Cultural production in Shanghai theatre during the Japanese occupation period: Yang Jiang's reception and transformation of Jane Austen's comedic art

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Title: Cultural production in Shanghai theatre during the Japanese occupation period: Yang Jiang's reception and transformation of Jane Austen's comedic art
Author(s): Cheung, Hiu Yan
Item Type: Thesis or dissertation
Abstract: In the wartime China of the 1940s, Yang Jiang 楊􄴛 wrote two very popular comedies: As You Desire 稱心􂤪意 (1943) and Swindle 弄真􃆸假 (1943). The genre of these two comedies and their relation to Western literature is discussed, and the connection between the styles of Yang and Austen is noticed and established on the ground that their works are regarded as belonging to the genre of the comedy of manners. This study focuses on Yang's reception of Austen's comedic style in her own comedies and examines how she receives and transforms the comedic elements of Austen's works onto the stage of the 1940s wartime Shanghai theatre. This thesis is divided into three parts. Part I discusses the background and horizon of expectations of Yang's reception of Austen's comedic art. Yang's direct reception of Austen's comic style is observed in her critique of Austen, in which her interpretation of Austen's style is generically related to the comedy of manners. Yang's reading experience of the familiar works of the comedy of manners in classical Chinese literature, as well as the comedies of manners written by Chinese playwrights in the China of the 1920s to 1940s, is the significant key to comprehending her horizon of expectations in the reception of Austen's style. Part II examines Yang's reception of Austen's style of the comedy of manners. The similarities between the styles of these two writers are discovered in the contexts of the Cheung depiction of female laughter, the spatial settings and anti-romanticism. Part III discusses Yang's transformation of Austen's comedic art in her own comedies. Living in a more turbulent environment than did Austen, Yang transforms Austen's comedic art in accordance with wartime Shanghai's socio-historical and socio-literary context. This transformation is demonstrated in two aesthetic orders of Yang's comedies: disillusionment and detachment.
Content Version: Open Access
Publication Date: Aug-2015
Date Awarded: Oct-2016
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/42035
Advisor: Herd, Ruth
Department: Centre for Languages, Communication and Culture
Publisher: Imperial College London
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Qualification Name: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Appears in Collections:Centre for Co-Curricular Studies PhD theses



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