Shen Congwen (1902?-1988) is one of modern China's great writers. He is also one of the finest Chinese prose stylists of all time. Literary critics and historians have offered several reasons for why Shen Congwen is a great writer. The foremost explanation is his power as a stylist. He could make the Chinese language beautiful. Some critics have praised Shen Congwen for creating characters with beautiful souls. Readers credit him with having described beautiful and fulfilling styles of life, even in materially primitive surroundings, that conjure up the "health and dignity" prized by the Crescent Moon writers. Other critics value Shen Congwen as a realist writer. He has written many works exposing the abuses of the military in the countryside, and the vanity of the urban bourgeoisie. Most of the short stories in this collection, typeset in bilingual format, reveal the plight and the strength of the common people. Also they were chosen from the period when Shen had already honed a fine writing style, and they were written about rural folks in his native region, and about people he knew from his daily life.
There are contradictions between the "new" and the "old," and also between human values with enough integrity to nurture life, versus corruption that leads to the decline and death of a culture.
Buy Selected Short Stories of Shen Congwen book by Shen Congwen from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(213mm x 140mm x 22mm)
The Chinese University Press
Publisher: The Chinese University Press
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Author Biography - Shen Congwen
Jeffrey C. Kinkley is Professor of History at St. John's University in New York. While his research interests include the intellectual and social history of twentieth China, he has been the specialist on Shen Congwen when he first published The Odyssey of Shen Congwen, Stanford University Press, 1987) with many edited and translated collections afterwards. His current interest has been China's crime novels as evidenced by the publication of Chinese Justice, the Fiction: Law and Literature in Modern China, Stanford University Press 1999) and Escape from the Law, forthcoming).