Haiyan Xie

Haiyan Xie

Haiyan Xie (2019)


PhD, Comparative Literature

Thesis title or Research Area

Mythorealism as Method: Ideology and Form in Yan Lianke's Fiction

My academic interest lies in both modern and contemporary Chinese literature and translation studies. My dissertation engages with novels by the contemporary Chinese writer Yan Lianke, to explore his formal experiment that he calls mythorealism and investigate how mythorealist form produces textual meanings that subvert the totalizing reality prescribed by literary realism and that reshape a diversity of realities. It identifies three different modes of mythorealistnarratives exemplified in Yan's three novels: Dream of Ding Village (Dingzhuang meng), The Four Books (Sishu), and The Odes of Songs (Feng yasong). Each of these three narrative modes emphasizes a different aspect of mythorealism,all bringing the marginal under closer scrutiny by weaving their voices into the literary depiction of sociopolitical problems. Culminating in different kinds of absurdities,these narratives create a contradictory and paradoxical world in which a dichotomous worldview is completely subverted.