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Frontiers of Literary Studies in China

Front Liter Stud Chin    2012, Vol. 6 Issue (1) : 112-137
research-article |
In Light of Concreteness: Wang Anyi and the Bildungsroman of the Cultural Revolutionary Generation
Xudong Zhang()
Department of East Asian Studies, New York University, New York, NY 10003, USA
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Based on detailed textual analysis, the article argues that Wang Anyi brings the abstract idealism of the second-generation of PRC into a productive collision with its concrete Other—from its parents’ generation to the resilient national bourgeoisie to quotidian sensuousness embodied by the world of its female counterpart. In so doing, as the author seeks to show, the novel presents a compelling narrative of the self-education, growth, and formation of the generation of the Cultural Revolution without reducing it to ideological stereotypes rampant in China after 1976. While delving into the structure and style of fiction, the article takes as its focus the confrontation between abstraction and concreteness; Self and Other; superstructure and infrastructure, or social consciousness and social existence, at a philosophical level in order to construct a phenomenology of the experience of post-revolutionary Subjectivity.

Keywords Bildungsroman      phenomenology of spirit      Enlightenment      idealism (utopianism)      abstraction versus concreteness      Wang Anyi      cultural modernity of socialism     
Corresponding Authors: Xudong Zhang,   
Issue Date: 05 March 2012
 Cite this article:   
Xudong Zhang. In Light of Concreteness: Wang Anyi and the Bildungsroman of the Cultural Revolutionary Generation[J]. Front Liter Stud Chin, 2012, 6(1): 112-137.
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