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Rural area fiction

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Chapter Summary

In terms of the numbers of authors and of works, rural area subject matter was the most popular for fiction during the 1950s and 1960s. This situation, while being an extension of the new literature "tradition" since "May Fourth", was more closely related to the emphasis put on portraying rural life in contemporary times. Zhao Shuli's concept of "problem fiction", the Shanxi writers' belief that fiction is meant to advise people", and the expectation that it is able to "produce meaning in offering guidance in real life", was both the starting point and the abode of writing. The earliest systematic high valuation of Zhao Shuli's fiction is an essay by Zhou Yang published in 1946: "On the Writing of Zhao Shuli". The high appraisal of History of Pioneering Work had basis in Liu Qing's creation of a group of characters that attained a "fair artistic level".

Keywords: History of Pioneering Work ; Liu Qing; Shanxi writers; Zhao Shuli



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