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Yuan, "The feminized city: Reading Wang Anyi's 'Ballad of Eternal Sorrow,' " 2002

USC thesis in Literature.
August 24, 2009

Yuan Yuan, M.A.

Abstract (Summary)
This thesis studies the Chinese woman writer Wang Anyi and her novel Ballad of Eternal Sorrow ( Chang hen ge ). Recognizing the relation between the writer's understanding of literature and her writing practices, the thesis starts with an overview of Wang's literary career, in which the development of her theory about fiction writing and female narrative is outlined. The focus of the thesis is placed on the analysis of Wang's novel Ballad of Eternal Sorrow , which is generally considered as the peak of her literary achievement. Through a close text-reading, it is demonstrated how the writer rewrites human history through female memories, reconstructs human living space through the daily experiences of women, and redefines gender relationships by subverting the traditional gender roles. Moreover, in order to highlight Wang's unique literary position and impressive achievement, a comparison is drawn between her and other contemporary Chinese women writers in the epilogue.

Advisor: Cheung, Dominic