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Circulating Smallness on Weibo: The Dialectics of Microfiction

In: Frontiers of Literary Studies in China
Authors: Haomin Gong and Xin Yang
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The focus of this essay is microfiction (wei xiaoshuo), a form of Weibo-based fiction writing. From the perspective of its most prominent feature—microness—the authors investigate the dialectical relationship between microness and largeness embodied in its form, the context of its emergence, the conditions of its existence, as well as the issues reflected in its content. Studying three disparate cases of microfiction writing, namely microfiction selected from contests hosted by Sina, Chen Peng’s personal Weibo posts, and Wen Huanjian’s Weibo novel, Love in the Age of Microblogging (Weibo shiqi de aiqing), we explore the cultural status of microfiction as a reflection of the combination of literary writing and online activities; and its aesthetic, literary, and cultural characteristics. Reading microfiction in both a literary and a sociocultural text, we argue that the smallness is an intrusion upon the largeness and hegemony of grand narratives on the one hand, and a reflection of a boradly changing reality on the other.

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