LTEA 110C - CONTEMPORARY CHINESE FICTION IN TRANSLATION
Chinese Lit in the World
Instructor: Angie Chau
This course is a survey of contemporary Chinese literature that appears commonly under the category of world literature. We will begin with a discussion of China’s relationship with the Nobel Prize in literature, including the work of Nobel laureates Gao Xingjian (2000) and Mo Yan (2012). The fiction of Su Tong and Yu Hua similarly address themes of human despair, political violence, and tragedy, but they approach historical representation using their own unique techniques of formal experimentation and narrative style. In the second half of the quarter we take a step back from the mainstream masculinist mode of (his)storytelling to read works about urbanism and female sexuality in novels by Wang Anyi and Chen Ran, and non-Chinese novels written by Chinese writers living outside of China, such as Dai Sijie and Ha Jin. Throughout the course we will also engage with film adaptations, newspaper articles, and critical essays, in an effort to define the label of “world literature,” and to reflect on the issue of translation, such as who determines which texts “get” to be translated into English, and how these kinds of decisions are made. Central to our investigation will be the question of how useful keywords such as popular culture, modernism, world literature, cosmopolitanism, multiculturalism, and globalization are to the study of contemporary Chinese literature.