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現代性的幽靈 : 王小波硏究

王小波硏究

Specters of modernity : a study of Wang Xiaobo

Authors Tang, Siu Wa (鄧小樺)
Issue Date 2006
Summary Contesting Fukuyama's neo-evangelistic rhetoric of "the end of history," Derrida insists "no disavowal has managed to rid itself of all Marx' s ghost." To endure the "specters of Marx" is to excavate the indefinite Marxist heritages, to consider the inherited disorder of Time and to look for the ever-returning heterogeneity. Derrida deems such considerations as instrumental to a radical criticism. In the midst of the overwhelming commodification of all aspects in mid-1990s China, there is a contemporary analogy of such "Haunting of Specters." Reacting against some "post-modernists" who claim that "modernity has ended," some scholars suggest that an "anti-modernist modernity" was in fact a defining feature of Chinese modernity. Evoking a critical Marxism, this newly emerging intellectual trend resists the capitalist modernity and searches for "a modernization programme that is reflective of modernization." This thesis studies the late Chinese writer Wang Xiaobo (1952 - 1997) as a literary figure exemplary of "the spectral." It positions Wang in an ambiguous space between the high and the low in the 1990s. Wang's work will be approached in terms of three conceptual categories: enlightenment, romanticism, and humour. This thesis investigates the representation of Wang's modernity in the context of the discursive development of these three categories in the modern intellectual history. Wang was not a transgressor, but his defeatism and despair were symptomatic of the conflicting implications in the Chinese intellectuals' construction of modernity. This thesis also analyzes the process in which Wang's work has been circulated, received, and consumed. An examination of how Wang was regarded and promoted as an "icon" will shed light on the power relationship of the intelligentsia and the cultural market. My study questions a mystification prevalent in the Chinese society, that literature, the intelligentsia , and the cultural market are taken to be independent from politics. As my thesis will show, the seemingly apolitical and transcendental culture industry is in fact inseparable from the political arena in contemporary China. It is the purpose of this thesis to address the complexity of contemporary China's cultural imagination as well as the problematics in regard to the self-positioning and coping strategies of the intellectuals.
Note Thesis (M.Phil.)--Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, 2006
Subjects
Language Chinese
Format Thesis
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