Over the past few years, China’s cultural landscape has seen the emergence of several authors from among its population of migrant laborers, or “new workers.” Fan Yusu and Xu Lizhi are the most representative. Their literary production, setting off from their own personal experience and describing their stories in the workplace, is an artistic configuration entirely different from both mass culture and high literature. This article analyzes the significance of this “new worker literature” from three angles. First, since the 1990s, new workers have been using a fairly traditional medium like literature to speak with their own voices, which is particularly remarkable in the age of the Internet. Second, spaces of worker culture like the Picun Literature Group , where Fan Yusu comes from, are not only a boost for ordinary laborers’ active interest in writing, but also represent a new specific method of cultural practice since the post-Mao era. Third, the fact that a large number of new worker writers “borrow” from the language and style of literature of the 1980s generates a productive relation between the critical spirit of the latter and the alienating conditions under which the new workers labor. Although marginal in many respects, new worker literature is of great cultural value for contemporary China.
Picerni, Federico (Corresponding)
|Data di pubblicazione:||Being printed|
|Titolo:||Literature as Medium: The Development and Cultural Situation of New Worker Literature|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||2.6 Traduzione in Rivista|