The Dragon Beards Versus the Blueprints:Symposium on Contemporary Chinese Literature

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    Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press

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Since 1911, the life of the Republican Chinese has undergone a transformation, perhaps unique in history.The civilization of ancient China was like a great river running quietly through a valley of virgin mountains.There had been vicissitudes, but nothing had affected any change in its course.It had been left alone until the end of the last century when this river, against its will, encountered the ocean of world culture.Terrific turmoil resulted, which became swollen into tumultuous rapids known as the Literary Revolution.The collapse of the Manchu Empire was almost immediately followed by the abandonment of the age-hallowed classical style.The vernacular was adopted in its stead.Before that, the only official and academic language in use was couched in the classical style.No one could hope to pass the imperial examinations, the only stepping-stone to any decent career, without being steeped in this style.But the classical was immeasurably different from the spoken language.It usually took a good quarter of a lifetime to master its rudiments.Hence, it was almost inaccessible to the man-in-the-street.This fact alone was insufferable to the Republican Chinese.It meant that the great masses of China had scant prospect of education in any near future, while the Republic urgently needed the support of intelligent citizens.It meant that China would have to sail on in picturesque junks while others kept fortifying ever new types of powerful guns on board their battleships.No science had a chance of development if the people were to be perpetually tethered to the white elephant.Threatened by a neighbour that was being rapidly modernized, the young Chinese reacted sensibly rather than sentimentally.

  • 苦难时代的蚀刻—现代中国文化鸟瞰

  • 龙须与蓝图—战后文化的思考

  • 土地回老家

  • 回忆几位友人

  • 版权页

  • Etching of a Tormented Age—A Glimpse of Contemporary Chinese Literature

  • The Dragon Beards Versus the Blueprints—Meditations on Post-war Culture

  • How the Tillers Win Back Their Land

  • In Memory of Some Friends

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