Made in China: “Contemporary Chinese literature should have the self-confidence to forget what it is and where it came from.” Julie O’Yang, novelist

*In memoriam of the May 4th Movement*

May Fourth Movement, intellectual revolution and sociopolitical reform movement that occurred in China in 1917–21. The movement was directed toward national independence, emancipation of the individual, and rebuilding society and culture.

In 1915, in the face of Japanese encroachment on China, young intellectuals, inspired by “New Youth” (Xinqingnian), a monthly magazine edited by the iconoclastic intellectual revolutionary Chen Duxiu, began agitating for the reform and strengthening of Chinese society. As part of this New Culture Movement, they attacked traditional Confucian ideas and exalted Western ideas, Mr. Sci(ence) and Mr. De(mocracy). The movement also marked the birth of the Chinese Communist Party.

Chen Duxiu: the founding father of New Culture Movement/May 4th Movement. May 4th served as turning point in China; it was a seminal event that radicalised Chinese intellectual thought. Their “new thought” and “new literature” would inspire and dominate the intellectual revolution and sociopolitical reform for decades to come.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Made in China: “Contemporary Chinese literature should have the self-confidence to forget what it is and where it came from.” Julie O’Yang, novelist

  1. Did Duxiu write a short story called “Diary of a Madman” and notes against parallelism in Chinese literature?

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