History and Memory in the Marketplace: Cultural Representations of Mid-20th-Century China
Published by: Peter Lang Inc., International Academic Publishers
Imprint: Peter Lang, International Academic Publishers
Available: November 2021
Dimensions: 6.00 x 9.00
6.00 x 9.00 in
Not Yet Published
This book captures the main modes of "romanticized" memories about the Chinese Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. It draws on major literary, filmic and digital presentations, as well as the cultural marketplace, to devote attention to the memories that are eroticized, nostalgic, digitized and commodified.
This book captures and examines some of the main modes of "romanticized" memories about the Chinese Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution that have appeared since the late 1980s and are drastically different from previous representations that focused on trauma. Drawing on some of the major literary, filmic and digital presentations, as well as examples from the cultural marketplace, this book devotes its attention to the memories that are eroticized, nostalgic, digitized and commodified.
Situating these new mnemonic presentations against the backdrop of a persistently cautious political climate in China that has never favored open expressions about the Cultural Revolutionary past, and also against a global climate of prevailing (capitalist) modernity and nostalgic sentiments, this book examines the meanings, values and problems lying in these new mnemonic rewritings of the Cultural Revolution experience, as well as analyses some of the intricate conflicts and connections between these memories and the global influences. In its study, this book uncovers not only a strong resistance to the official suppression of critical articulations of the Cultural Revolution history, but also the ways in which such resistance is effected through Chinese intellectuals' inventive use of the market and the trends of commodification. By giving deserved credits to commodification for facilitating Chinese intellectuals in establishing channels of conversations and possibly a discourse on China’s recent history and the politics of memory, this book hopes to provide some insights into history's path, especially in light of Chinese intellectuals' heated debate on the nature of the capitalist economy in China.
"Gao’s volume opens afresh creative moments and studies of Modern China both at home and abroad with research into an era that is often muddled by intentional and unintentional confusion among the Third Front, the Rusticated Youth, and the Cultural Revolution. Fashioning a new critical idiom that organically connects romantic, sexual, and erotic strands of filmic, literary, and digital extensions and representations of the Cultural Revolution, she provides twentieth and twenty-first century historical analysis and urges further research into the dangerously seductive commodification of nostalgia and the myths it engenders."—Bert Scruggs, Associate Professor of Chinese, University of California, Irvine
“This book examines the phenomenon of ‘rewriting the Cultural Revolution’ at the turn of the 21st century. Focusing on eroticizing, romanticizing, nostalgic, and digitizing trends in recent representations, Gao sheds light on individuals’ attempts at self-fashioning and self-empowerment and their subtle resistance to political doctrine. Drawing on a plethora of cultural texts from novels and films to Cultural Revolution-themed restaurants and parks, this book makes an important contribution to modern Chinese studies and memory studies.”
—Tze-lan D. Sang, Professor of Chinese Literature and Media Studies, Michigan State University