Epilogue: New Tears for New Times: The Famine Revisited

Kathryn Edgerton-Tarpley

in Tears from Iron

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2008 | ISBN: 9780520253025
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520934221 | DOI:
Epilogue: New Tears for New Times: The Famine Revisited

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This chapter brings the story of the famine up to the present by introducing a colorful drama about the 1877 disaster that is now performed for tourists who visit the walled city of Pingyao in Shanxi, and by analyzing how that drama interprets the Incredible Famine in a way indicative of China's twenty-first-century concerns. The language in the contemporary drama is influenced by critiques found in Mao-era discussions of the Qing government's complicity in the famine. Though the inspiration for the play apparently came from the famine-era Pingyao gazetteer, the City God's charge that Magistrate Wang had taken bribes, perverted justice, and oppressed the people did not.

Keywords: 1877 disaster; Pingyao; Shanx; famine; Incredible Famine; China; Qing government

Chapter.  4136 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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