Modern Chinese literature has traditionally appealed to realism and enlightenment, which includes narratives of ＂expelling demons and ghosts,＂ in an effort to emphasize rational thinking. From the 1980s, the emphasis on ＂people＂ and the exaggeration of ＂ghosts＂ began to coexist in New Era Literature, especially in the works of Mo Yan 莫言(1955- ), one of the movement's most outstanding writers. Unlike the earlier scholarly focus on ＂materialistic＂ writing, this article attempts to expands the discussion of ghosts and goblins in Mo Yan's novels. First, I analyze how Mo Yan creates a world full of ghosts by exaggerating colors and sounds, interlacing ghost legends within the narrative, and so on. I also point out that Mo Yan's discussion of ghosts and goblins is similar to that contained in the Liaozhai zhiyi 聊齋誌異. In particular, his descriptions of ghosts that appear to interact with the living, of souls departing when ＂meeting ghosts＂ in dreams, and of individuals straying into the ghost realm and walking the border between the world and hell share affinities with depictions found in that work. Second, I divide the narratives of ghosts and goblins in Mo Yan's novels into two types: the first is pure ghost writing, which tends to replace moral discourse with poetic aesthetics; the second is allegorical, which either weaves ghosts and goblins into war, famine, the Cultural Revolution, educated youth or other social backgrounds, or employs conversion in personal life experience to criticize power, hunger and humanity. I conclude that Mo Yan's narratives on ghosts and goblins were indeed inspired by traditional Chinese novels, which provides indirect proof of Mo Yan's folk orientation. As for the implications of these narratives, the proportion of critical works to those on ghosts and goblins is greater; however, in the latter the novelist places his lament within the narrative and gives form to a ＂bad＂ voice outside it. It is my contention that Mo's political positions and social criticisms can be seen in these works.
|Translated title of the contribution||Narratives of Ghosts and Goblins in Mo Yan's Novels|
|Original language||Chinese (Traditional)|
|Number of pages||33|
|Publication status||Published - 2019|
- Mo Yan莫言
- Liaozhai zhiyi聊齋誌異