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Translated by Madeleine Zelin
Copyright Date: 1992
Pages: 255
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  • Book Info
    Book Description:

    With this translation of the 1929 novelRainbow(Hong), one of China's most influential works of fiction is at last available in English.Rainbowchronicles the political and social disruptions in China during the early years of the twentieth century. Inspired by the iconoclasm of the "May Fourth Movement," the heroine, Mei, embarks on a journey that takes her from the limitations of the traditional family to a discovery of the new, "modern" values of individualism, sexual equality, and political responsibility. The novel moves with Mei from the conservative world of China's interior provinces down the Yangtze River to Shanghai, where she discovers the turbulent political environment of China's most modern city. Mao Dun writes with the conviction of one who has lived through the events he is describing.Rainbowprovides a moving introduction to the contradictions inherent in the simultaneous quest for personal freedom and national strengthening. Vividly evocative of the period in which it was written, it is equally relevant to the China of today.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-91095-9
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Translator’s Introduction
    (pp. v-x)
    Madeleine Zelin

    Shen Yanbing (1896–1981), better known by his pen name, Mao Dun, was born in Tongxiang county, Zhejiang, during the final years of China’s last imperial regime. Mao Dun received a modern education, first at a middle school in Hangzhou and later as a student of literature at National Beijing University. In 1916, after three years at the university, financial difficulties forced Mao Dun to cut his academic career short and take a job as a proofreader at the Commercial Press (Shangwu Yinshuguan) in Shanghai.

    Because he was born only two years before the 1898 reforms and China’s abortive initial...

  3. List of Characters
    (pp. xi-xiv)
    (pp. 1-235)

    The golden rays of the rising sun pierced the light smoky mist that hung over the Yangzi River, dispersing it to reveal the blue-green of the mountain peaks on either shore. The east wind played a soft, enchanting melody. The muddy waters of the Yangzi gradually plunged through the narrow gorges, now and then producing a bevy of small whirlpools in its wake.

    An indistinct growl, like the roar of a great animal, issued forth from behind the wall of mountains upstream. After a few minutes it grew into a long, proud bellow, transforming itself into a thundering echo between...