The Lure of the Modern: Writing Modernism in Semicolonial China, 1917-1937

By Shu-Mei Shih | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 8
Gendered Negotiations with the Local
Lin Huiyin and Ling Shuhua

The blue of the sky fell in love with the green of the earth.

The breeze between them sighs, “Alas!”

RABINDRANATH TAGORE'S POEM DESCRIBING LIN HUIYIN (1924)

I often envy you, for being in such a large wild place with a very old civilization.

VIRGINIA WOOLF, LETTER TO LING SHUHUA (APRIL 17, 1939)

The relationship between the May Fourth enlightenment project and gender has been a topic of much interest, particularly the ways in which gender is deployed as a trope or figure for the articulation of the project, instead of being a socially grounded issue in the service of women's liberation. The troping of gender is perhaps best illustrated by Lu Xun's various stories where “woman” is represented as the receptacle of tradition in need of the male modern's enlightenment, an allegory of old China's (female) need for modernity and modernization (male). It was the male voice propounding an agenda of national cultural rejuvenation that ironically displaced the feminist agenda of women's liberation as articulated by such feminist writers as Lu Yin (1898–1934).1 Encapsulated in the genre of fiction called “problem fiction, ” the “problem” of the patriarchal oppression of women was displaced as the problem of “tradition, ” which was seen as having tyrannized men and women alike. Women's problems were merely one of the many indexes to larger problems of tradition; hence if traditional culture were eliminated, women's problems should also automatically evaporate into thin air, as the logic went.

____________________
1
See my “Female Confessional Narratives in Modern Chinese Literature” (Zhongguo xiandai wenxue zhong de nüxing zibai xiaoshuo), Con-Temporary (Dangdai) 95 (March 1994): 108–127, and Stephen Chan, “The Language of Despair: Ideological Representation of the 'New Woman' by May Fourth Writers, ” in Gender Politics in Modern China: Writing and Feminism, ed. Tani E. Barlow (Durham: Duke University Press, 1993), 13–32.

-204-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Lure of the Modern: Writing Modernism in Semicolonial China, 1917-1937
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 427

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.