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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The new writers in occupied Shanghai, 1941-1945 Chen, Yi-Chen

Abstract

This thesis is focused on the new writers who appeared in Shanghai during the Japanese Occupation between December 1941 and August 1945. The rise of these new writers to fame and their subsequent disappearance from the literary scene were consistent with the fall and liberation o f Shanghai. In the meantime, their appearance and disappearance were parallel with the success and decline of magazines published in Shanghai during that period as well. Both the magazines and their editors played significant roles in promoting the new writers into the literary arena. The war disrupted the development of literature, their writing "nourishment" mostly depended on the literary resources which had been stored up in Shanghai since the late Qing. My discussion of these eight new writers, Zhang Ailing, Shi Jimei, Cheng Yuzhen, Tang Xuehua, Zheng Dingwen, Shen Ji, Guo Peng, and Shi Qi, progresses through an analysis of the elements of region, literature, and war. While most of the female writers' themes were focused on love, mundane love or God's love, the male writers were either more interested in setting their stories on Chinese native soil like Shen Ji, Guo Peng, and Shi Qi; or personal concerns and anxieties regarding the future such as Zheng Dingwen. Among her contemporaries, Zhang Ailing is the most successful and the most influential. These new writers did not go through the baptism of the May Fourth Movement, and had less of a moral burden than their predecessors did. Thus they had more freedom to develop their writings— although the freedom was confined due to a depressed political and social climate.

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