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Download Chinese Literature and the Child: Children and Childhood in by K. Foster PDF

By K. Foster

Monitoring principles of the kid in chinese language society around the 20th century, Kate Foster areas fictional kids in the tale of the state in a examine of tropes and subject matters which diversity from photos of energy and purity to the murderous and amoral.

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135 Specifically, Lu argues that “Chinese intellectuals took up the unfinished project of Chinese modernity” begun during the May Fourth era,136 a project which, effectively, restored the intellectual to the familiar, historic role of “saviour/ educator,”137 or, in language more appropriate to this context, of “parent” to a new China: The important task, once again, was to launch a cultural critique of the past and to construct a new China. This implies a critique of both the “feudal” past and the immediate past of the Cultural Revolution.

Voices from another world In the West the child in literature, as innocent, as wicked, as a child of parents, took its place, albeit belatedly, in what has been termed a “critical revolution”89 which considered how we create ourselves by creating the Other. Readings of the child in May Fourth fiction as a manifestation of adult desire to redefine the patriarch reflect this understanding of the narrative function of the child image. The child tells us about the parent, the adult, because it is itself an Other wholly constructed by the adult consciousness.

4 Within the Confucian tradition the child occupies a strict position in a hierarchy of human relations: obedience and loyalty are owed by son to father, subject to ruler. 9 Once the desired heirs arrived, the older generation was responsible for transforming the young in their turn into virtuous adults able to fulfil their designated roles. 12 Despite Confucius’ own demand that the young be held in “awe” for their potential to supersede the old, age was respected and revered over youth. 13 In life as in literature, the significance of fathers can hardly be overestimated.

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