Minzu and the Reception of Gabriel García Márquez in China
SPEER-DISSERTATION-2018.pdf (847.0Kb) (embargoed until: 2022-08-01)
Speer, Mary E
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Abstract This thesis will argue that García Márquez was broadly and profoundly influential in both critical and authorial circles beginning in the 1980s in Mainland China. Moreover, it will argue that García Márquez’s influence is in part attributable to several Chinese authors’ domestic and international successes because he can be linked directly to the Root-seeking movement of the 1980s that catapulted them to national fame. The analysis of García Marquezian influence will be centered on both critical and authorial reception in China to provide a cross-section of what the critics were writing in both the 1980s and the 2000s, and how the critical thought in China related to García Márquez’s work correlates with Root-seeking authors’ thought, demonstrating how García Marquezian influence can in part be credited with many contemporary Chinese authors’ successes. First it will describe several key Chinese critics’ perceptions and critical analyses of García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude in relation to their own conceptions of the meaning of “magical realism.” It will then compare these analyses with later criticism in China to examine how the criticism has evolved over time and finally with literary criticism about García Márquez and “magical realism” by Western critics to examine how cultural distance from the West may have affected their works. It will also find vestiges of García Marquezian influence in the literary works from a variegated group of authors from different regions and different literary movements that have the commonality of coming from the same generation that came of age in the 1980s to demonstrate the depth and breadth of authorial influence among the same generation of authors in China. According to these Chinese critics and authors, minzu, (roughly translated in English as “local/ethnic/national”), possesses a strong correlation with Latin American “magical realism,” and the literary success of Gabriel García Márquez. This may be attributable to talks at the Hangzhou conference in 1984 as well as influential criticism and essays that employ the term in the 1980s, but minzu is also prevalent in later criticism and literary examples, suggesting that the inspiration of García Márquez and “magical realism” has had not only a broad effect, but also a profound lasting impact on Chinese contemporary literature.