The long and the short: May fourth contestation of fiction form

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


This article discusses how intellectuals and writers wrestled with the generic problem of fiction writing in the early Republican period. In the 1920s and early 1930s, the education and popularization of new fiction constituted a significant agenda for both cultural conservatives and radicals. May Fourth critics made an effort to displace the format of traditional popular novels, which they found "obsolete" and incapable of conveying new thoughts and ideas. In theory and practice, May Fourth writers attempted to institute a new brand of fictional genre–the modern short story–by using fictional manuals, handbooks, and theoretical treatises from Western sources to reinterpret the aesthetic function of modern Chinese fiction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-128
Number of pages24
JournalChinese Literature, Essays, Articles, Reviews
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016


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