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A study of the Chinese literary histories published in 1920s and 1930s in China

Authors Du, Zhiguo (杜治國)
Issue Date 2000
Summary The first Chinese literary history by a Chinese author appeared at the beginning of the 20th century, founding a body of work spanning almost one hundred years. Of these, the 1920s and 1930s was a period of crucial importance. During this time, Chinese literary historians assimilated western theories and methods into their writings. The appearance of various Chinese literary histories incorporating these new theories and methods helps transform these from an early stage of childishness and conservatism into one of maturity and diversification. About one hundred general Chinese literary histories were published during this period, including many famous works, such as Hu Shi's (胡适) Baihua Wenxueshi (<白话文学史>) and Zheng Zhenduo's (郑振铎) Chatuben Zhongguo Wenxueshi (<插图本中国文学史>). Some of them are still popular today. This study approaches these general Chinese literary histories from three aspects, i.e., literary view, conceptions of Chinese literary history and the mode of writing. Besides the deep analysis of the texts, this study also discusses their social, cultural and historical contexts. In this way, this study attempts to discover the reasons for the transformation of Chinese literary historiography and to review the characteristics of the writings. There are five chapters in this thesis. Chapter one traces back to the emergence and early stage of Chinese literary history, and gives a brief account of those histories published in the 1920s and 1930s. It also describes the motivation and organization of the thesis. Chapter two explores the influence of the modernization of the traditional literary view on Chinese literary histories. Chapter three analyses the transplantation of Western theories into China, and the way Chinese literary historians assimilate them and apply them to their writing. Chapter four reviews the evolutionist mode of writing which was very popular at that time. The final chapter brings out the characteristics of these writings and discusses their contributions and shortcomings, along with their significance to the later works of Chinese literary historians.
Note Thesis (M.Phil.)--Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, 2000
Language Chinese
Format Thesis
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