> Publications > Chinese Journal of Literary Criticism > 2021 > issue 27,no.3(July 2021)

From the Book of Worldly Affairs to Genre Painting: Teng Xiaolan, Shanghai Stories and the Legacy of Civil Literature

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Chinese Journal of Literary Criticism

No.3, 2021

 

From the Book of Worldly Affairs to Genre Painting: Teng Xiaolan, Shanghai Stories and the Legacy of Civil Literature

(Abstract)

 

Liu Daxian

 

Teng Xiaolan’s contemporary Shanghai stories, especially her recent work Heart’s Dwelling (Xinju), shows both inheritance from and innovation of the traditional Chinese “book of worldly affairs” and the French “history of customs” fiction from concept to method, which is a contemporary form of civil literature. This case shows the innovation of the “new civil fiction” that came along with the market economy reform in the 1990s. Despite the focus on daily life, it is different from the works of the “New Generation,” “Late Generation,” or “New Realism,” and is characterized by the fusion of traditional ethical concepts and the secularization of consumer society, with the qualities of local “genre painting” and spiritual history.