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Article: 'To Be Worthy of the Suffering and Survival': Chinese Memoirs and the Politics of Sympathy'

Title'To Be Worthy of the Suffering and Survival': Chinese Memoirs and the Politics of Sympathy'
Authors
KeywordsMemoir
Politics of sympathy
Chinese Cultural Revolution
Life writing as history
Issue Date2007
PublisherRoutledge. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/titles/14484528.asp
Citation
Life Writing, 2007, v. 4 n 1, p. 59-79 How to Cite?
AbstractAround the mid-1980s a substantial number of Chinese authors started to write, beyond national and linguistic boundaries, about their traumatic experience during the Chinese Cultural Revolution (1966–1976). Jung Chang's Wild Swans (1991) is among the first and best-known titles in this emergent literary formation. Whether the memoirs are narrated by a former People's Liberation Army soldier, or a Red Guard, or an innocent subject drawn into the political vortex, their authors all assume the role of victims who bear witness to a China collapsing into an administered ‘national madness’. Details of the brutalities of the Revolution presented in the memoirs resonate with the Western imagination of Maoist China. This article is a critical study of these memoirs. It explores the political and ethical implications of life writing in the post-Cold War era within the context of global capitalism. Given the cultural and political topicality of the Cultural Revolution as a subject for popular history writing in the West, the production of these memoirs, we argue, is occasioned and enabled by a specific set of geo-political conditions, whose temporal and spatial materiality defines and determines the use and pertinence of the memoirs.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/65664
ISSN
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 0.146

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorTong, QSen_HK
dc.contributor.authorHung, RYYen_HK
dc.date.accessioned2010-09-06T05:39:49Z-
dc.date.available2010-09-06T05:39:49Z-
dc.date.issued2007en_HK
dc.identifier.citationLife Writing, 2007, v. 4 n 1, p. 59-79en_HK
dc.identifier.issn1448-4528en_HK
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/65664-
dc.description.abstractAround the mid-1980s a substantial number of Chinese authors started to write, beyond national and linguistic boundaries, about their traumatic experience during the Chinese Cultural Revolution (1966–1976). Jung Chang's Wild Swans (1991) is among the first and best-known titles in this emergent literary formation. Whether the memoirs are narrated by a former People's Liberation Army soldier, or a Red Guard, or an innocent subject drawn into the political vortex, their authors all assume the role of victims who bear witness to a China collapsing into an administered ‘national madness’. Details of the brutalities of the Revolution presented in the memoirs resonate with the Western imagination of Maoist China. This article is a critical study of these memoirs. It explores the political and ethical implications of life writing in the post-Cold War era within the context of global capitalism. Given the cultural and political topicality of the Cultural Revolution as a subject for popular history writing in the West, the production of these memoirs, we argue, is occasioned and enabled by a specific set of geo-political conditions, whose temporal and spatial materiality defines and determines the use and pertinence of the memoirs.-
dc.languageengen_HK
dc.publisherRoutledge. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/titles/14484528.aspen_HK
dc.relation.ispartofLife Writingen_HK
dc.subjectMemoir-
dc.subjectPolitics of sympathy-
dc.subjectChinese Cultural Revolution-
dc.subjectLife writing as history-
dc.title'To Be Worthy of the Suffering and Survival': Chinese Memoirs and the Politics of Sympathy'en_HK
dc.typeArticleen_HK
dc.identifier.openurlhttp://library.hku.hk:4550/resserv?sid=HKU:IR&issn=1448-4528&volume= 4 no 1&spage=59 – 79&epage=&date=2007&atitle=%27To+Be+Worthy+of+the+Suffering+and+Survival%27:+Chinese+Memoirs+and+the+Politics+of+Sympathy%27en_HK
dc.identifier.emailTong, QS: qstong@hkusua.hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.authorityTong, QS=rp01174en_HK
dc.identifier.doi10.1080/14484520701211164-
dc.identifier.hkuros129903en_HK
dc.identifier.volume4-
dc.identifier.issue1-
dc.identifier.spage59-
dc.identifier.epage79-

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