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The situation of literature in the 1990s

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Chapter Summary

The 1992 suggestion that a market economy replace the planned economy in Chinese society, led directly to the proposal of a cultural policy calling for reform of the literary system. The dispute that was most important, of the largest scale, and the most far-reaching influence was the 1993-1995 controversy about the "spirit of the humanities". Some researchers in the humanities raised this issue in a critique of social and literary phenomena, and this set off a dispute. The daily emergence of "new" phenomena in areas such as urban life and the taste of urbanites was a major object of expression in literature during the 1990s. People and affairs "outside the system", such as white-collar workers, small-scale private business people, and ordinary city-dwellers, quickly became important objects of literary expression.

Keywords: 1990s-literature; Chinese society; market economy; urban life



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