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Minor Sinophone Literature: Diasporic Modernity's Incomplete Journey

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Chapter Summary

Although the Sinophone identity and Sinophone literature undoubtedly originate in modern Chinese overseas migration, not all places where large numbers of Chinese people gather produce an equivalent amount of such literature. Sinophone literature is inescapably a Chinese ethnic minority literature. It is a nationless ethnic tribe in the literary kingdom. In this kind of literature, language directly signifies the writers ethnic identity. Yu Dafus cultural cultivation, the breadth of his knowledge, his achievements in classical poetry, and his command of multiple languages that even such a cultural capitalist as he is still not considered a major writer conveys the enormity of the difficult challenge. Writers who journey towards the Chinese language, though, excessively indulge in an imagined ancestral homeland and prematurely fall into a mode of diasporic nostalgia for the Central Plains and the small world of their own ethnicity.

Keywords: Chinese cultural nationalism; Sinophone literature; Yu Dafu



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