Imagined Future in Chinese Novels at the Turn of the 21st century: A Study of Yellow Peril, The End of Red Chinese Dynasty and A Flourishing Age: China, 2013

Abstract

Focusing on three influential contemporary Chinese political fantasy novels, this article contextualizes the stories in the complex spectrum of contemporary Chinese political thoughts and interprets them in light of the rivaling tendencies among the Chinese intellectuals since the 1990s, regarding the issues of rising nationalism and political authoritarianism, the possibilities of fascism and federalism, the role of a strong, centralized state, and the relevance of liberal democracy in China. The article calls attention to fiction as an expression of political thought and concerns, and argues that these novels present a pessimistic and chilling view of China’s political future, in contrast with the optimistic tone of novels of the same genre in the early 20th century, and also challenge an earlier cult of the Western model of liberal democracy.  An earlier Chinese-language version of the paper appeared in the website “Democratic ChinaC”, http://www.minzhuzhongguo.org 12/8/2010, entitled “Zhengzhi huanxiang xiaoshuo zhong de dangdai Zhongguo sixiang: jiedu Huang Huo, Zhongnanhai zuihou de douzheng, he Shengshi, Zhongguo 2013” [Chinese Political Thought as Reflected in Political Fantasy Novels: Interpreting Yellow Peril, The End of Red Chinese Dynasty, and A Flourishing Age: China, 2013

Keywords

Asia, China, Literature

How to Cite

Wu, G., 2012. Imagined Future in Chinese Novels at the Turn of the 21st century: A Study of Yellow Peril, The End of Red Chinese Dynasty and A Flourishing Age: China, 2013. ASIANetwork Exchange: A Journal for Asian Studies in the Liberal Arts, 20(1), pp.47–56. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/ane.78

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Authors

Guo Wu (Allegheny College)

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