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Uneven ModernityLiterature, Film, and Intellectual Discourse in Postsocialist China$
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Haomin Gong

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780824835316

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824835316.001.0001

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Constructing a Neorealist Reality

Constructing a Neorealist Reality

Petty Urbanites, Mundaneness, and Chi Li’s Fiction

(p.57) Chapter 3 Constructing a Neorealist Reality
Uneven Modernity

Haomin Gong

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines the problematics of neorealism (xin xieshizhuyi) by focusing on the work of Chi Li. It first considers the term “neorealism” and its relationship to realism and avant-gardism in contemporary Chinese literature. It then explores the dynamics of the sociohistorical juncture in which Chi Li's fiction arose and defines it, both theoretically and historically, in relation to other forms of writing. It also discusses the ideological character of Chi Li's fiction in the context of the unevenness of both the social and the cultural development of postsocialist China. Finally, it analyzes Chi Li's novella Coming and Going and how she formally exemplifies the aesthetics of neorealism by looking at the concepts of mundaneness and petty urbanites. The chapter shows that the locality of Wuhan where Chi Li currently lives and works is an epitome of uneven development in contemporary China.

Keywords:   neorealism, Chi Li, Chinese literature, avant-gardism, postsocialist China, postsocialist China, urbanites, neorealism, Wuhan, uneven development

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