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A Study of the Eileen Chang’s Narrative: Focusing on Her Fiction

  • The Journal of Chinese Cultural Studies
  • 2013, (23), pp.191-213
  • DOI : 10.18212/cccs.2013..23.009
  • Publisher : The Society For Chinese Cultural Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Chinese Language and Literature > Chinese Literature > Chinese Culture

강승미 1

1숙명여자대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to illustrate the narrative features of Eileen Chang(Zhang Ailing)’s fictions, especially focusing on four fictions such as 〈牛〉, 〈沉香屑第一炉香〉, 〈傾城之戀〉, 〈金锁记〉, 〈连环套〉. Eileen Chang played an important role in the history of Modern Chinese fiction that her fictions reflect not only cosmopolitan modernity but also traditional human relationship under the society of modern China. Because Chinese people was facing the challenge in the change of social system under the ‘New Nation’ catch phrase since the Opium War(1840-1842), modern Chinese fiction corresponded to a large-scale socio-political, cultural reformation of traditional Chinese civilization. But collision of tradition and modernity brought an unexpected problems that the Chinese fictions were utilized as a political tools. As these trends damaged the artistry of Chinese modern fiction, Eileen Chang’s fictions have been recognized as excellent and special breakthrough aesthetic achievements that reflected the spirit of the modern Chinese people on the basis of the realities of life. First, Eileen Chang’s unique writing style was defined as “Uneven contrast 參差的對照” which linked a story with objective reality. Spatial and temporal juxtaposition of different cultures and temporalities maximized the aesthetic value of Eileen Chang’s fiction. Second, her writing forms which accommodated both traditional folk forms and the modern commercial forms appealed to the various layers of her target readers, “shanghairen上海人”. Last, Elieen Chang’s narrative dimension was a third-dimension mixed with first-person intimacy. It provided her readers the intimacy to each characters with the detailed description in real modern life. Chang completely erased sentimentalism in her description of her characters. Characters in her fictions were visualized and vitalized in the real life. Chang’s characteristic narratives provided the foundation to obtain the artistry, popularity and objectivity for her fictions to show the complexity of human nature.

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