GENERATION III POETS (DI SAN DAI SHIREN), A.K.A. NEW GENERATION/POST-MISTY/POST—NEW WAVE/CONTEMPORARY EXPERIMENTAL POETS
GENERATION III POETS (DI SAN DAI SHIREN), A.K.A. NEW GENERATION/POST-MISTY/POST—NEW WAVE/CONTEMPORARY EXPERIMENTAL POETS. The generic term covers diverse poetry societies, including the influential Feifeists (Rejectionists) led by Sichuan poets Zhou Lunyou, Lan Ma, and others; the Xin chuantong (Neotraditionalists), also based in Sichuan, with Ouyang Jianghe and Liao Yiwu as its leading advocates; the Mang han (Reckless Man), also concentrated in Sichuan, headed by Wan Xia, Hu Dong, and others; the Tamen (They) in Nanjing, represented by Han Dong, Yu Jian, Wang Yin, and others; and the Haipai (Shanghai school) embodied in the works of Chen Dongdong, Momo, Meng Lang, and others. The term also includes many individual poets who do not officially belong to any of the above organizations, such as Zhang Zao, Zhai Yongming, Wang Jiaxin, and Xi Chuan.
For the Generation III poets, the year 1986 was a turning point. “Zhongguo xiandan shi qunti da zhan” (The Grand Showcase of Chinese Modern Poetry Movements) organized by Xu Jingya, editor for Shenzhen qingnian bao (Shenzhen Youth Daily), and Jiang Weiyang, editor for Anhui Shige bao yuekan (Anhui Poetry Monthly) provided a platform to display their work. In both theory and practice, Generation III poets differ from those of Generation I who were direct products of the May Fourth Movement and whose poetry is dominated by romanticism and ideology. They also depart from Generation II, better known as the Misty poets, the first group of modernist poets to have emerged on the mainland since 1949, who rose in rebellion against the political indoctrinations of the Mao era and whose work is essentially poetic expression of social protest. Although the Generation III poets have inherited the creative energies of the Misty poets, in contrast, their vision and tastes are postmodern, largely based on plebeian, nonheroic, antisublime sentiments. They have among themselves critics and theorists, such as Tang Xiaodu, Zhou Lunyou, Wang Jiaxin, and Yang Chunguang, who promote their work. The best of Generation III have persisted in their efforts to create cutting-edge, experimental poetry, refusing to be co-opted into the mainstream culture. In both form and content, they reject the preoccupation with culture, history, ideology, and aestheticism that dominated the work of the previous generations. They favor trivial, pedestrian themes, and in extreme cases, unseemly colloquialisms in an effort to deconstruct the formal properties of the Chinese language and invent some new dimensions of rhythm and meaning. The controversial work generated by these subversive poets challenges the definition of Chinese poetics. Since the late 1990s, the movement has further diversified and individualized. See also XIAO KAIYU.