A History of Pain: Trauma in Modern Chinese Literature and by Michael Berry PDF

By Michael Berry

ISBN-10: 0231141629

ISBN-13: 9780231141628

The portrayal of ancient atrocity in fiction, movie, and pop culture can exhibit a lot concerning the functionality of person reminiscence and the moving prestige of nationwide id. within the context of chinese language tradition, movies akin to Hou Hsiao-hsien's City of Sadness and Lou Ye's Summer Palace and novels resembling Ye Zhaoyan's Nanjing 1937: A Love Story and Wang Xiaobo's The Golden Age jointly reimagine previous horrors and provides upward thrust to new historic narratives.

Michael Berry takes an leading edge examine the illustration of six particular ancient traumas in glossy chinese language historical past: the Musha Incident (1930); the Rape of Nanjing (1937-38); the February 28 Incident (1947); the Cultural Revolution (1966-76); Tiananmen sq. (1989); and the Handover of Hong Kong (1997). He identifies basic modes of restaging historic violence: centripetal trauma, or violence inflicted from the surface that evokes a reexamination of the chinese language state, and centrifugal trauma, which, originating from inside of, evokes demanding narratives which are projected out onto a transnational imaginative and prescient of world desires and, occasionally, nightmares.

These modes enable Berry to attach portrayals of mass violence to rules of modernity and the kingdom. He additionally illuminates the connection among ancient atrocity on a countrywide scale and the soreness skilled by means of the person; the functionality of movie and literature as ancient testimony; the intersection among politics and paintings, background and reminiscence; and the actual merits of recent media, that have discovered new technique of narrating the weight of old violence.

As chinese language artists started to probe formerly taboo elements in their nation's heritage within the ultimate many years of the 20 th century, they created texts that prefigured, echoed, or subverted social, political, and cultural developments. A heritage of Pain recognizes the far-reaching effect of this artwork and addresses its profound function in shaping the general public mind's eye and conception-as good as misconception-of smooth chinese language history.

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Extra resources for A History of Pain: Trauma in Modern Chinese Literature and Film

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19 introduction I have also found several key works in the field of trauma theory to be useful, such as those of Dominick LaCapra (1994, 2001), E. Ann Kaplan (2005), Cathy Caruth (1995, 1996), Susan Sontag (2004), Elaine Scarry (1987, 1994), and Shoshana Felman and Dori Laub (1992); the latter two provide a particularly strong argument regarding the power and limits of testimony. At the same time, I have remained sensitive to the fact that many of these theories and approaches were designed to address the particular traumatic phenomena associated with the Holocaust during World War II.

LaCapra (1996) has suggested that psychoanalytic approaches that have traditionally been applied to the individual may be extended to also consider the presence of similar neuroses in the collective structures of society as well as in texts (173–174). One example of this phenomenon can be seen with scar literature, a genre of highly personalized narratives of trauma, pain, and suffering faced during the Cultural Revolution, which became synonymous with the national scar China was trying to heal after a decade of inner turmoil.

The officials not only ignore repeated warnings and emergency calls for help from the provincial areas but also go to great lengths to hide the truth from the emperor, further expediting the fall of the dynasty. Descriptions of the emperor as lacking assertive leadership qualities and inundated in a sea of women, drink, and pleasures of the flesh also creates a degree of culpability on his part. The Mongols may be posited as the novel’s “villains,” but Wu Jianren makes clear that their victory is facilitated by the drunkenness, lust, irresponsibility, and collective selfishness of the Song.

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A History of Pain: Trauma in Modern Chinese Literature and Film by Michael Berry


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