Towards an Aesthetics of Space: Heterotopia and Intertextuality in Contemporary Chinese Fiction
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
My dissertation investigates a special group of contemporary Chinese fictional works which engage intertextuality in their exploration of the intriguing yet complicated relationship between utopian impulse/desire and heterotopic spaces. In particular, I examine closely in what ways heterotopia could be related to intertextuality, and how these two concepts might jointly illuminate my reading of fictional works written by four writers respectively from Mainland China (Ge Fei and Liu Cixin), Hong Kong (Dung Kai-cheung), and Taiwan (Luo Yijun).About Ge Fei, who is one of the pioneering experimentalist writers active through mainland China’s transitional period from the 1980s to the 90s, I conduct a dialogical reading of his highly intertextual novella Brocade Zither written in the 1980s and the first book of his utopian trilogy titled Girl’s Face, Peach Blossom published in 2004, both exploring the nature of utopian desire. Dung Kai-cheung is an academic-turned-creative writer experiencing the 1997 Hong Kong’s handover, and his Visible Cities (published in 1998 as one of the four books making up his V City Series) experiments with a heterotopic envisioning of Hong Kong identity. Luo Yijun, a second-generation mainlander writer (waishengren zuojia) in Taiwan, wrote his Xixia Hotel (2008) to construct a heterotopic space that represents the identity crisis and cultural nostalgia that haunt both generations in the mainlander community. As for Liu Cixin, the first Chinese science fiction writer who won the Hugo prize, I tend to read his Three-Body trilogy (the original Chinese versions published respectively in 2006, 2008, 2010) from the perspective of science fiction’s generic relationship with intertextuality and heterotopic space which in a sense demands an allegorical reading of essential textual elements.
Chair and Committee
Lingchei Letty L. Chen Robert E. Hegel
Robert R. Henke, Zhao Z. Ma, Anca A. Parvulescu,
Zhao, Yuan, "Towards an Aesthetics of Space: Heterotopia and Intertextuality in Contemporary Chinese Fiction" (2021). Arts & Sciences Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2478.