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On the New Chinese Literature as an Interliterary Community

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image of Frontiers of Literary Studies in China

The aim of this essay is to point out the characteristic traits of the new Chinese literature as a “specific interliterary community” to some extent different from most of the “specific interliterary communities” of the world, for instance, Czech and Slovak literature, the Slavic literatures of Eastern Europe, or the literatures of the former socialist countries. Different from these and other communities of this kind, the new Chinese literature, especially after 1949, did not proceed with the interliterary process without points of friction, sometimes even with mutual attacks and mutual disrespect caused by political reasons: ideological differences, contradictory aims, neglect of human rights, democratic tendencies, and political propaganda. The interliterary process along which the new Chinese literature, or better to say “literatures,” is progressing, is here stressed together with “interliterariness,” the overstepping of one single literature and its coming into contact with one or more single literatures of the world. The interliterary community of Chinese literature within the whole set of its single literatures (from the mainland of China, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and overseas Chinese literatures) presents an area where three different functions play their roles, of which at least one should be implemented: integrational, differentiating, and complementary. To understand the new Chinese literature in its relations within itself and the literatures of the world is a task to be fulfilled in the coming decades.


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