From Counter-Canon to Hypercanon in a Postcanonical Age: Eileen Chang as Text and Myth

in Frontiers of Literary Studies in China
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This article revisits the history of canon formation in modern Chinese literary study and explores the complexities and quandaries of literary historiography as evidenced in the case of Eileen Chang (Zhang Ailing 张爱玲). Chang’s change of fortune from counter-canon to hypercanon addresses not simply the aesthetic imperatives of textual production and critical evaluation, but also the contingencies and vicissitudes of literary criticism and the periodic self-refashioning of critical concepts and values. Simultaneously operating as text and myth, the spectacular “Eileen Chang phenomenon” compels us to confront the intertwined issues of canon, discipline, and pedagogy.

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