The End of History, Dystopia, and “New” Historical Novels?
This concluding chapter explains why Chinese new historical novels can be considered as postmodern. The serious dystopian outlook is itself a major factor linking these novels to modernism. The nonlinear plotting, spectacle, pastiche, trauma, black humor, and carnival absurdity evident in the Chinese novels analyzed in the preceding chapters suggest that these postmodern works “play” like the modernist “subversion.” Liu Zhenyun's One Word Is Worth a Thousand is an acclaimed recent novel that can be said to exemplify the Chinese postmodern. Its highly mannered, minimalist prose calls attention to itself; its subject matter folds in on itself; and its implied view of the “times” is so counterintuitive that some might think of it as “alternate history.”.
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