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Hier ist es anders. Der Shanghai-Kurtisanenroman Haishang fanhua meng (Träume von Shanghais Pracht und Blüte) und der heterotopische Raum Shanghai


Sieber, Meline (2012). Hier ist es anders. Der Shanghai-Kurtisanenroman Haishang fanhua meng (Träume von Shanghais Pracht und Blüte) und der heterotopische Raum Shanghai. Asiatische Studien / Études Asiatiques, 66(4):1031-1080.

Abstract

This paper discusses the vernacular novel Haishang fanhua meng 海上繁華夢 (Dreams of Shanghai Splendor), written by Sun Jiazhen 孫家振 (1863–1939) and published in instalments from 1898 onwards in Shanghai. Even if the novel became a best-seller following its publication, it has been continuously overlooked by historians of literature and rejected due to its alleged “lack of quality”. This paper proves the opposite. A narratological analysis shows the novel to be highly innovative in format, style and setting, yet also deeply interwoven with, and conscious of, its literary ancestors. The novel is usually categorised as a “courtesan novel”. According to Alexander Des Forges’ research, it can however be read as one of the first in the genre of the “Shanghai novel”. In addition, the metropolis Shanghai is portrayed as a completely different world in contrast to the rest of Qing China. This other-world phenomenon is in accordance with Michel Foucault’s theory of heterotopia: it describes places and institutions in society that stand in sharp contrast to the reputed normalcy and continuity of everyday spaces. The paper concludes with the successful application of Foucault’s theory to the Shanghai novel Haishang fanhua meng. It proves how Shanghai at the turn of the century has indeed been perceived as, and serves as, a heterotopia within China’s society. Last but not least, it proves that the onset of the genre of the Shanghai novel can indeed be set at the end of the 19th century.

Abstract

This paper discusses the vernacular novel Haishang fanhua meng 海上繁華夢 (Dreams of Shanghai Splendor), written by Sun Jiazhen 孫家振 (1863–1939) and published in instalments from 1898 onwards in Shanghai. Even if the novel became a best-seller following its publication, it has been continuously overlooked by historians of literature and rejected due to its alleged “lack of quality”. This paper proves the opposite. A narratological analysis shows the novel to be highly innovative in format, style and setting, yet also deeply interwoven with, and conscious of, its literary ancestors. The novel is usually categorised as a “courtesan novel”. According to Alexander Des Forges’ research, it can however be read as one of the first in the genre of the “Shanghai novel”. In addition, the metropolis Shanghai is portrayed as a completely different world in contrast to the rest of Qing China. This other-world phenomenon is in accordance with Michel Foucault’s theory of heterotopia: it describes places and institutions in society that stand in sharp contrast to the reputed normalcy and continuity of everyday spaces. The paper concludes with the successful application of Foucault’s theory to the Shanghai novel Haishang fanhua meng. It proves how Shanghai at the turn of the century has indeed been perceived as, and serves as, a heterotopia within China’s society. Last but not least, it proves that the onset of the genre of the Shanghai novel can indeed be set at the end of the 19th century.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies
Journals > Asiatische Studien / Études Asiatiques > Archive > 66 (2012) > 4
Dewey Decimal Classification:950 History of Asia
180 Ancient, medieval & eastern philosophy
290 Other religions
Language:German
Date:2012
Deposited On:05 Jun 2013 09:32
Last Modified:07 Dec 2017 21:18
Publisher:Schweizerische Asiengesellschaft / Verlag Peter Lang
ISSN:0004-4717
Related URLs:http://www.sagw.ch/de/asiengesellschaft/publikationen/Asiatische-Studien.html (Publisher)
http://www.peterlang.com/index.cfm?vID=86850&vLang=D&vHR=1&vUR=4&vUUR=11 (Publisher)

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