Allegorizing the existential crisis in modern China. Qian Zhongshu’s philosophical novel “Fortress Besieged” Cover Image
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Allegorizing the existential crisis in modern China. Qian Zhongshu’s philosophical novel “Fortress Besieged”
Allegorizing the existential crisis in modern China. Qian Zhongshu’s philosophical novel “Fortress Besieged”

Author(s): Yu (Heidi) Huang
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies, Studies of Literature, Existentialism, Theory of Literature
Published by: Ústav svetovej literatúry, Slovenská akadémia vied
Keywords: Philosophical novel; Qian Zhongshu; Fortress Besieged; Existential Crisis; Allegory; Modern China;

Summary/Abstract: Beginning with an overview of the interconnection between literature and philosophy in modern Chinese literature, this paper analyses the novel Fortress Besieged (1947) written by Qian Zhongshu, a polyglot Chinese scholar of East-West comparative literature and philosophy. It compares the novel’s overarching allegory, i. e. a fortress besieged, in juxtaposition with the philosophical allegories about the mutability and limitations of human life. It concludes with a reflection on the seminal influence of this novel in contemporary Chinese society where “fortress besieged” has become an everyday word referring to one’s existential crisis.

  • Issue Year: 10/2018
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 80-90
  • Page Count: 11
  • Language: English