Fragmenting Modernisms

Chinese Wartime Literature, Art, and Film, 1937-49


In Fragmenting Modernisms, Carolyn FitzGerald traces the evolution of Chinese modernism during the War of Resistance against Japan (1937-45) and Chinese Civil War (1945-49) through a series of close readings of works of fiction, poetry, film, and visual art, produced in various locations throughout wartime China.

Showing that the culture of this period was characterized by a high degree of formal looseness, she argues that such aesthetic fluidity was created in response to historical conditions of violence and widespread displacement. Moreover, she illustrates how the innovative formal experiments of uprooted writers and artists expanded the geographic and aesthetic boundaries of Chinese modernism far beyond the coastal cities of Shanghai and Beijing.

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Biographical Note

Carolyn FitzGerald, Ph.D. (2007), University of Michigan, is an Assistant Professor of Chinese at Auburn University. She has published articles on modern Chinese literature, film, and drama.

Table of contents

Introduction Out of the Ashes: Towards a Wartime Aesthetics of Dissolution
Chapter One A Sonnet in an Air-Raid Shelter: Mu Dan and the New Lyricism
Chapter Two Intersections between Cartoon and National Art: Ye Qianyu's Search for the Sinicized Cartoon
Chapter Three Wang Zenqi's Collection of Chance Encounters: The Shifting Essence of the Wartime Short Story
Chapter Four Between Forgetting and the Repetitions of Memory: Fei Mu's Aesthetics of Desolation in Spring in a Small Town
Chapter Five Fei Ming's After Mr. Neverwas Rides a Plane: Wartime Autobiography as History
Epilogue Searching for Roots: Modernist Echoes in the Post-Mao Era


All interested in modern Chinese literature, film, and visual art.

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