MCLC Resource Center is pleased to announce publication of Aoife Cantrill’s review of Chinese Literature and Culture in the Age of Global Capitalism: Renaissance or Rehabilitation?, by Wang Xiaoping. The review appears below and at its online home: https://u.osu.edu/mclc/book-reviews/cantrill/. My thanks to Nicholas Kaldis, MCLC literary studies book review editor, for ushering the review to publication.
Kirk A. Denton, MCLC
By Wang Xiaoping
Reviewed by Aoife Cantrill
MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright January, 2022)
Rarely when assessing a book do reviewers encourage readers to begin with the final chapters. In the case of Wang Xiaoping’s Chinese Literature and Culture in the Age of Global Capitalism: Renaissance or Rehabilitation?, however, this reviewer would recommend doing so. Chapters eight to ten and the volume’s conclusion provide a convincing distillation of the book’s critical thrust, by way of a concise rundown of the cultural-political debates that have occupied Chinese literary intellectuals from the turn of the twenty-first century. In these closing chapters, Wang contextualizes his contribution alongside the discussions of the New Left and New Right during the 1990s, as well as more recent commentary exemplified by Zhang Xudong’s 2015 treatise on China’s cultural direction, Cultural Identity in the Era of Globalization (全球化时代的文化认同). These debates are animated by now-familiar questions that accompany any study placing China in the “global” perspective: the significance of “modernity”; China’s superiority, inferiority, or proximity to the West; and what is meant by “postsocialism.” Wang’s work considers these questions anew, answering them with reference to “the renaissance of China’s socialist culture” (348), identified in the title of his conclusion. Continue reading