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The Burden of Enlightening The Masses: The Chinese Experiment Through Literature

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Title: The Burden of Enlightening The Masses: The Chinese Experiment Through Literature
Authors: Morgan, Caroline
Advisor: Yue, Ming-Bao
Issue Date: 15 Jan 2014
Publisher: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract: In this paper, I should like to take a look at careers of Zhao Shuli and Gao Xiaosheng, two authors who wrote Chinese Fiction in the 1950's, and 1970's and 80's respectively. They are celebrated by the Communist government as "model peasant writers," and come from different social classes: Zhao Shuli is supposedly to have been of pristine peasant origin (an issue that is discussed in detail in Chapter three) and Gao Xiaosheng of "intellectual" origin. Both of their careers raise questions concerning the credibility, authenticity, and authorship of their oeuvre. I shall employ arguments relating to these questions to ascertain what lessons might be learned by those who would engage in "Hawaiian literature" as defined below. A great deal of empty discussion has taken place in the last generation concerning what "Hawaiian literature" might include. There seems to be no end to the unprincipled use to which some people will put the word "Hawaiian" when it serves their own ends. Hawaiian literature is defined by a native Hawaiian, Dr. Haunani-Kay Trask as literature written by Native Hawaiians, wherever they may live. The present writer concurs with this definition. The word "Chinese" in my reading possesses a similarly hollow ring which has not dissuaded millions of people from identifying with it. Certainly, the corpus of the surviving Chinese traditions is grander, richer and extensive than any other. The analogy will by no means be an equal one not only since the presented writer, although a Hawaiian in blood and at heart, has been educated in the Euroamerican manner with only a smattering of Chinese and Japanese ameliorated by only a rudimentary command of the Hawaiian language and only a fair acquaintance with Hawaiian culture.
Pages/Duration: 84 pages
Rights: All UHM Honors Projects are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections:Honors Projects for East Asian Languages and Literature

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