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Voices in RevolutionPoetry and the Auditory Imagination in Modern China$
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John A. Crespi

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780824833657

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824833657.001.0001

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Wartime Recitals and the Consolidation of a Genre

Wartime Recitals and the Consolidation of a Genre

Chapter 4 (p.101) Wartime Recitals and the Consolidation of a Genre
Voices in Revolution

John A. Crespi

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter attempts to recover the performance texts of recited poetry during the War of Resistance period. As it follows poems and poets through the war years, it provides as thorough a recounting of context as possible by referring to the range of materials that record this lost poetry of performance. These materials includes diaries, memoirs, performance reviews, forewords, articles from contemporary journals and newspaper literary supplements, and, of course, printed versions of poems themselves. Always fragmentary and inevitably shot through with bias, evasions, and embellishments, these materials can nonetheless be woven into a narrative that traces the makings of poetry recitation's establishment as a new genre of performed literature. The chapter traces poets and their poetic events from the early years of 1937–1938 in Guangzhou and the tricity (Hankou, Hanyang, Wuchang) complex of Wuhan, to the rural hinterland surrounding Wuhan, the Communist base of Yan'an, and finally into the middle and late years of recitation in Shanghai, Chongqing, Chengdu, and Guilin. Along the way it considers the major personalities of wartime recitation as they move from region to region and city to city, carrying with them the energy and agency without which there would have been no movement at all.

Keywords:   recited poetry, Chinese poetry, War of Resistance, poetic voice, poems

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