l be i n n o c e n t ! . . . You're a l l day lon g 137 d i s h o n o u r i n g "the Communist P a r t y " as a " l a b o u r p a r t y , " and a r e n ' t you aware t h a t the w a l l s have ea r s ? W e l l , i f I'm s t u p i d , how about you?..." T h i s was r e a l l y e f f e c t i v e and Widow Feng d i d n ' t speak any more. Only a f t e r q u i t e a long i n t e r v a l d i d she get up t o c l e a r away the bowls and c h o p s t i c k s f o r the supper. She s a i d t o h e r s e l f : "How d i f f e r e n t w i l l i t be from the days when 'the Gang of Four' were i n power, i f t h e r e i s r e a l l y a movement? The hard workers who get up e a r l y and s l e e p l a t e s h a l l have t h e i r bad l u c k ? And the sneaky l a z y guys d o i n g n o t h i n g good at a l l w i l l be on the l o o s e ? . . . Even an o l d woman so advanced i n ye a r s as me has t o h o l d her tongue c a r e f u l l y , o t h e r w i s e she w i l l p o s s i b l y be branded as a c o u n t e r - r e v o l u t i o n a r y ? . . . " When she was so t h i n k i n g , she grew r a t h e r annoyed w i t h the s t u f f Han D e l a i had p l a y e d up, and meanwhile began t o f e e l somewhat s y m p a t h e t i c w i t h Zhang Chunyuan. As f o r h i s r e f u s a l t o i n s t a l l a meter which had c o s t her e x t r a money i n e l e c t r i c i t y payment, she even f o r g o t i t at t h a t moment. (89-91) I t i s not s u r p r i s i n g t h a t Han D e l a i ' s s u c c e s s , or d e l i g h t , s h o u l d p u r p o r t a d i s a s t e r , or s u f f e r i n g , f o r the people who are i n so c l o s e p r o x i m i t y as to be h i s v i c t i m s . Because, o b v i o u s l y , he embodies the ones who p e r s e c u t e s populace -- namely, a u t o c r a t s . I am c o n v i n c e d t h a t Chen J i a n g o n g , as he was w r i t i n g "No. 9 Winch 138 Handle A l l e y , " was q u i t e c o n s c i o u s of i t s n a t u r e as a p o l i t i c a l p a r a b l e . D e s p i t e He Zhiyun's p l a u s i b l e defence t h a t Han D e l a i i s a l s o a s u f f e r e r of " l e f t " l i n e , h i s view was not c o n f i r m e d by the a u t h o r h i m s e l f . I n s t e a d , i n h i s open l e t t e r t o t h i s c r i t i c , Chen J i a n g o n g argues t h a t what he d i d i n the s t o r y was "a s o c i a l and h i s t o r i c a l e x a m i n a t i o n , " and what he was concerned was "the Chinese s o c i e t y a f t e r a decade of c a t a s t r o p h e -- a s o c i a l atmosphere t h a t i s i n d i c a t i v e of the d e s i r e of the g e n e r a l p u b l i c f o r a s t a b l e s i t u a t i o n on one hand, and on the o t h e r hand, of t h e i r p a l p a b l e l i n g e r i n g a p p r e h e n s i o n . " 1 4 1 In another words, he i m p l i e d t h a t t h e r e was s t i l l t o common people a p o t e n t i a l menace c o n s t i t u t e d by the e x i s t e n c e of a u t o c r a t s , though some of them have f a l l e n out of power t e m p o r a r i l y . T h i s i s perhaps conducive t o our u n d e r s t a n d i n g of h i s motive of moulding Han D e l a i i n t o an a l l e g o r i c c h a r a c t e r of t o t a l i t a r i a n i s m . Han D e l a i , s i n c e h i s m e t e o r i c r i s e from a s t a r v i n g beggar i n the c o u n t r y s i d e t o an honoured guest at Zhongnanhai ( p o s s i b l y an a l l u s i o n t o the C.C.P. as a p o l i t i c a l u p s t a r t ) , has a c t u a l l y become a p r e t e n t i o u s , but s t i l l r a t h e r i g n o r a n t , d i c t a t o r i n a s y m b o l i c sense. He i s an e u l o g i s t of the C u l t u r a l R e v o l u t i o n , a s u p p o r t e r of the bloody crackdown i n Tiananman Square i n 1976, a b l i n d o p t i m i s t of China's economic r e f o r m , and an o b s t i n a t e vanguard f o r the r e s t o r a t i o n of " l e f t i s m . " In the ve r y person of 1 4 1 "Tragicomedy: i t s P o s s i b i l i t y and S t r u g g l e , " W r i t e r , No. 8, 1989: 73. 139 t h i s c h a r a c t e r , a rough image of the P a r t y a c o l l e c t i v e d i c t a t o r s h i p -- s i n c e the c a l a m i t o u s c i v i l t u r m o i l i n the mid-1960s i s thus c l e v e r l y d e l i n e a t e d . H i s r e l a t i o n s w i t h neighbours i s l i t e r a l l y t h a t of a r u l e r w i t h h i s s u b j e c t s . Once the o l d couple of the Hes cease to r e p o r t , to him t h e i r t h o u g h t , Widow Feng ceases t o f l a t t e r him w i t h "ganqing," and the couple of the Wangs cease to l i s t e n t o him w i t h r e s p e c t f u l a t t e n t i o n , he f e e l s as i f he l o s t h i s former p r e s t i g e and s u p e r i o r i t y . T h i s k i n d of s o v e r e i g n , when he i s i n power, b r i n g s d i s a s t e r t o p e o p l e , and when he l o s e s power, can o n l y but be an encumbrance, of which Han D e l a i ' s l a t e r e n j o y i n g h i m s e l f by r e s e l l i n g f i l m t i c k e t s fo.r n o t h i n g i s no doubt a good p a i n t i n g . Only by u n d e r s t a n d i n g the s y m b o l i c meaning of "No. 9. Winch Handle A l l e y " can one a p p r e c i a t e more f u l l y i t s sense of t r a g i c o m e d y . In s t y l e , the whole s t o r y i s l i v e l y and humorous, y e t i t s theme i s of the m i s e r a b l e s u f f e r i n g of Chinese people under the r e i g n of a u t o c r a c y . T h i s mode of r e p r e s e n t a t i o n analogous t o the t e c h n i q u e of i r o n y i s r e m i n i s c e n t of Yang J i a n g ' s S i x Chapters  From L i f e Downunder [Ganxiao l i u j i ] , i n which t h i s female a u t h o r ' s s e n t i m e n t a l i t y i s conveyed i n a marked un d e r s t a t e m e n t . B e f o r e c o m m i t t i n g s u i c i d e , her s o n - i n - l a w Deyi says t o her: "Mama, I can't have a bad a t t i t u d e toward the masses, nor can I t a l k back t o the Propaganda Team, but t h a t doesn't mean t h a t I'm p r e p a r e d to f a b r i c a t e a r o s t e r and get o t h e r people i n t o t r o u b l e . 140 And I'm not about to s t a r t l y i n g . " 1 4 2 When the l e a d e r s of worker p r o p a g a n d i s t s f o r c e d him t o w r i t e out a name l i s t t h r e e t i m e s a day, Devi k i l l e d h i m s e l f . The t r a g i c s u i c i d e of her s o n - i n - l a w i s -so u n e m o t i o n a l l y n a r r a t e d as though she were m e n t i o n i n g a s t r a n g e r , she once saw i n the s t r e e t . She g i v e s vent t o her f e e l i n g probably-o n l y i n one p l a c e i n her book where she w r i t e s of the famous s c h o l a r Yu Pingbo and h i s w i f e s e t t i n g out f o r c o u n t r y s i d e t o remould t h e m s e l v e s : "The d e p artees c l o s e d up r a n k s , w i t h the p o e t / s c h o l a r Yu Pingbo and h i s w i f e t a k i n g t h e i r p l a c e at the head of the column, and s e t out under the re d f l a g . The s i g h t : of. a;, r e v e r e d s c h o l a r i n h i s s e v e n t i e s who had t o l i n e up; l i k e a s c h o o l c h i l d t o go t o the cadre s c h o o l was more than I c o u l d bear. I t u r n e d and headed home... " 1 4 3 But i t i s s t i l l a v e r y r e s t r a i n e d , v e r y subdued r e c i t a l . To some e x t e n t , I b e l i e v e , what Chen J i a n g o n g means by the sense of t r agicomedy i s c l o s e to t h a t calm and detached s t y l e c r e a t e d by Yang J i a n g i n u n d e r s t a t i n g the u n p l e a s a n t substance i n her l i t t l e m e a n i n g f u l memoir. "Ganqing" [ r e a l l y ] i s a c o l l o q u i a l i s m p r e v a i l i n g i n the d i s t r i c t of B e i j i n g . I f "gan" i s pronounced l o n g e r and w i t h an 1 4 2 Yang J i a n g . S i x Chapters from L i f e "Downunder", t r a n s , Howard G o l d b l a t t , S e a t t l e : U n i v e r s i t y of Washington P r e s s , 1983 16 . 1 4 3 I b i d , 12. 141 a f f e c t e d sweetness, and " q i n g " l i g h t l y touched and with, a q u i c k c u t - o f f , t h e n , a c c o r d i n g t o the a u t h o r , i t w i l l sound e m o t i o n a l . "When somebody i s s a y i n g something, you can at once ta k e up h i s c o n v e r s a t i o n by r e p l y i n g : 'Gan-qing!' T h i s i s equal t o say: ' e x a c t l y ! ' Or: ' I s n ' t t h i s a sure t h i n g ? ' Or even i n some measure:' 'Every sentence you've been s p e a k i n g i s t r u t h . ' " (64) But t h i s g l e e f u l i n t e r j e c t i o n , when u t t e r e d by Widow Feng, v i r t u a l l y m a n i f e s t s a sadness. An i n f l e x i b l e o l d woman who i s not easy t o get al o n g w i t h , she u s u a l l y grudges u s i n g i t . One h a r d l y h e a r s , f o r i n s t a n c e , her speak w i t h her son i n such an a f f e c t i o n a l l y f l a t t e r y way, a l t h o u g h the l a t t e r i s i n charge of a f a c t o r y . I n s t e a d , her s c o l d i n g of him i s q u i t e f r e q u e n t : "Huh, you're out a l l day long and o n l y know coming home to eat and s l e e p . I s n ' t i t you take the home as a motel? You leave the l i g h t on at n i g h t t o waste e l e c t r i c i t y , but you're s i m p l y a so unimportant f u n c t i o n a r y as a w o r t h l e s s d i r e c t o r of a f a c t o r y . S p l e n d i d ? B u l l s h i t ! " (65) However, she w i l l l o s e no chance t o c h i p i n w i t h t h i s e x p r e s s i o n whenever Han D e l a i s t r i k e s up a c o n v e r s a t i o n . Once Han D e l a i i s l a v i s h i n g p r a i s e on the i n t e r n a t i o n a l impact of the C u l t u r a l R e v o l u t i o n : "Do you know, e l d e r s i s t e r , t h e r e have even r i s e n i n r e v o l t the Red Guards i n the I m p e r i a l i s t i c America 142 and the R e v i s i o n i s t S o v i e t ! " Han D e l a i changed h i s t o p i c t o an i n t e r n a t i o n a l i s s u e . "Boy! How b r i l l i a n t our C u l t u r a l R e v o l u t i o n i s ! I t won't ta k e l o n g , y o u ' l l be a b l e t o w a i t and see, t h a t Khrushchev (he o n l y knew Khrushchev) and Nixon s h a l l be ta k e n on t o an p l a t f o r m and slammed, w i t h p l a t e s hanging around t h e i r n ecks... (68) Widow Feng i m m e d i a t e l y chimes i n , g i g g l i n g : "Ganqing!" Readers may perhaps be c o n f u s e d : are h i s i g n o r a n t f a l l a c i e s r e a l l y worth her endorsement? T h i s i s not the case, of c o u r s e . As I have p o i n t e d out p r e v i o u s l y , Han D e l a i i s not merely an o r d i n a r y r e s i d e n t l i v i n g a t No. 9 Winch Handle A l l e y , but more i m p o r t a n t l y , a symbol of the r u l i n g c l a s s (the way he t a l k s sounds o f f i c i a l t o o : i n s t e a d of s a y i n g "the C u l t u r a l R e v o l u t i o n , " he says "our C u l t u r a l R e v o l u t i o n ; " i n s t e a d of s a y i n g "the U n i t e d S t a t e s " and "the S o v i e t R u s s i a , " he says "the I m p e r i a l i s t i c America" and "the R e v i s i o n i s t S o v i e t " ) . I t i s l a r g e l y because of h i s s t a t u r e as a h o r r i b l e i n c a r n a t i o n of d i c t a t o r s h i p r a t h e r t h a n t h e a p p e a l i n g of the r i d i c u l o u s c o n v e r s a t i o n i t s e l f t h a t he i s a b l e t o pose h i m s e l f as an a u t h o r i t y t o h i s l i s t e n e r . Widow Feng, from her words and deeds i n o t h e r o c c a s i o n s , i s q u i t e i n c r e d u l o u s , and i t i s obvious t h a t she can not be so s i l l y as t o take what Han D e l a i says as " t r u t h . " When she pays him a compliment by u s i n g the s y c o p h a n t i c "ganqing," she s i m p l y means to make a g e s t u r e of her ready s u b m i s s i o n t o the t y r a n n y . As a r e s u l t , her h a b i t u a l c o l l o q u i a l i s m , i n s p i t e of i t s 143 seeming merriment which i s capable of showing her r e s p e c t f u l d o c i l i t y t o t h a t "honoured guest at Zhongnanhai," o n l y makes one f e e l p i t i f u l f o r the d e p r e s s i o n of people l i v i n g under the enormity of p o l i t i c a l p r e s s u r e . The most comedic and b i t t e r scene i n the s t o r y , which i s s y m b o l i c of the t o t a l i t a r i a n i s t s r e i g n i n g over the c o u n t r y and common people h a v i n g no a l t e r n a t i v e but s u b m i s s i o n , i s of Widow Feng's s h a k i n g hands w i t h Han D e l a i : The day he shook hands .'with Chairman Mao, Han D e l a i d i d n ' t wash h i s hands from morn t i l l eve when he was back ' home. As soon as he stepped i n t o the doorway of the q u a d r a n g l e , he shouted at the top of h i s v o i c e : "I've been s h a k i n g hands w i t h Chairman Mao!" T h i s s e n s a t i o n a l news s t i r r e d up the people l i v i n g e i t h e r i n s i d e or o u t s i d e the q u a d r a n g l e -- male and f e m a l e , o l d and young -- t o shake hands w i t h him. Who d i d n ' t want t o be b l e s s e d by t o u c h i n g something c e l e s t i a l ? The Widow Feng l i v i n g i n the western room i s no e x c e p t i o n e i t h e r . Having rushed out t o Han D e l a i , she grabbed one of h i s hands and rubbed i t w i t h a l l her s t r e n g t h . I t was from t h i s day on t h a t she was no l o n g e r a b l e to b o a s t , as she used t o , of her p e r s i s t e n t h o nourable c h a s t i t y : "For a human b e i n g , i s i t easy? Nowadays young l a d i e s s t r o l l i n the s t r e e t t o g e t h e r w i t h t h e i r b o y f r i e n d s , and even arm i n arm. I s n ' t i t a d i s g r a c e ! Who e l s e i s a b l e t o be l i k e me, 144 f a i t h f u l t o the dead husband a l l my l i f e w i t h o u t t o u c h i n g a s i n g l e f i n e h a i r on o t h e r men! Is i t easy?" -(67) When a woman who has been i n widowhood f o r s c o r e s of y e a r s i s f i n a l l y c o m p e l l e d to break her " c h a s t i t y " due to Mao's i n f i n i t e d e s p o t i c power, i s n ' t i t a b i g j o k e ? ! The upheavals i n s i d e the power c e n t e r g r e a t l y a f f e c t e d common people of a l l s t r a t a i n the s o c i e t y , of which No. 9 Winch Handle A l l e y i s a m i n i a t u r i z e d p i c t u r e . L i k e a barometer, Han D e l a i i s v e r y s e n s i t i v e i n r e f l e c t i n g the f l u c t u a t i o n of the a u t o c r a t i c regime from i t s p r o s p e r i t y t o i t s d e c l i n e , and then a g a i n , from i t s d e c l i n e t o i t s p r o s p e r i t y . T a k i n g an advantage of the C u l t u r a l R e v o l u t i o n , he puts a l l h i s neighbours a t the same quadrangle under h i s c o n t r o l . The couple of the Wangs st a n d a w e - s t r i c k e n t o l i s t e n t o h i s " i n s t r u c t i o n , " even i f i t i s " f u l l of c r a p ; " (70) Widow Feng d e d i c a t e s t o him her "gangqing" so i n time t h a t i t has v i r t u a l l y become " h i s i n d i s p e n s a b l e f o u r t h meal;" (70) Zhang Chunyuan, though a sober i n t e l l e c t u a l , " l o s e s the courage he used to have to exp r e s s o p i n i o n s i n f r o n t of him." Let alone the o l d couple of the Hes: because t h e y are " p r o b l e m a t i c " i n p e r s o n a l h i s t o r y , they have to r e p o r t t o him t h e i r thought r e g u l a r l y . N e v e r t h e l e s s , Han D e l a i l o s e s h i s p o s i t i o n as head of the quadrangle w i t h Mao's death and the d o w n f a l l of the Gang of Four. He t h e n f e e l s as i f he were dragged i n t o a d i r e s t r a i t s , i n which he i s q u i t e impotent. Even Old Man He who used to be always obsequious t o him i n the C u l t u r a l R e v o l u t i o n now h a r d l y pays him 145 any r e s p e c t . T h i s s i t u a t i o n of h i s i s v i v i d l y d e s c r i b e d by the tune he s i n g s from the B e i j i n g opera Four Mothers V i s i t i n g t h e i r Husbands : R e c a l l i n g my former p r e s t i g e , how p i t i a b l e I am at p r e s e n t ! L i k e a caged b i r d , I can't f l u t t e r though I s t i l l have my wings w i t h me. (78, 98) However, the r e s i d e n t s at No. 9 quadrangle w i l l s t i l l l i v e i n a c o n s t a n t f e a r as l o n g as Han D e l a i e x i s t s , j u s t as Chinese people are bound t o be haunted' by Mao's t h r e a t e n i n g prophecy t h a t a p o l i t i c a l movement occ u r s every seven or e i g h t y e a r s . When the " l e f t " f o r c e r e v i v e s , he a g a i n puts on h i s a u t h o r i t a t i v e a i r s which i s almost comparable t o t h a t as he comes back home a f t e r h a v i n g had the s t a t e banquet at Zhongnanhai. I t r e c u r s , t h e r e f o r e , t h a t h i s remarks are as e f f e c t i v e as an i m p e r i a l e d i c t , and he i s capable of a c t i n g l i k e a w i r e p u l l e r t o make puppets on stage p e r f o r m one tr a g e d y a f t e r a n o t h e r . One of h i s v i c t i m s i s Zhang Chunyuan, a s e r i o u s young man who has been p r a c t i s i n g c r e a t i v e w r i t i n g f o r many y e a r s . When Han D e l a i i s making the o p p o r t u n i t y of " B a i Hua I n c i d e n t " t o denounce " l i b e r a l i z e d " i n t e l l e c t u a l s , a s l i m chance appears f o r t h i s would-be w r i t e r : one of h i s s t o r i e s w i l l p o s s i b l y be p u b l i s h e d . But i n such an u n f a v o u r a b l e s i t u a t i o n , h i s p r o m i s i n g s t o r y f i n a l l y a b o r t s . T h i s e p i s o d e , though f u l l of humour and making one b u r s t out l a u g h i n g , a c t u a l l y r e c o r d s the " n e u r o s i s " of 146 the Chinese p e o p l e ' s f e a r of p o l i t i c a l p e r s e c u t i o n . I f i n "No. 9 Winch Handle A l l e y " the sense of t r a g i c o m e d y i s i n d i r e c t , m a i n l y d i s p l a y e d t h r o u g h i t s a l l e g o r y , then i t becomes r e l a t i v e l y d i r e c t and hence r e l a t i v e l y c o n s p i c u o u s i n " L o o k i n g f o r F u n . " 1 4 4 The a u t h o r i n s e r t e d the whole s t o r y which i s t r a g i c i n t o ' a comedic frame. N o m i n a l l y , what he w r i t e s about i s " l o o k i n g f o r \ f u n , " yet i n f a c t , i t i s the d e p l o r a b l e s i t u a t i o n of the people l i v i n g at the bottom of the s o c i e t y : t hey can o n l y amuse themselves i n a cheap way w h i l e t h e i r l i f e i s c o n d i t i o n e d by l i m i t e d means of e x i s t e n c e . To them, k e e p i n g a pet n i g h t i n g a l e i s " f u n , " and so i s f l y i n g a k i t e and n u r s i n g a bowl of wine over a c l o v e of g a r l i c . Even when they t a l k about d e a t h , they l i k e t o say: "He's gone to hear c r i c k e t s c h i r p , " -- as though they c o u l d f i n d some p l e a s u r e even i n t h a t . T h i s i s the k i n d of t h i n g s they c a l l " f u n " -- so easy t o be o b t a i n e d or r e a l i z e d . A c t u a l l y , i t i s a p i t y r a t h e r t h a n f u n . Adding a p a i r of q u o t a t i o n marks to the t i t l e , the i r o n y of the e n t i r e s t o r y , I b e l i e v e , would be much c l e a r e r . The s t o r y concerns the p r o c e s s of the p e o p l e ' s l o o k i n g f o r f u n , w i t h emphasis on t h o s e l i v i n g at No. 10 quadrangle such as L i Zhongxiang, Qiao Wangyou and He X i n . But i t s l o c a l i t y , i n s t e a d of b e i n g s e t i n a crammed c o u r t y a r d as i t i s i n "No. 9 Winch Handle 1 4 4 Of t h i s s t o r y , I have made l i b e r a l use of the t r a n s l a t i o n by Jeanne T a i w i t h o c c a s i o n a l minor m o d i f i c a t i o n . Her t r a n s l a t i o n , though q u i t e f a i t h f u l t o Chen Jiangong's s t y l e , i s r a t h e r u n f a i t h f u l i n meaning sometimes. 147 A l l e y , " i s now moved to the Bean S t r e e t O f f i c e C u l t u r a l C l u b . Not v e r y f a r from Winch Handle A l l e y , t h i s i s a stamping-ground f o r o l d t i m e r s t o enjoy themselves i n . To imagine i t as a m a g n i f i c e n t p l a c e i s o b v i o u s l y m i s l e a d i n g . In r e a l i t y , i t i s " r a t h e r s i m p l e and crude." A former warehouse, " i t has not even got a c e i l i n g , o n l y r a f t e r s s t i c k i n g out overhead l i k e r i b s . The cement f l o o r i s pockmarked w i t h bumps and h o l l o w s . P e r f o r m e r s and audience a l i k e s i t on benches ar r a n g e d i n c i r c l e s t h a t push a l l the way up a g a i n s t the w a l l s . In the middle of the room i s a c l e a r a n c e about the s i z e of your palm, and p a r t of t h a t i s t a k e n up by a f u r n a c e , l e a v i n g room f o r two or t h r e e people at the most. You're a l l r i g h t i f you s i n g s t a n d i n g s t i l l , maybe you can even s t r i k e a few poses. I f two of you wanted to do t h a t you would s t a r t bumping i n t o each o t h e r . I f you want t o ham i t up you'd b e t t e r watch out f o r the f u r n a c e . " 1 4 5 For t h i s r e a s o n , a f u l l d r e s s performance has never been made t h e r e . "At most they do a duet on the 'stage;' a n y t h i n g more than t h a t and some of the p a r t s would have to be sung from the benches." (64) I t i s j u s t i n such a shabby p l a c e t h a t t h e r e g a t h e r a v a r i e t y of people of "lower c l a s s e s " i n the neighbourhood. As a c u l t u r a l c l u b o u t w a r d l y , i t indeed a t t r a c t s something of a c t o r s : someone i s t r a i n e d w i t h Ma L i a n l i a n g , someone s t u d i e s under Gao Q i n g k u i , 1 4 5 "Looking f o r Fun," t r a n s . Jeanne T a i , S p r i n g Bamboo, New York: Random House, 1989: 63. F u r t h e r r e f e r e n c e s of t h i s s t o r y t r a n s l a t e d by T a i are put i n p a r e n t h e s e s i n the t e x t . 148 someone i m i t a t e s the s t y l e of the immortal Mei Lanfang, and someone belongs t o t h e s c h o o l of the g r e a t Yang Baosen. As a matter of f a c t , however, i t . i s . s i m p l y a haven f o r the people who have m u l t i f a r i o u s k i n d s of problems which may range from p e r s o n a l i s s u e s to f a m i l y t r o u b l e and even t o love entanglement. A l t h o u g h t h e y f i l l t h i s C u l t u r a l C l u b , t h e y have d i f f i c u l t y even i n u n d e r s t a n d i n g B e i j i n g o p e r a s , not t o mention s i n g i n g them. E v i d e n t l y , i t i s not t h e i r i n t e n t i o n t o come to r e h e a r s e i n a l l s e r i o u s n e s s . T h e i r purpose i s i n s t e a d e n t i r e l y d i f f e r e n t : t o d i v e r t themselves from t h e i r p r e d i c a m e n t , or i n another words, t o look f o r f u n . T h i s C u l t u r a l C l u b , t o be s u r e , can not p r o v i d e them w i t h p r o p e r amusement. That t h e y choose i t as a p l a c e f o r r e c r e a t i o n i s o n l y because t h e y have no b e t t e r a l t e r n a t i v e w h i l e l i v i n g i n the s o c i e t y which i s m o r a l l y r e s t r i c t e d and m a t e r i a l l y i n a d e q u a t e . T h i s i s p l a i n t o be seen from the cause t h a t f i n a l l y o r i g i n a t e s i n what happens i n the s t o r y , -- namely, l o o k i n g f o r f u n . Old Man He of No. 9 Winch Handle A l l e y , egged on by L i Zhongxiang to the C u l t u r a l C lub the way the o t h e r d i v e r t e r s a r e , i s q u i t e t y p i c a l : One day when L i Zhongxiang was j u s t g o i n g out the door, he saw him [Old Man He] s q u a t t i n g i n f r o n t of the w a l l on the o t h e r s i d e of the a l l e y . " W e l l , w e l l , what are you t r y i n g t o h a t c h here?" L i j o k e d . Old Man He s i g h e d but s a i d n o t h i n g . L i had to p r e s s him b e f o r e he would say what was wrong. Turned out the o l d man was t i c k e d o f f at h i s new c o l o r TV s e t : "... who knows when t h e y ' l l 149 s t a r t smooching or messing around i n bed. Or e l s e t h e r e ' l l be t h e s e men and women w i t h bare t h i g h s t h a t look j u s t , l i k e c a r r o t s , bouncing a l l over the p l a c e ! How e m b a r r a s s i n g t o be w a t c h i n g t h i s s t u f f w i t h my two k i d s ! I f I don't watch TV I might miss a good show, but i f I do I might get a l l t h i s c r a p i n s t e a d ! " E i g h t away L i Zhongxiang saw h i s opening and jumped i n : "Now, now, don't get your nose out of j o i n t about t h i s . Why don't you come w i t h me i n s t e a d ! W e ' l l have some good, c l e a n f u n ! " " S i n g opera? But I don't know how." "Don't t r y t o be modest w i t h me. You're a Manchu, a r e n ' t you, and a l l > Manchus can s i n g B e i j i n g opera. You can't f o o l me. I ' l l b et you even s t u d i e d s i n g i n g -- you p r o b a b l y d i d the p a r t of the young woman. Yes, and I ' l l bet you l o o k e d p r e t t y good back t h e n . How about s i n g i n g a few l i n e s t o show your s t u f f ? " Would you b e l i e v e i t Old Man He a c t u a l l y got a l l s t i r r e d up, and r i g h t then and t h e r e b e l t e d out a song. But what on e a r t h was our C h i e f Coach t h i n k i n g when he s a i d : " Y o u ' l l do f i n e ! J u s t come w i t h me and p r a c t i c e - w i t h the band f o r a few days. In no time y o u ' l l sound j u s t l i k e Maestro Mei!" (78) The most i n t e r e s t i n g i s Qiao Wanyou: h i s g o i n g to the C u l t u r a l C lub to look f o r fun i s s i m p l y l i k e those h a v i n g no way out but be d r i v e n t o j o i n the L i a n g Mountain outlaws i n The Water Ma r g i n s . "A s l i g h t , w i r y man w i t h deep-set eyes and a g e n t l e s t r a i g h t nose, he 150 had a b o y i s h f a c e and a head of s i l v e r h a i r t h a t gave him a g e n t l e and serene look matchable w i t h h i s ea s y g o i n g n a t u r e . T h i s was r a r e l y found i n what used t o be c a l l e d the 'lower c l a s s e s . ' " 1 4 6 U n f o r t u n a t e l y , however, s i n c e h i s w i f e used t o be a p r o p r i e t r e s s b e f o r e " L i b e r a t i o n " s e l l i n g " w a t c h - i t food" at Heaven's B r i d g e , she has a c q u i r e d a bad h a b i t of p o k i n g her nose i n t o o t h e r p e o p l e ' s p r i v a t e a f f a i r and making e v e r y t h i n g her own b u s i n e s s . Qiao Wangyou l i k e s t o keep a pet n i g h t i n g a l e . But she say s : "Twenty c e n t s a day j u s t on b i r d f e e d -- i s money b u r n i n g a h o l e i n your p o c k e t ? ! You keep t h i s up and I ' l l f e e d i t twenty c e n t s ' worth of p o i s o n ! " So he has to s w i t c h t o g a r d e n i n g . H is w i f e s t i l l f e e l s r a t h e r u n s a t i s f i e d , though. " L i s t e n , " she warns him, "I'm not g o i n g t o pay f o r a l l t h a t water!" She can even f i n d something t o nag him f o r hours on end i n h i s u s i n g a t o o t h p i c k a f t e r d i n n e r ! As a good-natured husband, Qiao Wanyou f o r a long time has not b o t h e r e d t o argue w i t h h e r . But to h i s s u r p r i s e , she s h o u l d a l s o have meddled w i t h the c o n j u g a l l i f e of her daughter and son-i n - l a w . The daughter X i u l i a n and s o n - i n - l a w Chuansheng are workers i n the same f a c t o r y . As h i s own p a r e n t s ' s home i s not s p a c i o u s enough, Chuansheng moves i n t o the Qiaos's house a f t e r the wedding, l i v i n g t o g e t h e r w i t h t h i s o l d c o u p l e . Mrs. Qiao then summons them i n t o her pr e s e n c e , s a y i n g , v e r y s o l e m n l y : " I t ' d be none of my 1 4 6 I b i d . , p.88. In or d e r t o make i t f i t my c o n t e x t , I m o d i f i y B a i ' s t r a n s l a t i o n s l i g h t l y here. 151 b u s i n e s s i f you're not g o i n g t o be l i v i n g h e r e , but s i n c e you're g o i n g t o be r i g h t under my nose I've got t o t e l l you t h i s : That ' t h i n g ' [ i n t e r c o u r s e ] , i t ' s not l i k e your t h r e e meals a day, once a week i s p l e n t y o f t e n . I f you go at i t a l l the time i t ' s no good f o r e i t h e r of you. Anyway, I'm not g o i n g to l e t my daughter be abused, u n d e r s t a n d ? " (91-92) Yet as a newly-wedded heathy young c o u p l e , they sometimes can not s t i c k t o t h i s " e s t a b l i s h e d p l a n " Mrs. Qiao s e t f o r them. However, Mrs. Qiao i s a l i g h t s l e e p e r , and a mere wooden d i v i d e r s e p a r a t i n g her own bedroom from "the honeymoon suite." i s unable t o p r e v e n t her from waking up at the s l i g h t e s t r u s t l e i n the next room. Without p a u s i n g to f i n d out whether i t was f a c t or f a n t a s y or f a l s e a l a r m , she w i l l bang on the d i v i d e r and g i v e them a thorough t o n g u e - l a s h i n g . F i n a l l y , she d r i v e s them t o get a d i v o r c e , and people from the courthouse w i l l be soon coming to t h e i r house t o i n v e s t i g a t e . T h i s time Qiao Wanyou r e a l l y can not put up w i t h h i s w i f e any more, and he comes to L i Zhongxiang f o r r e s c u e . L i Zhongxiang l o o k s at him, h i s h e a r t s i n k i n g . He t h i n k s t o h i m s e l f : "Of a l l the problems i n the w o r l d , o l d buddy, you had to come up w i t h something l i k e t h i s ! I f i t was money you needed, I c o u l d g i v e you t h r e e or f i v e hundred easy. I f you needed some work done you c o u l d count on me and my son, and we c o u l d even get more h e l p . But something l i k e t h i s -- you know how the s a y i n g goes: Even a wise man would have t r o u b l e s e t t l i n g a f a m i l y q u a r r e l . " (93) W Tithout a b e t t e r i d e a , he can o n l y say, at l e n g t h : " L i s t e n , Wanyou, the a n c i e n t s s a i d : 'Each t o i t s own.' Stop w o r r y i n g and don't pay 152 any more a t t e n t i o n t o your w i f e ' s b i t c h i n g . Why don't you come w i t h me -- w e ' l l s i n g a l i t t l e opera and have o u r s e l v e s some f u n . " (93) "Sing? Opera? Me?" S q u i n t i n g h i s eyes Qiao Wanyou shook h i s head from s i d e t o s i d e . " I . . . d-d-don't know how." "Well t h e n , how about d o i n g the 'background?'" "B-background?" "Sure, background music -- p l a y the gongs, cymbals, s t r i n g s , a n y t h i n g you l i k e . " "D-don't know none o' t h a t n - n e i t h e r . " "So y o u ' l l l e a r n ! I bet you're a n a t u r a l . J u s t l o o k at how you l e a r n e d t o s c a t t e r paper money." "Ummmm." Qiao Wanyou thought f o r a. moment, f i n a l l y s i g h e d and s a i d : "Why not? I t sure b-beats b e i n g y e l l e d a t . A l l r i g h t , I ' l l t r y i t . " (94) From then on, every e v e n i n g when the band p l a y s away on t h e i r erhus, j i a g h u s , yueqins, hardwood c l a p p e r s and the l i k e , p r o v i d i n g "background" f o r the a c t i o n on s t a g e , a t h i n - f a c e d o l d man, w i t h h i s eyes h a l f c l o s e d and head swaying, and an erhu i n h i s l a p , w i l l be seen s i t t i n g i n a l i t t l e cranny on the eas t s i d e of the " c o n c e r t h a l l . " T h i s i s none o t h e r than Qiao Wanyou. N e v e r t h e l e s s , the sounds of erhu does not come from h i s p l a c e ; i t i s from e l s e w h e r e . Even a f t e r he has become one of the r e g u l a r s and has been "sawing away" f o r q u i t e l o n g t i m e , the most he can manage i s 153 s t i l l a v e r y s i m p l e o v e r t u r e . Even then he o f t e n misses h i s cue. To L i Zhongxiang, Bean S t r e e t C u l t u r a l Club seems a panacea f o r a l l k i n d s of problems. He w i l l p u l l whoever he meets -- even though a t o t a l s t r a n g e r -- i n t o the f o l d r i g h t away i f o n l y he l e a r n s t h a t " h i s buddy i s down i n the dumps:" "Let me g i v e you some a d v i c e . Drown your sorrows i n s i n g i n g i n s t e a d . Why don't you come w i t h me, I'm i n charge over t h e r e . You can't s i n g ? Never mind. Even l i s t e n i n g can h e l p you f o r g e t your t r o u b l e s . " (79) J u s t l i k e t hose o l d men i n B e i j i n g who are always u r g i n g you to t a k e rendan p i l l s or tho s e o l d women i n Guangzhou who are f o r e v e r o f f e r i n g you some " a n t i r h e u m a t i s m " o i l , L i Zhongxiang g i v e s the same p r e s c r i p t i o n no matter what i s the a i l m e n t : "Come w i t h me,, w e ' l l s i n g a few!" T h e r e f o r e , i t comes not as a s u r p r i s e t h a t h i s f e l l o w s make every o p p o r t u n i t y t o poke fun at him: "Hey, C h i e f , got any more o l d t i m e r s on Winch Handle A l l e y ? Why don't you round them up a l l at once, i n s t e a d of w a s t i n g time g o i n g a f t e r them one by one?" "You know t h a t p a i r of stone l i o n s i n f r o n t of Number Twenty-nine? They've been l o o k i n g k i n d of depressed l a t e l y . L i s t e n , Zhongxiang, why don't you b r i n g them over f o r a song or two?" (95) The o n l y e x c e p t i o n i s He X i n of No. 10 q u a d r a n g l e . Without b e i n g prompted by L i Zhongxiang, he goes to the C u l t u r a l Club of h i s own a c c o r d . He does n o t , of c o u r s e , go t h e r e f o r l o o k i n g f o r fu n , but f o r s e e k i n g asylum i n s t e a d . An i n s t r u c t o r at Qing Hua 154 U n i v e r s i t y and a l s o an au t h o r of a book as t h i c k as a b r i c k whose diagrams, c h a r t s , and f o r e i g n words make people f e e l d i z z y , He X i n i s q u i t e unusual i n Winch Handle A l l e y , so t o speak. N o r m a l l y , a p e r s o n of h i s knowledge and p o s i t i o n s h o u l d not degrade h i m s e l f t o mix up w i t h the o l d t i m e r s t o b e g u i l e time i n t h e i r stamping-ground. But because of a l e t t e r which h i s former g i r l - f r i e n d w r i t e s t o him, a storm i s generated at h i s home. H i s w i f e wants t o charge up t o t h a t woman's house t o "pour her a pot of s h i t , " and a l s o t r i e s t o drag him a l o n g w i t h h e r : "Didn't you j u s t swear you had a c l e a r c o n s c i e n c e ? Then come w i t h me t o t e l l t h a t b i t c h o f f ! No? I knew you d i d n ' t have the g u t s ! But I do. I'm goin g t o make sure those h u s s i e s know never t o mess w i t h me. So she wants t o s n a t c h you away, eh? W e l l , she can j u s t f o r g e t i t ! " (103) S i n c e t h e n every female who c a l l s on him, whether c o l l e a g u e or s t u d e n t , has t o s u f f e r h i s w i f e ' s b l a c k l o o k s , and sometimes she even slams the door r i g h t i n t h e i r f a c e . F u r t h e r m o r e , whenever she sees him w r i t i n g at h i s desk, she w i l l storm i n and t e a r e v e r y t h i n g up, screaming at the t o p of her l u n g s : "Go ahead! W r i t e your goddamn book, you son of a b i t c h ! The more you w r i t e the worse you get ! I'd r a t h e r go back t o the o l d days when we were l i v i n g from hand t o mouth!" (104) Without knowing how to d e a l w i t h i t , He X i n has t o ta k e r e f u g e i n the C u l t u r a l Club so t h a t he may have a moment of peace and q u i e t . L i Zhongxiang, keen a t o b s e r v a t i o n , a l s o f e e l s t h a t t h e r e i s something w e i r d w i t h He X i n to come t o look f o r fun i n such a p l a c e as the C u l t u r a l C l u b . " P r o f e s s o r He was a complete ignoramus 155 as f a r as opera was concerned. A t r u e f a n has c e r t a i n t e l l t a l e , t r a i t s : For one t h i n g , as soon as the gongs and drums s t a r t up he would sway and nod t o t h e i r b e a t , c o m p l e t e l y l o s t i n the : music whether he was s i n g i n g or j u s t l i s t e n i n g . But P r o f e s s o r Wang merely s a t t h e r e l i k e l o g . " ( 1 0 0 ) 1 4 7 In t h i s e p i s o d e , the f o l l o w i n g d e t a i l i s perhaps the s t r o n g e s t i n e f f e c t of " t e a r s i n l a u g h t e r . " Because of h i s unawareness of the r e a l r e a s o n at the b e g i n n i n g why He X i n j o i n s them t o go t o the opera, L i Zhongxiang t r u l y t a k e s him as a modern Chen Shimei [a synonym f o r u n g r a t e f u l .husbands], and i n o r d e r t o t e a c h him a l e s s o n h e o n c e s i n g s a passage from The C e n s u r i n g of Wang R u i s p e c i a l l y f o r t h i s purpose: " P l e a s and appeals you would not heed;/ Power and r i c h e s have t u r n e d you head./ C o n s c i e n c e , honor -- both have f l e d ; / Cursed be your name long a f t e r you're dead." (98) L a t e r on he knows t h a t He X i n ' s " l o o k i n g f o r f u n " i n the C u l t u r a l C l u b , l i k e t h a t of h i s "buddies," i s s i m p l y because he f e e l s d e p r e s s e d and can not f i n d a b e t t e r t h i n g by which he i s a b l e t o get r i d of h i s melancholy. Then, he a p o l o g i z e s : 1 4 7 T h i s i s t y p i c a l example t o show t h a t the t r a n s l a t o r Jeanne Dai was not ve r y f a i t h f u l t o the o r i g i n a l . She p r o b a b l y spoke Cantonese, so she made s e v e r a l m i s t a k e s i n p r o n u n c i a t i o n of c h a r a c t e r s ' names, f o r i n s t a n c e , "He" m i s s p e l l e d as "Hao," and "He X i n " m i s s p e l l e d as "Wang J i n g . " Obvious e r r o r s l i k e t h e s e I c o r r e c t e d when I made q u o t a t i o n s . 156 ".Professor He, I'm so s o r r y , I d i d n ' t know. That day when I sang the p i e c e from The C e n s u r i n g of Wang K u i I was.wrong, so wrong..." (104-105) N e v e r t h e l e s s , He X i n does not even u n d e r s t a n d a b i t of what L i Zhongxiang i s t a l k i n g about: "What p i e c e ? " "You know, the one I sang the f i r s t time you came her e . " "Oh, t h a t one. What's wrong w i t h i t ? I k i n d of l i k e d i t , " s a i d He X i n , l o o k i n g n o n p l u s s e d . (105) So L i Zhongxiang i s q u i t e r i g h t : P r o f e s s o r He X i n i s a t o t a l ignoramus, u n q u a l i f i e d even as a member of a u d i e n c e . Wearing a b l u e p o l y e s t e r t u n i c s u i t , a brown h a t , b l a c k - f r a m e d g l a s s e s , and s i t t i n g i n a c o r n e r w i t h o u t a word, he appears as though he were c o m p l e t e l y immersed i n h i s enjoyment. In f a c t , however, he i s " s u f f e r i n g . " The o n l y person who can r e a l l y f i n d some fun i n t h i s poor Bean S t r e e t C u l t u r a l Club i s L i Zhongxiang -- the commander-i n - c h i e f of the "band." L i Zhongxiang, though a s e v e n t y - p l u s e x - c o o l i e , i s more or l e s s a f a n c i e r of B e i j i n g opera. Most of h i s " h e a r t i e s , " who do not t a k e i n t e r e s t i n i t u n t i l they are s t i r r e d up by h i s p e r s u a s i o n , are c e r t a i n l y incomparable w i t h him i n t h i s r e s p e c t . He i s f a s c i n a t e d by B e i j i n g opera, p a r t i c u l a r l y i t s s t a r X i a o 157 Changhua, even when he was young e a r n i n g h i s l i v e l i h o o d i n a r e s t a u r a n t . Back then he was a w a i t e r i n a snack shop and so poor he c o u l d n ' t even a f f o r d the few pennies f o r a t i c k e t , but h i s c r a v i n g f o r opera kept gnawing at h i s i n s i d e s . So he would pack a n . o r d e r of wontons i n a c o n t a i n e r , march up to the door of the t h e a t r e and barge r i g h t i n . "Hey, where do you t h i n k you're g o i n g ? " " D e l i v e r i n g wontons t o the s t a r . " The guards a c t u a l l y f e l l f o r t h a t l i n e ! A f t e r the f i r s t c o u p l e of times they d i d n ' t even b o t h e r t o sto p him any more, f i g u r i n g t h a t whenever Maestro X i a o performed he had t o have h i s orde r from t h i s p a r t i c u l a r shop. T r u t h t o t e l l , none of the wontons ever saw the i n s i d e s of X i a o Changhua's stomach. As soon as w a i t e r L i got i n s i d e the t h e a t r e he'd hunker down i n a c o r n e r somewhere and enjoy the show and the wontons at the same t i m e . Using, t h i s t r i c k he got t o hear a good many performances by Maestro X i a o , . e v e n some by Mei Lanfong. W e l l , on a d i e t l i k e t h i s even an i d i o t c o u l d l e a r n t o s i n g a few sna t c h e s a f t e r a w h i l e , and today our f r i e n d L i can s t i l l do such a p e r f e c t i m i t a t i o n of Mr. X i a o ' s comic a c c e n t s t h a t he would always b r i n g down the house. (65-66) He i s always dreaming t h a t one day he can a c q u a i n t h i m s e l f 158 w i t h those famous a c t o r s and even s i n g a few l i n e s t o g e t h e r w i t h them. No wonder when he i s h i r e d as a doorman f o r a well-known t h e a t r e i n B e i j i n g , i t i s s i m p l y beyond words t o d e s c r i b e how he i s d e l i g h t e d . However, i t does not take long f o r him t o d i s c o v e r t h a t even t o g r a n t him a j a n i t o r f o r the t h e a t r e i s l i t t l e too l a v i s h . Not o n l y young people i n the company " p u l l h i s l e g " by c a l l i n g him " D i r e c t o r L i " or " P r e s i d e n t L i , " (70) but Mr. J i a n g -the r e a l p r e s i d e n t -- seems to f i n d t h a t he o v e r s t e p s h i s a u t h o r i t y . Moreover, at the t h e a t r e he has t o always use r e f i n e d language, t o which he i s not accustomed, l e s t c u l t u r e d people make fun of him. I t i s a s u r p r i s e , even t o h i m s e l f , t h a t h i s l o n g -c h e r i s h e d dream s h o u l d be r e a l i z e d e v e n t u a l l y i n Bean S t r e e t C u l t u r a l C l u b ! I t i s not t h a t t h e r e are no f i n e s i n g e r s and e x p e r i e n c e d p e r f o r m e r s i n i t . But he knows t h a t everybody i s t h e r e f o r the fun of i t , not t o n i t p i c k . So h a r d l y have t h r e e days passed when he p e r k s up a g a i n . R i g h t t h e r e on Bean S t r e e t and r i g h t i n the midst of c o f f i n c a r r i e r s , p e d i c a b d r i v e r s , snack p e d d l e r s , poor f o l k s of a l l k i n d s , he at l e n g t h f i n d s h i s r e a l " p a r a d i s e . " Yet i r o n i c a l l y , people who have no i n t e n t i o n of " l o o k i n g f o r f u n " i n the C u l t u r a l Club can o n l y be p r o v i d e d w i t h t h i s p l a c e f o r t h e i r r e c r e a t i o n , whereas a t r u e f a n of opera l i k e L i Zhongxiang indeed c apable of f i n d i n g some p l e a s u r e i n i t has to leave i t at l a s t . Because, a f t e r a l l , i t i s ' not a d i g n i f i e d p l a c e . No matter what fun i t i s a b l e to o f f e r to L i Zhongxiang, i t s t i l l remains u n a l t e r e d as a p l a c e t h a t i s even looked down upon by h i s son, l e t a l one decent people of h i g h s o c i e t y . There i s n o t h i n g t h a t can 159 upset Dezhi -- h i s son -- except t h i s C u l t u r a l C l u b . A f t e r h a v i n g f a l l e n i n l o v e w i t h a g i r l - f r i e n d , Dezhi demands t h a t h i s f a t h e r s t o p g o i n g t h e r e so t h a t he w i l l not l o s e f a c e . L i Zhongxiang then has t o q u i t i t , however u n w i l l i n g he i s : ...one e v e n i n g he g l o o m i l y s a i d t o Qiao Wanyou: "You go on ahead, Wanyou. I'm not g o i n g t o n i g h t . " Qiao was c o m p l e t e l y t a k e n aback. R a i n or s h i n e , L i had never missed a s i n g l e e v e n i n g . What on e a r t h was go i n g on? "I don't ... f e e l so good." Alarmed, Qiao asked: " So why d i d you even come out? Go home.and get y o u r s e l f t o bed r i g h t away!" L i Zhongxiang shook h i s head, a mournful s m i l e on h i s l i p s . Hemming and hawing, he f i n a l l y s a i d : "To t e l l you the t r u t h , Dezhi came home when I was h a v i n g d i n n e r j u s t now and asked me not t o go anymore." "Why n o t ? " "He s a i d t o me, why don't you take up something e l s e i n s t e a d ? You can watch TV, l i s t e n t o the r a d i o , a n y t h i n g but go h o w l i n g w i t h the r e s t of them a t the C u l t u r a l C l u b . He s a i d people were l a u g h i n g at us." "Why doesn't he mind h i s own b u s i n e s s ? " " W e l l , I guess i n a way i t i s h i s b u s i n e s s . D i d n ' t I t e l l you he's got a g i r l f r i e n d now? The g i r l l i v e s r i g h t on Bean S t r e e t , I t h i n k i t ' s the one i n the p l a i d 160 j a c k e t who s t i c k s her head i n t o the C u l t u r a l C l u b once i n a w h i l e . More than l i k e l y she's s a i d something t o him about us. I can't say I blame them. To the young f o l k s nowadays we're a l l j u s t a bunch of o l d c r a c k p o t s . My guess i s , Dezhi doesn't want her to know h i s dad i s the l e a d e r of t h i s pack of o l d l o o n i e s . She might f i n d us e m b a r r a s s i n g . " (109) L i Zhongxiang i s s u r e l y not such a f a t h e r who i s w i l l i n g t o be m a n i p u l a t e d by h i s son as he p l e a s e s . But he i s aware t h a t l i f e , has always been hard t o D e z h i . He i s sent t o the r u r a l commune d u r i n g the C u l t u r a l R e v o l u t i o n . When he r e t u r n s t o B e i j i n g he comes down w i t h t u b e r c u l o s i s . With d i f f i c u l t y he l e a r n s a t r a d e at the t a i l o r i n g s c h o o l , and i s b a r e l y a b l e t o m a i n t a i n a l i v i n g f o r two of them by opening up a l i t t l e s t a l l i n a market and w o r k i n g l a t e i n t o the n i g h t every day i n summertime under a s t r e e t l i g h t . I t i s not u n t i l a f t e r the age of t h i r t y t h a t he i s f i n a n c i a l l y adequate and s t a r t s l o o k i n g f o r a g i r l - f r i e n d . Now t h a t Dezhi f i n a l l y gets h o l d of a g i r l , i s n ' t i t too h a r d h e a r t e d i f he r e j e c t s h i s r e q u e s t t h a t may be v i t a l t o h i s p r o m i s i n g m a r r i a g e ? ! He has t o make a s a c r i f i c e . There i s a scene toward the end of the s t o r y d e s c r i b i n g the son s k a t i n g m e r r i l y i n Taoran P a v i l i o n w i t h h i s g i r l - f r i e n d and L i Zhongxiang, q u i t e bored, s i t t i n g t h e r e w a t c h i n g them, unable to go to h i s own f a v o u r i t e p l a c e t o enjoy h i m s e l f as he used t o . Reading of t h i s , one r e a l l y f e e l s p i t y f o r t h i s unhappy o l d man. I f the q u a d r a n g l e of No. 9 winch Handle A l l e y i s a p o l i t i c a l 161 w o r l d , s y m b o l i c of the a l i e n a t i o n of commonplace human bein g s under an a u t o c r a t i c government, Bean S t r e e t C u l t u r a l Club i s an o r d i n a r y s o c i a l scene, r e f l e c t i n g the i n c o n g r u i t y between men and s o c i e t y : s u b j e c t i v e l y t hey wish t o have a r i c h , f u l l , and m e a n i n g f u l l i f e t h a t f i t s them, y e t i n f a c t , t h e i r wish i s u s u a l l y unable to come t r u e when they are s t i l l c o n d i t i o n e d by c o n v e n t i o n a l norms — moral and economical a l i k e . T h i s i s e v i d e n t l y a lamentable s t a t e of e x i s t e n c e . N e v e r t h e l e s s , the author d e a l t w i t h i t i n a humorous and comedic manner and d e l i b e r a t e l y put up a d e l i g h t f u l f r o n t f o r the s t o r y . He not o n l y d i d h i s u t t e r m o s t i n commenting on " l o o k i n g f o r fu n " as a p o p u l a r pastime at the b e g i n n i n g of the s t o r y , but f o r emphasis he r e p e a t e d i t as a c o n c l u s i o n , as though he had been det e r m i n e d t o make something happy of unhappiness. No wonder t h a t a c r i t i c "was s t u p e f i e d f o r a l o n g t i m e " 1 4 8 a f t e r r e a d i n g the s t o r y . I f i t were not f o r a p u r p o s e f u l o p t i m i s t i c s t r o k e i n the end, the sense of t r a g i c o m e d y i n "Looking f o r Fun" c o u l d be more i m p l i c i t and p o s s i b l y more p r o f o u n d . Through the a n a l y s i s of the sense of t r a g i c o m e d y , I c e r t a i n l y mean to p r o f f e r a p e r t i n e n t and c o n v i n c i n g i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of t h e s e two s t o r i e s i n q u e s t i o n which have p r o b a b l y made c r i t i c s f e e l " s t u p e f i e d , " but i n the same t i m e , i t i s even more my purpose t o s t r e s s the b r e a k t h r o u g h Chen J i a n g o n g made i n the formulae of 1 4 8 Hua Ming, "Zhaole zongheng t a n " [ V a r i o u s A s p e c t s "Looking f o r F u n " ] , Zhong Shan [Mount Zhong], 1985: 216. Hua M i s p r o b a b l y a penname of He Zhiyun. 162 f i c t i o n , , or moire b r o a d l y , of the e n t i r e c r e a t i v e w r i t i n g , formed s i n c e 1949. As a term now f a s h i o n a b l e i n study of contemporary Chinese l i t e r a t u r e , "the sense of t r a g i c o m e d y " has l i t e r a l l y become a synonym f o r " b l a c k humour" s i n c e i t was expounded by Chen J i a n g o n g . B l a c k humour, an American p r o d u c t , i s i n essence a l s o a type of comedy i f viewed from an a e s t h e t i c a n g l e , though a comedy t h a t i s f u l l of embarrassment, f r u s t r a t i o n , and even t r a g i c n e s s of human s i t u a t i o n . You may laugh at i t , or you may c r y at i t , or you may r e a d i t even w i t h o u t knowing whether t o laugh or c r y . In f a c t , the t e r m i n o l o g y . p e r . s e does, not matter much. What r e a l l y m a t t e r s i s s u b s t a n c e . In the c o n t e x t of t h i s t h e s i s I can e i t h e r use "the sense of t r a g i c o m e d y " or " b l a c k humour," and i t may not even seem i n a p p r o p r i a t e i f I t u r n t o the employment of the r a t h e r b a n a l " c r i t i c a l r e a l i s m . " A l t h o u g h the sense of t r a g i c o m e d y i s p r o b a b l y more s u i t a b l e f o r Chen Jiangong's oeuvre, y e t i n g e n e r a l i z a t i o n of the l i t e r a r y tendency of both "No. 9 Winch Handle A l l e y " and "Looking f o r Fun," t h e s e terms, no matter whether i t i s the sense of t r a g i c o m e d y or b l a c k humour or c r i t i c a l r e a l i s m , are a l l a b l e t o r e v e a l a common t r a i t . That i s , i n t h e s e two s t o r i e s , Chen J i a n g o n g i s no l o n g e r w i l l i n g t o f o l l o w what Gogol c a l l s "happy w r i t e r s , " "who evade i n a h u r r y the r e a l people w i t h s i l l y , nauseous, and a s t o n i s h i n g weakness, and are o n l y engaged i n 163 c r e a t i n g c h a r a c t e r s of noble v i r t u e s ; " 1 4 9 or, "who h i d e t h e . t r u t h of l i f e from r e a d e r s by hoodwinking them i n t o sandalwood smoke and taming t h e i r s p i r i t w i t h b l a n d i s h m e n t s , and o n l y show them l o v a b l e human b e i n g s . " (337) In s h o r t , he. i s no l o n g e r w i l l i n g t o s i n g the p r a i s e of l i f e but would r a t h e r r e p r e s e n t i t as i t i s . As a r e s u l t , t h e r e appears i n them a t r u e l i f e , a l i f e which i s b i t t e r , a b s u r d , m i s c h i e v o u s and f r u s t r a t i n g , i n s p i t e of a momentary p l e a s u r e . In such a l i f e , heroes or h e r o i n e s cease t o e x i s t , and i n t h e i r p l a c e are o r d i n a r y f l a w e d p e o p l e . I t i s c l e a r t h a t Widow Feng, the Wang c o u p l e , the He couple ( a l l i n "No.9 Winch Handle A l l e y " ) , Qiao Wanyou, He X i n ( i n " L o o k i n g f o r Fun") do not bear a b i t of h e r o i c q u a l i t y . Even the p r o t a g o n i s t s themselves are f a r from b e i n g h e r o e s : at any r a t e , L i Zhongxiang i s no b e t t e r t h a n an honest man at most, and as f o r Han D e l a i , even i f we do not r e g a r d him as a p o l i t i c a l symbol, he i s so w e i r d , r i d i c u l o u s , and i g n o r a n t t h a t he h a r d l y i s any d i f f e r e n t from a clown-type c h a r a c t e r i n melodrama. Chen J i a n g o n g has a famous, though r a t h e r v u l g a r , d i c t u m : "Don't p r e t e n d t o be phony." (335) I t a c t u a l l y means, a c c o r d i n g to him, t h a t a w r i t e r s h o u l d " n e i t h e r g l o s s over l i f e i n o r d e r t o f l o w w i t h the t i d e nor d i s t o r t r e a l i t y i n o r d e r t o c u r r y f a v o u r w i t h r e a d e r s . " (338) He thought t h a t t h i s was a b a s i c r e q u i r e m e n t f o r 1 4 9 Chen J i a n g o n g , "A B a s i c Requirement f o r F i c t i o n " [Xiaoshuo q i m a ] , S e l e c t e d Works of Chen J i a n g o n g : 337. F u r t h e r r e f e r e n c e s i n p a r e n t h e s e s i n the t e x t . 164 c r e a t i n g f i c t i o n . Almost at the same time when "Looking f o r Fun" was brought out, he i s s u e d a m a n i f e s t o - l i k e a r t i c l e e n t i t l e d "A B a s i c Requirement f o r F i c t i o n , " i n which he came s t r a i g h t to h i s p o i n t : " R e c e n t l y , I f e e l t h a t f i c t i o n s h o u l d have a b a s i c r e q u i r e m e n t . . . . I t s h o u l d at l e a s t not p r e t e n d to be phony." (335): T h i s soon won a c c l a i m from He Z h i y u n , who s a i d what Chen J i a n g o n g s t a t e d about the b a s i c r e q u i r e m e n t f o r f i c t i o n was not o n l y h i s m a n i f e s t o but a l s o had become h i s c o n s c i e n t i o u s p r a c t i c e i n h i s own s t o r y w r i t i n g , and h i s "No 9 Winch Handle A l l e y , " e s p e c i a l l y " L o o k i n g f o r Fun," c l e a r l y showed t h a t he had grown up from c h i l d h o o d i n t o a d u l t h o o d i n l i t e r a r y w o r l d . 1 5 0 No m a t t e r how they are commendable, i t i s d e b a t a b l e t o rank them as f i r s t - r a t e s t o r i e s . A s i d e from l a c k i n g e m o t i o n a l s t r e n g t h , t h e y are out of f a s h i o n i n mode of r e p r e s e n t a t i o n . As an economic f a c t , l i t e r a t u r e bears a c l o s e resemblance to o t h e r a s p e c t s of a consumer economy which l i v e s by n o v e l t y , and so by planned or e f f e c t i v e mechanism of o b s o l e s c e n c e . That i s the r e a s o n why nowadays both a r t i s t s and an i n c r e a s i n g l y h i g h p r o p o r t i o n of r e a d e r s a t t a c h h i g h v a l u e to i n n o v a t i o n . That i s a l s o the reason why t h e s e two works of f i c t i o n by Chen J i a n g o n g were c o l d l y r e c e i v e d by c r i t i c s . In t h i s sense, i t i s p a r a d o x i c a l to say t h a t "No. 9 Winch Handle A l l e y " and "Looking f o r Fun" are indeed " b a s i c , " as f a r as t h e i r l i t e r a r i n e s s i s concerned, though t h i s 1 5 0 He Z h i y u n , "Chen J i a n g o n g and h i s F i c t i o n a l World," Hundreds of S c h o o l s , No. 1, 1987: 23. 165 " b a s i c n e s s " i s q u i t e s u b s t a n t i a l . CHAPTER FIVE A CHINESE HOLDEN CAULFIELD In March of 1986, Chen Jiangong's b r i l l i a n t n o v e l l a . " C u r l y l o c k s " [Juanmao] was i s s u e d by October [Shiyue] -- a B e i j i n g l i t e r a r y magazine of m a s s - c i r c u l a t i o n . E v i d e n t l y , t h i s was a landmark i n h i s c a r e e r as a w r i t e r . . I f "No. 9 Winch Handle A l l e y " , and " L o o k i n g f o r Fun" marked h i s t r a n s f o r m a t i o n i n l i t e r a t u r e from, " c h i l d h o o d " i n t o " a d u l t h o o d , " " C u r l y l o c k s " i s h i s a r t i s t i c consummation a f t e r e n t e r i n g i n t o h i s m a t u r i t y . John Skow t a l k i n g about the American n o v e l i s t J.D. S a l i n g e r o b s e r v e s : " S a l i n g e r i s c l e a r l y an o r i g i n a l , the k i n d whose shadow i s seen not i n the w r i t e r s who precede him but i n those who f o l l o w . I f he were t o s t o p w r i t i n g now, The C a t c h e r i n the Rye would be judged a s m a l l m a s t e r p i e c e -- say about the s i z e of The Red Badge  of C o u r a g e. " 1 5 1 Compared w i t h S a l i n g e r , Chen J i a n g o n g may not be such an o r i g i n a l . A l t h o u g h one can see h i s "shadow" i n those who f o l l o w , i t i s not i m p o s s i b l e t o f i n d h i s f o o t - s t e p s of i m i t a t i o n i n the w r i t i n g s of h i s l i t e r a r y p r e d e c e s s o r s . S a l i n g e r ' s impact i s 1 5 1 J.D. S a l i n g e r and C r i t i c s , ed. W i l l i a n F. B e l c h e r and James W. Lee, Wadworth P u b l i s h i n g Company, 1962: 7. 167 most n o t i c e a b l e , e s p e c i a l l y i n the f o l l o w i n g two a s p e c t s : s p i r i t u a l d e f i a n c e of c o n v e n t i o n s and unique way of r e p r e s e n t a t i o n . At any r a t e , we may s t i l l borrow Skow's words t o d e s c r i b e Chen Jian g o n g ' s " C u r l y l o c k s " w i t h o u t too much a l t e r a t i o n : i f he were t o s t o p w r i t i n g now, i f h i s embryonic n o v e l l a s "Former Lawbreaker" [Qianke] and " T r a g i c S o l e m n i t y " [Beizhuang] :which he has been brewing f o r q u i t e a l o n g time were to a b o r t due to domestic y j o l i t i c a l u n s t a b l e n e s s , " C u r l y l o c k s " would remain a s m a l l c l a s s i c i n modern Chinese l i t e r a t u r e . The p u b l i c a t i o n of " C u r l y l o c k s " c o n f i r m e d what a c r i t i c had p r o p h e s i e d about Chen Jia n g o n g ' s s t o r y w r i t i n g : "He i s such a p e r s o n who o f t e n remains c r e a t i v e l y i n a c t i v e , but whenever he w r i t e s , t h e r e must be something worth n o t i c i n g . " 1 5 2 What i s "something worth n o t i c i n g ? " I suppose t h a t r e f e r r e d t o t h e m a t i c or t e c h i n i c a l experiment. S e e i n g t h a t " C u r l y l o c k s " was c r i t i c a l l y a c c l a i m e d , Chen J i a n g o n g seemed t o shun d e l i b e r a t e l y p u b l i c i t y somewhat i n the manner of S a l i n g e r i a n r e c l u s e . U n l i k e h i s former r e a c t i o n t o h i s s u c c e s s , he was no l o n g e r i n t e r e s t e d i n p e d d l i n g h i s c r e a t i v e e x p e r i e n c e , making known what was i n h i s mind about the theme of the s t o r y , and r e d r e s s i n g e r r o r s or o p i n i o n a t e d comments of some c r i t i c s . He found a r a t h e r r e a s o n a b l e excuse f o r t h i s : " I t i s the f a s h i o n of these y e a r s t h a t c r i t i c s l i k e to 1 5 2 Quoted from Zhang X i n g j i n g , "Juanmao q i s h i l u " [The # A p o c a l y p s e of " C u r l y l o c k s " ] , L i t e r a r y and A r t i s t i c Review [Wenyi p i n g l u n ] , No. 6, 1986: 75. 168 m y s t i f y w r i t e r s and w r i t e r s tend to l e t them m y s t i f y w i t h o u t a s i n g l e word of p r o t e s t . No matter how v u l g a r t h i s f a s h i o n may be, I can not h e l p but f o l l o w i t . " 1 5 3 In s p i t e of t h i s , he s t i l l l e f t us a very s h o r t i n f o r m a l essay on h i s remarkable p r o d u c t under the t i t l e " L e i s u r e T a l k about ' C u r l y l o c k s . ' " A c t u a l l y i t i s not the k i n d of : a r t i c l e which may s a t i s f y t he d e s i r e of those who expect i t s focus w i l l be d i s c u s s i o n of " C u r l y l o c k s " per se. That he wrote i t i s p r o b a b l y because i t was u n a v o i d a b l e when somebody "had chased him i n t o h i s home to ask f o r i t . " So he had no i n t e n t i o n of making i t h e l p f u l f o r the r e a d e r t o a c q u i r e a b e t t e r u n d e r s t a n d i n g of what he wrote i n t h i s work of f i c t i o n . On the c o n t r a r y , he t r i e d p u r p o s e l y t o m y s t i f y h i s n o v e l l a i n t he essay by d i g r e s s i v e l y t a l k i n g about what came to him through a window i n h i s home: " p e d d l e r s , " " t h e i r soot and d u s t , " and " t h e i r l a u g h t e r and v i t u p e r a t i o n . " 1 5 4 N e v e r t h e l e s s , d e s p i t e the i n s u b s t a n t i a 1 i t y of t h i s a r t i c l e f o r the most p a r t , i t a f t e r a l l conveys such a message t h a t "when he w r i t e s , t h e r e must be something worth n o t i c i n g . " That i s to say, b e f o r e w r i t i n g " C u r l y l o c k s , " he had a l r e a d y r e a l i z e d t h e r e would be a c r i s i s of i d e n t i f i c a t i o n f o r him, and t h e r e f o r e t h e m a t i c as 1 5 3 Chen J i a n g o n g , " L e i s u r e T a l k about ' C u r l y l o c k s ' " [Juanmao x i a n p i a n ] , China Youth's D a i l y [Zhongguo q i n g n i a n bao] , October 10, 1986 . 1 5 4 I b i d . 169 w e l l as t e c h n i c a l t r a n s c e n d e n c e would be h i s major t a s k . The f o l l o w i n g obscure statement i s no doubt the c l e a r e s t i n b e t r a y i n g t h i s p o s s i b i l i t y i n the whole " l e i s u r e t a l k : " I t i s i n p r o c e s s of c o n s t a n t c r i s e s of i d e n t i f i c a t i o n and c o n s t a n t o p t i o n t h a t the w r i t e r g r a d u a l l y f i n d s h i s ego. T h i s , of c o u r s e , not o n l y r e f e r s t o f e e l i n g but i n c l u d e s a way of e x p r e s s i o n . I do not know i f o v e r a l l a r t i s t i c f e a t u r e s of " C u r l y l o c k s " enable p e o p l e to, f e e l my h e a v i - h e a r t e d n e s s i n t h i s r e s p e c t . 1 5 5 To f e e l Chen J i a n g o n g ' s " h e a v i - h e a r t e d n e s s " i s not easy, u n l e s s one i s c o n s c i o u s of the t r u e t h i n g t h a t caused him to have the "sense of c r i s i s . " A c c o r d i n g t o " L e i s u r e T a l k about ' C u r l y l o c k s , ' " the window i n h i s home seemed to p l a y an e s s e n t i a l r o l e . I t i s t h r o u g h the window t h a t he heard " C r i p p l e the T h i r d " s e t out i n m i d n i g h t w i t h h i s g i r l - f r i e n d f o r ve n d i n g b a i t , and i t i s a l s o t h r o u g h the window t h a t he saw " s t a 1 l k e e p e r s " r i d e p l a t f o r m - t r i c y c l e s and r u s h on to a s m a l l lane w i t h o u t making any n o i s e . C e r t a i n l y , he d i d not mean t o t e l l us t h a t the f u n c t i o n of the window l a y o n l y i n i t s c a p a c i t y of b r o a d e n i n g h i s v i s i o n and i n t r o d u c i n g t o him new people of lower s o c i a l s t r a t a . His t r u e p o i n t was: 1 5 5 I b i d 170 The window has brought me a c r i s i s of i d e n t i f i c a t i o n and made me f e e l s o r r y f o r an e x i s t i n g c o n d i t i o n . R e i f i e d , i t has made me f e e l s o r r y f o r a way of l i v i n g . 1 5 6 But can we t o t a l l y t r u s t him, b e l i e v i n g t h a t the window was' r e a l l y a b l e t o account f o r h i s sense of c r i s i s and hence f o r h i s d e s i r e of t r y i n g something new i n f i c t i o n a l c r e a t i o n ? A l t h o u g h i t i s unwise t o deny h i s own a l l e g a t i o n , i t i s o b v i o u s l y not merely due t o the window t h a t he wished t o f i n d h i s ego. The window had a l r e a d y made him a c q u a i n t e d w i t h people from the bottom of the s o c i e t y . I f i t were the o n l y r e a s o n , n e i t h e r c o u l d Lu Sen t r a n s c e n d L i Zhongxiang nor " C u r l y l o c k s " d i f f e r e n t i a t e i t s e l f from " L o o k i n g f o r Fun." I t h i n k t h a t " L e i s u r e T a l k about ' C u r l y l o c k s ' " keeps s e c r e t a v e r y i m p o r t a n t cause, the cause t h a t f i n a l l y brought him to the r e a l i z a t i o n of a " c r i s i s of i d e n t i f i c a t i o n " — t h a t i s , the s t i m u l a t i o n of S a l i n g e r ' s s h o r t n o v e l The C a t c h e r i n the Rye. I t i s t r u e t h a t Chen J i a n g o n g has no knowledge of E n g l i s h , but The C a t c h e r i n the Rye had been t r a n s l a t e d i n t o Chinese w e l l b e f o r e he s t a r t e d w r i t i n g " C u r l y l o c k s . " As the t r a n s l a t i o n had s t r o n g r e v e r b e r a t i o n s among c o l l e g e s t u d e n t s and young i n t e l l e c t u a l s , i t i s uni m a g i n a b l e t h a t he alone d i d not pay a t t e n t i o n t o i t , not to mention t h a t he and the t r a n s l a t o r S h i X i a n r o n g are good f r i e n d s d e s p i t e t h e i r d i f f e r e n c e i n age. The re a s o n he d i d not r e f e r t o S a l i n g e r ' s n o v e l was perhaps h i s 1 5 6 I b i d . 171 u n w i l l i n g n e s s t o admit b e i n g i n f l u e n c e d by t h i s American w r i t e r , f o r f e a r t h a t h i s s t o r y would not be c o n s i d e r e d o r i g i n a l . Maybe he was unaware t h a t l i t e r a r y e x c e l l e n c e does not n e c e s s a r i l y l i e i n a r t i s t i c n o v e l t y , but l a r g e l y i n a prop e r way of r e p r e s e n t a t i o n . American i m a g i s t i c poets took Chinese c l a s s i c a l v e r s e s as t h e i r example, and Herman Wauk f o l l o w e d T o l s t o y ' s War  and Peace e i t h e r i n the mode of saga n o v e l or i n the method of l i f e - l i k e r e a l i s m when w r i t i n g Winds of War. As f o r Shakespeare's making use of a n c i e n t w r i t e r s ' s m a t e r i a l f o r h i s p l a y s and Goethe f o r F a u s t , t hey are almost p l a t i t u d e s i n l i t e r a r y h i s t o r y . However, one cannot deny the g r e a t achievements of Shakespeare's dramas nor Goethe's F a u s t , nor the o r i g i n a l i t y of i m a g i s t i c poems, nor the v a l u e of Winds of War. By the same t o k e n , i t i s n e i t h e r shameful f o r Chen J i a n g o n g to be i n f l u e n c e d by S a l i n g e r , nor n e c e s s a r y f o r c r i t i c s -- say, He Zhiyun -- t o d e l i b e r a t e l y d i s c o n n e c t the l i n k between " C u r l y l o c k s " and The C a t c h e r i n the Rye f o r the purpose of s t r e s s i n g Chen J i a n g o n g as an i n g e n i o u s w r i t e r . To p o i n t out the i n f l u e n c e of The  Ca t c h e r i n the Rye on " C u r l y l o c k s " r e v e a l s u ndoubtedly t h a t the l a t t e r b e n e f i t s from the former; but t h i s w i l l not at a l l a f f e c t " C u r l y l o c k s " as an o u t s t a n d i n g n o v e l l a . In f a c t , Chen Jia n g o n g ' s m o d e l l i n g (not p l a g a i r i s m t o be sure) h i m s e l f upon S a l i n g e r i n w r i t i n g " C u r l y l o c k s " demonstrates h i s s u c c e s s f u l t r a n s c e n d e n c e both i n thought and c r a f t s m a n s h i p over h i s former ego. T h i s i s perhaps what L i Tong remarked f i g u r a t i v e l y : "to v i o l a t e a law d e l i b e r a t e l y 172 can not be accounted a v i o l a t i o n . " 1 5 7 In my view, S a l i n g e r ' s n o v e l i s indeed a v e r y u s e f u l key to u n d e r s t a n d " C u r l y l o c k s . " So when I d e a l w i t h t h i s n o v e l l a , t r y i n g t o i n t e r p r e t a t e i t s " g e n e r a l a r t i s t i c f e a t u r e s , " I would f e e l i t i n a d v i s a b l e i f The C a t c h e r i n the Rye were not t a k e n as a frame of r e f e r e n c e . The g e n e r a t i o n of h i s c r i s i s s h o u l d be l a r g e l y a t t r i b u t e d to the o u t l o o k and the way of l i v i n g of Holden C a u l f i e l d as a c e r t a i n k i n d of human bein g s who i s s o c i a l l y heterogegeous but i n d i v i d u a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t . The c r i t i c L e i Da 1 5 8 s a i d i n an a r t i c l e "On ' C u r l y l o c k s ' " [Lun juan-mao]: "Some r e a d e r s have a l r e a d y found out the s i m i l a r i t i e s between t h i s s t o r y ( " C u r l y l o c k s " ) and The C a t c h e r  i n the Rye. T h i s d i s c o v e r y i s w e l l grounded... I f one compares the p l o t s i n which Lu Sen l e a v e s home and C a u l f i e l d runs away from s c h o o l , one has t o admit t h a t t h e s e two works are s t r i k i n g l y a l i k e . " 1 5 9 O b v i o u s l y , he has p e r c e i v e d what Holden meant t o Chen J i a n g o n g f o r moulding the c h a r a c t e r of Lu Sen. T h i s i s , of c o u r s e , not 1 5 7 L i Tong, "Juanmao s h i s h u " [A T e n t a t i v e A n a l y s i s ot " C u r l y l o c k s " ] , China Youth's D a i l y [Zhongguo q i n g n i a n b a o ] , October 10, 1986. 1 5 8 L e i Da, an e d i t o r of Wenyi Bao [Weekly of L i t e r a t u r e and A r t s ] , i s a v e r y capable and p r o l i f i c c r i t c . 1 5 9 L e i Da, "Lun juanmao" [On " C u r l y l o c k s " ] , F i c t i o n Review [Xiaoshuo p i n g l u n ] , No.6, 1986. 173 n e g l i g i b l e , and w i l l be d i s c u s s e d l a t e r on i n d e t a i l . But here I would l i k e t o p o i n t out f i r s t t h a t the sense of c r i s i s brought about by Holden a l s o caused a r t i s t i c r e a c t i o n s -- changes, among o t h e r s , i n s t r u c t u r e , i n s t y l e , as w e l l as i n d i c t i o n . T h i s was a l s o made c l e a r by Chen J i a n g o n g h i m s e l f i n " L e i s u r e T a l k about ' C u r l y l o c k s ' " when he a f f i r m e d t h a t h i s c r i s i s of i d e n t i f i c a t i o n "not o n l y r e f e r s ; t o f e e l i n g but i n c l u d e s a way of e x p r e s s i o n . " R e g r e t t a b l y , however, w h i l e some c r i t i c s took s t r o n g i n t e r e s t i n i n d i c a t i n g the s p i r i t u a l i d e n t i t y between Lu Sen and Holden, they were apt t o i g n o r e s t y l i s t i c e xperiments i n " C u r l y l o c k s " r e s u l t i n g from t h e m o t i v a t i o n of The C a t c h e r i n the Rye. " C u r l y l o c k s " b e g i n s w i t h such a p a r a g r a p h : T h i s c h i c k , r i d i n g a l i t t l e orange b i k e w i t h t i n y wheels, came zooming up on my r i g h t , and w i t h o u t making any hand s i g n a l cut sharp l e f t , p u t t i n g her r e a r wheel r i g h t smack i n my pa t h . Taken t o t a l l y by s u r p r i s e , I f r a n t i c a l l y shoved my handle bars t o the l e f t . "Bang!" my f r o n t wheel cr a s h e d h e a v i l y i n t o the b a r r i e r i n the middle of the roa d . I h i t the t h i n g so hard I f e l t my r e a r wheel le a v e the ground: p r o b a b l y the same f e e l i n g you get when your goddamn horse l o s e s i t s f o o t i n g . L u c k i l y I've got good r e f l e x e s ; I managed to p l a n t my f e e t s o l i d l y on the ground. But my b i k e f e l l to the ground between my l e g s , and the l i t t l e c a s s e t t e p l a y e r i n the f r o n t basket f l e w out and landed s e v e r a l metres 174 away. T h i s seems t o g i v e one the i m p r e s s i o n t h a t the auth o r got i n t o n a r r a t i o n of the s t o r y r i g h t from the o u t s e t . A c t u a l l y , however, the p r e c e d i n g e x c e r p t s e r v e s s i m p l y as a p r e l u d e : an i n d i s p e n s a b l e e x p l a n a t i o n f o r what happens i n the ensuing p a r t . Only a f t e r a b r i e f t r a n s i t i o n d i d Chen J i a n g o n g come to the s u b j e c t : Don't s t a r t t h i n k i n g I'm going t o t e l l some s t o r y of " f a i r y t a l e c o i n c i d e n c e , " now: of how I met her a g a i n l a t e r at a dance, or r a n i n t o her at n i g h t s c h o o l . I'm i n no mood t o s e l l you a c r o c k . I have not seen her ever a g a i n . The re a s o n I wanted t o s t a r t my s t o r y here i s j u s t because the whole t h i n g was so u n f a i r : she was f i n e --one l i t t l e b l u s h , a t w i n k l e of the eye, a wave of the hand, a f l a s h of the t e e t h , and she hopped on her b i k e and was o f f . And a l l the way home she was p r o b a b l y c o n g r a t u l a t i n g h e r s e l f on the way a young r u f f i a n p l a y e d the g a l l a n t f o r her. As f o r me y o u ' l l know i t a l l i f you keep r e a d i n g -- my days as a t o t a l t u r k e y s t a r t e d r i g h t t h e n , goddamn i t . (47-48) 1 6 0 Chen J i a n g o n g , " C u r l y l o c k s , " t r a n s . Stephen F l e m i n g , Chinese L i t e r a t u r e , Summer, 1988: 47. F u r t h e r r e f e r e n c e s of t h i s s t o r y t r a n s l a t e d by S. Fl e m i n g are put i n pa r e n t h e s e s i n the t e x t . 175 T h i s b e g i n n i n g i s almost same as t h a t of The C a t c h e r i n the Rye. The o n l y d i f f e r e n c e i s t h a t " C u r l y l o c k s " gets o f f to i t s s t a r t w i t h a v i v i d and d r a m a t i c d e s c r i p t i o n , w h i l e The C a t c h e r i n the Rye precedes i t s s t o r y w i t h a paragraph of e x p o s i t o r y n a r r a t i o n : I f you r e a l l y want t o hear about i t , the f i r s t t h i n g y o u ' l l p r o b a b l y want to know i s where I was born, and what my l o u s y c h i l d h o o d was l i k e , and how my p a r e n t s were o c c u p i e d and a l l b e f o r e they had me, and a l l t h a t David C o p p e r f i e l d k i n d of c r a p , but I don't f e e l l i k e g o i n g i n t o i t , i f you want to know the t r u t h . I n the f i r s t p l a c e , t h a t s t u f f bores me, and i n the second p l a c e , my p a r e n t s would have about two hemorhages a p i e c e i f I t o l d a n y t h i n g p r e t t y p e r s o n a l about them. 1 6 1 I t goes w i t h o u t s a y i n g t h a t t h i s i s an i n t r o d u c t o r y opening, w i t h a n a r r a t i v e t e c h n i q u e which f a c i l i t a t e s a q u i c k s w i t c h i n t o t h e m a t i c development. S a l i n g e r does not l e a d the r e a d e r i n t o h i s r e a l s t o r y u n t i l a f t e r an abrupt t u r n i n g : I'm not g o i n g t o t e l l you my whole goddam au t o b i o g r a p h y or a n y t h i n g . I ' l l j u s t t e l l you about t h i s madman s t u f f t h a t happened t o me around l a s t C h r i s t m a s 1 6 1 J.D. S a l i n g e r , The C a t c h e r i n the Rye, Toronto: Bantam Books, 1986: 1. 176 j u s t b e f o r e I got p r e t t y rundown and had t o out here and t a k e i t easy... Where I want t o s t a r t t e l l i n g i s the day I l e f t Pencey P r e p . . . 1 6 2 Such a s t a r t foreshadows t h a t the s t o r y w i l l be c o n s t r u c t e d w i t h c a r e , t h a t i s , i t i s to be aimed at n a r r a t i n g a whole o r g a n i c p r o c e s s of a s e r i e s of o c c u r r e n c e s . In s p i t e of i t s l a c k of s u s p e n s i o n i n p l o t when the adventure of Holden i s t o l d a f t e r he i s " k i c k e d out" of the s c h o o l , The C a t c h e r i n the Rye does a v a i l i t s e l f of a t y p i c a l method f o r s t o r y - w r i t i n g , the method t h a t enables i t t o f o c u s f i r m l y on the development of the p r o c e s s from the eve of Holden's l e a v i n g s c h o o l to h i s r e t u r n i n g home: how he f i g h t s w i t h h i s roommate S t r a d l a t e r , how he i s determined to go back t o New York ahead of the s c h e d u l e , how he s t r i k e s up an a c q u a i n t a n c e w i t h the mother of h i s c l a s s m a t e on a t r a i n , how he dances i n the bar w i t h t h r e e g i r l s from S e a t t l e , how he i s t a k e n i n by a pimp and makes a scene i n t h a t i n e x p e n s i v e h o t e l , how he dates w i t h the c o n s e r v a t i v e g i r l S a l l y , how he f u r t i v e l y s l i d e s i n t o h i s house t o see h i s younger s i s t e r Pheobe, how he lodges at the home of h i s former t e a c h e r A n t o l i n i f o r the n i g h t and something unexpected happens, and i n the end, how he p l a n s t o h i t c h - h i k e t o the mid-West but f a i l s f i n a l l y . A l l of these are the connected o c c u r r e n c e s i n the p r o c e s s : the n e c e s s a r y e p i s o d e s f o r c o n s t i t u t i n g the whole s t o r y . The n o v e l b e g i n s w i t h Holden's l e a v i n g s c h o o l and 1 6 2 I b i d . , 1 . 177 ends up w i t h h i s r e t u r n i n g home, and t h e r e i s no d i s c u r s i v e account. What must be brought t o n o t i c e here, moreover, i s t h a t t h i s p r o c e s s , m u l t i f a r i o u s as i t i s i n terms of what the p r o t a g o n i s t undergoes, l a s t s o n l y t h r e e days from the b e g i n n i n g t o the end. The a s s i m i l a t i o n of the openning p a r t of " C u r l y l o c k s " t o t h a t of S a l i n g e r ' s n o v e l i s o n l y the commencement of i t s o v e r a l l i m i t a t i o n of the l a t t e r i n s t r u c t u r e . To f o l l o w The C a t c h e r i n the Rye s t r u c t u r a l l y , " C u r l y l o c k s " i s m a r v e l l o u s , and even somewhat exceeds i t s model, because i t i s more c a r e f u l l y c o n s t r u c t e d , w i t h the c e n t r a l p l o t of managing to make e i g h t y yuan go throughout the whole l e n g t h of the s t o r y : S i n c e Lu Sen s e r i o u s l y damages Dudu's c a s s e t t e p l a y e r , he has to get e i g h t y yuan to buy a new one f o r the compensation. E i g h t y yuan i s almost n o t h i n g t o people whose job s are l u c r a t i v e , but t o Lu Sen t h i n g s are not so easy. A w a s t r e l who f a i l s t w i c e i n u n i v e r s i t y e n t r a n c e e x a m i n a t i o n s and has not y e t done a n y t h i n g r e m u n e r a t i v e so f a r but "eat and d r i n k l i k e a l o r d " (50) at home, he i s s u r e l y i n c a p a b l e of p o s s e s s i n g t h a t many "bucks" of h i s own. I t i s t r u e he can ask f o r i t , i f he l i k e s , from "the o l d man" --the a s s o c i a t e e d i t o r - i n - c h i e f of an i m p o r t a n t newspaper, yet he has been "at l o g g e r h e a d s " 1 6 3 w i t h him f o r ye a r s and i s very u n w i l l i n g to be m a n i p u l a t e d j u s t because of t a k i n g h i s money. The o n l y way out seems t o him t o make money h i m s e l f by l o o k i n g f o r some manual 1 6 3 I b i d . , p. 50. 178 j o b . T h i s , a c t u a l l y , i s q u i t e beyond the a b i l i t y of t h i s young person who has been s p o i l e d by h i s wealthy f a m i l y . L a t e r he h i m s e l f i s f a i r l y aware of h i s p o s s i b l e f a i l u r e as a p h y s i c a l l a b o u r o r even b e f o r e he r e a l l y t a k e s p a r t i n p h y s i c a l l a b o u r . I t i s t h r o u g h one hundred yuan " l a r g e s s e " g i v e n t o him i n a d i s g u i s e d form by a k i n d -h e a r t e d former c l a s s m a t e C a i Xinbao (a r a t h e r s y m p a t h e t i c p i c t u r e of a nouveau r i c h e ) t h a t he f i n a l l y e x t r i c a t e s h i m s e l f from h i s dilemma. The q u a r r e l l i n g scene between f a t h e r and son, the hawking and p e d d l i n g from market p l a c e , the grand o c c a s i o n of g a t h e r i n g i n the Workers's Stadium m a i n l y f o r the purpose of w i n n i n g l o t t e r y p r i z e s , and so f o r t h , are a l l r e l e v a n t p a r t s t i g h t l y a t t a c h e d t o t h i s c e n t r a l p l o t i n s t e a d of b e i n g p a r a l l e l or independent e p i s o d e s . I t i s t h r o u g h l o o k i n g f o r money t h a t " C u r l y l o c k s " gets s t a r t e d , and i t i s l i k e w i s e t h rough the s o l u t i o n of t h i s problem t h a t i t winds up. T h i s p r o c e s s , i n t e r e s t i n g l y enough, l a s t s a l s o t h r e e days j u s t as i t does w i t h Holden from h i s l e a v i n g s c h o o l t o h i s r e t u r n i n g home. I t seems t h e r e are something s i l m i l a r between the p r e s c r i p t i o n s s e t by f r e n c h n e o - c l a s s i c a l w r i t e r s f o r dramas and the e l a b o t a t e s t r u c t u r a l arrangement of " C u r l y l o c k s " based upon what i s i n h e r i t e d from The C a t c h e r i n the Rye. I f "th r e e u n i t i e s " i s a l i t t l e too much f o r " C u r l y l o c k s , " i t i s no e x a g g e r a t i n g t h a t t h i s n o v e l l a at l e a s t meets A r i s t o t l e ' s r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r time and a c t i o n . T h i s i s Chen Jiangong's i n n o v a t i v e , though i m i t a t i v e , e f f o r t i n the matter of f o r m a l i s t i c o r g a n i z a t i o n . As h i s c o n s c i e n t i o u s experiment, i t w i l l be e s p e c i a l l y 179 d i s c e r n i b l e when " C u r l y l o c k s " i s p l a c e d i n a n t i t h e s i s w i t h "No. 9 Winch Handle A l l e y " and "Looking f o r Fun." A l t h o u g h these two s h o r t s t o r i e s adopt c o n v e n t i o n a l method f o r n a r r a t i o n the way c l a s s i c a l Chinese f i c t i o n does, they n e v e r t h e l e s s have no c o n v e n t i o n a l s t o r i e s t o t e l l -- the s t o r i e s t h a t are f u l l y r e a l i z e d i n c o n f l i c t . "No. 9 Winch Handle A l l e y " seems l i k e a t a l e about Han D e l a i , but i t i s merely h i s anecdotes i n t e r t w i n e d s i m u l t a n e o u s l y w i t h the ups and downs i n l i f e of o t h e r c h a r a c t e r s such as Widow fen g , Zhang Chunyuan, the o l d couple of the Hes and the couple of the Wangs. As f o r "Lo o k i n g f o r Fun," w h i l e the g r e a t e r space i s g i v e n t o the p r o t a g o n i s t L i Zhongxiang, t h e r e i s a l s o an a p p r o x i m a t e l y equal q u a n t i t y of c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n , which comes t o t a l l y t o two c h a p t e r s , devoted t o the minor r o l e s of Qiao Wanyou and He X i n g . T h e i r s t o r i e s , t h e r e f o r e , p a r a l l e l i n some measure t h a t of L i Zhongxiang so t o speak, i f not supersede i t . I f t h e r e i s a c e n t r a l p l o t r u n n i n g through " C u r l y l o c k s , " t h e r e i s no t r a c e of such a t h i n g i n "No. 9 Winch Handle A l l e y " and "Looking f o r Fun." These two s t o r i e s read as though they do not have an opening, nor development, nor c l i m a x , nor denouement, so f a r as p l o t i s concerned. What i s c a l l e d s t o r y i s j u s t l i k e b i o g r a p h i c e x p e r i e n c e , f r a g m e n t a r y , p i e c e m e a l , and l a s t i n g a lo n g span of some dozens of y e a r s . I t i s o n l y by v i r t u e of u n i t y i n l o c a l i t y ("No. 9 Winch Handle A l l e y " ) or i n theme ("Looking f o r Fun") t h a t e i t h e r of them i s b a r e l y assembled as a whole. So s t r u c t u r a l l y , they are l o o s e , l i k e an e p i c r a t h e r than a drama i n the A r i s t o t l i a n sense. 180 T h i s t y pe of f i c t i o n a l form i s what L e i Da c a l l s "open s t r u c t u r e , " 1 6 4 which, i n h i s o p i n i o n , i s opposed t o " c l o s e d s t r u c t u r e " ( a l s o i n h i s terms) c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of " C u r l y l o c k s . " I do not know whether "open s t r u c t u r e " can r e f l e c t "more i n t r i c a t e and complex" phenomenon of s o c i e t y than " c l o s e d s t r u c t u r e , " as i s d e c l a r e d by t h i s c r i t i c . Nor i s i t my i n t e n t i o n t o pass the judgement here as to which s t r u c t u r e i s s u p e r i o r . What I am i n t e r e s t e d i n i s the s t r u c t u r a l a l t e r a t i o n i n " C u r l y l o c k s " -- an e v i d e n t i a l s i g n t h r o u g h which one i s a b l e to see the c e r t a i n a s p e c t of Chen J i a n g o n g ' s " h e a v i - h e a r t e d n e s s : " he t r i e d t o t r a n s c e n d h i s former ego i n the way of e x p r e s s i o n . " C u r l y l o c k s " i s the f i f t h i n the f i c t i o n a l s e r i e s of "Rambling Chats about E v e r y t h i n g Under the Sun." However, i t c a r r i e s on the t r a d i t i o n of t h i s s e r i e s o n l y on one p o i n t : the language of " B e i j i n g f l a v o u r . " A l l the r e s t of i t s f o r m a l i s t i c f e a t u r e s a s s i m i l a t e t o those of The C a t c h e r i n the Rye owing t o i t s p o w e r f u l i n f l u e n c e . In a d d i t i o n t o the s t r u c t u r a l s i m i l a r i t y , " C u r l y l o c k s " a l s o bears resemblances w i t h t h a t n o v e l i n i t s s e l e c t i o n of i t s n a r r a t i v e mode. Ever s i n c e he began w r i t i n g h i s "Rambling Chats" s e r i e s , Chen J i a n g o n g always n a r r a t e d h i s s t o r y i n an a u t h o r i t a t i v e v o i c e a f t e r the f a s h i o n of " s c r i p t s f o r s t o r y - t e l l i n g " [huaben]. He d i d not change a b i t t h i s customary way of n a r r a t i o n even i n "No. 9 Winch Handle A l l e y " and "Looking f o r Fun." T r u e l y , " I " does make o c c a s i o n a l appearances, say i n "Looking f o r Fun." Yet t h i s 1 6 4 L e i Da, "On ' C u r l y l o c k s , ' " Xiaoshuo P i n g l u n , No. 6, 1986. 181 k i n d of " I " i s not the one who t a k e s p a r t i n s t o r y but a d i r e c t i n c a r n a t i o n of the a u t h o r , as I have a l r e a d y argued i n the t h i r d c h a p t e r . I t i s not u n t i l " C u r l y l o c k s " came i n t o b e i n g t h a t the a u t h o r / n a r r a t o r w i t h o m n i s c i e n t v i s i o n r e a l l y v a n i s h e s . As soon as we open t h i s n o v e l l a , we w i l l f i n d out Chen J i a n g o n g as an o m n i s c i e n t n a r r a t o r has c o m p l e t e l y g i v e n h i s : way to " I " -- the n a r r a t o r and at the same time the personage of the s t o r y , j u s t i n t h e way S a l i n g e r y i e l d s to h i s " I " i n h i s n o v e l . To i n d i c a t e the s u b s t i t u t i o n of " I " f o r the t h i r d p e r s o n n a r r a t o r i n " C u r l y l o c k s " i s r a t h e r i n c i d e n t i a l , f o r t h i s w i l l not escape any r e a d e r who has skimmed Chen Jia n g o n g ' s oeuvre. I t i s the consequence brought ' about by t h i s s u b s t i t u t i o n -- the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n from "the a r t of t e l l i n g " to "the a r t of s h o w i n g " 1 6 5 -- t h a t i s more worth our d i s c u s s i o n . In g e n e r a l , modern r e a l i s t i c f i c t i o n tends to c o n c e a l i t s a r t i f i c i a l i t y as much as p o s s i b l e i n o r d e r t h a t a r t i s t i c works may l o o k more l i k e n a t u r a l p r o d u c t s . Chen J i a n g o n g , however, seemed to l i k e t o do e x a c t l y the o p p o s i t e i n "Rambling Chats" s e r i e s b e f o r e he wrote " C u r l y l o c k s , " e s p e c i a l l y i n "No. 9 Winch Handle A l l e y " and " L o o k i n g f o r Fun:" making the r e a d e r f e e l c o n s t a n t l y t h a t t h e r e e x i s t s a s i m u l a t e d n a r r a t o r o u t s i d e the s t o r y -- t h a t i s , t h a t the s t o r y i s f a b r i c a t e d . For example, no sooner does "No. 9 Winch 165 p o r a d e t a i l e d d i s c u s s i o n of the two " a r t s , " see Wayne Booth, The R h e t o r i c of F i c t i o n , U n i v e r s i t y of Chicago P r e s s , 1983: e s p e c i a l l y P a r t I I and P a r t I I I . 182 Handle A l l e y " b e g i n than t h i s " o u t s i d e r " i n t r u d e s t o make an e x p l a n a t i o n on the c o l l o q u i a l phrase "ganqing." In "Looking f o r Fun," even b e f o r e the s t o r y gets s t a r t e d , the space of the f i r s t f u l l c h a p t e r has a l r e a d y been spent on a u t h o r i a l commentaries. L a t e r , when the s t o r y i s i n f u l l swing, such a l o q u a c i o u s a u t h o r can s t i l l be seen now and the n by way of making: e i t h e r p a r a g r a p h i c t r a n s i t i o n , or e m o t i o n a l a r t i c u l a t i o n , or c o n c l u s i v e judgement. E v i d e n t l y , the commentaries or e x p o s i t i o n s are not o r g a n i c components of the c o n t e n t . They o n l y f u n c t i o n as an element i n the s t o r y t e l l i n g form. D e s p i t e the u n d e n i a b l e f a c t t h a t the a u t h o r ' s a s i d e s i n "No. 9 Winch Handle A l l e y " and "Looking f o r Fun" have a predominant e f f e c t forma 1 i s t i c a l l y , f e a t u r i n g the a r t i s t r y of n a r r a t i v e of both the s t o r i e s , they are not ve r y c o n d u c i v e t o the i n c r e a s e o f " t h e i m a g i s t i c appeal of c h a r a c t e r s . But as the t h i r d p e r s o n n a r r a t o r i s r e p l a c e d by the f i r s t p e r s o n i n " C u r l y l o c k s , " a s u b s t a n t i a l change does o c c u r : the n a r r a t o r as an o u t s i d e r ceases t o be v i s i b l e . U n l i k e i t s c o n t e r p a r t s i n p r e v i o u s f i c t i o n , now the n a r r a t o r a l s o p l a y s a r o l e of importance i n the s t o r y . As a r e s u l t , the a u t h o r i a l commentaries imposed from o u t s i d e d i s a p p e a r a c c o r d i n g l y , or r a t h e r , fuse i n t o p r o t a g o n i s t ' s t h o u g h t , f e e l i n g , o p i n i o n , and judgement, t h r o u g h which the c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of Lu Sen as a human b e i n g becomes more p o i g n a n t and f u l l . That i s t o say, these commentaries are no l o n g e r f u n c t i o n a l s i m p l y i n f o r m a l i s t i c sense; they are at the same time i n t r i n s i c , or even i n d i s p e n s a b l e , p a r t i c l e s of the c o n t e n t . I do not mean to a s s e r t t h a t the a r t of showing must be b e t t e r 183 t h a n the a r t of t e l l i n g i n l i t e r a r y c r e a t i o n . J u s t as i s p o i n t e d out by Wayne Booth, T r i s t r a m Shandy can s t i l l e n t h r a l us and Tom  Jones i s not at a l l i n f e r i o r t o those w r i t t e n by the i m i t a t o r s of James or Hemingway i n which the scenes a r e s c r u p u l o u s l y "shown." 1 6 6 Indeed, i t i s a t r u i s m t h a t s i n c e F l a u b e r t , many w r i t e r s and c r i t i c s have b e l i e v e d t h a t " o b j e c t i v e " or " i m p e r s o n a l " or "d r a m a t i c " modes of n a r r a t i o n are n a t u r a l l y s u p e r i o r t o any mode t h a t a l l o w s d i r e c t appearances by the auth o r or h i s r e l i a b l e spokesman. I t i s t h e i r c o n v i c t i o n t h a t the i d e a l s t a t e f o r f i c t i o n i s what J e a n - P a u l S a r t r e d e s c r i b e s : h u r l i n g the r e a d e r . " i n t o the midst of a u n i v e r s e where t h e r e are no w i t n e s s e s " and l e t t i n g i t " e x i s t i n the manner of t h i n g s , of p l a n t s , of e v e n t s , and not at f i r s t l i k e p r o d u c t s of man." 1 6 7 At any r a t e , I am i n c l i n e d i n t h e o r y t o ac c e p t Wayne Booth's v i e w p o i n t , p r e f e r i n g not t o make a s u b j e c t i v e a r b i t r a t i o n i n r e g a r d t o the e v a l u a t i o n of the s e two " a r t s . " Even so, however, I t h i n k i n comparison w i t h the a r t of t e l l i n g , the a r t of showing has at l e a s t one o b s e r v a b l e m e r i t c o n c e r n i n g Chen J i a n o n g ' s f i c t i o n . T h i s s u r e l y has n o t h i n g t o do w i t h an i n t e n t i o n of c a t e r i n g t o the modern l i t e r a r y f a s h i o n . I t i s s i m p l y f o r me a matter of u t i l i t a r i a n a p p r o p r i a t e n e s s in. moulding c h a r a c t e r s . Chen Jiangong's c r e a t i v e works are not by any means av a n t - g a r d e , say, l i k e "new 1 6 6 See The R h e t o r i c of F i c t i o n : 8. 1 6 7 Quoted from The R h e t o r i c of F i c t i o n : 19. 184 f i c t i o n " r e p r e s e n t e d by A l a i n Robbe-Gri11et's J e a l o u s y . They are s t i l l r a t h e r c o n v e n t i o n a l , w i t h p o r t r a y i n g c h a r a c t e r s as a c h i e f t a s k . So when I argued a w h i l e ago t h a t " a u t h o r i a l commentaries... fu s e i n t o the p r o t a g o n i s t 5 s . t h o u g h t , f e e l i n g , o p i n i o n , and judgement," I have i n f a c t h i n t e d the s w i t c h of Chen J i a n g o n g from d i s a d v a n t a g e of the a r t of t e l l i n g t o advantage of the a r t of showing. In o r d e r t o make t h i s p o i n t c l e a r e r , I would l i k e t o t a k e "tamade" or " t a n i a n g d e " ( i t s c l o s e s t E n g l i s h e q u i v e l a n t i s " s h i t , " but t h e r e are a l s o a number of v a r i a t i o n s i n r e a l t r a n s l a t i o n ) as an example. I n s t e a d of b e i n g used as an abuse i n c o n v e r s a t i o n i n " C u r l y l o c k s , " "tamade" i s a pet phrase of the n a r r a t o r / a g e n t , or more e x a c t l y , h i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c d i c t i o n f o r n a r r a t i o n . While i t c o n t r i b u t e s as a s i g n i f i c a n t p a r l a n c e t o the f o r m a t i o n of a tough and s l a n g y s t y l e of t h e n o v e l l a , i t more i m p o r t a n t l y f e a t u r e s the mode of e x p r e s s i o n of the p r o t a g o n i s t , p a v i n g the way f o r r e a d e r s t o f e e l c o n c r e t e l y why Lu Sen c a l l s h i m s e l f "a young r u f f i a n . " (48) In "Looking f o r Fun," the same "tamade" as a n a r r a t i v e language i s employed t o o , though not so f r e q u e n t l y . I t p r e c e d e s , f o r i n s t a n c e , the e x c l a m a t o r y remark i n the b e g i n n i n g of the s i x t h s e c t i o n t h a t t h e r e i s no need to worry about the t r o u b l e s of a d i s o b i e n d i e n t son or a nagging w i f e . But o b v i o u s l y , "tamade" i n t h i s c o n t e x t i s not u t t e r e d by people w i t h the problems of t h a t k i n d , but by a detached n a r r a t o r who has n o t h i n g t o do w i t h whatever happens i n the s t o r y . I t would have been a good s t u f f i n v i v i d d e p i c t i o n of p e r s o n a l i t y , y e t due to the s e p a r a t i o n of the 185 • n a r r a t o r from h i s c h a r a c t e r s , i t i s a c t u a l l y o n l y a b l e t o h e l p m a i n t a i n a l i t e r a r y s t y l e t h a t Chen J i a n g o n g has a p r e d i l e c t i o n f o r , w i t h o u t much v a l u e t o c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n . T h i s can not but be a p i t y . One t h i n g I have to s t r e s s here i s t h a t t h a t "tamade" i s m e a n i n g f u l i s not because i t i s a m a l e d i c t i o n . The r e a s o n why i t i s b e i n g d i s c u s s e d i n p a r t i c u l a r i s s i m p l y i t s t y p i c a l i t y of the t r a i t s of what c r i t i c s c a l l "language w i t h B e i j i n g f l a v o u r . " I f t h i s k i n d of language, when c o n d i t i o n e d by the a r t of t e l l i n g i n s t o r i e s l i k e " Looking f o r Fun," d e p l o r a b l y p r o v i d e s the a u t h o r w i t h a d i s c o r d a n t o f f s c r e e n v o i c e f o r h i s assuming the v o i c e of a s o c i a l c r i t i c , one w i l l s u r e l y n o t i c e t h a t " C u r l y l o c k s " makes i t harmonious throughout by way of combining n a r r a t i o n w i t h r e p r e s e n t a t i o n i n Lu Sen -- the n a r r a t o r / a g e n t . Lu Sen's pet phrase reminds us of t h o s e of Holden. The f a v o u r i t e c u r s i n g words used by the l a t t e r a r e : " h e l l , " "damn," "Godamn," " l o u s y , " and " s o n a v a b i t c h , " which are as f r e q u e n t i n The  C a t c h e r i n the Rye as "tamade" i n " C u r l y l o c k s . " N e v e r t h e l e s s , my purpose here i s not t o show t h a t the o r i g i n of t h i s k i n d of l i n g u i s t i c s t y l e i n Chen Jiangong's s t o r y can be t r a c e d back to t h a t American n o v e l . In i t s s t e a d , I i n t e n d t o go on t o s p e c i f y the t o p i c i n which c r i t i c s are commonly i n t e r e s t e d : the i d e n t i t y of the image of Lu Sen w i t h t h a t of Holden. Speaking the same r o g u i s h language i s c e r t a i n l y q u i t e eye-c a t c h i n g , but t h e r e are a l s o l o t s of s i m i l a r i t i e s i n o t h e r a s p e c t s between these two a d o l e s c e n t s . Holden i s a s i x t e e n y e a r — o l d j u n i o r 186 s t u d e n t " k i c k e d out" of s c h o o l f o r " f l u n k i n g " f o u r s u b j e c t s of f i v e , w h i l e Lu Sen i s a twenty y e a r - o l d h i g h s c h o o l graduate who i s unable t o go on w i t h h i s study i n c o l l e g e i n t h a t he f a i l s t w i c e i n the e n t r a n c e e x a m i n a t i o n s ; Holden i s born i n t o a r i c h f a m i l y i n New York, l i v i n g w i t h h i s p a r e n t s i n Park Avenue -- the r e s i d e n t i a l a rea i n Manhattan f o r h i g h s o c i e t y , w h i l e Lu Sen i s the son of the e d i t o r - i n - c h i e f of a newspaper, a h i g h - r a n k i n g cadre who i s not o n l y wealthy but has power t h a t means much more tha n money i n a f e u d a l i s t i c a l l y h i e r a r c h i a l s o c i e t y . F urthermore, both of them are somewhat t a i n t e d w i t h the h a b i t s of a s p e n d t h r i f t . Holden, h a v i n g been back i n New York, d i s p l a y s e x a c t l y l i k e a p r o f l i g a t e h i s . g a l l a n t r y to t h r e e young female customers i n a bar by p a y i n g the b i l l f o r them f o r no r e a s o n , l e t alone he does not c a r e i n the l e a s t about u n n e c e s s s s a r i l y spending money on t a x i r i d e s . Lu Sen does j u s t as w e l l i n k e e p i n g s t e p w i t h h i s p r e d e c e s s o r . He g e n e r o u s l y l e t s go the p r e t t y g i r l who causes the t r a f f i c a c c i d e n t and i s supposed t o pay f o r the damage of the b i k e as w e l l as the c a s s e t t e p l a y e r , and poses even more as a dandy when he i s b u y i n g from C l e a v e r - f a c e a l o t t e r y t i c k e t which t r i p l e s the o r i g i n a 1 p r i c e. Someone used t o express such an amazement: "How Chen J i a n g o n g was i n s p i r e d t o f i n d a so 'strange o b j e c t ' [ r e f e r r i n g to Lu Sen] i n the m u l t i t u d e of human b e i n g s , i t i s s t i l l h a r d l y c o n c e i v a b l e . " 1 6 8 One w i l l p r o b a b l y not be so s u r p r i s e d at t h i s 168 L e i Da, "On ' C u r l y l o c k s , " Xiaoshuo P i n g l u n , No. 6, 1986 187 p o i n t , however, i f p e r u s i n g " C u r l y l o c k s " i n the l i g h t of The  C a t c h e r i n the Rye. C l e a r l y , what i n s p i r e d Chen J i a n g o n g to f i n d t he " s t r a n g e o b j e c t " i s n o t h i n g but Lu Sen's American " b r o t h e r " Holden. To Lu Sen, Holden's s i g n i f i c a n c e l i e s not o n l y i n h i s s t a t u s as an e x p e l l e d s t u d e n t of u p p e r - m i d d l e - c l a s s o r i g i n , but i n h i s c a p a c i t y of s e e i n g t h r o u g h the shoddiness of s e n i o r s and r e v o l t i n g a g a i n s t them. In another words, i t l i e s i n h i s s p i r i t u a l v a l u e of p r o v i d i n g a type of a n t i - c o n v e n t i o n a l and a n t i - s o c i a l l i f e -- "a way of l i v i n g " i n Chen Jiangong's terms. T h i s i s p r o b a b l y the b i g g e s t l e g a c y Holden l e a v e s f o r h i s Chinese i n h e r i t o r . A l t h o u g h Lu Sen moves under the huge shadow of Holden, h i s way of l i v i n g a f t e r the f a s h i o n of h i s f o r e r u n n e r makes him t r a n s c e n d a l l the o t h e r peers p r e v i o u s l y c r e a t e d by Chen J i a n g o n g and hence become a conspicuous " s t r a n g e r " i n t h i s a u t h o r ' s f i c t i o n a l i z e d w o r l d . There i s no need t o i n d i c a t e the a n t i t h e s i s of Lu Sen and the heroes l i k e Zhong Q i , Lu J i a n , Gu Z h i d a , and Qing J i a n g : t h i s i s too o b v i o u s . Even though Lu Sen i s put i n t o comparison w i t h such an o r d i n a r y p e r s o n as L i Zhongxiang, a s u b t l e y e t e s s e n t i a l d i s s i m i l a r i t y between them i s s t i l l p e r c e p t i b l e . He Zhiyun i s indeed i n s i g h t f u l , s a y i n g : I f the a r t i s t i c c i r c u m s t a n c e s i n "No. 9 Winch Handle A l l e y " and "Looking f o r Fun," which r e f l e c t a c e r t a i n l i v i n g s t a t e of human b e i n g s , m a i n l y r e v e a l the inharmony of men v e r s u s environment i n i n n a t e c o n f l i c t , t h e n i n ' C u r l y l o c k s , ' men b e g i n t o demonstrate c l e a r l y 186 and v i g o u r o u s l y a r e b e l l i o n a g a i n s t t h e i r l i v i n g s t a t e . What L e i Da says i s perhaps r i g h t : i t i s because of h i s f a m i l y t h a t Lu Sen's r e b e l l i o u s c o n s c i o u s n e s s breaks f o r t h . 1 7 0 To r e g a r d " C u r l y l o c k s " s i m p l y as a s t o r y about the g e n e r a t i o n gap between f a t h e r and s o n 1 7 1 i s d e f i n i t e l y unwise. However, one s h o u l d not go to the o t h e r extreme as to be b l i n d to the f a c t t h a t makes up the major p a r t of the n o v e l l a : Lu Sen's antagonism to h i s f a t h e r . He d e c l a r e s b e f o r e long the s t o r y b e g i n s : To t e l l you the t r u t h , I've been at loggerheads w i t h the o l d man a t home f o r y e a r s now. Now our r e l a t i o n s are l i k e the I r a n - I r a q war: f i g h t a w h i l e , r e s t a w h i l e ; r e s t a w h i l e , f i g h t a w h i l e . (50) Why do they " f i g h t ? " Because the f a t h e r can not s a t i s f i y the f i n a n c i a l demand of the son? Or, because he i s e m o t i o n a l l y p a r t i a l i n h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h h i s two c h i l d r e n ? N e i t h e r of them can account f o r t h a t . A l t h o u g h Lu Sen does not e x p l a i n e x p l i c i t l y the 1 6 9 He Z h i y u n , "Chen J i a n g o n g and h i s F i c t i o n a l World," Hundreds of S c h o o l s , N o . 1 , 1 9 8 7 : 2 6 . 1 7 0 L e i Da, "On ' C u r l y l o c k s , ' " Xioashuo P i n g l u n , No. 6, 1986. 1 7 1 See Chen Xinyuan, " P r e f a c e , " Pheonix Eyes [Danfengyan], T a i p e i : L i n B a i P r e s s , 1989: 10. 189 r e a s o n why he has been "at loggerheads w i t h the o l d man," one can i n f e r from h i s n a r r a t i o n t h a t t h e i r c o n f r o n t a t i o n o r i g i n a t e s from i d e o l o g i c a l d i v e r g e n c e s , or from d i f f e r e n t o p t i o n s of way of l i v i n g . T h i s p r o t a g o n i s t , w i t h a head of c u r l y - h a i r and w i t h a s n e e r i n g s m i l e always p l a y e d around the c o r n e r s of h i s mouth, r e p e a t e d l y a s s e r t s t o r e a d e r s h i s c o n t r a r i e t y t o "the o l d man:" He [the f a t h e r ] has h i s way of l i v i n g . I have mine. (59) In the eye of w o r l d l i n g s , Lu Sen's f a t h e r i s e n v i a b l e . An e d i t o r - i n - c h i e f , he has the p r i v i l e g e of r i d i n g i n a c a r s p e c i a l l y f o r h i s p e r s o n a l use whenever he goes out or comes back. He can a l s o a v a i l h i m s e l f of h i s p o s i t i o n t o b r i n g i n every few days an e x t r a sum by p u b l i s h i n g a r t i c l e s on newspapers and s n i p p i n g and p a s t i n g them t o g e t h e r l a t e r on to make a book e n t i t l e d T a l k s w i t h Young F r i e n d s about L i f e or some such t h i n g . Moreover, i f t h e r e are some b e n e f i t s -- f o r example, a t r i p t o Europe or a g i f t such as a t i n of N e s t l e i n s t a n t c o f f e e , i t i s p o s i t i v e t h a t he has h i s shar e . So why must Lu Sen be so o b s t i n a t e as to i n s i s t upon c h o o s i n g t h a t i n p r a c t i c a l l i v i n g mode of h i s own? They are perhaps b e w i l d e r e d . In t h e i r p h i l i s t i n e view, "sons t a k i n g over t h e i r f a t h e r s ' j o b s " i s u n q u e s t i o n a b l y the most i d e a l c h o i c e f o r t h i s young man. Lu Sen's e l d e r b r o t h e r and s i s t e r - i n - l a w are s e c u l a r l y smart enough t o ac c e p t the l i v i n g s t y l e of "the o l d man" which they c o n s i d e r b oth c o n v e n i e n t and p r o f i t a b l e . They not o n l y l i s t e n to 190 "the o l d man" w i t h r e p e c t f u l a t t e n t i o n , but fawn on him now and the n -- a creamed cake f o r h i s b i r t h d a y , among o t h e r s -- whenever t h e r e i s a s u i t a b l e o c c a s i o n . However, Lu Sen has no i n t e n t i o n of f o l l o w i n g i n h i s b r o t h e r ' s f o o t - s t e p s t o become "a happy son" of "the happy f a m i l y , " or to "take over h i s f a t h e r ' s j o b " some day. He has a l r e a d y been aware of the t r u e n a t u r e of h i s f a t h e r ' s b e h a v i o u r , w hich, he b e l i e v e s , can be g e n e r a l i z e d i n t h r e e words: " f u l l of c r a p . " (60) He would r a t h e r s e l e c t another way of l i v i n g , a way t h a t i s n e i t h e r so easy, nor so p r o d u c t i v e . In The C a t c h e r i n the Rye, when s c h o o l has no l o n g e r been a w e - i n s p i r i n g t o Holden, a p e r s u a s i v e t a l k e r -- Holden's former t e a c h e r A n t o l i n i appears. In t h e i r c o n v e r s a t i o n A n t o l i n i f i r s t e x p r e s s e s h i s s o l i c i t u d e f o r Holden's p r e s e n t s t a t e , b e l i e v i n g t h a t he i s " r i d i n g f o r some k i n d of a t e r r i b l e , t e r r i b l e f a l l " 1 7 2 -- "a s p e c i a l k i n d of f a l l , a h o r r i b l e k i n d . " 1 7 3 A l t h o u g h , he p r o f e s s e s , he does not want t o t h r e a t e n t h i s " k i c k e d - o u t " s t u d e n t , he a c t u a l l y does so, e x a g g e r a t i n g : "I can v e r y c l e a r l y see you d y i n g n o b l y , one way or a n o t h e r , f o r some h i g h l y unworthy c a u s e . " 1 7 6 At the end he g i v e s Holden as a remedy a poem w r i t t e n by a p s y c h o l o g i s t , which r u n s : "The mark of the immature man i s t h a t he wants to d i e n o b l y f o r a cause, w h i l e the mark of the mature man i s t h a t he wants to 1 7 2 The C a t c h e r i n the Rye: 186. 1 7 3 I b i d . , 187. i 7 i I b i d . , 188 . 191 l i v e h u m b l y f o r o n e . " 1 7 5 A n t o l i n i ' s a i m i s a p p a r e n t : h e w i s h e s t o s o b e r u p H o l d e n s o t h a t h e c a n g r o w h e a l t h i l y . W o n t o n H o u , t h e t e a c h e r who f o r m e r l y t e a c h e s L u S e n i n " C u r l y l o c k s , " p l a y s a r o l e w h i c h , t h o u g h d i f f e r e n t i n e s s e n c e , w a s s e e m i n g l y v e r y s i m i l a r t o t h a t o f A n t o l i n i . I n s p i t e o f h a v i n g b e e n c r i t i c i z e d i n a n a r t i c l e b y L u S e n ' s f a t h e r , W o n t o n H o u s t i l l l i k e s t o b e c o n c e r n e d f o r t h i s u n f u l f i l l i n g s o n f a r m o r e t h a n f o r o t h e r s t u d e n t s j u s t b e c a u s e o f h i s f a t h e r ' s p o s i t i o n a n d p r e s t i g e a s a b i g s h o t who a s s u m e s t h e c h i e f e d i t o r s h i p o f a n i n p o r t a n t n e w s p a p e r . A s h e l e a r n s o f L u S e n ' s f a i l u r e i n u n i v e r s i t y e n t r a n c e e x a m i n a t i o n s f o r t h e s e c o n d t i m e , W o n t o n H o u f e e l s r e a l l y w o r r i e d , e x p o s t u l a t i n g i n a l l s i n c e r i t y : " R e v i e w a l l t h e m a t e r i a l a g a i n c a r e f u l l y a n d t r y a g a i n n e x t y e a r . . . E v e n t h o u g h p e o p l e now n o l o n g e r s p e a k o f ' s o n s t a k i n g o v e r t h e i r f a t h e r s ' j o b s , ' s t i l l we c a n ' t h a v e y o u g o i n g a n d s e l l i n g b e e f a n d m u t t o n n o w , c a n w e ? We c a n ' t h a v e y o u l o s i n g f a c e f o r y o u r f a t h e r n o w , c a n w e ? . . . " ( 5 9 ) B u t W o n t o n H o u ' s o p p o r t u n i s t i c a d v i c e i s , v i r t u a l l y i n e f f e c t u a l . W h i l e H o l d e n i s o n l y i m p a t i e n t w i t h A n t o l i n i ' s p h i l o s o p h y o f l i f e f o r t h e s a k e o f p r o p r i e t y , L u S e n i s n o t s o p o l i t e . He p l a i n l y s h o w s h i s d i s g u s t w i t h W o n t o n H o u , p r o t e s t i n g a g a i n s t h i s a d m o n i t i o n : " P l e a s e d o n ' t t a l k t o me a b o u t h i m [ h i s f a t h e r ] . I c o u l d n ' t t a k e a n y m o r e . " ( 5 9 ) I f W o n t o n H o u c o u l d c o n v i n c e L u S e n , h i s f a t h e r w o u l d a l r e a d y s u c c e e d i n t a l k i n g h i m o v e r , a n d t h e r e w o u l d b e n o t c o n f l i c t s a t a l l b e t w e e n t h e m . 1 7 5 I b i d . , 1 8 6 1 9 2 c o n f l i c t s a t a l l between them. N e v e r t h e l e s s , the problem i s Lu Sen would p r e f e r t o s e l l beef and mutton and melons r a t h e r than l i v e i n the w o r l d a f t e r the f a s h i o n of h i s f a t h e r , f o r the l a t t e r ' s l i v i n g s t y l e has a l r e a d y t h o r o u g h l y d i s a p p o i n t e d him. He has come to a sober r e a l i z a t i o n : no matter how d i g n i f i e d "the o l d man" l o o k s , he i s i n essence a "phony," i n c r e d i b l y d i s t o r t e d and a l i e n t e d by p o l i t i c a l dogmas. In order t o l e t r e a d e r s see the r e a l f a c e of t h i s a s s o c i a t e e d i t o r , he i s u n h e s i t a t i n g t o d i s l o s e h i s " f a k e " conduct: The n i g h t b e f o r e l a s t , the D i r e c t o r of Propaganda came to v i s i t , r e s e a r c h i n g "the p o i n t s f o r a t t e n t i o n i n propaganda" w i t h the o l d man. They spent two hours at i t . A f t e r the d i r e c t o r l e f t , the o l d man and the o l d l a d y went on " r e s e a r c h i n g " f o r another two whole hour s ! What d i d they " r e s e a r c h ? " The d i r e c t o r ' s f a c i a l e x p r e s s i o n s : what s o r t of wordings had seemed to i n t e r e s t him, w h i c h t o p i c s he had t r e a t e d c o l d l y they sure make a goddamn hobby out of i t . (60) I n t e r e s t i n g i s the scene i n which how h i s f a t h e r touches the hand of a young female r e p o r t e r i s d e p i c t e d : That day they were s e a t e d i n two s o f a c h a i r s s e t hardby each o t h e r next t o the window. T h i s c h i c k was g i v i n g him an account of her work, v e r y s e r i o u s l y and 193 e a r n e s t l y , w i t h one hand on the armrest of her c h a i r . J u s t t h e n I was t a k i n g a phone c a l l i n the l i v i n g room and happened t o c a t c h s i g h t of t h a t hand. Somehow a f e e l i n g of dread came over me. I remember b e i n g a f r a i d the o l d man would t r y something funny. How r i g h t I was. I hadn't yet f i n i s h e d w i t h my c a l l when the o l d man's b i g f a t hand p l a c e d i t s e l f r i g h t on top of her f r a i l w h i t e one! Then he began to pat i t a g a i n and a g a i n , j j u r r i n g , "Wonderful! Wonderful! L i t t l e Q i n , you're d o i n g a g r e a t j o b . Keep i t up, we r e a l l y need sharp people l i k e you t o make our r e v o l u t i o n a r y work s h i n e . . . . " I almost croaked w i t h r a g e . What s h i t ! Even when he t r i e s t o whore i t up he i s so f u l l of s h i t ! I f you dare, why don't you go f i n d some p l a c e e l s e ? There you can hug and f o n d l e , k i s s , get i n t o bed w h o ' l l be t h e r e t o b o t h e r you? But to do such lowdown t h i n g s w h i l e a l l the time m u t t e r i n g goddamn p i o u s crap about the " r e v o l u t i o n " --t h a t was even more f u l l of s h i t ! (60) To Lu Sen, "the o l d man" i s g r e a t l y l a c k i n g i n humanity, and t h e r e f o r e h i s "phony" way of l i v i n g i s c e r t a i n l y v e r y d e r i s i b l e and r e g r e t t a b l e . But he knows i t would be even more d e r i s i b l e and r e g r e t t a b l e i f he were to accept h i s f a t h e r ' s l i v i n g mode. Such cases are not r a r e around him. D e s p i t e i n e l i g i b i l i t y f o r r a n k i n g among f o l l o w e r s of t h i s e d i t o r - i n - c h i e f , Wonton Hou has a l r e a d y made Lu Sen f e e l s o r r y f o r h i s customary way of s a y i n g : " I s your 194 f a t h e r w e l l ? " o r , " I presume your f a t h e r i s w e l l ? " (56) His b r o t h e r and s i s t e r - i n - l a w , a c o u p l e of " i d e a l s u c c e s s o r " at home, are s i m p l y l i k e the persons who have l o s t a l l sense of shame when r e p e a t e d l y u t t e r i n g f l a t t e r y l i k e "boundless l o n g e v i t y , " "boundless l o n g e v i t y , " (82) though i t does not sound as i f i t w i l l "make a person's f l e s h c r e e p . " The most p i t i a b l e , of c o u r s e , i s h i s mother. He i s c l e a r l y c o n s c i o u s t h a t b e i n g the " l a d y " of a VIP presupposes l o s s of her independence of p e r s o n a l i t y and p u r s u i t of c a r e e r . She has v i r t u a l l y become a shadow t a g g i n g a l o n g a f t e r her husband. For i n s t a n c e , whenever he l e a v e s home goi n g t o take p a r t i n some i m p o r t a n t a c t i v i t y , she w i l l be seen f o l l o w i n g him i m m e d i a t e l y and s e e i n g him o f f at doorway. Then i f she can c a t c h s i g h t of an a c q u i a n t a n c e or two, " s h e ' l l b l a b on w i t h them e n d l e s s l y and m i n d l e s s l y : the o l d man i s v i s i t i n g n o r t h e r n Europe next month w i t h a d e l e g a t i o n , but he hasn't made any p r e p a r a t i o n s at a l l . That o l d man -- he's got h i g h b l o o d p r e s s u r e , and someone t o l d me e a t i n g corn s i l k h e l p s b r i n g i t down, but he won't have a b i t of i t ! What s h a l l I do w i t h him!... As i f everyone i n the e n t i r e n a t i o n were hanging on the way her o l d man e a t s , d r i n k s , p i s s e s and s h i t s . " (62) In the eyes of n e i g h b o u r s i n the newspaper compound, she l o o k s as i f she i s e t e r n a l l y a sweet ho u s e w i f e , w i t h a r i c h , f u l l f a m i l y l i f e . But who knows what she r e a l l y t h i n k s i n her mind? A former b a l l e r i n a , she has a l r e a d y p l a y e d l e a d i n g r o l e s i n a number o f dance dramas and has even been to Moscow to s t u d y . The o t h e r 195 " s i s t e r s " i n her p r o f e s s i o n i n "tho s e y e a r s have a l l become a s s o c i a t e p r o f e s s o r s at dance s c h o o l s , i f not go on to become s t a r s . However, she changes her p r o f e s s i o n a f t e r she gets m a r r i e d , t o t a l l y g i v i n g up her b e l o v e d c a r e e r as a dancer. Now she i s even unable t o endure s e e i n g b a l l e t on t e l e v i s i o n , l e t alone at the-t h e a t r e . A shot of "white t u r n i p s " l u n g i n g on the s c r e e n i s enough t o g i v e her a sudden l u r c h i n her c h e s t , "as i f she had been b i t t e n by some goddamn t h i n g . " Is t h i s , a f t e r a l l , a happiness or a mi s ery? I f the q u e s t i o n of "to be or not t o be" p e r p l e x e s Hamlet, a s i m i l a r problem, owing t o the l e s s o n s of h i s mother and o t h e r p e o p l e , p u z z l e s Lu Sen too -- t h a t i s , t o become an independent p e r s o n , or "a p i t i a b l e worm w a i t i n g f o r the o l d man f o r a handoutout." (51) Sometimes he has not w i t h o u t a momentary i d e a of t a k i n g an e a s i e r r o a d . As h i s f a t h e r o f f e r s him a temporary j o b at the t e l e v i s i o n s t a t i o n , he i s r e a l l y d e l i g h t e d . He would be f i b b i n g i f he were t o say t h a t the j o b i s not a p p e a l i n g t o him. Yet as soon as he sees the i m p e r i o u s b e a r i n g of "the o l d man:" " h i s fa c e p e r f e c t l y e x p r e s s i o n l e s s , and h i s glance r e s t e d on the space between h i s open l e g s , as i f he were l e c t u r i n g not me, but the t h i n g in. h i s p a n t s , " h i s s e n s i t i v e s e l f - e s t e e m i s aroused. Thus f o r e i g h t y yuan, a s e r i o u s c o n f l i c t e v e n t u a l l y breaks out between the f a t h e r and son. True, the s t o r y has a l r e a d y at the o u t s e t t o l d r e a d e r s t h a t they "have been at loggerheads f o r y e a r s , " but t h i s c l a s h i s the one which i s d i r e c t l y d e s c r i b e d i n " C u r l y l o c k s . " I t i n f a c t o r i g i n a t e s w i t h Lu Sen's h a i r : 196 When i t got c l o s e t o l u n c h t i m e , the o l d man saw h i s " s u c c e s s o r " o f f and r e t u r n e d to the l i v i n g room. There he proceeded t o s t r i k e the pose I was so f a m i l i a r w i t h : back hunched over, body l e a n i n g f o r w a r d , elbows propped on t h i g h s , c h e s t r i s i n g and f a l l i n g . He looked me up and down, but remained s i l e n t f o r q u i t e a s p e l l . I was p e e l i n g an a p p l e . A f t e r g l a n c i n g at him once, I guessed what he was about to say. " I f you t h i n k you're so w o n d e r f u l l y b e a u t i f u l w i t h t h a t h a i r of y o u r s , from now on you can j u s t go be b e a u t i f u l i n your room." Once a g a i n he c a l l e d me n e i t h e r by my nickname nor by my p r o p e r name; once a g a i n , he d i d not so much as g l a n c e at me. Once a g a i n h i s f a c e remained e x p r e s s i o n l e s s as he ad d r e s s e d the c r o t c h of h i s p a n t s . I'd known f o r a long time t h i s day would a r r i v e , goddamnit. Of c o u r s e , I hadn't thought he'd come out w i t h a l l t h i s nonsense so soon: a f t e r o n l y one day, here he was l a y i n g i t on t h i c k and heavy. And t h i s was a f t e r he'd o n l y g o t t e n me a w o r t h l e s s temporary j o b and g i v e n me a p a l t r y e i g h t y bucks -- i f he'd g i v e n me a n y t h i n g more, would I have ever l i v e d i t down? I d i d n ' t s n i v e l and c r i n g e , but on the o t h e r hand I c o u l d o n l y have l o s t f ace i f I'd got a l l w i l d - e y e d and s t a r t e d a s h o u t i n g match. 197 "So j u s t what's wrong w i t h t h i s head of mine?" I asked, t o s s i n g my long h a i r and l e a n i n g f o r w a r d i n the c h a i r so t h a t I was a l s o hunching my back and p r o p p i n g my elbows on my t h i g h s , the t o e s of my s l i p p e r s f l e x i n g , f l e x i n g . I gave him the same look he was g i v i n g me and s a i d w i t h e q u l l e x p r e s s i o n 1 e s s n e s s , "As f o r the r e a s o n why I'd grown such a funny head of h a i r , I'd have to ask you about t h a t . " "I'm not t a l k i n g about your c u r l s . I'm t a l k i n g about the l e n g t h of your h a i r ! " "Length? What's wrong w i t h the l e n g t h ? How l o n g i s revo l u t u i o n a r y ? How long can i t be b e f o r e i t becomes c o u n t e r - r e v o l u t i o n a r y ? Has your paper ever p u b l i s h e d an'-... e d i t o r i a l t o e x p l a i n ? " He s t o o d up w i t h a s n o r t and went o u t . . . (79-80) Having been goaded on by h i s b r o t h e r ' s p r o v o c a t i v e sarcasm, Lu Sen f i n a l l y makes up h i s mind t o t o s s t h a t " p a l t r y " e i g h t y yuan as w e l l as the " w o r t h l e s s " temporary j o b back at "the o l d man." T h i s i s not merely a matter of money and employment; i t a c t u a l l y i m p l i e s Lu Sen's d e t e r m i n a t i o n to c a r r y out the " f i g h t " w i t h h i s f a t h e r , or i n another words, i m p l i e s h i s r e s o l u t e p u r s u i t of a l i v i n g s t y l e of h i s own. I f my b r o t h e r ' s contempt had not been gnawing away at me, I p r o b a b l y wouldn't have gone so f a r as to make 198 a scene at the o l d man's b i r t h d a y l u n c h . B lanched c h i c k e n , c r i s p f r a g r a n t duck, r e d - b r a i s e d c a r p , Dongpo b r a i s e d pork, Shuanggou s p i r i t s , F r ench VSOP cognac, F i v e S t a r b e e r . . . no, I'm not t h a t b i g a b a s t a r d . But I got to the p o i n t where I j u s t c o u l d n ' t t a k e i t any goddamn more. I f I hadn't been a b l e at t h i s p o i n t t o f i n d a p r o p e r excuse to t o s s the o l d man's " i m p e r i a l l a r g e s s e " back at him, I'd never be a b l e t o h o l d my head up i n f r o n t of them a g a i n -- and I'd l o s e a dude's s e l f -r e s p e c t . "come on, everyone, d r i n k t o Papa's boundless 1 o n g e v i t y ! " X i a o Yan had f i n a l l y found a chance t o d i s p l a y her t a 1ent s. "Bound -- l e s s -- Ion -- g e v i t y ! Bound -- l e s s --Ion -- g e c i t y i " My b r o t h e r ' s b r i g h t - r e d l i p s were p a r t e d i n a b r a z e n g r i n . "And may Mama always have good h e a l t h ! " Xiao Yan's v o i c e was s i c k l y sweet, w i t h an o v e r l a y of t i m i d i t y , whether r e a l or f e i g n e d i t was i m p o s s i b l e t o t e l l . Here was a t r u e - b l u e Chinese w i f e s u c k i n g up to her mother-i n - l a w . "To — Mama"s -- h e a l t h ! To — Mama's — h e a l t h ! " Shouts from my o l d e r b r o t h e r and l a u g h t e r from the o l d l a d y . "Papa." I s t o o d up and extended a f u l l cup of 199 s p i r i t s towards my f a t h e r . The o l d man gave a s t a r t , l ooked at me and r a i s e d the cup i n f r o n t of him s l o w l y , h e s i t a n t l y . "Your son i s goi n g t o make something of h i m s e l f . P l e a s e t a k e the t e l e v i s i o n s t a t i o n j o b and r e t u r n i t to them. And, and y e s t e r d a y ' s e i g h t y yuan -.- I ' l l r e t u r n them t o you.too..." "Sensen, what nonsence l a d y cut s h o r t my speech. P a y i n g her no a t t e n t i o n dumped the e n t i r e c o n t e n t s t h r o a t . "But don't always be making me out t o be a p i t i f u l worm, always t e l l i n g me I'm s h o o t i n g o f f my mouth and t h a t my h a i r i s too l o n g . . . " With t h i s , I t u r n e d round, s t a l k e d o f f t o my room, slammed the door and f l o p p e d down on the bed. And, goddamnit, d i d I f e e l c o m f o r t a b l e -- a l l over! (82-83) Some c r i t i c s say t h a t " C u r l y l o c k s " d i f f e r s from The C a t c h e r  i n the Rye i n t h a t i t s c h i e f concern i s c l o s e l y r e l a t e d t o an a n t i -t r a d i t i o n a l t r a n s i t i o n of the Chinese n a t i o n a l s t a t e of mind --namely, the f a t h e r - a n d - s o n c o n f l i c t . 1 7 6 T h i s sounds r a t h e r p l a u s i b l e . S a l i n g e r ' s n o v e l does not t o u c h upon c o n t r a d i c t i o n s 1 7 6 See L e i Ba, "On ' C u r l y l o c k s , ' " Xiaoshuo Xuankan, No. 6, 1986. are you t a l k i n g ! " The o l d , I t i p p e d back my head and of the wine-cup down my 200 between p a r e n t s and c h i l d r e n , not to mention the f e a s i b i l i t y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the Chinese n a t i o n a l s t a t e of mind. The n o v e l comes to the p o i n t r i g h t at the b e g i n n i n g t h a t i t has no i n t e n t i o n to n a r r a t e t h i n g s c o n c e r n i n g the p a r e n t s of the p r o t a g o n i s t . Except f o r a few p l a c e s where t h a t h i s f a t h e r i s "touchy" and h i s mother i s " h y s t e r i c a l " i s b r i e f l y r e f e r r e d , " I " s t r i c t l y d i s p e n s e s w i t h " a l l t h a t David. C o p p e r f i e l d k i n d of s t u f f . " What i t m a i n l y d e s c r i b e s i s Holden's antagonism a g a i n s t s c h o o l : how he hates i t , how he d i s c l o s e s i t s s h o d d i n e s s , and f i n a l l y , how he runs away from i t , g o i n g back to New York. I f Lu Sen's r e b e l l i o u s c o n s c i o u s n e s s breaks f o r t h from the i n s i d e of h i s f a m i l y , i t i s j u s t i f i a b l e t o say t h a t the r e b e l l i o u s . c o n s c i o u s n e s s of Holden comes from a d i f f e r e n t source -- the s c h o o l . But no m a t t e r how Holden's a n t i t h e s i s i s u n l i k e t h a t of Lu Sen, t h e i r r e b e l l i o u s c h a l l e n g e i s same i n s u b s t a n c e : i t i s a c h a l l e n g e a g a i n s t the h y p o c r i s y of humanity. Holden t e l l s S a l l y t h a t the s c h o o l i s " f u l l of p h o n i e s . " 1 7 7 The reason he l e a v e s E l k t o n H i l l s c h o o l where he used to study i s not because he " f l u n k e d " e x a m i n a t i o n s , but because he was surrounded by t h e s e p e o p l e . In h i s o p n i o n , the headmaster Mr. Haas at E l k t o n H i l l i s "the p h o n i e s t b a s t a r d " 1 7 8 he ever met i n h i s l i f e . When he was s h a k i n g hands w i t h s t u d e n t ' s p a r e n t s , he would pay a t t e n t i o n to t h e i r appearance and 1 7 7 The C a t c h e r i n the Rye: 131 1 7 3 I b i d . , 14 . 201 c l o t h i n g . " I f a boy's mother was s o r t of f a t or c o r n y - l o o k i n g or something, and i f somebody's f a t h e r was one of those guys t h a t wear those s u i t s w i t h v e r y b i g s h o u l d e r s and corny b l a c k - a n d - w h i t e shoes, o l d Haas would j u s t shake hands w i t h them and g i v e them a phony s m i l e and then he'd go t o t a l k , f o r maybe a h a l f an hour, w i t h somebody e l s e ' s p a r e n t s . " 1 7 9 Having t r a n s f e r e d t o Pencey Prep, however, Holden s t i l l f e e l s d i s s a t i s f i e d . I t s headmaster Mr. Thurmer, b e t t e r as he seems to be th a n " o l d Haas," i s a l s o a "phony s l o b . " 1 8 0 So.they are i n essence b i r d s of a f e a t h e r . Pencey Prep c r a c k s i t s e l f up: " S i n c e 1888 we have been molding boys i n t o s p l e n d i d , c l e a r - t h i n k i n g young men." But t o Holden i t i s s i m p l y humbug. "They don't do any damn more molding at Pencey t h a n they do at any o t h e r s c h o o l , and I d i d n ' t know anybody t h e r e t h a t was s p l e n d i d and c l e a r - t h i n k i n g and a l l . " 1 8 1 Maybe Ossenburger i s one of the two " s p l e n d i d and c l e a r - t h i n k i n g young men" molded by Pencey, f o r "he made a pot of dough i n the u n d e r t a k i n g b u s i n e s s a f t e r he got out of Pencey" and c o n t r i b u t e s some of them to h i s Alma Mater. So e x c e l l e n t as Ossenburger i s , h i s speech about "Jesus as our buddy" b e t r a y s t o Holden t h a t he i s 1 7 9 I b i d . , 15 1 8 0 I b i d . , 3. 1 8 1 I b i d . , 2 . 202 s t i l l a " b i g phony b a s t a r d . " 1 8 2 • I t s h o u l d be noted here what Holden c a l l s "phony" i s not merely d i r e c t e d a g a i n s t those people t h e m s e l v e s , but c h i e f l y a g a i n s t c o n v e n t i o n a l v a l u e system such as the concepts of success and h a p p i n e s s s approved by Thurmers and r e p r e s e n t e d by Ossenburgers• and t h e i r C a d i l a c s . That i s t o say, Holden i s d i s c o n t e n t e d w i t h t r a d i t i o n a l "way.of l i v i n g , " which, i n h i s view, i s s a n c t i m o n i o u s and absurd. I f he were to accept t h i s mode of l i v i n g , he would p r o b a b l y accept o l d Thurmer's reprimand of the "guy" who l a i d a " t e r r i f i c f a r t " i n a u d i t o r i u m and Mr. Spencer's a d d r e s s i n g him contemptuously as "boy." They make him f e e l as i f h i s freedom i s s u f f o c a t e d and p e r s o n a l i t y i s oppressed. He would r a t h e r choose another way of l i v i n g t h a t s c h o o l does not advocate: the way i n which he can l i v e i n a s m a l l c a b i n i n f o r e s t and h o l d h i m s e l f a l o o f from the w o r l d , w h i l e s u p p o r t i n g h i m s e l f by w o r k i n g i n a gas s t a t i o n . I mean t o say t h a t the t a r g e t of the r e v o l t does not count f o r much; what i s r e a l l y i m p o r t a n t i s the substanc i a l i t y of the r e v o l t i t s e l f . I t i s t h i s s u b s t a n c i a l i t y t h a t makes Lu Sen become s p i r i t u a l l y i d e n t i f i e d w i t h Holden. Moreover, i t a l s o i m p l i e s t h a t hypocracy of "the o l d man" w i l l o n l y be a p a r t of the c h a l l e n g e of t h i s d a r i n g t e e n a g e r . In f a c t , the w o r l d o u t s i d e h i s f a t h e r o f t e n m a n i f e s t s i t s sham as p e c t when i t has been f i l t e r e d by h i s c y n i c a l eyes . 1 8 2 I b i d . , p. 17. 203 In the s p e c i a l p r e p a r a t o r y c l a s s f o r u n i v e r s i t y e n t r a n c e e x a m i n a t i o n s , t h e r e used to be q u i t e a few " c h i c k s " Lu Sen l i k e s v e r y much. The most f a s c i n a t i n g i s Du X i a o x i . Of her two l o n g , s t r a i g h t and s h a p e l y l e g s , of the b i g , l o o s e r e d s w e a t - s h i r t she l i k e s to wear, and of the o u t l i n e of her plump l i t t l e b r e a s t s , the charm i s almost i r r e s i s t a b l e to him. But he sees t h r o u g h her i n s i n c e r i t y as she keeps on s a y i n g : "Lu Sen, your c o m p o s i t i o n s are so we 1 1 - w r i t t e n . I . . . I a c t u a l l y s o r t of w o r s h i p you!" "Your f a t h e r ' s a r t i c l e s are j u s t super! Lu Sen, y o u ' l l be a b l e t o f o l l o w i n h i s f o o t s t e p s f o r s u r e ! " (69) He knows t h a t the one Wonton Hou has asked t o r ead her c o m p o s i t i o n out loud i n c l a s s has not been him; i t has been her -- Du X i a o x i . What i s unendurable i s the so-c a l l e d " i n s p i r a t i o n " she uses as a p r e t e x t when she goes i n t o the shade w i t h him and wants t o "mess around:" "Lu Sen, g i v e me a k i s s ! Give me some of your i n s p i r a t i o n ! " (69) T h i s makes him f e e l nauseous. " I ' d a c t u a l l y been i n the mood, but as soon as she s t a r t e d i n w i t h her ' i n s p i r a t i o n ' i t t u r n e d me r i g h t o f f . " So he b l u n t l y r e j e c t s her: " I ' d b e t t e r not k i s s you, t h e n . I o n l y have a l i t t l e b i t of i n s p i r a t i o n , j u s t a speck. I f I g i v e i t to you, what am I suppossed to do?" (69) Of c o u r s e , to make Lu Sen f e e l nauseous i s not o n l y Du X i a o x i ; the p o l iceman's s w a s h b u c k l i n g rebuke, the c h i c k s ' p l a y i n g coy f o r the boys they l i k e a l o n g s t r e e t s , and Du Du' s atempt of p a s s i n g h i m s e l f o f f as a "Chinese of h i g h s t a t u s " a f t e r h a v i n g been a d m i t t e d by a u n i v e r s i t y , -- a l l of them a r e , t o o , abominable to him. Lu Sen i s indeed such a youth who can not t a k e the s t a t u s quo 204 w i t h e q u a n i m i t y : h i s s o u l i s f i l l e d w i t h resentment. As i s remarked by Zhang X i n g j i n g , he i s r e c a l c i t r a n t both i n s p i r i t and i n b e h a v i o u r , s u s p e c t i n g , c o n t e m p l a t i n g , and even c h a l l e n g i n g g e n e r a l system of i d e o l o g y c o n c e r n i n g the s i g n i f i c a n c e of human l i f e , such as c o n v e n t i o n a l (as w e l l as p r e v a i l i n g ) mode' of e x i s t e n c e , i t s • purpose and i t s e v a l u a t i o n . 1 8 3 But the problem i s : he can n e i t h e r commit h i m s e l f t o h i s f a t h e r ' s l i v i n g s t y l e as "a happy son" of "the happy f a m i l y , " nor be independent enough t o hew out h i s way i n s o c i e t y f o r f e a r of b e i n g p o s s i b l y reduced to a monetory s l a v e . He s u r e l y does not want to become an u p s t a r t l i k e A ubergine; however, he i s even more u n w i l l i n g t o serve as a. v a r l e t to Bowlhead. When Bowlhead stoops t o him w i t h a v a r i e t y of a d u l a t i o n ( f o r i n s t a n c e , "You're a s k i n g f o r a f a v o u r ? You're... are you t r y i n g t o i n s u l t me?" "How c o u l d I f o r c e you t o do such a t h i n g ! " ) (109) and wheedles him i n t o t a k i n g a hundred yuan, he s t i l l f e e l u n c o m f o r t a b l e somewhere i n h i s h e a r t , as i f he has l o s t something, and c o m p l e t e l y at a l o s s , can not t h i n k of what i t i s . He f i n a l l y r e a l i z e s no m atter how Bowlhead "brown-noses," no m atter how he t r i e s to sweet him up w i t h t a l k about " h e l p i n g each o t h e r , " the f a c t remains t h a t "the j e r k " has bought him t o be h i s s e r v a n t . T h i s i s r a t h e r u n g r a t i f y i n g t o him, f o r i t i s not the k i n d of l i f e he has been c r a v i n g f o r . A l t h o u g h 1 8 3 See Zhang X i n g j i n g , "The Apocalypse od ' C u r l y l o c k s , ' " Wenyi  P i n g l u n , No. 6, 1986: 76. Zhang X i n g j i n g , I s u s p e c t , i s perhaps another penname of He Z h i y u n . 205 the n o v e l l a i s not very c l e a r as t o what i s ' h i s f a v o u r i t e way of l i v i n g , one can at l e a s t c o n c e i v e i n the l i g h t of h i s r e b e l l i o u s , d e f i a n c e of customary way of e x i s t e n c e t h a t i t must be v e r y i d e a l i s t i c , -- the one which i s analogous to t h a t Holden t e n a c i o u s l y p u r s u e s . In view of the uncompromisingness of f i g h t i n g w i t h h i s f a t h e r i n o r d e r to seek h i s way of l i v i n g , we s h o u l d admit t h a t Lu Sen i s a c o n s i d e r a b l y s e r i o u s y outh, h a v i n g n o t h i n g to do w i t h what i s c a l l e d " c y n i c s " or " h y p p i e s . " Even i f these two terms are somewhat r e l e v a n t , they are at l e a s t b i a s e d . At the end of the n o v e l l a Lu Sen h i m s e l f a l s o says s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d l y i n summing up h i s a t t i t u d e toward l i f e : D e s p i t e some of my b e h a v i o u r , I t h i n k I'm much more c o n s c i e n t i o u s than them [ r e f e r r i n g to h i s f a t h e r and o t h e r people] -- almost too c o n s c i e n t i o u s . Otherwise how would I have g o t t e n i n t o such a mess? I f I weren't so c o n s c i e n t i o u s , no doubt I'd resemble my b r o t h e r , p l a y i n g the goddamn i d i o t yes-man. At any r a t e , I c e r t a i n l y wouldn't have bothered g e t t i n g so r i g h t e o u s l y worked up about the e i g h t y bucks. I wouldn't have b o t h e r e d t r y i n g to prove something by going to make the money. I wouldn't have bo t h e r e d r i p p i n g up t h a t l o t t e r y t i c k e t , nor b u y i n g the next one. Nor would I have t r i e d t o p l a y the hero f o r Bowlhead's b e n e f i t . On the o t h e r hand, I wouldn't f e e l t h e r e was a n y t h i n g so bad about g o i n g t o Winch Handle 206 A l l e y every month t o m o l l y c o d d l e an o l d (126) . man, e i t h e r . At t h i s p o i n t , t h e r e f o r e , he i s ex t r e m e l y s i m i l a r t o Holden. Holden, t o be s u r e , i s not merely a p r o d i g a l or a bad s t u d e n t e i t h e r . He i s v e r y s e r i o u s sometimes. Does not h i s e r a s i n g " f u c k " from s c h o o l ' s w a l l s a number of times c l e a r l y r e v e a l h i s s i n c e r e d e s i r e t o be "a c a t c h e r i n the r y e ? " We a b s o l u e l y have no r e s o n t o doubt i t . N e v e r t h e l e s s , b e i n g c o n s c i e n t i o u s i n p u r s u i n g h i s i d e a l does not mean t h a t Lu Sen i s an unusual hero of Zhong Qi ' s t y p e . Any r e a d e r w i l l not ta k e him as such a perso n . The o n l y t h i n g t h a t can show h i s s u p e r i o r i t y t o o r d i n a r y people i s h i s sober s e l f -c o n s c i o u s n e s s , as i f he alone i s i n p o s s e s s i o n of h i s f a c u l t i e s w h i l e o t h e r s are a l l i n t o x i c a t e d . But i n conduct he remains a r a t h e r commonplace c h a r a c t e r , w i t h q u i t e a few short c o m i n g s and d e f e c t s a p a r t from h i s i n c a p a b i l i t y of d o i n g w e l l i n stu d y . However, he has no i n t e n t i o n t o g l o s s over h i s i m p e r f e c t i o n . He l i k e s t o make i t exposed. While Holden c a l l s h i m s e l f a " t e r r i f i c l i a r , " 1 8 4 he j o k i n g l y l a b e l s h i m s e l f as a "young r u f f i a n . " F u r t h e r m o r e , he even admits t h a t h i s thoughts w i l l run amok when he e s p i e s b r a s s i e r e s hanging out to dry on a neig h b o u r ' s b a l c o n y . He would cease to be a "good boy" long ago i f t h e r e was even one c h i c k i n t h a t p r e p a r a t o r y c l a s s who i s not so "phony" as Du X i a o x i . 1 8 4 The C a t c h e r i n the Rye: 16. 207 (69) H i s weakest p o i n t d o u b t l e s s l y l i e s i n h i s n a i v e t e . I t i s t h i s j u v e n i l e n a i v e t y t h a t he depends upon i n c o n f r o n t a t i o n w i t h the s t a l w a r t s e c u l a r w o r l d . He wishes t o t r a n s c e n d i t , y e t as soon as he f a c e s r e a l i t y , h i s a s p i r a t i o n becomes so i n f i r m t h a t i t i s almost on the verge of b e i n g smashed. There i s i n the n o v e l l a a passage of c o n v e r s a t i o n between a f i f t e e n - o r - s i x t e e n - y e a r - o I d boy and a man of about t h i r t y w i t h r a t h e r sunken cheeks: i t may w e l l be r e g a r d e d as the one s y m b o l i z i n g the s t a t e of h i s i m p r a c t i c a 1 i t y : " L i s t e n t o t h a t ! L i s t e n t o the r o a r t h a t t h i n g makes! Some ' r o a r ' yours makes -- p u t t p u t t p u t t ! You'd b e t t e r get a new one, q u i c k , And l e t me t e l l you: n o t h i n g l e s s than a 250 w i l l do!" In the crowd of o n l o o k e r s was a man of about t h i r t y w i t h r a t h e r sunken cheeks who seemed to know an a w f u l l o t about b i k e s . P a t t i n g the Suzuke 100 on which he had j u s t d e l i v e r e d h i s h o m i l y , he passed the owner a c i g a r e t t e . " W e l l , b r o t h e r , why don't you get y o u r s e l f a b i k e and have some fu n ? " "Wouldn't I l i k e t o ! T h i s i s the r i g h t k i n d of t o y f o r a dude! But... y o u ' l l g i v e me the money?" Everybody b u r s t out l a u g h i n g . "Hah! Well then what're you d o i n g here j u s t l o o k i n g at o t h e r p e o p l e ' s b i k e s and t a l k i n g about them? What a s t u p i d waste of t i m e . " A f i f t e e n - o r - s i x t e e n - y e a r - o 1 d k i d 208 c o u l d n ' t keep h i s t r a p shut. " L i t t l e b r o t h e r , you're wrong t h e r e . B e s i d e s , a r e n ' t you j u s t s t a n d i n g around l o o k i n g t o o ? " I t l o oked as i f t h i s Hollow-cheeks f e l l o w i n t e n d e d to t e a c h h i s " l i t t l e b r o t h e r " a l e s s o n . "Do you watch s o c c e r ? " "Of c o u r s e . " "Hah! Well t h e n , why don't you j o i n the n a t i o n a l team?" "Do you l i k e t o watch... h o r s e r i d i n g on the g r a s s l a n d s ? " " I t ' s a l l r i g h t . " "Hah! where are you gonna get a h o r s e ? " " " (75-76) To the a d u l t Hollow-cheeks, the r i d i c u l o u s n e s s of the c a l l o w l a d i s too u n s u b s t a n t i a l to w i t h s t a n d a s i n g l e blow. I f t h i s a d o l s c e n t can s t a n d f o r the i n e x p e r i e n c e d Lu Sen and the man f o r h i s s o p h i s t i c a t e d f a t h e r , then i t i s obvious t h a t i n the eyes of the f a t h e r Lu Sen's r e b e l l i o n i s l i k e w i s e v u l n e r a b l e . In The  C a t c h e r i n the Rye, when the former t e a c h e r A n t o l i n i persuades Holden t o l i v e i n a humble manner r a t h e r than to d i e n o b l y , he has a c t u a l l y seen h i s s t u d e n t ' s n a i v e t e : he i s t o t a l l y unaware of the u n f e a s i b i 1 i t y of h i s i d e a l i n r e a l l i f e . As a c h i l d from a f a m i l y of upper-middle c l a s s e s , Holden i s f a r more f r a i l i n w i l l p o w e r than 209 H u c k l e b e r r y F i n n . H u c k l e b e r r y F i n n ' s d r e a m o f e s c a p i n g t o t h e W e s t i s r e a l i z e d a t l e n g t h , w h i l e H o l d e n ' s c o m e s t o n o t h i n g . He h a s t o r e t u r n t o t h e c o n v e n t i o n a l t r a c k e v e n t u a l l y . R e g r e t t a b l y , L u S e n i s b y n o m e a n s s u p e r i o r t o H o l d e n , e v e n t h o u g h t h e l a t t e r i s u n e q u a l i n c o m p a r i s o n w i t h M a r k T w a i n ' s p r o t a g o n i s t . T r u e , t h e r e i s n o t a n e x p l i c i t d e n o u e m e n t ( o r a w a y o u t ) a r r a n g e d f o r h i m i n " C u r l y l o c k s . " H o w e v e r , i s i t c o n c e i v a b l e t h a t L u S e n c a n b e c o m e a n i n d e p e n d e n t man o n l y b e c a u s e o f h i s " g e t t i n g s o r i g h t e o u s l y w o r k e d u p a b o u t t h e e i g h t y b u c k s " w h i l e m o s t o f t h e t i m e s t i l l f i n a n c i a l l y r e l y i n g o n " t h e o l d m a n ? " O r w i l l h e n o t h a v e t h e s a m e f a t e a s t h a t o f t h e m a j o r r o l e O l i v e r i n S e g a l ' s L o v e S t o r y , r e t u r n i n g home i n t h e e n d t o a s k f o r f o r g i v e n e s s a s w e l l a s l a r g e s s e s i n c e h e i s s o i n c o m p e t e n t a n d a r r o g a n t a s n o t t o b e u p t o a n y k i n d o f p r a c t i c a l w o r k s ? H i s b r o t h e r ' s e y e i s i n d e e d p e n e t r a t i v e : " I f y o u ' v e r e a l l y -g o t t h e g u t s , t h e n d o n ' t d e p e n d o n t h e o l d man f o r a n y t h i n g . I f y o u d o n ' t s u c c e e d , a n d y o u e n d u p c o m i n g b a c k , t h e n d o n ' t b e a p o t c a l l i n g t h e k e t t l e b . l a c k . " ( 6 4 ) He i s p e r h a p s r i g h t i n w h a t h e o b s e r v e s . T o w a r d t h e e n d o f t h e s t o r y , L u S e n h a s g o t h i s h a i r c u t , l o o k i n g l i k e a " s t u p i d i d i o t . " S u b j e c t i v e l y , h e d o e s n o t i n t e n d t o i n g r a t i a t e h i m s e l f w i t h h i s f a t h e r w i t h t h i s k i n d o f h a i r s t y l e , b u t i n f a c t , h e h a s i n d e e d p r e p a r e d a w a y f o r h i s f a t h e r t o a c c e p t h i m . T h e r e f o r e , s o m e c r i t i c d e s c r i b e d h i m a s a " n o b l e y o u t h l a c k i n g s p i r i t u a l b a l l a s t . " 1 8 5 T h i s , i n my o p i n i o n , d o e s n o t q u i t e h i t t h e 1 8 5 L e i D a , " O n ' C u r l y l o c k s , ' " X i a o s h u o P i n g l u n , N o . 6 , 1 9 8 6 . 2 1 0 v i t a l p o i n t . I t s e e m s m o r e p r o p e r t o me t o d e f i n e h i m a s a n i d e a l i s t who i s g r a n d i o s e i n a i m s b u t p u n y i n a b i l i t i e s . I n t h e m e a n d i n a r t i s t i c m e t h o d , " C u r l y l o c k s " i s f a i t h f u l i n t a k i n g S a l i n g e r ' s n o v e l a s i t s m o d e l . H o w e v e r , i t s v e r i s i m i l i t u d e o f m o l d i n g c h a r a c t e r s a n d r e f l e c t i n g s o c i a l l i f e m a k e s i t b e c o m e -p u r e l y C h i n e s e a n d a v o i d b e i n g a m e r e i m i t a t i o n . I t s e e m s q u i t e a l l r i g h t t o s a y t h a t " C u r l y l o c k s " i s a C h i n e s e T h e C a t c h e r i n t h e R y e a n d L u S e n i s a C h i n e s e H o l d e n C a u l f i e l d . L e i Da c o m m e n t e d : I t i s my c o n v i c t i o n t h a t o n e d a y - - h u n d r e d s o f y e a r s l a t e r - _ w h e n s o m e o n e c o m e s a c r o s s t h e m a g a z i n e O c t o b e r w h i c h h a s a l r e a d y t u r n e d y e l l o w a n d c r i s p y a n d r e a d t h i s n o v e l l a ' C u r l y l o c k s , ' h e w i l l s u r e l y b e e c s t a t i c a s t h o u g h h e d i s c o v e r e d a t r e a s u r e , f o r h e s e e s a l i v i n g h i s t o r y t h r o u g h L u S e n ' s s i n g u l a r p s y c h o l o g y a s w e l l a s t h r o u g h t h e c e r t a i n C h i n e s e c u l t u r e a n d u r b a n s c e n e s r e 1 a t e d t o h i m . 1 5 6 T h i s w i t t y r e m a r k i s a h i g h e v a l u a t i o n o f " C u r l y l o c k s " a s a r e a l i s t i c w o r k . T h e r e i s no g e o g r a p h i c a l l i m i t f o r s p i r i t o f h u m a n b e i n g s , n o r t a b o o t h a t l i t e r a r y f o r m o r t e c h n i q u e c a n n o t b e t r a n s p l a n t e d i n t e r n a t i o n a l l y . " C u r l y l o c k s . " i n s t e a d o f b e i n g u n r e a d a b l e a n d i n f e r i o r b e c a u s e i t h a s b e e n i n f l u e n c e d b y T h e  C a t c h e r i n t h e R y e , w i l l n e v e r t h e l e s s e n t h r a l u s f o r e v e r w i t h i t s 1 8 6 I b i d 211 own t h e m a t i c a n d a r t i s t i c f a s c i n a t i o n . 212 CHAPTER SIX ANTI-HERO 1 3 7 I t i s n o t i c e a b l e f r o m t h e g e n e r a l t i t l e o f t h i s t h e s i s t h a t " n o n - h e r o " a n d " a n t i - h e r o " a r e t w o d i f f e r e n t c o n c e p t s . A d m i t t e d l y , " n o n - h e r o " i s a n u n c o m m o n t e r m , t h o u g h n o t my c o i n a g e . I t d e n o t e s a l l f l a w e d , o r d i n a r y p e o p l e who a r e i n e l i g i b l e f o r t h e a p p e l l a t i o n o f h e r o y e t n o t m e a n e n o u g h t o b e r e g a r d e d a s r a s c a l s . T h e n o n - h e r o u s u a l l y c o n s i s t s o f c i t y d w e l l e r s o f l o w e r c l a s s e s o r l e s s e d u c a t e d w o r k e r s a n d p e a s a n t s . D e v o i d a s h e i s o f h e r o i c d e e d s o r h e r o i c a m b i t i o n , h e n e v e r t h e l e s s d o e s n o t h a v e t h e s l i g h t e s t d u b i o u s n e s s a s t o t h e n o r m o f h e r o i s m i n c o n v e n t i o n a l v a l u e s y s t e m n o r r e b e l l i o u s c o n s c i o u s n e s s a g a i n s t i t i n l i v i n g m o d e . I n s t e a d , h e l o o k s u p i n r e v e r e n c e t o w h o e v e r i s t r a d i t i o n a l l y c o n s i d e r e d t o b e a h e r o , t a k i n g t h e o u t l o o k o n l i f e a s h i s m o r a l c o d e s t h a t t h e h e r o a p p r o v e s . P e r h a p s , i t i s m o r e a p p r o p r i a t e a n d 137 p o r a d i s c u s s i o n o f t h e c o n c e p t o f a n t i - h e r o , s e e J e a n -C h a r l e s S e i g n n e u r e t , D i c t i o n a r y o f L i t e r a r y t h e m e a n d M o t i f , New-Y o r k : G r e e n w o o d P r e s s , 1 9 8 8 : 5 9 - 5 4 . 2 1 3 c l e a r e r t o c a t e g o r i z e t h i s t y p e o f p e r s o n a s " m i d d l e c h a r a c t e r . " 1 8 8 T h e r e a s o n I r e s o r t t o t h i s c o n c e p t i o n , b e i t " n o n - h e r o " o r " m i d d l e c h a r a c t e r , " i s o n l y b e c a u s e I i n t e n d t o e x p r e s s a n e u t r a l s t a t e , w h i c h i s n e i t h e r h e r o i c n o r a n t i - h e r o i c . I n t h i s r e s p e c t , L i Z h o n g x i a n g i n " L o o k i n g f o r F u n " i s no d o u b t a p r i m e e x a m p l e . A t t h e e i t h e r s i d e o f h i m s t a n d Z h o n g Q i a n d C u r l y l o c k s who r e s p e c t i v e l y r e p r e s e n t t h e h e r o a n d a n t i - h e r o . I t i s n o t i n f r e q u e n t t h a t t h e " a n t i - h e r o " i s c o n f u s e d w i t h t h e r o g u e i n t h e p i c a r e s q u e n o v e l . 1 8 9 I n f a c t , h o w e v e r , h e i s d i s t i n c t i v e l y a p h e n o m e n o n o f m o d e r n i s m . T r u e , h e l a c k s h e r o i c e l e m e n t s , b u t t h i s d e f i c i e n c y h a s n o t h i n g t o d o w i t h h i s i n c a p a b i l i t y o f a c q u i r i n g t h e m . I t m e r e l y i m p l i e s h i s s u s p i c i o u s , e v e n n e g a t i v e , a t t i t u d e t o w a r d h e r o i s m , o r r a t h e r , h i s u n i q u e w a y o f s t r i v i n g f o r h i s a n t i -t r a d i t i o n a l a i m . He may p e r h a p s b e i n a d v e r t e n t , o r c o n s c i e n t i o u s , o r t e n a c i o u s , o r r e s o l u t e , i n t h e p r o c e s s o f h i s p u r s u i t ; n e v e r t h e l e s s , o n e t h i n g r e m a i n s i n v a r i a b l e : h e i s a l w a y s s o b e r a s i f he a l o n e i s a w a k e w h i l e a l l o t h e r s a r e i n e b r i a t e d . S o 1 8 8 . " M i d d l e c h a r a c t e r , " f i r s t p u t f o r w a r d b y S h a o Q u a n l i n - -a l a t e c o m m u n i s t l i t e r a r y c r i t i c - - i n 1 9 6 2 , r e f e r s t o u n h e r o i c c h a r a c t e r s i n l i t e r a t u r e , a t t h a t t i m e , e s p e c i a l l y o n e s i n Z h a o S h u 1 i ' s f i c t i o n . 1 8 9 . F o r e x a m p l e , H u g h P o l r n a n s a y s : " . . . t h e c o n c e p t o f a p r o t a g o n i s t w i t h o u t h e r o i c q u a l i t i e s i s a s o l d a s t h e p i c a r e s q u e n o v e l . " S e e A H a n d b o o k t o L i t e r a t u r e , T h e O d y s s e y P r e s s , 1 9 6 2 : 2 7 . 214 e x a g g e r a t i n g l y , he i s worthy t o some e x t e n t of the t i t l e of a "modern hero." On the s u b j e c t of a n t i - h e r o , what Sean O ' F a o l a i n w r i t e s i n h i s c o l l e c t i o n of c r i t i c a l e s s a y s , The V a n i s h i n g Hero, i s q u i t e h e l p f u l : T h i s personage i s not a s o c i a l c r e a t i o n . He i s h i s own c r e a t i o n , t h a t i s , the a u t h o r ' s p e r s o n a l c r e a t i o n . He i s a much l e s s neat and t i d y c oncept, s i n c e he i s always p r e s e n t e d as g r o p i n g , p u z z l e d , c r o s s , mocking, f r u s t r a t e d , and i s o l a t e d , m a n f u l l y or b l u n d e r i n g l y t r y i n g to e s t a b l i s h h i s own p e r s o n a l , s u p r a - s o c i a l codes. He i s sometimes r i d i c u l o u s t h r o u g h l a c k of p e r s p i c a c i t y , a c c e n t u a t e d by a f o o l h a r d y i f a t t r a c t i v e p e r s o n a l courage. He i s sometimes i n t e l l i g e n t , i n the manner of J u l i e n S o r e l or Stephen Dedalus. Whatever he i s , weak or bra v e , b r a i n y or b e w i l d e r e d , h i s one a b i d i n g c h a r a c t e r i s t i c i s t h a t , l i k e h i s a u t h o r - c r e a t o r , he i s never a b l e t o see any P a t t e r n i n l i f e and r a r e l y i t s D e s t i n a t i o n . 1 9 0 T h i s passage i s s u i t a b l e even as an o v e r a l l g e n e r a l i z a t i o n o f the mental a t t i t u d e o f C u r l y l o c k s , except f o r the two p o i n t s t h a t 1 9 0 Sean O ' F a o l a i n , The V a n i s h i n g Hero, London: Eyre & S p o t t i s w o o d , 1956: 16-17. 215 a r e p o s s i b l y i n a p p r o p r i a t e : t h e a u t h o r C h e n J i a n g o n g may n o t a g r e e w i t h h i s a n t i - h e r o ' s e x p r e s s e d v i e w s a n d c o n d u c t , a n d L u S e n , i n s t e a d o f t r y i n g t o e s t a b l i s h h i s own p e r s o n a l , s u p r a - s o c i a l c o d e s , i s o n t h e w h o l e s i m p l y a d i s p l a c e d p e r s o n . F r o m h e r o t h r o u g h n o n - h e r o t o a n t i - h e r o , C h e n J i a n g o n g h a s a c c o m p l i s h e d a c r e a t i v e c o u r s e : s h o r t b u t n o t b y a n y m e a n s e a s y . O f c o u r s e , L u S e n s t i l l s e e m s r a t h e r i n s u f f i c i e n t s o f a r a s t h e t h o r o u g h n e s s o f h i s r e b e l l i o n i s c o n c e r n e d , e s p e c i a l l y w h e n h e i s j u x t a p o s e d w i t h t h e u p - a n d - c o m i n g " u n r e s t r a i n e d y o u n g m e n " [ w a n z h u ] ) 1 9 1 w h i c h i s a r e m a r k a b l e f e a t u r e o f " W a n g S u o ' s p h e n o m e n o n . " 1 9 2 W a n g S u o ' s " I " f i g u r e s n o t o n l y s e e t h r o u g h a l l s h o d d i n e s s , b u t k n o w how t o d e a l w i t h i t ; n o t o n l y d e f y t r a d i t i o n a l v a l u e s , b u t a r e s m a r t e n o u g h a s n o t t o m a k e a s l i g h t e s t e f f o r t t o 1 9 1 . " T h e U n r e s t r a i n e d Y o u n g M e n " [ W a n z h u ] i s a c t u a l l y a s t o r y b y W a n g S u o . S e e H a r v e s t [ S h o u h u o ] , N o . 6 , 1 9 8 7 : 2 4 - 5 2 . 1 9 2 . F i r s t u s e d b y c r i t i c L e i D a i n h i s a r t i c l e " A S u r v e y o f 1 9 8 8 f i c t i o n " [ L u n y i j i u b a b a n i a n x i a o s h u o c h a o x i ] ( X i a o s h u o  X u a n k a n [ S e l e c t e d W o r k s o f F i c t i o n ] , N o . 1 , 1 9 8 9 : 1 0 8 ) a n d t h e n i n a n o t h e r e s s a y e n t i t l e d " O n W a n g S u o ' s P h e n o m e n o n " ( W r i t e r s , N o . 3 , 1 9 8 9 ) , t h i s t e r m i n c l u d e s n o t o n l y t h e b u l k o f W a n g S u o ' s f i c t i o n , b u t t h e s t o r i e s b y X u X i n a n d L i u Y i r a n s u c h a s " T h e R e s t o f I t a l l b e l o n g s t o Y o u " [ S h e n g x i a d e d o u s h u y u n i ] ( X i a o s h u o X u a n k a n , N o . 5 , 1 9 8 9 ) a n d " T h e Y o u t h o f R o c k M u s i c " [ Y a o g u n q i n g n i a n ] ( X i a o s h u o  X u a n k a n , N o . 1 , 1 9 8 9 ) . 2 1 6 e s t a b l i s h t h o s e o f t h e i r o w n . T h e y c e r t a i n l y h a v e m e n t a l a f f l i c t i o n , y e t i t i s t o t a l l y c o n c e a l e d b y t h e i r a p a t h e t i c , s a r c a s t i c , a n d c y n i c a l m a n n e r . L i k e p e o p l e who h a v e h a d a l l k i n d s o f e x p e r i e n c e , t h e y a r e m a t u r e a n d s o p h i s t i c a t e d w i t h o u t t h e s l i g h t e s t n a i v e t y a n d s e r v i t u d e . 1 9 3 H o w e v e r , I d o n o t t h i n k t h a t t h e r i s e o f " u n r e s t r a i n e d y o u n g m e n " w i l l d i m i n i s h t h e v a l u e o f C u r l y l o c k s a s a " s t r a n g e f i c t i o n a l c h a r a c t e r . " On t h e c o n t r a r y , i t i n c r e a s e s h i s i m p o r t a n c e , f o r i t w i l l n o t e s c a p e t h e p e r c e p t i v e r e a d e r t h a t i t i s C u r l y l o c k s t h a t p r o m p t s t h e f i n a l f o r m a t i o n o f t h e a n t i - h e r o a s a n e w d o m i n a n t f o r c e i n l i t e r a t u r e . I d o n o t m e a n , t o b e s u r e , t o o b j e c t t o t h e a p p l i c a t i o n o f t h e p o p u l a r t e r m " W a n g S u o ' s p h e n o m e n o n , " w h i c h now c o n n o t e s a c e r t a i n l i t e r a r y t r e n d t h a t i s s p i r i t u a l l y a n t i -c o n v e n t i o n a l . To s u b s t i t u t e i t f o r " C h e n J i a n g o n g ' s p h e n o m e n o n " o r s o m e s u c h t h i n g i s q u i t e m e a n i n g l e s s a n d u n n e c e s s a r y . W h a t I w i s h t o m a k e c l e a r h e r e i s a c t u a l l y o n e p o i n t : t h e h i s t o r i c a l v a l u e o f C u r l y l o c k s f o r s t u d y o f a n t i - h e r o i s m - - a p h e n o m e n o n s o p r e v a i l a n t i n c o n t e m p o r a r y C h i n e s e l i t e r a t u r e t h a t i t i s n o t t o b e e a s i l y i g n o r e d . L i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m i s n o t p r o p h e c y . N o r d o I h a v e t h e d e s i r e t o p r e d i c t w h a t k i n d o f w o r k s w i l l b e p r o d u c e d b y s u c h a n a u t h o r " w h o m u s t h a v e s o m e t h i n g w o r t h n o t i c i n g w h e n e v e r he w r i t e s . " Who 1 9 3 . C f . L e i D a , " D o n g d a n g d e d i g u - - l u n y i j i u . b a b a n i a n x i a o s h u o c h a o x i " [A T u r b u l e n t V a l l e y : A S u r v e y o f 1 9 8 8 F i c t i o n ] , S e l e c t e d W o r k s o f F i c t i o n , N o . 1 , 1 9 8 9 : 1 0 8 . 2 1 7 c o u l d i n d i c a t e i n a d v a n c e t h a t C h e n J i a n g o n g w o u l d w r i t e " N o . 9 W i n c h H a n d l e A l l e y " a f t e r h e f i n i s h e d B e w i l d e r i n g F i r m a m e n t ? O r " L o o k i n g f o r F u n " w o u l d b e f o l l o w e d b y " C u r l y l o c k s ? " When we a r e e x p e c t i n g t h e p u b l i c a t i o n o f h i s n e x t t w o n o v e l l a s , " F o r m e r L a w b r e a k e r " a n d " T r a g i c S o l e m n i t y , " t h e o n l y t h i n g we a r e c e r t a i n i s t h a t h e w i l l p r o b a b l y c o n t i n u e h i s " e x p l o r a t i o n o f s o u l , " n a m e l y , h e w i 1 1 • p r o b a b l y c o n t i n u e t o p r o v i d e u s w i t h a n t i - h e r o e s l i k e C u r l y l o c k s , who a r e s i g n i f i c a n t n o t o n l y i n t h e i r s o c i a l a n d h i s t o r i c a l v a l u e , b u t i n t h e i r v a l u e a s h u m a n b e i n g s . I t i s n o t u n r e a s o n a b l e f o r u s t o h a v e s u c h a n e x p e c t a t i o n . C h e n J i a n g o n g , we b e l i e v e , i s t o p r o v e w i t h h i s new c r e a t i v e w o r k s t h a t h e w i l l r e m a i n a w r i t e r w o r t h y o f o u r a t t e n t i o n . 218 BIBLIOGRAPHY ( A ) C h e n ' s C r e a t i v e W o r k s L i u s h u i w a w a n " [ S i n u o u s R i l l s ] , B e w i l d e r i n g F i r m a m e n t [ M i l u a n d e x i n g k o n g ] , T i a n j i n : B a i h u a w e n y i c h u b a n s h e , 1 9 8 1 . J i n g x i y o u g e s a o d a z i " [A T r o u b l e m a k e r i n W e s t B e i j i n g ] , B e w i l d e r i n g F i r m a m e n t . Z h o n g q u " [ H e a r t f e l t E m o t i o n ] , B e w i l d e r i n g F i r m a m e n t . B e i R o u s u i d e C h e n x i " [ T h e B r o k e n M o r n i n g S u n l i g h t ] , B e w i 1 d e r i n g  F i r m a n e n t . G a i g u a n " [ A f t e r D e a t h ] , B e w i l d e r i n g F i r m a m e n t . D a n f e n g y a n " [ P h e o n i x E y e s ] , B e w i l d e r i n g F i r m a n e n t . M i l u a n d e x i n k o n g " [ B e w i l d e r i n g F i r m a m e n t ] , B e w i l d e r i n g F r i m a r n e n t . Y u , p o d a z h e n i h o n g d e n g " [ R a i n , L a s h i n g t h e N e o n L a m p s ] , B e w i l d e r i n g F i r m a m e n t . X u a n c a o d e y a n l i e " [ T e a r s o f t h e T a w n y D a y l i l y ] , B e w i l d e r i n g F i r m a m e n t . Z o u x i a n g g a o g a o d e j i t a n " [ G o i n g t o t h e H i g h S a c r i f i c i a l A l t a r ] , B e w i 1 d e r i n g r F i r m a n i e n t . T i a n m i " [ S w e e t n e s s ] , B e w i l d e r i n g F i r m a m e n t . Q i u t i a n j i a o x i a n g y u e " [ T h e S y m p h o n y i n A u t u m n ] , B e w i l d e r i n g F i r m a n e n t . 2 1 9 P i a o s h i d e h u a t o u j i n g " [ T h e P a t t e r n e d S c a r f T h a t Was B l o w n A w a y ] , B e w i l d e r i n g F i r m a m e n t . L u l u b a h u t o n g j i u h a o " [ N o . 9 W i n c h H a n d l e A l l e y ] , S e l e c t e d W o r k s o f C h e n J i a n g o n g [ C h e n j i a n g o n g x i a o s h u o x u a n ] , B e i j i n g : B e i j i n g c h u b a n s h e , 1 9 8 5 . Z h a o l e " [ L o o k i n g f o r F u n ] , S e l e c t e d W o r k s o f C h e n J i a n g o n g . J u a n r n a o " [ C u r l y l o c k s ] , P h e o n i x E y e s [ D a n f e n g y a n ] , T a i p e i : L i n b a i c h u b a n s h e , 1 9 8 9 . ( B ) C h e n ' s M i s c e l l a n e o u s E s s a y s D a n f e n g y a n d i a n d i " [ R a n d o m T h o u g h on P h e o n i x E y e s ] , S e l e c t e d W o r k s o f F i c t i o n [ X i a o s h u o x u a n k a n ] , N o . 3 , 1 9 8 1 . S h e n g h u o , x i a n q i l e l a n g h u a " [ L i f e W i t h D a n c i n g W a v e s ] , C h i n a Y o u t h [ Z h o n g g u o q i n g n i a n ] , N o . 1 0 , 1 9 8 1 . C o n g s h i Z h a o1 a i " [My H o n e s t C o n f e s s i o n ] , F l y i n g A p s a r a s [F e i t i a n j , N o . 3 , 1 9 8 2 . S h a n g w e i p i a o s h i d e d u a n x i a n g " [ T h e R a n d o m T h o u g h t T h a t H a s N o t B e e n B l o w n A w a y ] , B e i j i n g L i t e r a t u r e , N o . 5 , 1 9 8 2 . C h a n g b a , d a n q i n g y o n g z i j i d e s h e n g y i n g " [ P l e a s e U s e Y o u r Own V o i c e W h e n S i n g i n g ] , Y o u n g W r i t e r [ Q i n g n i a n z u o j i a ] , N o . 1 2 , 19 8 2 . C h a n g s h i y u x i w a n g " [ A t t e m p t a n d H o p e ] , S t u d i e s o f L i t e r a t u r e a n d A r t s [ W e n y i y a n j i u ] , N o . 5 , 1 9 8 3 . X i a o s h u o q i m a . . . " [A B a s i c R e q u i r e m e n t f o r F i c t i o n ] , M o u n t Z h o n g [ Z h o n g s b a n ] , N o . ' 4 , 1 9 8 4 . 2 2 0 " 'Juanmao' x i a n p i a n " [Leasure T a l k s About C u r l y l o c k s ] , C h i n a Youth's D a i l y [Zhongguo q i n g n i a n bao] , October 10, 1986. "Homo j i e d a n g g e " [Taking S i l e n c e as a Song], Charm of S p i r i t [ J i n g s h e n de m e i l i ] , B e i j i n g : B e i j i n g chubanshe, 1988. "Zhuodao x i a o j i " [A B r i e f Account of My E x p e r i e n c e as a Ghost W r i t e r ] , The Record of the East [Dongfang j i s h i ] , No. 3, 1989. " B e i x i j u x i a o s h u o : keneng yu zhengzha" [ T r a g i c o m e d i c F i c t i o n : i t s P o s s i b i l i t y and S t r u g g l e ] , W r i t e r s [ Z u o j i a ] , No. 8, 1989. (C) Chen's F i c t i o n i n T r a n s l a t i o n " L o oking f o r Fun," trans.. Jeane T a i . S p r i n g Bamboo , New York: Random House, 1989. " C u r l y l o c k s , " t r a n s . Stephen F l e m i n g . Chinese L i t e r a t u r e , Summer, 1988 . (D) C r i t i c a l S t u d i e s On Chen's F i c t i o n Chen, Dep e i . "Rensheng de Tansuo -- du c h e n j i a n g o n g de duanpian x i a o s h u o " [The E x p l o r a t i o n of L i f e : A Survey of Chen Jiangong's Short S t o r i e s ] , The World of N o v e l i s t s [ X i a o s h u o j i a de s h i j i e ] , Z h e j i a n g : Z h e j i a n g wenyi chubanshe, 1 9 8 5 . Chen, Dazhuan. "Shutu Tonggui de 'nanbei ergong'" [Han Shaogong and Chen J i a n g o n g : Reach the Same Goal by D i f f e r e n t R o u t e s ] , Contemporary L i t e r a r y World [Dangdai Wentan], No. 5 , 1 9 8 7 . Chen, J u n t a o . "Guanyu chen j i a n g o n g de b i j i " [Notes on Chen 2 2 1 J i a n g o n g ] , M o u n t Z h o n g [ Z h o n g s h a n ] , N o . 4, 1984. C h e n , X i n y u a n . " T a n t i a n s h u o d i h u a b e i j i n g - - x i e z a i ' d a n f e n g y a n ' q i a n m i a n " [ R a m b l i n g C h a t s a b o u t B e i j i n g : A P r e f a c e t o P h e o n i x  E y e s ] , P h e o n i x E y e s [ D a n f e n g y a n ] , T a i p e i , L i n b a i c h u b a n s h e , 1 9 8 9 . H e , Z h i y u n . " W o d e l i j i e y u k u n h u o " [My U n d e r s t a n d i n g a n d P e r p l e x i t y ] , S t u d i e s o f L i t e r a t u r e a n d A r t s [ W e n y i y a n j i u ] , N o . 5 , 1 9 8 3 . H e , Z h i y u n . " C h e n J i a n g o n g h e t a d e x i a o s h u o s h i j i e " [ C h e n J i a n g o n g a n d h i s F i c t i o n a l W o r l d ] , H u n d r e d s o f S c h o o l s [ B a i j i a ] , N o . 1 , 1 9 8 7 . H e , Z h i y u n . " A R a r e D e p t h o f E x p e r i e n c e , " C h i n e s e L i t e r a t u r e , S u m m e r , 1 9 8 8 . H u a , M i n g . " ' Z h a o l e ' z h o n g h e n g t a n " [ V a r i o u s A s p e c t s o f " L o o k i n g f o r F u n " ] M o u n t Z h o n g [ Z h o n g s h a n ] , N o . 1 , 1 9 8 5 . L e i , D a . " F e n g d o u z h e d e j i n g z h o n g y u z a n g e " [A T o c s i n a n d E u l o g y f o r t h e P e o p l e Who A r e S t r u g g l i n g ] , S e l e c t e d W o r k s o f F i c t i o n [ X i a o s h u o x u a n k a n ] , N o . 9 , 1 9 8 1 . L e i , D a . " L u n ' J u a n m a o ' ' " [On " C u r l y l o c k s " ] , F i c t i o n R e v i e w [ X i a o s h u o p i n g l u n ] , N o . 6 , 1 9 8 6 . L e i , D a . " D o n g d a n g d e D i g u - - l u n y i j i u b a b a n i a n x i a o s h u o c h a o x i " [A T u r b u l e n t V a l l e y : A S u r v e y o f F i c t i o n o f 1 9 8 8 ] , S e l e c t e d W o r k s o f F i c t i o n [ X i a o s h u o x u a n k a n ] , N o . 1 , 1 9 8 9 . L i , G u i r e n . " J i n g t i : Z h e g e y o u l i n h a i z a i y o u d a n g " [ W a t c h o u t : T h i s S p e c t r e i s S t i l l W a n d e r i n g ] , New L i t e r a t u r e R e v i e w [ X i n w e n x u e l u n c o n g ] , N o . 3 , 1 9 8 2 . L i , T u o . " G e s h i g e y a n g d e x i a o s h u o " [ V a r i o u s T y p e s o f F i c t i o n ] , B e i j i n g L i t e r a t u r e [ B e i j i n g w e n x u e ] , N o . l , 1 9 8 2 . Qian, G u a n g p e i . " Z a i s h e n h u o d e j ' i l i u x i a - - p i n g c h e n j i a n g o n g d e l i a n g p i a n x i n z u o " [ U n d e r t h e T o r r e n t o f L i f e : A C r i t i q u e o f C h e n J i a n g o n g ' s Two New S t o r i e s ] , B e i j i n g L i t e r a t u r e [ B e i j i n g w e n x u e ] , No . 1 , 19.82 . W a n g , M e n g . " Y o n g y u a n z u o s h e n g h u o y u y i s h u d e k a i t u o z h e - - x u ' m i l u a n d e x i n k o n g ' " [ B e a P i o n e e r i n L i f e a n d A r t s F o r e v e r : P r e f a c e t o B e w i l d e r i n g F i r m a m e n t ] , B e w i l d e r i n g F i r m a m e n t , T i a n j i n : B a i h u a w e n y i c h u b a n s h e , 1 9 8 1 . W a n g , X u e z h o n g . " C h e n J i a n g o n g x i a o s h u o b e i x i j u t e s e " [ T h e T r a g i c o m e d i c F e a t u r e s o f C h e n J i a n g o n g ' s S t o r i e s ] , B e i j i n g  L i t e r a t u r e [ B e i j i n g w e n x u e ] , N o . 7 , 1 9 8 5 . X i a o , H u a e t a l . " L a o n i a n d e c h e n g s h i y u q i n g n i a n d e c h e n g s h i " [ T h e C i t y o f t h e O l d e r G e n e r a t i o n a n d t h e C i t y o f t h e Y o u n g e r G e n e r a t i o n ] , R e a d i n g B o o k s [ D u s h u ] , N o . 9 , 1 9 8 6 . Z e n g , Z h e n g n a n . " C h e n j i a n g o n g h e t a d e d u a n p i a n x i a o s h u o " [ C h e n J i a n g o n g a n d h i s S h o r t S t o r i e s ] , S o i l a n d T h o r n [ N i t u y u l i j i ] , T i a n j i n : B a i h u a w e n y i c h u b a n s h e , 1 9 8 3 . Z e n g , Z h e n g n a n . " R a n g x i n g u a n g h u i r u g u a n g m a o d e r e n h a i " [ L e t t h e S t a r l i g h t S h e d i n t o t h e M u l t i t u d e o f P e o p l e ] , S o i l a n d T h o r n [ N i t u y u l i j i ] . Z h a n g , W e i a n . " L u n c h e n j i a n g o n g d u a n p i a n x i a o s h u o de j i g e t e d i a n " [On t h e F e a t u r e s o f C h e n J i a n g o n g ' s S h o r t S t o r i e s ] , L i t e r a r y  R e v i e w [ W e n x u e p i n g l u n c o n g k a n ] , N o . 1 2 , 1 9 8 2 . Z h a n g , X i n g j i n g . " ' J u a n m a o q i s h i l u " [ T h e A p o c a l y p s e o f 2 2 3 " C u r l y l o c k s " ] N o . 6 , 1 9 8 6 . L i t e r a r y a n d A r t i s t i c R e v i e w [ w e n y i p i n g l u n ] , (E) G e n e r a l C r i t i q u e s f o r R e f e r e n c e L e i , D a . " M i n z h u l i n g h u n d e f a x i a n y u c h o n g z . h u " [ D i s c o v e r y a n d R e c a s t i n g o f t h e N a t i o n a l S o u l ] , L i t e r a r y R e v i e w [ W e n x u e p i n g l u n ] , N o . 1 , 1 9 8 7 . L e i , D a . " L u n w a n g s h u o x i a n x i a n g " [On Wang S h u o ' s P h e n o m e n o n ] , W r i t e r [ Z u o j i a ] , N o . 3 , 1 9 8 9 . L i u , X i a o b o . " Y i z h o n g x i n d e s h e n m e i s i c h a o - - c o n g x u x i n , c h e n c h u n , l i u s u o l a d e s a n b u z u o p i n t a n q i " [A New A e s t h e t i c T r e n d : S t a r t i n g f r o m t h e T h r e e W o r k s o f X u X i n , C h e n C h u n a n d L i u S u o l a ] , L i t e r a r y R e v i e w , N o . 3 , 1 9 8 6 . L i u , X i n w u . " J i n s h i n i a n z h o n g g u o w e n x u e d e r u o g a n t e x i n g " [ S o m e C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f t h e C h i n e s e L i t e r a t u r e i n t h e L a t e D e c a d e ] , L i t e r a r y R e v i e w , N o . 1 , 1 9 8 8 . L i u , Z a i f u . " L u n b a s h i n i a n d a i . w e x u e p i p i n g d e w e n t i g e m i n g " [ R e v o l u t i o n i n L i t e r a r y F o r m i n t h e L i g h t o f L i t e r a r y C r i t i c i s m i n t h e 1 9 8 0 s ] , L i t e r a r y R e v i e w , N o . 1 , 1 9 8 9 . S h e n g , Z i c h a o e t a l . " G a n j u e s h i j i e : x i n s h i q i x i a o s h u o d e y i z h o n g x i n g t a i " [ T h e W o r l d o f S e n s a t i o n s : A F o r m o f N o v e l s i n t h e New P e r i o d ] , Literary R e v i e w , N o . 4 , 1 9 8 7 . S o n g , Y a o 1 i a n g . T h e M a i n s t r e a m o f t h e L i t e r a t u r e i n t h e R e c e n t T e n Y e a r s [ S h i n i a n w e n x u e z h u c h a o ] , S h a n g h a i : S h a n g h a i w e n y i c h u b a n s h e , 1 9 8 8 . S u . D i n g . " J i n n i a n l a i x i a o s h u o z h o n g s a n z h o n g r e n s h e n g z h u t i b i j i a o " [A C o m p a r i s o n A m o n g t h e t h e m e s o f L i f e i n R e c e n t Y e a r s ' s F i c t i o n ] , L i t e r a r y R e v i e w , N o . 3 , 1 9 8 7 . X u , Z i d o n g . " X i n s h i q i d e s a n z h o n g w e n x u e " [ T h e T h r e e K i n d s o f L i t e r a t u r e i n t h e New P e r i o d ] , L i t e r a r y R e v i e w , N o . 2 , 1 9 8 7 . Z h a o , G u i . " X i a n f e n g x i a o s h u o d e z i z u y u f u f a n . " [ S e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y a n d S u p e r f i c i a l i t y o f V a n g u a r d N o v e l s ] , L i t e r a r y R e v i e w , N o . 1 , 1 9 8 9 . Z o u , P i n g . " X i n s h i q i w e n x u e z h o n g d e x i a n d a i z h u y i j i a n j i n g " [ T h e G r a d u a l A d v a n c e o f M o d e r n i s m i n L i t e r a t u r e o f t h e New P e r i o d ] , L i t e r a r y R e v i e w , N o . 1 , 1 9 8 7 . ( F ) O t h e r W o r k s C i t e d A r i s t o t l e . T h e P o e t i c s , e d . E . C a p p s e t a l , New Y o r k : G . P . P u t n a m ' s S o n . B e l c h e r , W i l l i a m e t a l . J . D . S a l i n g e r a n d C r i t i c s , W a d w o r t h P u b l i s h i n g C o m p a n y , 1 9 6 2 . B o o t h , W a y n e . T h e R h e t o r i c o f F i c t i o n , C h i c a g o : T h e U n i v e r s i t y o f C h i c a g o P r e s s , 1 9 8 3 . B r o r n b e r t , V i c t o r . T h e H e r o i n L i t e r a t u r e , C o n n e c t i c u t : F a w c e t t P u b l i c a t i o n s , 1 9 6 9 . C a o , X u e q i n . A D r e a m o f R e d M a n s i o n s , B e i j i n g : F o r e i g n L a n g u a g e s P r e s s , 1 9 7 8 . C e r v a n t e s . D o n Q u i x o t e , New Y o r k : R a n d o m H o u s e , 1 9 4 1 . C u n l i f f e , M a r c u s . T h e L i t e r a t u r e o f t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s , L o n d o n : 2 2 5 P e n g u i n B o o k s , 1 9 7 0 . D a i c h e s , D a y i d . V i r g i n i a W o o l f , L o n d o n : 1 9 6 2 " . D u k e , M i c h a e l . B l o o m i n g a n d C o n t e n d i n g , B l o o m i n g t o n : I n d i a n a U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 8 5 . F e n g . , M e n g l o n g e t a l . S t o r i e s f r o m a M i n g C o l l e c t i o n , t r a n s . C y r i l -B i r c h , New Y o r k : G r o v e P r e s s , 1 9 5 8 . F o r s t e r , E . M . A s p e c t s o f t h e N"ove 1 , New Y o r k : H a r c o u r t , B r a c e & W o r l d , 1 9 5 4 . J a m e s , H e n r y . T h e A r t o f t h e N o v e l , New Y o r k : C h a r l s S c r i b n e r ' s S o n s , 1 9 4 8 . J o y c e , J a m e s . U l y s s e s , New Y o r k : V i n t a g e B o o k s , 1 9 8 6 . L a u , S . M . P o t a t o - e a t i n g D a y s [ C h i ma l i n g s h u d e r i z i ] , K o w l o o n o r H o n g K o n g : F r i e n d s h i p P r e s s , 1 9 7 0 . L u o , G u a n z h o n g . T h e R o m a n c e o f T h r e e K i n g d o m s [ S a n g u o y a n y i ] , B e i j i n g : R e n m i n g w e n x u e c h u b a n s h e , 1 9 8 5 . L u X u n . S e l e c t e d W o r k s o f L u X u n , V o l . 2 , t r a n s . Y a n g X i a n y i a n d G l a d y s Y a n g , B e i j i n g : F o r e i g n L a n g u a g e s P r e s s : 1 9 8 0 . M a t h e w s o n , S u f u s . T h e P o s i t i v e H e r o i n R u s s i a n L i t e r a t u r e , New Y o r k : C o l u m b i a U n i v e r s i t y , 1 9 5 8 . M e n c i u s e t a 1 . F o u r C h i n e s e C l a s s i c s [ Z ho n g x i s i s h u ] , H o n g K o n g : P r i t e r & S t a t i o n e r , 1 9 1 0 . O ' F a o l a i n , S e a n . T h e V a n i s h i n g H e r o , L o n d o n : E y r e & S p o t t i s w o o d e , 1 9 5 6 . R o t h , P h i l i p . My L i f e A s a M a n , New Y o r k : B a n t a m B o o k s , 1 9 7 5 . S a l i n g e r , J . D . T h e C a t c h e r i n t h e R y e , T o r o n t o : B a n t a m B o o k s , 1 9 8 6 . S e i g n e u r e t , J e a n - C h a r l e s . D i c t i o n a r y o f L i t e r a r y Therne a n d M o t i f , 226 New York: GreenWood P r e s s , 1988. S h i p l e y , Joseph. D i c t i o n a r y of World L i t e r a r y Terms, New York, 1970. S i n c l a i r e , Upton. The J u n g l e , New York, 1960. Thackeray, W i l l i a m . V a n i t y F a i r , New York: American Book-S t r a t f o r d P r e s s . Woolf, V i r g i n i a Mrs . Dalloway, San Diego: HBJ Book, 1953. Wu, X i a o l i n g et a l . S e l e c t e d Works of Huaben [Huaben xuan] , B e i j i n g , Renmin wenxue chubanshe, 1984. Yang, J i a n g . Ganxiao l i u j i [ S i x Chapters from L i f e "Downunder"], t r a n s . Howard G o l d b l a t t , S e a t t l e : U n i v e r s i t y of Washington P r e s s , 1983. 2 27 GLOSSARY (A) Authors Ah Cheng fsj ^ Can Xue -5^ ' % Cao Xueqin "% ?f Chen J i a n g o n g \fy $^ ijj Feng Meng long %_ Ge F e i i'k ft Lao She L i Xiao \ L i u Heng TI L i u S u o l a %) % H L i u Zhengyun /£') j{c & Lu Xun Ma Yuan % ^ Mo Yan Sh i Naian Shao Q u a n l i n wjS/£/&$(: Su Tong Wang A n y i i -5t Wang Meng £ ^ Wang Suo £ Yang J i a n g ify Yang X i a n y i f ^ %_ Yu Hua Zhang Chengzhi Zhang Wei Jf- '-t^7 (B) Authors (Continued) Chen Dazhuan ?t v£ Chen Be P e i f $ f & i | Chen Xinyuan {%. {% He Zhiyun /»] &r % 228 Chen Juntao Huang Z i p i n g 3- *p L e i Da 'Jg* 1* L i G u i x i a n ^ T| ^ L i Tuo \ f*t L i u Shaoming %f\$XikX L i u Xiaobo %) fl^^t L i u Z a i f u %\ ft \ Qian Guangpei Ms Shen Z i c h a o ^ "f Hua Ming J^AZi Song Y i a o l i a n g ^ f< Wu Xi a o l i n g J^^^l f Xiao Hua Xu Zidong HHj: 3- £ Zhang Weian ?-^,^[t Zhang X i n g j i n g Zhao Gui ^ Zou P i n g I j J f (C) C h a r a c t e r s C a i Xinbao j ^ r f He L a o t a i ^ ^ Cui Guangzhi %t & Huiwen Chen Hao ^ ^ Huntun Hou h^K^\ Chuansheng \^ % Dandan $ L i Yufang £ £ Dezhi i'jjL 4 r L i n Juan ~f ;jL-jf Ding Qi -7 L i n K a i >J. Dudu £jS L i u Z h i J£j Du X i a o x i 7ft *}|_ f)^' L i u Zhuren jg>j i i£ Gao Q i n g k u i Ti. ^  Lu J i a n Feng Guafu 'fty'^^ Lu Sen ^ ^ Gu Zhida JfJ & Meng B e i & /f^ 229 Han D e l a i \% {&. £ He Laotou ^ Qiao Wanyou rtr? ^j" Qing J i a n g ^ >1 Shen P i n g lit ?^ Wang Shuangqing £ jtA. Wei S h i t o u MjL, fa =A Weiwei ^ *^ X i a o Yan ^ fit Mingwe i ^ P i Debao rl'<&yt X i n g X i a o l i a n g ^ <U X i u l i a n ^ Yu X i n -f ^ Yunhu Zi Zhang Chunyuan Zhao Tao Z h e n Z i n a n (D) T i t l e s (Chen Jiangong) B e i Rousui de c h e n x i j<\% t f * &*! ) k ^ B e i x i j u x i a o s h u o : keneng yu zhengzha '^.-%J^"\ s ^ ¥f ji^ Changba, dan qingyong z i j i de shengying ^%,nt> • I 2J W ^ Changshi yu xiwang &\^ _Jj i[ Congshi Z h a o l a i YL *if~ fa Danfengyan -ft M ^ p< Danfengyan d i a n d i 8 j|L >jlj Gaiguan J i n g x i youge s h a o d a z i & \$\ <$%T 3~ Juanmao ^ ^ Juanmao x i a n p i a n ^ ^ f^ j ^ L i u s h u i wanwan Lul u b a hutong j i u h a o ^ fj? ftL \% ^ 230 M i l u a n d e x i n k o n g j j | 6^ ' f '^T Momo j i e d a n g g e W t % P i a o s h i d e h u a t o u j i n l f>^ i j f t J(c ¥; Q i u t i a n j i a o x i a n g y u e -tffc £ if* S h a n g w e i p i a o s h i d e d u a n x i a n g &q ^ 'tf.Q }|>f ib^ c&'f ^ S h e n g h u o , x i a n q i l e l a n g h u a '1 , i^il. 1 >?-/fG X u a n c a o d e y a n i e i ^ $fc.>fkj Y u , p o d a z h e n i h o n g d e n g v ^ ^ T |j | T f i Z h a o l e Z h o n g q u J > $7 Z o u x a n g g a o g a o d e j i t a n (*} v % l^f Z u o d a o x i a o j i •! * \ £, ( E ) T i t l e s ( o t h e r s ) C h e n J i a n g o n g h e t a d e d u a n p i a n x i a o s h u o C h e n j i a n g o n g h e t a d e x i a o s h u o s h i j i e l 1 v ^ l-IL C h e n j i a n g o n g x i a o s h u o d e b e i x i j u t e s e f s ^ ^ " " ^ i J " " a ^ . fo^ % ^ \ '$-> D o n g d a n g d e d i g u ijt %p 4& sfc F e n g d o u z h e d e j i n g z h o n g y u z a n g e z\ % & V ^ £ £. i %jt G e s h i g e y a n g de x i a o s h u o %i \ % \%. 69 >/--t'£, G u a n y u c h e n j i a n g o n g de b i j i % ^ ^ ifl « 4 ' ^ ' t c l . J i n g t i : z h e g e y o u l i n g h a i z a i y o u d a n g '^jjHjjj? : xj_ 7" i ^ l Ic /?*• ' ^ r L a o n i a n de c h e n g s h i y u q i n g n i a n d e c h e n g s h i ^ ^ ^ ^-j-;j. a-i) i-^vj L u n J u a n m a o - r / - & i <; 231 R a n g x i n g u a n g h u i r u g u a n g m a o d e r e n h a i \ \^ ^ A M. 3f< ^ A* >#" R e n s h e n g d e t a n s u o S h u t u t o n g g u i d e n a n b e i e r g o n g f ' k i j k |£] %^ W \%] i t -T a n t i a n s h u o d i h u a b e i j i n g H f £ j l i t Y o n g y u a n z u o s h e n g h u o y u y i s h u d e k a i t u o z h e t& { » t '1 >7i - 5 ^ , J 9 % ( F ) T i t l e s ( m a g a z i n e s ) rJ e i j i n g w e n x u e i t "5^  ^ D a n g d a i w e n t a n >xP {*•' j.--^ B o n g f a n g j i s h i % % &t> f Dushu Jfe' F e i t i a n ^ Q i n g n i a n z u o j i a \ ^ { % % . W e n x u e p i n g l u n -jr ^ i ^ -life W e n y i y a n j i u ^ ^1 ^ -ff ^ > X i a o s h u o p i n g l u n ^ N 1^-"J^; X i a o s h u o x u a n k a n > I - " t ' i ^ \L f1] Z h o n g g u o q i n g n i a n b a o ^ I D ^ ^ l I Z h o n g s h a n J-i Z u o j i a <"f< % ( G ) T e r m s Ci G a n g q i n g j ^ . ^ H u a b e n y\r~ K a n g 'kTL L i a n g b a s h u a z i t<fr - ^ 6 ] \ R u h u a ^ " ^ 4 T a m a d e X-C ^3 X i a o k a i • 1- 4 ^ Z h a n g h u i x i a o s h u o - j | yfl -h^t'1^ Z h o n g j i a n r e n w u ^ Z u o d a o r e n _ f^!!_ 7} A _ 232 

Cite

Citation Scheme:

        

Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics

Share

Embed

Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                        
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            src="{[{embed.src}]}"
                            data-item="{[{embed.item}]}"
                            data-collection="{[{embed.collection}]}"
                            data-metadata="{[{embed.showMetadata}]}"
                            data-width="{[{embed.width}]}"
                            async >
                            </script>
                            </div>
                        
                    
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:
https://iiif.library.ubc.ca/presentation/dsp.831.1-0098512/manifest

Comment

Related Items