Advertisement

Reproducing the Self: Consumption, Imaginary, and Identity in Chinese Women’s Autobiographical Practice in the 1990s

  • Lingzhen Wang

Abstract

“Living as a woman in silence”, Yu Luojin lamented in 1982, “is not as tough as telling the truth in public.” Yu Luojin published three autobiographical works before she finally sought political asylum during a trip to West Germany in 1986. At least 10,000 characters were removed from her first autobiographical novel when it was published in 1980, due to the “jarring” (ci er) personal voices, including her depiction of her wedding night and her different views on love, marriage, and sex. Her second autobiographical novel, which was based upon her love relationship with an associate chief editor of Guangming ribao, was banned shordy after it was published in Hua cheng in 1982. It was criticized as exposing private matters in public and advocating improper relationships. As a twice-divorced woman in the early 1980s, her fame was raised through public gossip as well. She was attacked as a nonserious (bu jiandian) woman in the most important newspaper and journal in Beijing and was negatively stamped as a writer on private affairs (yinsi zuojia).

Keywords

Chinese Woman Private Life Movie Theater Woman Writer Affective Mode 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 2.
    Chen Ran, “Zuojia de gerenhua” (The personalization of writers), in Ah-er de xiaowu(The Small Room of Ah-er), ed. Chen Ran (Beijing: Huayi chubanshe, 1998).Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Lin Bai, “Zhishen yu yuyan zhong” (Situated in language), in Xiang gui yiyang miren (Seductive Like Ghosts), ed. Lin Bai (Taiyuan: Shanxi shifan daxue chubanshe, 1998).Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    An Dun, ed., Juedui yinsi: Dangdai Zhongguoren qinggan koushu shilu (Beijing: New World Press, 1998).Google Scholar
  4. 8.
    See Link’s and Kinkley’s introductions in Perry Link, ed., Stubborn Weeds: Popular and Controversial Chinese Literature after the Cultural Revolution (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1984);Google Scholar
  5. and Jeffrey C. Kinkley, ed., After Mao: Chinese Literature and Society, 1978–1981 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1985).Google Scholar
  6. 9.
    Wang Anyi, “Nüzuojia de ziwo” (The self of women writers), in Gushi he jiang gushi (Stories and Telling Stories), ed. Wang Anyi (Hangzhou: Zhejiang wenyi chubanshe, 1991), pp. 155–156.Google Scholar
  7. 10.
    The page references of the three novels belong to the following editions: Chen Ran, Siren shenghuo (A Private Life) (Nanjing: Jiangsu wenyi chubanshe, 1996);Google Scholar
  8. Lin Bai, Tigeren de zhanzheng (A Self at War) (Hohhot: Neimenggu renmin chubanshe, 1996);Google Scholar
  9. and Wang Anyi, Toushang de niandai (Tears of Sadness) (Taipei: Maitian chubanshe, 1999). Translation of A Private Life is from John Howard-Gibbon’s text with my modifications; translations of other novels and essays by these three writers are done by Mary Ann O’Donnell and myself.Google Scholar
  10. 11.
    Daniel Miller, A Theory of Shopping (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1998).Google Scholar
  11. 12.
    Lingzhen Wang, Personal Matters: Women’s Autobiographical Practice in Twentieth Century China (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2004), pp. 172–175.Google Scholar
  12. 14.
    Colin Campbell, The Romantic Ethic and the Spirit of Modern Consumerism (New York: Basil Blackwell, 1987).Google Scholar
  13. 16.
    Andrew P. Morrison, “Shame, ideal self, and narcissism”, in Essential Papers on Narcissism, ed. Andrew P. Morrison (New York: New York University Press, 1986), pp. 348–372.Google Scholar
  14. 17.
    Anthony Giddens, “The self: ontological security and existential anxiety”, in Modernity and Self-Identity: Self and Society in the Late Modern Age, ed. Anthony Giddens (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1991), p. 66.Google Scholar
  15. 18.
    Helen B. Lewis, Shame and Guilt in Neurosis (New York: International University Press, 1971).Google Scholar
  16. 21.
    Robert L. Tyson, “Some narcissistic consequences of object loss: a developmental view”, in Essential Papers on Object Loss, ed. Rita V. Frankiel (New York: New York University Press, 1994), pp. 252–253.Google Scholar
  17. 23.
    Eve Kosofsy Sedgwick, “Queer performativity: Henry James’ The Art of the Novel” GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 1:1 (1993), 12.Google Scholar
  18. 25.
    Janette Rainwater, Self-Therapy: A Guide to becoming Tour Own Therapist (London: Crucible, 1989).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Charles A. Laughlin 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lingzhen Wang

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations