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Frontiers of Literary Studies in China

Front Liter Stud Chin    2012, Vol. 6 Issue (2) : 232-254
research-article |
Meditator and Doer: On the Socialist New Man in Liu Qing’s Novel The Builders
Xiang He()
Department of Comparative Literature, New York University, New York, NY 10003, USA
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This article examines Liu Qing’s 1959 novel The Builders, an epical work on the Agricultural Cooperation Movement, from the perspective of configuration of the Socialist New Man. Illuminated by the works of the May Fourth generation, especially Lu Xun, the author argues that the figure of the Socialist New Man usually differentiates itself into two literary prototypes—meditator and doer. Liu Qing attempts to maintain a productive and dialectic tension between meditations and deeds, instead of mere discrepancy or incompatibility. The article demonstrates that in literature, while the meditator can be depicted thoroughly through psychological dynamics and unconscious dreams, it is more problematic to represent the doer. Such a formal and philosophical problem is central to literature, as well as corresponds to the socio-historical paradox of the 1950s China.

Keywords meditations      deeds      the Socialist New Man      selflessness     
Corresponding Authors: Xiang He,   
Issue Date: 05 June 2012
 Cite this article:   
Xiang He. Meditator and Doer: On the Socialist New Man in Liu Qing’s Novel The Builders[J]. Front Liter Stud Chin, 2012, 6(2): 232-254.
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