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The activities of the Society for the study of literature as a factor in the formation of realism in China

N.V. Zakharova

UDC 061:82(510)

DOI 10.20339/PhS.4-23.163       


Zakharova Natalia V.,

Doctor of Philology

Leading Scientific Researcher

Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences



The article analyzes the activities of the members of the “Society for the Study of Literature”, established in 1921 and up to the mid-30s determined the direction of development of Chinese literature. The Declaration of the Society reflected the views of both Chinese traditionalists, who defended the principles of Confucian literature, and those progressive writers who advocated the transition to new artistic techniques, which should include elements of realism, in particular, in “problem stories” — a new genre of modern Chinese literature. This genre has not yet become the subject of research by Russian sinologists, although Chinese literary critics have noted its role in the formation of modern Chinese literature. The task of identifying innovations in the genre of “problem prose” is solved by analyzing the stories of Bing Xin and Wang Tongzhao, members of the “Society for the Study of Literature”, who for the first time made the object of their attention the unsightly reality of contemporary Chinese society. The heroes of these works come from different social strata, they suffer to varying degrees when faced with the cruelty of the world around them, and find different ways to resist it. In “problem prose” we see a combination of styles of artistic and journalistic narration, strengthening the role of the author, life authenticity. As a result of the study, it was concluded that the gradual accumulation of new artistic elements in prose further contributed to the strengthening of realistic components in the narratives of Chinese writers.

Keywords: Modern Chinese literature, “Chinese Society for the Study of Literature”, problem stories, social prose.



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