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Allegorising the Local on the Borderland: Ai Wu's Nanxingji and National Subjectivity

Allegorising the Local on the Borderland: Ai Wu's Nanxingji and National Subjectivity <jats:sec><jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>This paper offers a reading of Ai Wu's Nanxingji series (Trilogy of Travel Through the South) depicting the author's journey from Yunnan to Burma in the May Fourth era and his subsequent returns to the border regions of Yunnan in the socialist period. It explores the ways in which allegorical dimensions of ‘the local’ shift at different social-historical junctures: ‘the local’ as a site in need of reforms in the 1920s, in socialist reality in the early 1960s, and in traumatic memories of the Cultural Revolution in the early 1980s. In extrapolating these ‘local’ dimensions embedded in the Nanxingji series, this paper suggests a contingent rather than a causal relationship between national incorporation and ‘the local’ formations. Additionally, this paper highlights how travel operates as an allegorical device, linking ‘the personal’ to the interplay of local specificities and the national imaginary, and how travel styles themselves change over time.</jats:p> </jats:sec> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Inner Asia Brill

Allegorising the Local on the Borderland: Ai Wu's Nanxingji and National Subjectivity

Inner Asia , Volume 4 (1): 47 – Jan 1, 2002

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2002 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1464-8172
eISSN
2210-5018
DOI
10.1163/146481702793647579
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

<jats:sec><jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>This paper offers a reading of Ai Wu's Nanxingji series (Trilogy of Travel Through the South) depicting the author's journey from Yunnan to Burma in the May Fourth era and his subsequent returns to the border regions of Yunnan in the socialist period. It explores the ways in which allegorical dimensions of ‘the local’ shift at different social-historical junctures: ‘the local’ as a site in need of reforms in the 1920s, in socialist reality in the early 1960s, and in traumatic memories of the Cultural Revolution in the early 1980s. In extrapolating these ‘local’ dimensions embedded in the Nanxingji series, this paper suggests a contingent rather than a causal relationship between national incorporation and ‘the local’ formations. Additionally, this paper highlights how travel operates as an allegorical device, linking ‘the personal’ to the interplay of local specificities and the national imaginary, and how travel styles themselves change over time.</jats:p> </jats:sec>

Journal

Inner AsiaBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2002

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