Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Residual Romanticism in a Contemporary Shanghai Novel

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Frontiers of Literary Studies in China

Through a close reading of Wei Hui’s bestseller Shanghai Baby (1999), this article highlights five elements to delimit a post-romantic neoliberal literary sensibility and its ruptures: (1) a “melotraumatic” quest for exuberance, (2) denial of dependency, (3) a celebration of individual choice and market rationalities, (4) disillusionment and disappointment, and (5) a quest for intelligibility through narrative. Along the way I probe the narrator’s residual romanticism as a little-addressed foundation of the novel’s testimony to a generational sensibility. By examining the relationship between Coco the narrator and Coco the protagonist, I contend that the narrator’s sustained self-remembering evokes her growing unease with neoliberal values. The tension between post-romantic cynicism and residual romanticism suggests the extent to which a supposedly dissident novel may entice precisely for the ways its deep structure reinforces dominant discourses. Whereas Coco the protagonist follows a logic of consumerism, Coco the narrator gestures to non-commercial values—loyalty, care, empathy, trust, and solidarity. Appreciating the novel’s residual romanticism alongside its post-romantic cynicism sheds new light on the story, its context, ambiguous feminism, and reception.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Comparative Literature, Smith College


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Frontiers of Literary Studies in China — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation