Chinese Literature - Li-hua Ying 2010

The Dictionary

SCAR LITERATURE (SHANGHEN WENXUE). Derived from the title of a short story written by Lu Xinhua and published in 1978, the term refers to literature written in the late 1970s and early 1980s that treats the devastating effects of the Cultural Revolution—the “scars” it left on the minds and souls of the Chinese youth. Liu Xinwu’s “Ban zhuren” (The Homeroom Teacher) is another work that helped define the humanistic literary movement. While the mainstream of scar literature exposes the negative impact of political movements in the past decades, others focus on the moral and spiritual rectitude of the individual and the compassion of ordinary people. Cong Weixi’s “Da qiang xia de hong yulan” (The Red Magnolia under the High Wall) and Zhang Xianliang’s “Tu lao qinghua” (Love in a Prison) reflect the fortitude of the political prisoners as they endure trauma and torture; Zhang Jie’s “Senlin li lai de haizi” (A Boy from the Forest) and Ye Weilin’s “Zai meiyou hangbiao de heliu shang” (On the River without a Navigation Mark) shed light on the triumph of the human spirit and love despite difficult circumstances. See also WANG MENG; FENG JICAI.