Contemporary Chinese Literature (中国当代文学)

Today I will introduce the Chinese contemporary literature. First, let’s have a brief introduction of Chinese literature.

Chinese literature is time-honored with a history about 3000 years. Because of its unique form and style as well as rich cultural content, Chinese literature is distinguished by featured aesthetic ideal, reigning traditional thoughts and culture, and critical system. Throughout a long history development, masses of men of letter have produced lavish works which incorporate outstanding forms, unique styles, bright individuality and attractive charm that make Chinese literature a glamorous gem of the world literature.

After the founding of People’s Republic of China, literature is prosperous; works from Russia, Soviet unio and western countries are greatly influencing the Chinese literature; there are many schools in literary circles that are well developed neck and neck. Works in this period cover the subjects of revolution history as well as the new life of nation-construction. The best known works are The Red Rock (红岩 hóng yán) and Teahouse (茶馆 chá guǎn).

Chinese literature experience a cultural desert during the Cultural Revolution but recover rapidly and win a new prosperity after the Reform and Opening up in 1978. Reform and Opening up is a great significance in Chinese history; great changes have taken place in the political circle and the economic structure. With a rapid development in economy, culture and science, people’s concept of value, and their attitude towards life have dramatic changed. Under the encouragement of government’s open policy, so many significant works in various styles appeared, poetry, novels, essays and documentary writings are all-time prosperity. Many narrative poems and legends of minority nationalities also get great development like Ashima (阿诗玛 Ashīmǎ) and Third Sister Liu (刘三姐 Liú Sānjiě) which have been adapted into operas and films that are widely acclaimed.

At the turn of the 21th century, the concept of freedom is catch on quickly, literature undergoing a multiple development especially with the rise of the new generation that born in 1980s. Their works are in great diversity and full of individuality but closely related to the contemporary society. So many excellent writers and so many fine works are growing that it is so hard to list all of them; maybe Han Han (韩寒 Hán Hán) is the one to be mentioned as he is regarded as the head of the 1980s’ generation who is the first to be recognized by the public and gains the greatest reputation. His first novel Triple Gate (三重门 sān chóng mén) is a successful one which was created when he was only 17.

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