Constructing Independent Theoretical Chinese Prose Discourse

Social Sciences in China (Chinese Edition)

No.3, 2021


Constructing Independent Theoretical Chinese Prose Discourse



Wu Zhouwen and Chen Jianhui


Prose has a long history and deep roots in China and is an important vehicle for Chinese national spirit. The May Fourth New Literature gave rise to the core concept of “self-presentation” in contemporary prose. In the past century, however, prose theory failed to form an independent and integral discourse system, although it went through the circuitous stages of creation, growth, awakening, and reformation. The independence and localized construction of theoretical Chinese prose discourse system requires the reanalysis of its terms and core concepts, a better balance between its multiple functions such as “didacticism” “expressing feelings,” the correct grasp of and persistence to its “prototypical” spirit of “unity between man and nature,” and the establishment of its modern narratology and lyricism. Only in this way can Chinese prose, which is both ancient and young, rejuvenate its vitality in the context of constructing a literary theoretical discourse system with Chinese characteristics and become a valuable literary experience and a theoretical discourse reference.