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Shanghai and the Chinese utopia in the early 20th century as presented in “The New Story of the Stone”

In: World Literature Studies, vol. 13, no. 2
Yiping Wang Číslo ORCID - Ping Zhu

Details:

Year, pages: 2021, 19 - 32
Language: eng
Keywords:
Utopia. Shanghai. Late Qing dynasty. “The New Story of the Stone.” Wu Jianren.
Article type: štúdie / articles
Document type: PDF
About article:
The novel The New Story of the Stone (新石头记, Xinshitouji [1908] 2016), by Wu Jianren, is one of the most representative Chinese utopian works of the late Qing dynasty, or the early 20th-century. The novel is evenly divided into two parts. The first 20 chapters probe into the political and social conditions of late Qing China through the depictions of the protagonist’s travels to cities such as Shanghai, Wuhan and Beijing where the relations with the West had been established. The last 20 chapters, which are antithetical to the first part, depict a utopia – the Civilized World. There is a twisted mirror-image relationship between Shanghai and the Civilized World. The Civilized World alludes to civilized Shanghai with advanced hospitals, factories, museums, schools for women, trading markets and so on. Based on the image of Shanghai, the highly westernized and modernized Chinese metropolis, the author works out this “genuine civilized country” in the hope of competing with the “false civilized Western country”. Therefore, by making the geographic location of “the Civilized World” both fictional and real, the author finds his way to imagining a unique Chinese utopia which might surpass the Western civilization in the late Qing China.
How to cite:
ISO 690:
Wang, Y., Zhu, P. 2021. Shanghai and the Chinese utopia in the early 20th century as presented in “The New Story of the Stone”. In World Literature Studies, vol. 13, no.2, pp. 19-32. 1337-9275. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31577/WLS.2021.13.2.2

APA:
Wang, Y., Zhu, P. (2021). Shanghai and the Chinese utopia in the early 20th century as presented in “The New Story of the Stone”. World Literature Studies, 13(2), 19-32. 1337-9275. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31577/WLS.2021.13.2.2
About edition:
Publisher: Ústav svetovej literatúry SAV
Published: 30. 6. 2021