Poetry Madness

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores

    Recently Viewed clear list

    Original Essays | March 24, 2015

    Judith Claire Mitchell: IMG The Book That Refused to Write Itself

    I first heard of Fritz Haber in 1998, when I caught a snippet of a TV documentary about 20th-century scientists. The camera zoomed in on an image of... Continue »


This item may be
out of stock.

Click on the button below to search for this title in other formats.

Check for Availability
Add to Wishlist

A History of Pain: Trauma in Modern Chinese Literature and Film


A History of Pain: Trauma in Modern Chinese Literature and Film Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The portrayal of historical atrocity in fiction, film, and popular culture can reveal much about the function of individual memory and the shifting status of national identity. In the context of Chinese culture, films such as Hou Hsiao-hsien's City of Sadnessand Lou Ye's Summer Palaceand novels such as Ye Zhaoyan's Nanjing 1937: A Love Storyand Wang Xiaobo's The Golden Agecollectively reimagine past horrors and give rise to new historical narratives. Michael Berry takes an innovative look at the representation of six specific historical traumas in modern Chinese history: the Musha Incident (1930); the Rape of Nanjing (1937-38); the February 28 Incident (1947); the Cultural Revolution (1966-76); Tiananmen Square (1989); and the Handover of Hong Kong (1997). He identifies two primary modes of restaging historical violence: centripetal trauma, or violence inflicted from the outside that inspires a reexamination of the Chinese nation, and centrifugal trauma, which, originating from within, inspires traumatic narratives that are projected out onto a transnational vision of global dreams and, sometimes, nightmares. These modes allow Berry to connect portrayals of mass violence to ideas of modernity and the nation. He also illuminates the relationship between historical atrocity on a national scale and the pain experienced by the individual; the function of film and literature as historical testimony; the intersection between politics and art, history and memory; and the particular advantages of modern media, which have found new means of narrating the burden of historical violence. As Chinese artists began to probe previously taboo aspects of their nation's history in the final decades of the twentieth century, they created texts that prefigured, echoed, or subverted social, political, and cultural trends. A History of Painacknowledges the far-reaching influence of this art and addresses its profound role in shaping the public imagination and conception-as well as misconception-of modern Chinese history.

Table of Contents

A history of pain: Wu Jianren's history of pain ; Lu Xun and modern Chinese literature's genealogy of violence ; Chien Chieh-jen's Lingchi and the Dissection of history — Musha 1930. Enter the headhunt ; Appropriating Musha: Chinese and Taiwanese interventions ; Simplifying history? The Musha incident in popular culture ; Heavy metal headhunt: ChthoniC and the colonization of historical memory — Nanjing 1937. Mapping the site ; Three cinematic visions of Nanking 1937: Luo Guanqun, T.F. Mou, and Wu Ziniu ; Writing the Nanjing Massacre: Ah Long and Ye Zhaoyan ; Facts and fictions: from Qixia Temple 1937 to May & August — Taipei 1947. Memories forgotten ; Writing 2/28: the fictional legacy of the February uprising ; Screening 2/28: From a City of sadness to a March of Happiness ; Rewriting 2/28: old obsessions and new investigations — Yunnan 1968. An education in violence ; Wang Xiaobo's golden age of the cultural revolution ; Cultural refractions: Ah Cheng from fiction to film ; Serialized returns: back to Shanghai and off to "Haiwai" — Beijing 1989. Imaginary massacre ; Sexing Tiananmen: Hong Ying and Beijing comrade ; Fleeting images: Tiananmen Square on (and off) screen — Belated tragedies and the transnational imagination : Terrence Chang and Gu Zhaosen.

Product Details

Columbia University Press
Popular Culture
Michael Berry
Berry, Michael
Violence in literature
Popular Culture - General
Asian - General
Film & Video - General
Asian - Chinese
Film & Video - History & Criticism
Popular culture -- China.
Literary Criticism : General
Sociology - General
Literature-A to Z
Literary Criticism : Asian - General
Social Science : Popular Culture - General
History : Asia - General
Performing Arts : Film & Video - General
Publication Date:
November 2008

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Film and Television » History and Criticism
Arts and Entertainment » Film and Television » Reference
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » World History » Asia » General
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General

A History of Pain: Trauma in Modern Chinese Literature and Film
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 432 pages Columbia University Press - English 9780231512008 Reviews:
  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.