A small history of wenyi

Research output: Book Chapters | Papers in Conference ProceedingsBook ChapterResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The concept of wenyi played a key role in the distribution and promotion of films in the period from the second decade of the twentieth century to the early 1930s. Unlike the negative connotations of triviality, self-indulgence, even puerile pursuits that the term tends to carry today, wenyi at the time promised a sophisticated, worldly experience. This chapter maps the trajectory of wenyi, clarifies its importance, including its shifting meanings driven by literary and political forces and, more crucially, places it in a fluid cultural environment of literary enlightenment and social reform. Though wenyi as a construct has followed different paths since the 1960s, around 1930 it was a robust way to classify and describe cultural products and consumption. By revising wenyi’s history during the first decade of China’s full-fledged film production, we also find some of the exchanges between film and literature in this period.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford handbook of Chinese cinemas
EditorsCarlos ROJAS
PublisherOxford University Press
Chapter12
Pages225-249
Number of pages25
ISBN (Print)9780199765607
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013
Externally publishedYes

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History
Pursuit
Social Reform
Trajectory
Film Production
1930s
Indulgence
China
Negative Connotations
Enlightenment
1960s
Cultural Environment

Cite this

YEH, Y. Y. E. (2013). A small history of wenyi. In C. ROJAS (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of Chinese cinemas (pp. 225-249). Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199765607.013.0013
YEH, Yueh Yu, Emilie. / A small history of wenyi. The Oxford handbook of Chinese cinemas. editor / Carlos ROJAS. Oxford University Press, 2013. pp. 225-249
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YEH, YYE 2013, A small history of wenyi. in C ROJAS (ed.), The Oxford handbook of Chinese cinemas. Oxford University Press, pp. 225-249. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199765607.013.0013

A small history of wenyi. / YEH, Yueh Yu, Emilie.

The Oxford handbook of Chinese cinemas. ed. / Carlos ROJAS. Oxford University Press, 2013. p. 225-249.

Research output: Book Chapters | Papers in Conference ProceedingsBook ChapterResearchpeer-review

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YEH YYE. A small history of wenyi. In ROJAS C, editor, The Oxford handbook of Chinese cinemas. Oxford University Press. 2013. p. 225-249 https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199765607.013.0013