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Fantômes dans l'Extrême-Orient d'hier et d'aujourd'hui - Tome 2

 | 
Marie Laureillard
, 
Vincent Durand-Dastès

Fantômes romanesques d'aujourd'hui

The Presence of Fantastic Elements in Su Tong’s Short Stories

La présence d’éléments fantastiques dans les nouvelles de Su Tong

蘇童的短篇小說中的奇幻元素

Rosa Lombardi

Résumé

This paper analyses a part of Su Tong’s rich narrative production, focusing on some of his less known short stories, written between 1989 and 1998, in which we find supernatural and strange presences such as ghosts, spirits, demons, monsters and angels, in a world which is nevertheless entirely immersed in everyday reality. Although the wonderful and fantastic have always existed in the Chinese literary tradition, after Realism established itself in the second half of the 20th century, the supernatural and the fantastic disappeared in literature, since the political directives allowed no room for imagination. In the eighties, we find a return to the fantastic in literature, explained by some scholars as a way to introduce phantasmagorical dimension within the real, while others consider the presence of fantastic elements in contemporary novels and short stories as a sort of reaction to modernity, understood as ideological standardization. I propose an analysis of Su Tong’s short stories based on Tzvetan Torodov’s theory of the fantastic literature, arguing that the use of fantastic in Su Tong’s narrative works is not aimed to subvert conventions accepted as canons, but it mostly expresses his will to affirm his creative freedom and pursue his interest in thematic and stylistic experimentation.

Cet article analyse une partie de la riche production narrative de Su Tong, en mettant l’accent sur certaines nouvelles moins connues, écrites entre 1989 et 1998, qui se caractérisent par la présence d’êtres surnaturels et étranges tels que des fantômes, des esprits, des démons, des monstres et des anges, dans un monde pourtant plongé dans la réalité quotidienne. Bien que merveilleux et fantastique aient toujours existé dans la tradition littéraire chinoise, ces derniers ont disparu de la littérature durant la seconde moitié du 20e siècle avec l’instauration du réalisme, alors que les directives politiques ne laissaient guère de place à l’imagination. Dans les années 1980, on a assisté à un retour du fantastique en littérature, que certains spécialistes expliquent comme un moyen d’introduire une dimension fantasmagorique dans le réel, alors que d’autres considèrent la présence d’éléments fantastiques dans les romans et nouvelles contemporains comme une sorte de réaction à la modernité, perçue comme une stantardisation idéologique. Nous proposons ici une analyse des nouvelles de Su Tong fondée sur la théorie de la littérature fantastique formulée par Tzvetan Torodov, en avançant l’idée que l’usage du fantastique dans les œuvres narratives de Su Tong ne vise pas à subvertir les conventions admises comme canons, mais exprime avant tout sa volonté d’affirmer sa liberté créatrice et son goût pour les expérimentations thématiques et stylistiques.

蘇童在一些短篇小說中創造一種夢幻般的世界。鬼、精靈、惡魔、天使等怪物生活在其中,並潛入現實世界中.一些學者聲稱中國當代文學中奇幻小說的再現旨在將奇幻成分引入現實中。有人認為,當代小說裡的奇幻元素是對現代意識的一種反應。本文從TzvetanTodorov奇幻文學理論的角度對蘇童的這些短篇小說進行探析,認為蘇童的創作意圖不在於顛覆長規,而是一種對文體與敘述主題的嘗試, 以此顯示他對創作自由的肯定。

Texte intégral

  • 1 Wang Dewei 王德维, 2006, “Nanfang de zhuiluo yu yougan – Su Tong lun” 南方的坠落与诱感– 苏童论 (Decadence and se (...)
  • 2 Su Tong 苏童 and Zhang Xuexin 张学昕, 2008, “Ganshou ziji zai xiaoshuo shijieli de muguang – Guanyu dua (...)

1Su Tong (1963–), one of the most influential avant-garde Chinese writers since the 1990s, has achieved notoriety through his novels, which have been translated into several languages, in both China and the West. Many critics and scholars,1 however, believe that his mastery is expressed mainly in his short stories, a narrative mode that the author declares he prefers (“I think I’m really addicted to short stories” 我 想 我 患有 短篇 病).2 In some of these, Su Tong creates a fantastic world inhabited by strange presences such as ghosts, spirits, demons, monsters and angels – a world that nevertheless, and without paradox or contradiction, is entirely immersed in everyday reality.

  • 3 Todorov Tzvetan, 1970, Introduction à la littérature fantastique, Paris : Éditions du Seuil.

2If, as Todorov claims,3 one of the specific characteristics of fantastic literature is that it produces a hesitation between the rational explanation of an event and its acceptance as inexplicable enigma, then it is possible to consider a minor portion of Su Tong’s literary production as belonging to the “fantastic” genre. Of this portion, I will analyse four particularly representative stories, written between 1989 and 1996, which feature demon-men, butterfly-spirits, angels and monsters, in an effort to analyse the significance of the fantastic in his production.

  • 4 Su Tong 苏童, 2004, “Yishi de wancheng” 仪式的完成, Shennufeng 神女峰, Shanghai: Shanghai wenyi chubanshe.

3The first story, “The Completion of the Ritual” (Yishi de wancheng 仪式的完成),4 was written in 1989 when Su Tong was only twenty-five years old. It tells the tale of a young scholar of folklore who ventures out one icy winter to a remote village in the Chinese countryside to research ancient rituals. At the entrance to the village he meets a mysterious old tinker intent on repairing an antique earthenware jar. The old man suggests that he seek out a certain Wulin, who will tell him stories of olden times. The young scholar learns of an ancient ritual once performed in the village, devised to capture demons (gui 鬼) to offer up in sacrifice to the ancestors. The scholar asks to celebrate the ritual once again and, as fate will have it, he is cast in the role of the demon-man. Swathed in bandages like a mummy, he is carried in procession through the village in a rising crescendo of fear and horror, but he stops the ceremony before being beaten to death and laid inside an enormous jar. This brief but intense experience produces a deep change in his life and perception of reality, which is now altered and appears to waver between visions and hallucinations. The ancient jar used in the past to contain the body of the demon-man exerts a dark spell on him, an irresistible and inexplicable power of attraction. The day he leaves the village he sees the old tinker he met on his arrival far in the distance. Failing in his attempts to reach the man, he hears the name of the Wulin demon echoing in the air, seeming to beckon him. Soon afterwards, the scholar is struck by a bus; his body is flung up into the air like a giant bird and mysteriously vanishes. At the end of the story, the scholar’s body is found in the ancient jar, once again completing the age-old ritual.

  • 5 Su Tong 苏童, 2004, “Hudie yu qi” 蝴蝶与棋, Xiangrikui 向日葵, Shanghai: Shanghai wenyi chubanshe, pp. 1–12
  • 6 An old Chinese board game, known in the West as Go.

4The second short story, “Butterflies and Weiqi” (Hudie yu qi 蝴蝶与棋),5 was written in 1995. It recounts the adventures of an entomologist who arrives one spring at the Village of the Temple, a place along the lush shores of a lake, in search of a rare species of butterfly. In the gloomy inn where he spends the night, he meets an avid player of weiqi6 who has come to the village to challenge the so-called Immortals of Weiqi, who play every day in a hut by the lake, to a game of chess. During the night, the entomologist is awakened by some disturbing noises and the heartrending cry of a girl, wrapped in a huge red cloak dripping with rain, who is holding a chess piece in her hand. The next morning, he is hunted by the villagers for allegedly raping a village girl, but he manages to run away. The weiqi player, instead, is captured, and in order to save his life is forced to marry the village girl who turns out to be the one heard crying out during the night at the inn.

5The following year, the entomologist – who has meanwhile lost his interest in butterflies and become a keen weiqi player – returns to the village where he happens to meet the chess player. The entomologist barely recognizes the fellow, who is distant and gaunt and appears sickly. The man no longer plays chess, but has taken to maniacally chasing after the colourful butterflies that continuously inhabit the village. The entomologist is told that the weiqi player who now runs after butterflies has actually not married a woman but a butterfly or, better yet, a butterfly-spirit.

6The two short stories present mirror-like aspects. The first is set in a frozen dark winter, where the use of gothic images and elements such as flocks of low-flying birds, dry rice fields and lonely, wind-whipped scarecrows that resemble ghostly figures contributes to an atmosphere of death that seems to foretell the mysterious events that are to follow.

7The second short story takes place in a luxuriant springtime setting, a village on the shores of a lake where swarms of multicoloured butterflies flutter freely in the air. Nature appears to be in celebration, the air is languid and “saturated with the scent of butterflies”. The atmosphere is that of spring when nature awakens, the season of love, regeneration and life.

8The weather and the season in which the events occur, therefore, play a pivotal role in both stories and closely correspond with the nature of the events presented: the first is sinister and foretells death; the second reveals a world that, despite its ordinary appearance, is enchanted and suspended in time.

9The strange occurrence of the first short story goes beyond the rational understanding of the main character, who is shocked by it and begins to have visions and hallucinations that will lead him finally to a mysterious death.

10The second story features a surprise in its epilogue. The event has produced a transformation, or rather a metamorphosis, which was foreshadowed in the beginning by the image of butterflies hovering in the air. Indeed, the story’s two main characters exchange roles and identities. The author supplements the surprise produced by the metamorphosis that has turned the weiqi player into an unfortunate butterfly maniac, with the return of the image of the butterfly as symbolic of love and dreamlike vision in the classical tradition. Su Tong, however, uses this traditional image but inverts the terms of the equation: in his story, the metamorphosis is reversed and it is a butterfly that takes human form, vaguely recalling the feeling of uncertainty in Zhuangzi’s famous dream.

  • 7 Su Tong 苏童, 2004, “Tianshi de liangshi” 天使的粮食, Shennufeng 神女峰, Shanghai: Shanghai Wenyi chubanshe, (...)

11In the third story, “The Angel’s Food” (Tianshi de liangshi 天使的粮食),7 published in 1996, a man wearing a broad mantle of straw and pulling a cart loaded with rice comes upon a village struck by famine. A young geese-keeper, suspicious of the approaching stranger, blocks the way, but then, after seeing the man’s precious cargo, escorts him into the village. The stranger claims to be an angel, but none of the locals know what an angel is – with the exception of the detested schoolteacher, who points out that angels have wings. What intrigues the locals is the ampoule that the angel holds in his hands, which are as perfect and white “as lotus flowers”: a black crockery ampoule in which he says he wishes to collect their tears in exchange for the rice he will give them. Years of famine, misery, death and pain have dried up the villagers’ tears, however, and it has been a long time since anyone there has wept, including the children.

12One day the geese-keeper chances to glimpse the angel’s great wings hidden beneath the straw cloak and, frightened, spreads the news. The angel has become a nuisance to the locals, a threat to the everyday “normalcy” of the village, and is therefore unceremoniously expelled before he can fill the ampoule with their tears. As he departs, the angel himself bursts into tears and the effect is as violent as a thunderclap that shakes the earth around. His black pottery ampoule, filled with his own tears, will be found some time later by the geese-keeper along the lake shore.

  • 8 Su Tong 苏童, 2004, “Juying” 巨婴, Shennufeng 神女峰, Shanghai: Shanghai wenyi chubanshe, pp. 14–24.

13“The Giant Baby” (Ju ying 巨婴),8 written in 1998, tells of the cruelty of a giant baby born mysteriously in a remote mountain village to a woman with a monstrous face. The woman, ostracized for her deformity, had sought the help of the doctor of a neighbouring village, an expert in fertility concoctions, to have a child by which to quench her thirst for revenge. The entire story revolves around the child – a violent, cruel, dark-skinned infant, with black teeth and bad breath, who grows at an amazing rate – and the mother who spurs him to acts of gratuitous violence, such as snipping off the little fingers of the village children with his sharp teeth. His birth remains shrouded in mystery. He has no father, and he is said in the village to be the son of a wolf because, like wolves, he has only four fingers on each hand.

14We can observe that in “The Angel’s Food” and “The Giant Baby” ), Su Tong employs the fantastic differently than in the first two stories, where the inexplicable event causes concern or worry in the protagonists. Instead, in these two stories we see that the appearance of the angel and the monster-child no longer elicit wonder, and are accepted as natural events; what is strange and bizarre is the behaviour and reactions of the people, as in Kafka’s Metamorphosis. In “The Angel’s Food” the reader is struck by the meanness and pettiness of the villagers, by their inability to be touched by pain or joy, and by the fact that they have lost the ability to weep and shed tears.

15In “The Giant Baby” ), Su Tong, the savage cruelty of the monster-child, and his mother’s lust for revenge at having been excluded by the village people for her monstrous appearance, are the story’s central elements.

  • 9 Todorov Tzvetan, 1970, Introduction à la littérature fantastique.

16In these stories, the monster-child and the angel are not alien to reality or fleeting appearances; rather, they are real presences. Unlike the first two stories analysed, we do not see any contrast between the actual world and the imaginary, between real and unreal: everything seems to be part of reality and to not arouse wonder. As Todorov remarks of Kafka’s Metamorphosis, everything seems to be part of a “generalized fantastic”, where the unreal becomes the norm.9

  • 10 The book was published the following year (1998) under the title Pusaman (菩萨蛮).
  • 11 Su Tong 苏童, 2004, “Shuigui” 水鬼, in Qibing 骑兵, Shanghai: Shanghai wenyi chubanshe, pp. 43–51.

17Quite a number of Su Tong’s short stories and novels feature elements of fantasy. In Broken Bricks (Sui wa 碎瓦) (1997),10 for instance, one of his lesser-known novels, the story is entirely narrated by a ghost who, not having found a home in the world of the hereafter, which is arranged in circles like Dante’s Inferno, remains suspended between heaven and earth in order to follow his family’s vicissitudes. In another short story entitled “Water Genie” (Shuigui 水鬼),11 the main character is a strange girl who spends every day staring at the river waiting for the river genie to appear. The girl then disappears mysteriously, but afterwards we see her emerging from the river in tears holding a large red lotus in her hand.

  • 12 Su Tong 苏童, 2004, “Zhi” 纸, in Qibing 骑兵, Shanghai: Shanghai wenyi chubanshe, pp. 172–183.

18In “Paper Cut-Outs” (Zhi 纸),12 the ghost of a girl killed in an accident appears to the protagonist of the story asking him to burn some paper cut-outs for the dead, which he jealously guards in order to cure himself of the mysterious illness he is dying from.

  • 13 Zhang Xuexin 张学, 2007, “Lun Su Tong xiaoshuo xiezuo de lingqi” 论苏童的灵气 (On Su Tong’s craftsmanship (...)
  • 14 Zhang Weizhong 张卫中, 2011, “Su Tong yu Bo’erhesi” 苏童与博尔赫斯 (Su Tong and Borges), Journal of Hainan N (...)

19Su Tong’s fascination with the supernatural seems to satisfy a desire to revive and elaborate the suggestions and elements of classical tradition in a modern key,13 and this pursuit seems to reflect his exposure to Western authors such as Kafka and Borges.14 The butterfly-spirit, for example, is a reminder of the fox-spirit of many popular and classical traditional tales; indeed, like the fox-spirit, the butterfly saps the vital energy and reason of the unlucky weiqi player. However, in Su Tong’s story the spirit is no longer a ghost, but has become a flesh-and-blood person, a normal girl who is, however, not given a face. Unlike the female ghosts of the past, often described as women of extraordinary beauty and irresistible charm, Su Tong’s butterfly-spirit is not cunningly seductive but rather an ordinary girl, much more similar to a fleeting symbol or evocation.

  • 15 Zeitlin Judith T., 2007, The Phantom Heroine, Ghosts and Gender in Seventeenth-Century Chinese Lit (...)
  • 16 See, for example, Han Shaogong, Papapa (爸爸爸) and Guiqulai (归去来), Ge Fei, Flocks of black birds (黑色 (...)

20The wonderful and fantastic, as Judith Zeitlin states,15 have always existed in the Chinese literary tradition, but the realism that established itself in the second half of the twentieth century was too concerned with appearing serious and responsible to indulge in fantasy. The moral imperatives and political directives that burdened literature, and that many writers chose to embrace, imposed a representation of “objective” reality that had to be mirrored in literature, allowing little or no room for imagination. It was only at the end of the 1980s that the irrational reappeared, in the form of legends, superstitions, and dreamlike visions, in the narrative work of authors such as Han Shaogong, Ge Fei and Ma Yuan.16

21The heart of the countryside, with its ancient culture steeped in legend and superstition, is the perfect place to evoke a doubling of reality through the introduction of elements of bizarre, supernatural or mysterious fascination, which activate the narrative mode of the fantastic.

  • 17 Jackson Rosemary, 1981, Fantasy: The Literature of Subversion, London: Routledge.

22In accordance with Todorov’s analysis, which argues that the use of the supernatural frees the text of preconceived notions, allowing for their transgression, some scholars have pointed out that the fantastic possesses a transgressive function, because it subverts and reverses rules and conventions accepted as canons by introducing elements that disturb the “codified norms” for the artistic representation of reality.17 According to this view, the fantastic produces the best results in periods of political and cultural repression, becoming a tool by which to direct covert criticism towards the repressive system.

  • 18 Wang David Der-wei, 2004, The Monster That Is History, Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • 19 Wedell-Wedellsborg Anne, 2005, “Haunted Fiction: Modern Chinese Literature and the Supernatural”, (...)

23Wang Der-wei notes a return to the fantastic in Chinese literature since the early 1980s as a result of what took place in Taiwan and Hong Kong. He argues that this constitutes a return to a pre-modern literary tradition that is also associated with a fascination with the classics of Western fantastic literature, thus representing a change in the current aesthetic because it introduces a phantasmagorical dimension within the real.18 Other scholars argue that the presence of fantastic elements in contemporary Chinese literature have to be interpreted as an “allegory in the modern sense”, as a reaction to modernity understood as an ideological standardization that swallows everything up, and that the fantastic represents the complexity and difficulty of understanding the modern world.19

  • 20 See, for example, Yan Lianke, 2011, Dream of the Ding Village, New York: Grove Press and Mo Yan, 2 (...)

24The gothic atmosphere and setting which we find in Su Tong’s stories, with their periodic forays into the realm of the fantastic, do not seem to resonate with any moral or political purpose, in comparison with the work of other contemporary Chinese authors (such as Yan Lianke and Mo Yan).20 Neither is Su Tong’s use of fantasy elements a veiled attempt at criticizing the system, as has been known to occur in countries under authoritarian rule, where the use of the fantastic in literary works takes on a subversive significance.

  • 21 Su Tong 苏童 and Zhang Xuexin 张学昕, 2005, “Huiyi, xiangxiang xushu – xiezuo de fasheng” 回忆想象叙述 – 写作的发 (...)

25The use of fantasy in Su Tong’s narrative works seems rather to express the author’s interest in thematic and stylistic experimentation. Su Tong has often stressed his view of literature as an independent and creative space, and has always kept to the margins of the dominant discourse, asserting his indifference to the literary trends of the moment.21 Therefore, in my opinion, Su Tong’s use of the supernatural serves mainly as a formal invention that challenges imagination and suspends belief, becoming a purely literary device and metaliterary diversion. It also seems to tell us more about individual interiority and to forecast the rise of the unconscious, of what is repressed or removed by our rational mind, our fears and innermost thoughts and desires. The central topic of these fantastic short stories is the relation between the reality of the outer world that we know through our perception and the reality of our inner world. A common feature present in all these stories is the visual fascination they exert and the chance to catch sight of a magic or devilish world that hides beneath daily reality and common objects, which acquire a density of meanings.

  • 22 Chen Caihua 陈才华, 2009, “Su Tong duanpian xiaoshuo zhong ’wu’ de xushi gongneng” 苏童短篇小说中’物’ 叙事功能 (T (...)
  • 23 Su Tong 苏童, 2004, Yingsu zhi jia 罂粟之, Shanghai: Shanghai wenyi chubanshe, Shanghai wenyi chubanshe (...)

26Indeed, the true protagonists around which these plots unfold are common household objects, such as the jar, or symbolic and more complex objects like the weiqi game.22 The jar also appears in another novel by Su Tong, Opium Family,23 where the main character is found murdered inside a jar. In the story “The Angel’s Food” , the ampoule becomes a symbol of human insensitivity but also a sign of the angel’s inconsolable grief at the destiny of humankind. In the story “The Completion of the Ritual”, the huge ancient jar, in which the scholar’s dead body is found, suggests the idea of a destiny that the character in the story is completely unable to resist. Although the existence of supernatural presences remains invisible, such presences are extremely perceivable, and become part of the interior dimension of the main characters. The image of the weiqi player turned into a butterfly maniac in the epilogue of the story “Butterflies and Weiqi” seems to be the epiphany of a ghostly creature that the entomologist would have himself become had his life taken a different course.

  • 24 Su Tong 苏童 and Zhang Xuexin 张学昕, 2005, “Huiyi, xiangxiang xushu – xiezuo de fasheng” 回忆想象叙述 – 写作的发 (...)

27The jar, the angel’s black ampoule and the weiqi are the structural elements of the plot; they produce a series of linked events marking the start and the end of the narrative cycle. Although the framework of these stories is realistic, and the narration is always set in everyday reality, the use of the supernatural produces a kind of short circuit, a temporary disconnection from the world of everyday life, opening a passage to a different dimension: the fictional world of literature, which has a spiritual space that goes beyond material life. The power of language and the images, rather than the plot, create an unreal atmosphere that endows the story with lyrical tension. Flocks of birds, butterflies, a man struck by a bus who flies into the air and disappears, wind-whipped scarecrows resembling spectres: these are all images suspended between heaven and earth – similar to those in the paintings of Chagall, an artist much admired by Su Tong.24

  • 25 Chen Sihe 陈思和, 2010, “Suipian zhong de shijie he suipian zhong de lishi” 碎片中的世界和碎片中的历史 (A world in (...)

28In this way the paradigm of realism, understood as mimetic representation of reality, unravels and the reality presented is no longer unique. As the critic Chen Sihe has stated: the mirror shatters into pieces, enabling the reader to journey into an unknown world and into other realities, since external reality is not immutable, nor can literature simply be the transcript of an immutable reality.25

29The reader is left with the images of the jar, the ampoule, the butterflies and weiqi – and with the pleasure of reading.

Notes

1 Wang Dewei 王德维, 2006, “Nanfang de zhuiluo yu yougan – Su Tong lun” 南方的坠落与诱感– 苏童论 (Decadence and seduction of the South: On Su Tong), Dangdai Xiaoshuo ershijia 当代小说二十家, Sanlian Shudian, pp. 106–125; quotation p. 106.

2 Su Tong 苏童 and Zhang Xuexin 张学昕, 2008, “Ganshou ziji zai xiaoshuo shijieli de muguang – Guanyu duanpian xiaoshuo de duihua” 感受自己在小说里的目光 – 关于短篇小说的对话 (Feeling his own vision in the narrative world: Conversation on short stories), Dangdai Zuojia pinglun 当代作家评论, 6, pp. 63–69; quotation p. 64.

3 Todorov Tzvetan, 1970, Introduction à la littérature fantastique, Paris : Éditions du Seuil.

4 Su Tong 苏童, 2004, “Yishi de wancheng” 仪式的完成, Shennufeng 神女峰, Shanghai: Shanghai wenyi chubanshe.

5 Su Tong 苏童, 2004, “Hudie yu qi” 蝴蝶与棋, Xiangrikui 向日葵, Shanghai: Shanghai wenyi chubanshe, pp. 1–12.

6 An old Chinese board game, known in the West as Go.

7 Su Tong 苏童, 2004, “Tianshi de liangshi” 天使的粮食, Shennufeng 神女峰, Shanghai: Shanghai Wenyi chubanshe, pp. 107–116.

8 Su Tong 苏童, 2004, “Juying” 巨婴, Shennufeng 神女峰, Shanghai: Shanghai wenyi chubanshe, pp. 14–24.

9 Todorov Tzvetan, 1970, Introduction à la littérature fantastique.

10 The book was published the following year (1998) under the title Pusaman (菩萨蛮).

11 Su Tong 苏童, 2004, “Shuigui” 水鬼, in Qibing 骑兵, Shanghai: Shanghai wenyi chubanshe, pp. 43–51.

12 Su Tong 苏童, 2004, “Zhi” 纸, in Qibing 骑兵, Shanghai: Shanghai wenyi chubanshe, pp. 172–183.

13 Zhang Xuexin 张学, 2007, “Lun Su Tong xiaoshuo xiezuo de lingqi” 论苏童的灵气 (On Su Tong’s craftsmanship in creation), in Dangdai Zuojia pinglun 当代作家评论, 6, pp. 45–54.

14 Zhang Weizhong 张卫中, 2011, “Su Tong yu Bo’erhesi” 苏童与博尔赫斯 (Su Tong and Borges), Journal of Hainan Normal University 海南师范大学学报, 24/4, pp. 102–106.

15 Zeitlin Judith T., 2007, The Phantom Heroine, Ghosts and Gender in Seventeenth-Century Chinese Literature, Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.

16 See, for example, Han Shaogong, Papapa (爸爸爸) and Guiqulai (归去来), Ge Fei, Flocks of black birds (黑色鸟群) and Ma Yuan, Xugou (虚构).

17 Jackson Rosemary, 1981, Fantasy: The Literature of Subversion, London: Routledge.

18 Wang David Der-wei, 2004, The Monster That Is History, Berkeley: University of California Press.

19 Wedell-Wedellsborg Anne, 2005, “Haunted Fiction: Modern Chinese Literature and the Supernatural”, The International Fiction Review, 32/1–2, http://journals.hil.unb.ca/index.php/IFR/article/view/7797/8854 32.

20 See, for example, Yan Lianke, 2011, Dream of the Ding Village, New York: Grove Press and Mo Yan, 2009, Frogs (蛙).

21 Su Tong 苏童 and Zhang Xuexin 张学昕, 2005, “Huiyi, xiangxiang xushu – xiezuo de fasheng” 回忆想象叙述 – 写作的发生 (Memory, imagination, narration: The genesis of creation), Dangdai Zuojia pinglun 当代作家评论, 6, pp. 46–58.

22 Chen Caihua 陈才华, 2009, “Su Tong duanpian xiaoshuo zhong ’wu’ de xushi gongneng” 苏童短篇小说中’物’ 叙事功能 (The narrative function of “objects” in Su Tong’s short stories), Zuojia yu zuopin – Dangdai wentan 作家与作品 – 当代文坛, 2, pp. 96–98. See also Ge Hongbing 葛红兵, 2003, “Su Tong de yixiangzhuyi xiezuo” 苏童的意象主义写作(Su Tong’ s imagistic creation), Shehui kexue, 2, pp. 107–113

23 Su Tong 苏童, 2004, Yingsu zhi jia 罂粟之, Shanghai: Shanghai wenyi chubanshe, Shanghai wenyi chubanshe, 2004.

24 Su Tong 苏童 and Zhang Xuexin 张学昕, 2005, “Huiyi, xiangxiang xushu – xiezuo de fasheng” 回忆想象叙述 – 写作的发生, pp. 46–58, p. 53.

25 Chen Sihe 陈思和, 2010, “Suipian zhong de shijie he suipian zhong de lishi” 碎片中的世界和碎片中的历史 (A world in pieces and a history in pieces), Dangdai wenxue yu wenhua piping shuxi 当代文学与文化批评书系, Beijing: Beijing shifan daxue chubanshe, pp.79–94.

Auteur

Università degli Studi Roma Tre