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The Sing-song Girls of Shanghai: The pioneering work of modern popular fiction

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Haishang hua liezhuan is a distinctive marker of the transition from traditional to modern Chinese literature. No matter whether one looks at its choice of subject matter, character depiction, use of language, artistic technique, or even its publication channels, in every aspect this work’s originality shines through, illustrating how Chinese literature, even without the influence of foreign literary trends, also could walk the road towards modernization, because it possessed the innate dynamic towards it. The Haishang hua liezhuan is thus an excellent representative of popular fiction, one which—a quarter century before the emergence of the New Literature Movement—quietly ushered Chinese literature into modernity.

10.1007/s11702-008-0019-9
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2008-01-01
2016-12-10

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