Desire as trap : chronotope of labor in Mao Dun's "Spring silkworms": 欲望的陷阱 : 重读茅盾《春蚕》 : 并论劳动的时空构成

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This paper argues with a reading of Mao Dun's "Spring Silkworms" that, in the realist representation of labor, the narrative text itself id constituted in the play and interplay of specific temporal and spatial forms —— without which no human consciousness can take shape, and no desire can organise itself (into concrete discourse). The study is made in an attempt to look for the superimposition of a discursive paradigm in the ways in which the temporal and spatial organisation of narrative are actively involved in articulating the desire of labor. The possibility of two distinct sets of "chronotope" (Bakhtin's category of timespace) is entertained; and each is found to be interfering with the other, and together they bring the story of labor of Old Tongbao's village to a narrative closure full of unsettling contradictions. For lack of better terms, this closure is hence identified as the discursive paradigm of "history" in Mao Dun's story, thus adding one more dimension to what Fredric Jameson might want to call the ideology of form in the Chinese realist chronotope of labor. This idelogy (of form) draws attention, then, not only to the process of commodification at work in Mao Dun's realism, but also to the problematic nature in the reader's acceptance of realism as flawless transcript of the real and in the critic's tendency to transcode contradictions in the realist discourse to contradictions contained within the reality represented alone. 本文通过对茅盾《春蚕》的分析,探讨在写实主义小说的典范里,叙述文体如何在时空的具体形式中构成。在剖析这叙述构成的过程中,时间和空间形式的相互关系和作用,具体地影响到作品中思想意识的成形(包括「写实」的思想和意识)以及人情欲念的消长(包括「劳动」的力量和价值)。 本文引用了二十世纪俄国文学理论家巴赫金的「时空构成」的观念,并以之应用在《春蚕》故事的阅读上。当茅盾的故事在时和空的不同叙述架构里得到叙述和阅读,老通宝家乡的种种让人大惑不解的冲突和矛盾都最终结聚在叙述的(时空)成果中。这种结果(「成果」)构成了小说叙述过程中不可或缺的一环,无以名之,或可称之为小说典范中「历史」的论述构成。
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe scholar (volume 2) = 学人(第二辑)
Number of pages23
ISBN (Print)7539903805
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 1992
Externally publishedYes


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