Uses of Literature by Perry Link
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Uses of Literature
By Perry Link

The Uses of Literature

Life in the Socialist Chinese Literary System

By (author) See other recent books by Perry Link
Format: Paperback

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Uses of Literature by Perry Link

Book Awards

  • Shortlisted for Choice Magazine Outstanding Reference/Academic Book Award 2000.

Book Description

Why do people in socialist China read and write literary works? Earlier studies in Western Sinology have approached Chinese texts from the socialist era as portraits of society, as keys to the tug-of-war of dissent, or, more recently, as pursuit of "pure art." The Uses of Literature looks broadly and empirically at these and many other "uses" of literature from the points of view of authors, editors, political authorities, and several kinds of readers. Perry Link, author of Evening Chats in Beijing, considers texts ranging from elite "misty" poetry to underground hand-copied volumes (shouchauben) and shows in concrete detail how people who were involved with literature sought to teach, learn, enjoy, explore, debate, lead, control, and resist. Using the late 1970s and early 1980s as an entree to the workings of China's "socialist literary system," the author shows how that system held sway from 1950 until around 1990, when an encroaching market economy gradually but fundamentally changed it. In addition to providing a definitive overview of how the socialist Chinese literary system worked, Link offers comparisons to the similar system in the Soviet Union. In the final chapter, the book seeks to explain how the word "good" was used and understood when applied to literary works in such systems. Combining aspects of cultural and literary studies, The Uses of Literature will reward anyone interested in the literature of modern China or how creativity is affected by a "socialist literary system."

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780691001982
ISBN-10: 0691001987
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x 20mm)
Pages: 386
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 14-Feb-2000
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...


Books By Author Perry Link

Tiananmen Exiles by Perry Link Tiananmen Exiles, Paperback (April 2014)

Tracing the lives of three exiled student leaders over two continents before and after the 1989 Tiananmen Uprising, this fascinating oral history explores how their political ideals were shaped by institutionalized education and social movements in China, led to action and punishment, and were revised under the challenges of exile.

No Enemies, No Hatred by Perry Link No Enemies, No Hatred, Paperback (May 2013)

When the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded in December 2010, its recipient, Liu Xiaobo, was serving an eleven-year sentence in a Chinese prison for "incitement to subvert state power." These essays and poems not only chronicle a leading dissident's struggle against tyranny but enrich the record of universal longing for freedom and dignity.

Anatomy of Chinese by Perry Link Anatomy of Chinese, Hardback (February 2013)

Rhythms, conceptual metaphors, and political language convey meanings of which Chinese speakers themselves may not be aware. Link's Anatomy of Chinese contributes to the debate over whether language shapes thought or vice versa, and its comparison of English with Chinese lends support to theories that locate the origins of language in the brain.

Oh, China! by Perry Link Oh, China!, Paperback (October 2011)

Suitable for advanced beginners or 'heritage learners' who already speak some Chinese but require instruction in reading and writing fundamentals before moving to the intermediate level, this title contains lessons, grammar notes, and exercises. It offers foundations in pronunciation, characters, and grammar.

» View all books by Perry Link

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