From the Assembly Hall to the Boarding House: Identifying Spaces in Transition—A Sociological Reexamination of Shen Congwen’s Early Experiences

in Frontiers of Literary Studies in China
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This article takes Shen Congwen’s early experiences as a set of historical materials, and uses them to analyze changes in the self-constructed identity of a young littérateur in the midst of Beijing’s transformations. These transformations include new modes of social mobility, the reconstruction of urban cultural structures, changes in interpersonal social networks, and restrictions to increases in social class. They represent social preconditions for much of the early history of New Literature. Accordingly, this essay attempts to create new narrative possibilities in the literary history of the period.

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