Chapter 10 Literary Bombs: a Sketch of the May Fourth Generation and Bomb as Metaphor

In: Remembering May Fourth
Chien-hsin Tsai
Search for other papers by Chien-hsin Tsai in
Current site
Google Scholar

Purchase instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):



This chapter explores the works of Ding Ling in order to open up a new way of studying and researching modern Chinese literature. The author points out that the May Fourth writers had frequently documented bombing incidents in their diary entries, essays, and novels. Familiar with what the bombs could do, the May Fourth writers did not hesitate to use the sound metaphor such as bomb and bombing to compliment an author or literary work that sent tremors down through the literary scene. This chapter discusses Ding Ling’s The Diary of Miss Sophie, which was once described by a critic as a bomb that the author dropped on the Chinese literary circle. By treating Ding Ling as a synecdoche for May Fourth writers, the author investigates as well as demonstrates how the prevalent usage of the bomb metaphor in everyday life could mean to the May Fourth literary writings.

  • Collapse
  • Expand

Remembering May Fourth

The Movement and its Centennial Legacy

Series:  Ideas, History, and Modern China, Volume: 23