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Woman and Chinese Modernity

Woman and Chinese Modernity: The Politics of Reading Between West and East

Rey Chow
Volume: 75
Copyright Date: 1991
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 224
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  • Book Info
    Woman and Chinese Modernity
    Book Description:

    Examines the relationship of "woman" to issues of non-Western culture: ethnic spectatorship, popular literature, the construction of literary history, and the revolutionary production and emotional reception of national literature.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-8348-2
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Preface
    (pp. xi-2)
  5. Chapter 1 Seeing Modern China: Toward a Theory of Ethnic Spectatorship
    (pp. 3-33)

    As contemporary critical discourses become increasingly sensitive to the wideranging implications of the term “other,” one major problem that surfaces is finding ways to articulate subjectivities that are, in the course of their participation in the dominant culture, “othered” and marginalized. Metaphors and apparatuses ofseeingbecome overwhelmingly important ways of talking, simply because “seeing” carries with it the connotation of a demarcation of ontological boundaries between “self” and “other,” whether racial, social, or sexual. However, the most difficult questions surrounding the demarcation of boundaries implied by “seeing” have to do not with positivistic taxonomic juxtapositions of self-contained identities and...

  6. Chapter 2 Mandarin Ducks and Butterflies: An Exercise in Popular Readings
    (pp. 34-83)

    Modern Chinese literary history, as it is presented in the West, has, until fairly recently, been dominated by the May Fourth movement and the cultural revolution that clusters around its memory.¹ “May Fourth” is now generally understood not only as the day in 1919 when students in Beijing protested against the Chinese government’s self -compromising policies toward Japan and triggered a series of uprisings throughout the country, but as the entire period in early twentieth-century China in which Chinese people of different social classes, all inspired by patriotic sentiments, were eager to reevaluate tradition in the light of science and...

  7. Chapter 3 Modernity and Narration — in Feminine Detail
    (pp. 84-120)

    Written in 1943 for the English monthlyThe XXth Century,Eileen Chang’s “Chinese Life and Fashions” calls our attention to the development of modern Chinese history in a most interesting if for some irrelevant manner: through the vanishing superfluous detail. The detail, whose extravagance and potency as a method of differentiation mark the ancient Chinese world as a source of intellectual fascination for critics like Jorge Luis Borges and Michel Foucault,³ is systematically compelled to disappear in modern China. In Chang's essay, that disappearance is not only the result of the reported historical developments, but is foreshadowed by what is...

  8. Chapter 4 Loving Women: Masochism, Fantasy, and the Idealization of the Mother
    (pp. 121-170)

    It is said that Lin Shu and Wang Ziren, as they were collaborating on the translation ofLa Dame aux Caméllas,wept so profusely that they could be heard even outside the house.1, 2No one to whom I repeat this story has failed to laugh, obviously because of the excessiveness of the sorrow expressed by these two men at what was, after all, a piece of fiction. The excessiveness is made apparent by a specific and intense form of physical discharge—the emission of tears. In a way that is directly opposed to the emotional restraint and control that...

  9. Notes
    (pp. 173-190)
  10. Index
    (pp. 193-199)
  11. Back Matter
    (pp. 200-200)