A History of Pain: Trauma in Modern Chinese Literature and by Michael Berry

By Michael Berry

The portrayal of historic atrocity in fiction, movie, and pop culture can exhibit a lot in regards to the functionality of person reminiscence and the moving prestige of nationwide identification. within the context of chinese language tradition, motion pictures akin to Hou Hsiao-hsien's City of Sadness and Lou Ye's Summer Palace and novels equivalent to Ye Zhaoyan's Nanjing 1937: A Love Story and Wang Xiaobo's The Golden Age jointly reimagine previous horrors and provides upward thrust to new old narratives.

Michael Berry takes an leading edge examine the illustration of six particular ancient traumas in smooth chinese language historical past: the Musha Incident (1930); the Rape of Nanjing (1937-38); the February 28 Incident (1947); the Cultural Revolution (1966-76); Tiananmen sq. (1989); and the Handover of Hong Kong (1997). He identifies basic modes of restaging ancient violence: centripetal trauma, or violence inflicted from the skin that evokes a reexamination of the chinese language kingdom, and centrifugal trauma, which, originating from inside, conjures up irritating narratives which are projected out onto a transnational imaginative and prescient of worldwide goals and, occasionally, nightmares.

These modes let Berry to attach portrayals of mass violence to principles of modernity and the kingdom. He additionally illuminates the connection among old atrocity on a countrywide scale and the ache skilled via the person; the functionality of movie and literature as old testimony; the intersection among politics and artwork, heritage and reminiscence; and the actual merits of recent media, that have discovered new technique of narrating the weight of old violence.

As chinese language artists started to probe formerly taboo features in their nation's historical past within the ultimate many years of the 20 th century, they created texts that prefigured, echoed, or subverted social, political, and cultural traits. A background of Pain recognizes the far-reaching impact of this artwork and addresses its profound function in shaping the general public mind's eye and conception-as good as misconception-of sleek chinese language history.

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By Michael Berry

The portrayal of historic atrocity in fiction, movie, and pop culture can exhibit a lot in regards to the functionality of person reminiscence and the moving prestige of nationwide identification. within the context of chinese language tradition, motion pictures akin to Hou Hsiao-hsien's City of Sadness and Lou Ye's Summer Palace and novels equivalent to Ye Zhaoyan's Nanjing 1937: A Love Story and Wang Xiaobo's The Golden Age jointly reimagine previous horrors and provides upward thrust to new old narratives.

Michael Berry takes an leading edge examine the illustration of six particular ancient traumas in smooth chinese language historical past: the Musha Incident (1930); the Rape of Nanjing (1937-38); the February 28 Incident (1947); the Cultural Revolution (1966-76); Tiananmen sq. (1989); and the Handover of Hong Kong (1997). He identifies basic modes of restaging ancient violence: centripetal trauma, or violence inflicted from the skin that evokes a reexamination of the chinese language kingdom, and centrifugal trauma, which, originating from inside, conjures up irritating narratives which are projected out onto a transnational imaginative and prescient of worldwide goals and, occasionally, nightmares.

These modes let Berry to attach portrayals of mass violence to principles of modernity and the kingdom. He additionally illuminates the connection among old atrocity on a countrywide scale and the ache skilled via the person; the functionality of movie and literature as old testimony; the intersection among politics and artwork, heritage and reminiscence; and the actual merits of recent media, that have discovered new technique of narrating the weight of old violence.

As chinese language artists started to probe formerly taboo features in their nation's historical past within the ultimate many years of the 20 th century, they created texts that prefigured, echoed, or subverted social, political, and cultural traits. A background of Pain recognizes the far-reaching impact of this artwork and addresses its profound function in shaping the general public mind's eye and conception-as good as misconception-of sleek chinese language history.

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Extra resources for A History of Pain: Trauma in Modern Chinese Literature and Film

Example text

No matter how the enemy may rape us or try to win us over, I cannot turn my back on my conscience and forget what is most fundamental by kissing up to the foreigners. No matter how much stronger the enemy may be, they must never destroy my country. And if they are truly bent on destroying this nation, they will do so only if they wipe out every last living breathing person who calls this place home—then, and only then, will they be able to win over what will be a piece of utterly deserted land.

My exploration of this relationship begins in the prelude with the radical juxtaposition of pleasure and pain seen in various representations of torture, and continues throughout the book in a variety of amalgamations, as seen in various texts that challenge the relationship between pleasure and pain—often with the body itself as the site of negotiation and/or battle. 19 introduction I have also found several key works in the field of trauma theory to be useful, such as those of Dominick LaCapra (1994, 2001), E.

To make oneself more numb. To acknowledge the existence of the incorrigible. Bataille is not saying that he takes pleasure at the sight of this execution. But he is saying that he can imagine extreme suffering as something more than just suffering, as a kind of transfiguration. It is a view of suffering, of the pain of others, that is rooted in religious thinking, which likens pain to sacrifice, sacrifice to exaltation—a view that could not be more alien to a modern sensibility, which regards suffering as something that is a mistake or an accident or a crime.

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