Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Study on Literature Representation of Zhuhai City Image

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Study on Literature Representation of Zhuhai City Image

Article excerpt


This paper discusses the representation of Zhuhai as a special economic zone and famous tourist city in literature. Since Zhuhai was set up, most native writers in Zhuhai have showed narration of struggling experience in "an alien land" for Zhuhai representation. But such literary works benefit little for effectively establishing Zhuhai's positive city image and confirming its subject identity and spirit. Native writers in Zhuhai should consciously create positive and healthy social climate, shape and communicate favorable city image and enrich humanity history resources of Zhuhai so as to effectively communicate Zhuhai city image.

Keywords: literature, city image, Zhuhai, representation

The city is the converging place of human civilization. Literary works keep eternal memory for each city.

Compared with films and television works and news media, literary works are more profound for shaping city image. The communication of literary works is longer. Many famous historical cities in China such as Nanjing, Luoyang, Xi'an and Hangzhou have a large quantity of rich colorful and glorious literary works. In the history, the occurrence of these literary works makes these cities rich in profound historical deposits.

In modern times, the names of some famous writers will be connected with a city. Their writing for these cities forms unique humane scenes, such as Beijing which Lao She wrote in his works, Shanghai which Zhang Ailing wrote in her works, Nanjing which Zhu Ziqing wrote in this works and Xi'an which Jia Ping'ao wrote in his works. In their works, Hutong in Beijing, lanes in Shanghai, Qinhuai River in Nanjing and ancient storied building in Xi'an sent out strong historical atmosphere. The Hutong, lanes, Qinhuai River and ancient storied building are exactly matched with historical and humane features of these cities. Not just the city image is effectively communicated, but also the literary works are sparkling in the literature history.

Since Zhuhai Special Economic Zone was founded, literary creation in Zhuhai has been prosperous. Some famous writers appeared in Zhuhai, including Yang Xueping, Wang Hailing, Pei Bei and Deng Shan etc. Their creation have added unique scenery lines for Zhuhai, shaped city image of Zhuhai and leftvivid historical memory for Zhuhai. How does Zhuhai reappear in literary works and what historical memory has been leftto Zhuhai by special zone literature of Zhuhai since the reform and opening-up? These become the problems worth thinking.

1. Effective Communication of City Literature and City Image

Many literary works will make a place famous overnight. For example, Milan Kundera's works The Unbearable Lightness of Being made Prague become the object people long for; Chinese writer Lu Xun's Kong Yiji made "Xianheng Inn" in Wuzhen Town of Zhejiang world-famous; Shen Congwen's Border Town made western Hunan become a tourist attraction ... Literary works show city image and give materialized places with life and significance.

A British cultural research scholar Stuart Hall considers, any cultural image is a kind of construction. City image is of no exception. City image is constructed in a series of culture symbols and forms great differences with real city image, for such constructed image includes constructors' subjective thoughts and previous knowledge deposits and emotional ideas. In all culture symbol construction systems, literary works play a very important role in city construction. They add new things for a city through literary image and other means.

Compared with rural areas in literature representation, in the history, the cities reappearing in city literature were not the places for poetic dwelling, but the places full of chaos, crimes, gainful people and corruption. "In fact, since the moment when literature appeared in the ancient times, city literature only has occupies an unimpressive and despised position in the mind of scholars. …

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