Exploring a Route to Reinterpreting the Classics of Modern Chinese Literature

Social Sciences in China (Chinese Edition)

No. 4, 2022


Exploring a Route to Reinterpreting the Classics of Modern Chinese Literature



Wang Zelong


In recent years, research on modern Chinese literary classics has tended to become weaker and less popular. This is mainly because of the weakening of the tension in the dialogue between classical studies and reality; the changes in ideas of literary consumption brought about by social transformation, which has meant that the acceptance of literary classics shows distinctive intergenerational differences in terms of intellectual beliefs, literary concepts, knowledge structures, and aesthetic interests; and the abbreviated space for discussion of modern classics brought about by the periodization of modern literature. Feasible approaches to the study and reinterpretation of modern literary classics include the reconceptualization and rediscovery of the richness and complexity of their connotations; a return to their historical context, the opening up of research horizons, as well as the re-problematization of the classics and discovery of the intellectual focus points connecting them with real life and forming contemporary ties through the historical value of the meaning of the classics. We need to consolidate modern values, update our knowledge system, reinterpret literary classics using modern values based on modern epistemology and deepen research on literary ontology, paying attention to the poetic value of the classics, extending their meanings through reinterpretation, and opening up a new poetic space.