Morning Sun: Interviews with Chinese Writers of the Lost Generation

Morning Sun: Interviews with Chinese Writers of the Lost Generation

Morning Sun: Interviews with Chinese Writers of the Lost Generation

Morning Sun: Interviews with Chinese Writers of the Lost Generation

Synopsis

This is a collection of interviews with 26 writers of China's "zhiqing" generation, relatively young artists who participated in the Cultural Revolution as teen-age Red Guards, suffered through the subsequent rustication of intellectual youth, and eventually returned to relatively normal lives, but always with a tragic hiatus haunting their formative years. While one goal of Professor Leung is to introduce to the West an important group of writers little-known outside China, she also aims to succeed, through the interviews, in providing a special perspective on the devastating political history of China since the 1970s years through the eyes of its keenest observers and in offering a perspective on the social, political and cultural milieu of the period.

Excerpt

"In this book, so ironically titled, Dr. Leung presents carefully instrumented interviews with twenty-six writers of the so-called zhiqing generation of rusticated youth--ex-Red Guards who spent years at military farms, remote villages, or other places far away from home. The book gives an emotional picture of a generation which has moved from Maoist frenzy toward disillusion and cynicism, feeling abandoned and deceived by a morally deteriorating party and the unattainable ideals of Chinese communism.

"Readers interested in both Chinese society and literature are sure to find a rich field of fresh insights, blunt judgments, original conclusions--and much despair with the development of modern Chinese society and its prospects for the first decades of the next century. . . .

"Basically, Chinese literature and culture remain in crisis as Wang Anyi here insists. China has had enough of its propagandists; it lacks historians and clear-minded thinkers. The writers condemn the development of Chinese society in the last years. Chen Naishan, daughter of a prominent Shanghai banker, known through her portrayals of the tragedies of Chinese upper-class life, deplores that the Chinese have lost their sense of values, young people being too 'practical' and lacking basic morality. Deng Gang feels ashamed of himself and of the Chinese people: How could a nation with such an ancient culture be warped and fooled to such a deplorable extent during the Cultural Revolution?"

-- Helmut Martin, Ruhr University . . .

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