Jing Wang offers the first overview of the feverish decade of the 1980s in China, from early reexaminations of Maoism through the crackdown in Tiananmen Square. Wang’s energetic, creative, and highly intelligent take on Chinese culture provides a broad portrait of the post-revolutionary era and a provocative inquiry into the nature of Chinese modernity.
In seven linked essays, the author examines the cultural dynamics that have given rise to the epochal discourse. She traces the Chinese Marxists’ short debate over “socialist alienation” and examines the various schools of thought–Li Zehou and the Marxist Reconstruction of Confucianism, the neo-Confucian Revivalists, and the Enlightenment School–that came into play in the Culture Fever. She also critiques the controversial mini-series Yellow River Elegy. In mapping out China’s post-revolutionary aesthetics, Wang introduces the debate over “pseudo-modernism,” refutes the pseudo-proposition of “Chinese postmodernism,” and looks at the dawning of popular culture in the 1990s.
This book delivers a ten-year intertwined history of Chinese intellectuals, writers, literary critics, and cultural critics that gives us a deeper understanding of the China of the 1980s, the 1990s, and beyond.
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