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Frontiers of Literary Studies in China

Front Liter Stud Chin    2012, Vol. 6 Issue (1) : 78-94     DOI: 10.3868/s010-001-012-0006-9
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Ren, Geren and Renmin: The Prehistory of the New Man and Guo Moruo’s Conception of “the People”
Pu Wang()
Department of East Asian Studies, New York University, New York, NY 10003, USA
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This paper aims to contribute to the ongoing debate about the “socialist New Man” in modern Chinese literature. Focusing on the ideas of humanity, individuality and the people, it attempts to show the prehistory of the “New Man,” i.e., the emergence of the concept-figure of “the people” out of the discourse of humanity. The making of a new historical subjectivity of “the people” was part and parcel of the singular historical experience of the Chinese Revolution and the precondition for its social experiments. Yet this issue receives insufficient critical attention. This paper gives an outline of this idea’s genealogy, by concentrating on Guo Moruo’s literary-intellectual trajectory. It will show how the enlightenment project and romantic historical imagination paved the way for the concept of the people, and how the new subjectivity of the people prepared for the ideal of the new man.

Keywords the people      humanism      New Man      Chinese Revolution      Guo Moruo     
Corresponding Authors: Pu Wang,   
Issue Date: 05 March 2012
 Cite this article:   
Pu Wang. Ren, Geren and Renmin: The Prehistory of the New Man and Guo Moruo’s Conception of “the People”[J]. Front Liter Stud Chin, 2012, 6(1): 78-94.
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