Dissertation Reviews has posted Zhu Yanhong’s review of Wang Yanjie’s dissertation, The “Sent-Down” Vision: Poetics and Politics of Zhiqing Literature in Post-Mao China. Here’s how it begins:
Zhiqing 知青 writers are often considered by literary critics as a generation who express a profound sense of nostalgia in their writing. Yanjie Wang’s dissertation The “Sent-down” Vision: Poetics and Politics of Zhiqing Literature in Post-Mao China is an insightful and probing study that challenges this conventional yet still prevalent view of zhiqing literature. Defining the zhiqing generation rather as rootless and displaced, Wang skillfully investigates what she calls the “sent-down” vision of the zhiqing writers. She convincingly demonstrates that such a vision is enabled and enriched by zhiqings’ decade-long rustication experience and that the past associated with the sent-down experience is invoked not simply to express nostalgic feelings but rather to offer a “critique of contemporary China’s massive modernization project” as driven by developmentalism, materialism, and consumerism (p. 1).
Click the image above for the full review.