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Manchukuo PerspectivesTransnational Approaches to Literary Production$
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Annika A. Culver and Norman Smith

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9789888528134

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888528134.001.0001

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Sickness, Death, and Survival in the Works of Gu Ding and Xiao Hong

Sickness, Death, and Survival in the Works of Gu Ding and Xiao Hong

Chapter:
(p.103) 6 Sickness, Death, and Survival in the Works of Gu Ding and Xiao Hong
Source:
Manchukuo Perspectives
Author(s):

Junko Agnew

Publisher:
Hong Kong University Press
DOI:10.5790/hongkong/9789888528134.003.0007

This chapter examines how Chinese intellectuals of contrasting political agendas reacted to Manchukuo’s biopolitical regime within literary works. Gu Ding, who worked closely with the Japanese, regarded imperialism as a means of salvation for a sick China, while Xiao Hong, who opposed imperialism, treated the Japanese as just another disease inflicting the body politic. Although clear differences emerge in Gu and Xiao Hong’s perceptions of imperialism, comparisons of their works reveal similarities in depicting the socially constructed nature of sickness. In Gu’s story, the Japanese manufacture the terror caused by epidemic disease, while in Xiao Hong’s text, a village community's power holders define illness. Sickness may emerge naturally, but as revealed in literary narratives, its identification becomes an arena for political, economical, and social conflicts.

Keywords:   biopolitics, Xiao Hong, Gu Ding, Manchukuo literature, Manchukuo writers

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