Chapter

Invention and Intervention: The Making of a Female Tradition in Modern Chinese Literature

Lydia H. Liu

in Chinese Femininities/Chinese Masculinities

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2002 | ISBN: 9780520211032
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520935303 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520211032.003.0006
Invention and Intervention: The Making of a Female Tradition in Modern Chinese Literature

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By analyzing the female tradition in modern Chinese literature, this chapter brings to attention the number of interesting claims put forth by women critics in post-Mao China. To many of the women critics, female literature is more or less a fait accompli, something that preexists the critical effort. Most critics of women's fiction agree that female writers tend to grapple with the problem of subjectivity in connection with gender and explore the relationship of the female subject to power, meaning, and the dominant ideology in which her gender is inscribed. The focus of this chapter is to bring the female tradition to light. It indicates that the female tradition did not come into its own until women scholars began to make significant interventions in literary criticism and historiography in the second half of the 1980s. The three women writers being discussed—Ding Ling, Zhang Jie, and Wang Anyi—figure prominently in contemporary literary criticism as architects of the female tradition.

Keywords: Modern Chinese literature; female tradition; contemporary literary criticism; Ding Ling; Zhang Jie; Wang Anyi

Chapter.  12766 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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