Heterogeneous Time and Space: Han Shaogong’s Rethinking of Chinese Modernity

in KronoScope
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?



Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.



Help

Have Institutional Access?



Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?



Connect

This article is set against the post-Mao official discourse on modernity, in which the conceptualization of a homogeneous, progressive time dominates the public consciousness. The focus is on Han Shaogong, one of the most important writers and cultural theorists in contemporary China, and on how he imagines a heterogeneous spatiotemporality away from the centralized and teleological paradigm. Han’s emphasis on the heterogeneity of time and space puts the homogenized, Hegelian-Marxist, developmentalist logic at the core of China’s modernization project into question. The article begins by examining how the linear and evolutionary concept of time has determined the perception of history and reality in modern China. It then moves to an exegesis of Han’s famous literary treatise “The Roots of Literature,” illustrating how Han’s insistence on tracing multiple roots rather than one singular Root challenges the monocultural, essentialized notion of Chineseness that prevails hegemonically in the discussion of Chinese modernity. The last section analyzes Han’s “Homecoming,” a story centered on an educated youth’s compulsive return to the village where he was rusticated. Moving beyond the conventional interpretation of identity crisis, the present study illuminates a different sense of time toward which Han gestures—a multi-directional and displaced temporality, to which the unconscious and the repressed both claim access.

Heterogeneous Time and Space: Han Shaogong’s Rethinking of Chinese Modernity

in KronoScope

Sections

References

AndersonBenedict Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism 1991 Revised Edition London and New York Verso

BenjaminWalter ZohnHarry “Theses on the Philosophy of History.” Illuminations 1969 New York Schocken Books 253 264

BernsteinThomas P. Up to the Mountains and Down to the Villages: The Transfer of Youth from Urban to Rural China 1977 New Haven Yale University Press

ChowRey “Introduction: Chineseness as a Theoretical Problem.” Boundary 2 1998 Fall 25 3 1 24

DaiQinli Taoyuanming ji jiaozhu 1979 Beijing Zhonghua shuju (Collation and annotation of the collection of Tao Qian)

DengXiaoping ChengPei-kaiLestzMichaelSpencerJonathan “Emancipate the Mind, Seek Truth from Facts, Unite as One, and Look forward.” The Search for Modern China: A Documentary Collection 1999 New York W.W. Norton and Company 447 451

FeuerwerkerYi-tsi Mei “The Post-Modern ‘Search for Roots’ in Han Shaogong, Mo Yan, and Wang Anyi.” Ideology Power Text: Self-representation and the Peasant “Other” in Modern Chinese Literature 1998 Stanford, CA. Stanford University Press 188 237

FreudSigmund StracheyJames LeitchV. B. “The Uncanny.” The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism 2001 New York W.W. Norton and Co. 929 951

GuoMoruo Anthology of Guo Moruo’s Works: History 3 1984 Beijing Renmin wenxue chubanshe

HanShaogong “The Roots of Literature.” Zai houtai de houtai 2008 Beijing Renmin wenxue chubanshe 273 278 (Behind the backstage)

HanShaogong “Homecoming.” Gui qu lai 2008 Beijing Renmin wenxue chubanshe 55 68

HanShaogong “Literature: Dream and Awakening.” Xiaoti Dazuo 2008 Beijing Renmin Wenxue Chubanshe 62 81 (Contemplation on trivial matters)

JamesonFredric A Singular Modernity: Essay on the Ontology of the Present 2002 London and New York Verso

LauJoseph WidmerEllenDer-wei WangDavid “Visitation of the Past in Han Shaogong’s Post-1985 fiction.” From May Fourth to June Fourth: Fiction and Film in Twentieth-Century China 1993 Cambridge, MA Harvard University Press 19 42

LiTonglu “To Believe or Not to Believe: Zhou Zuoren’s Alternative Approaches to the Chinese Enlightenment.” Modern Chinese Literature and Culture 2013 25 1 206 260

MaoZedong Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung 1965 Vol. 1 Beijing Foreign Languages Press [Mao Zedong]

PanYihong Tempered in the Revolutionary Furnace: China’s Youth in the Rustication Movement 2003 Lanham, MD Lexington Books

StuckeyG. Andrew “The Lyrical and the Local: Sheng Congwen, Roots, and Temporality in the Lyrical Tradition.” Old Stories Retold: Narrative and Vanishing Pasts in Modern China 2010 Lanham, MD Lexington Books 83 98

TuWeiming “Cultural China: The Periphery as the Center.” The Living Tree: The Changing Meaning of Being Chinese Today 1994 Stanford CA Stanford University Press 1 34

WangDavid Der-wei The Monster That Is History: History Violence and Fictional Writing in Twentieth-Century China 2004 Berkeley and Los Angeles University of California Press

WangHui Sihuo Chongwen 2010 Beijing Remin wenxue chubanshe (Rekindling the dead fire)

WangJing High Culture Fever: Politics Aesthetics and Ideology in Deng’s China 1996 Berkeley and Los Angeles University of California Press

YangXiaobin The Chinese Postmodern: Trauma and Irony in Chinese Avant-garde Fiction 2002 Ann Arbor University of Michigan Press

1

Fredric JamesonA Singular Modernity: Essay on the Ontology of the Present (London and New York: Verso2002) 23-30.

2

Wang HuiSihuo Chongwen (Rekindling the Dead Fire) (Beijing: Remin wenxue chubanshe2010) 3-4.

5

Guo MoruoAnthology of Guo Moruo’s Works: History 3 (Beijing: Renmin wenxue chubanshe1984) 27.

7

Deng Xiaoping“Emancipate the Mind, Seek Truth from Facts, Unite as One, and Look Forward,” in The Search for Modern China: A Documentary Collectioned. Pei-kai Cheng Michael Lestz and Jonathan Spencer (New York: W.W. Norton and Company1999) 451.

9

Walter Benjamin“Theses on the Philosophy of History,” in Illuminationstrans. Harry Zohn (New York: Schocken Books1969) 257-258.

13

Joseph Lau“Visitation of the Past in Han Shaogong’s Post-1985 fiction,” in From May Fourth to June Fourth: Fiction and Film in Twentieth-Century Chinaed. Ellen Widmer and David Der-wei Wang (Cambridge ma: Harvard University Press 1993) 25.

14

In 2000Han Shaogong after twenty odd years of habitation in the cities chose to resettle in the rural village where he had been rusticated. According to him living a simple life like a farmer “can help me reflect on modern civilization.” See Han Shaogong “Literature: Dream and Awakening” in Xiaoti Dazuo (Contemplation on trivial matters) (Beijing: Renmin wenxue chubanshe 2008) 79.

15

Jing WangHigh Culture Fever: Politics Aesthetics and Ideology in Deng’s China (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press1996) 214.

16

Xiaobin YangThe Chinese Postmodern: Trauma and Irony in Chinese Avant-garde Fiction (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press2002) 35.

17

Tu Weiming“Cultural China: The Periphery as the Center,” in The Living Tree: The Changing Meaning of Being Chinese Today (Stanford CA: Stanford University Press 1994) 3.

18

Han Shaogong“The Roots of Literature,” in Zai houtai de houtai (Behind the backstage) (Beijing: Renmin wenxue chubanshe2008) 273. The article was originally published in the Zuojia magazine 1985.

19

Ibid.273.

20

Ibid.275.

21

Ibid.276.

22

Ibid.274.

23

Ibid.274.

24

Rey Chow“Introduction: Chineseness as a Theoretical Problem,” Boundary 2 25:3 (Fall 1998): 24.

26

Han Shaogong“The Roots of Literature” 276.

27

Yi-tsi Mei Feuerwerker“The Post-Modern ‘Search for Roots’ in Han Shaogong, Mo Yan, and Wang Anyi,” in Ideology Power Text: Self-representation and the Peasant “Other” in Modern Chinese Literature (Stanford CA: Stanford University Press 1998) 210.

28

See Dai QinliTaoyuanming ji jiaozhu (Collation and annotation of the collection of Tao Qian) (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju1979).

29

Sigmund Freud“The ‘Uncanny’,” in The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticismed. V.B. Leitch et al. (New York: W.W. Norton and Co.2001) 930.

30

Han Shaogong“Homecoming,” in Gui qu lai (Beijing: Renmin wenxue chubanshe2008) 67.

31

Sigmund Freud“The ‘Uncanny’” 929-951.

33

Han Shaogong“Homecoming” 63-64.

34

Feuerwerker“Post-Modern ‘Search’” 209.

35

Han Shaogong“Homecoming” 64.

36

David Der-wei WangThe Monster That Is History: History Violence and Fictional Writing in Twentieth-Century China (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press2004) 148.

37

Han Shaogong“Homecoming” 64.

Index Card

Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 97 97 15
Full Text Views 9 9 9
PDF Downloads 2 2 2
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0