Mo Yan and Peter Carey are internationally acclaimed writers who have written a number of historical novels. They share many similarities in their characterization and narrative skills as they subvert official narrative memories; however, they differ in their explorations of their respective national psyches. Mo Yan's Red Sorghum and Carey's True History of the Kelly Gang represent memories of historical events and figures which depict their bandits, Yu Zhan'ao (Red Sorghum) and Ned Kelly (Kelly Gang), as heroes in dark and turbulent periods. This article suggests that these characters are a reflection of the cruel histories that Chinese and Australian peoples have experienced in fighting against their enemies. Through Mo Yan and Carey's literary representation of memories within the characters of Zhan'ao and Kelly, the aesthetic value of the fiction brings the histories to life.
Comparative Literature Studies publishes comparative critical essays that range across the rich traditions of Africa, Asia, Europe, and North and South America, and that examine the literary relations between East and West, North and South. Articles may also explore movements, themes, forms, the history of ideas, relations between authors, the foundations of criticism and theory, and issues of language and translation. Each issue of CLS also contains numerous book reviews of the most important comparative literature monographs and essay collections.
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