The public sphere and literary journals : an investigation of the discursive formation of new fiction's utopian imagination in late Qing
Comparative Literature Studies
Pennsylvania State University Press
Discursive formation, Late qing fiction, Monthly fiction, Public sphere, Racing independent club fiction monthly, Utopian imagination, Wu jianren, Wu tao
This article considers New Fiction's utopian imagination in the Late Qing period as a product of Foucauldian discursive formation, an important element of which is the channel of production through literary journals in the Chinese public sphere. Developing Jürgen Habermas's concept of a bourgeois public sphere during eighteenth- and nineteeth-century Europe, Rudolf Wagner's notion of a Chinese public sphere stresses that the participants came from the top and bottom of society, and that the Qing court was an important and legitimate player. In applying that notion, this article shows how fiction could be a means of public opinion and how a literary journal could be a platform in the public sphere. Monthly Fiction and Racing Independent Club Fiction Monthly, and their publication of utopian novels, are two examples that demonstrate their reactions to political issues and their vertical relationship with the court in the Chinese public sphere. By examining these two case studies, the processes by which the narratives of a new China(s) were produced by this utopian discourse are shown.
Copyright © 2014. The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA. Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.
Leung, S. M. (2014). The public sphere and literary journals: An investigation of the discursive formation of new fiction’s utopian imagination in late Qing. Comparative Literature Studies, 51(4), 557-586. doi: 10.5325/complitstudies.51.4.0557