Campus Units

World Languages and Cultures

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Version

Accepted Manuscript

Publication Date

2018

Journal or Book Title

The Routledge Handbook of Modern Chinese Literature

Volume

2

Issue

21

First Page

290

Last Page

302

Abstract

Modern essay, or creative nonfiction prose, whose success almost surpasses that of poetry, theater and fiction,1 was born out of the marriage of traditional Chinese and Western culture.2 On a superficial level, it distinguishes itself from traditional essay by using vernacular instead of classical or literary Chinese, and thus is more accessible to the masses. In terms of genre, it is narrower in scope than traditional essay which includes all non-verse writings, literary or not. More importantly, as Yu Dafu points out, modern essay values the expression of individuality and personality more than any other writings.3 By contrast, traditional essay assumed a political and ideological mission to assists state operation, or to uphold the Way (zaidao) by such figures as Cao Pi (187–226), Liu Xie (465–520), and Han Yu (768–824). In the eyes of modern essayists, traditional essay would be propagandist.

Comments

This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in Routledge Handbook of Modern Chinese Literature 1st Edition Edited by Ming Dong Gu. on 2018 , available online: https://www.routledge.com/Routledge-Handbook-of-Modern-Chinese-Literature-1st-Edition/Gu/p/book/9781138647541. Posted with permission.

Copyright Owner

Routledge Taylor & Francis Group

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

Published Version

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