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Maoist Laughter$
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Ping Zhu, Zhuoyi Wang, and Jason McGrath

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9789888528011

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888528011.001.0001

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Huajixi, Heteroglossia, and Maoist Language

Huajixi, Heteroglossia, and Maoist Language

Chapter:
(p.162) 9 Huajixi, Heteroglossia, and Maoist Language
Source:
Maoist Laughter
Author(s):

Ping Zhu

Publisher:
Hong Kong University Press
DOI:10.5790/hongkong/9789888528011.003.0010

Huajixi is a genre of farcical performance originated in Shanghai and the surrounding areas in the early twentieth century. The encounter with alien cultures and the influx of population imbued huajixi with an inherent heterogeneity. The abundance of linguistic miscommunication, discordance, and dissonance that elicit laughter in huajixi signifies, in Mikhail Bakhtin’s term, the heteroglossia of language, resulted from the disassociation between language and intentions, language and thoughts, language and expressions. As the content of huajixi had to undergo heavy-handed reform in the early years of PRC, its heteroglossic language remained relatively untouched. In fact, through curating the heteroglossia in huajixi, Maoist discourse showed its willingness to relativize and decenter language consciousness so as to continue the modernization of Chinese language that started in the May Fourth period.

Keywords:   Huajixi, dialects, putonghua, heteroglossia, Gao Mingkai, Maoist language

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