From her contact with a group of young novelists, film-makers and artists in China, Zha examines a wide range of developments largely unknown to Western readers: the planning of soap operas to placate popular unrest after Tiananmen; the growth of the sex tabloid and pornography industries; the new generation of entrepreneurs bringing to the mainland the consumer techniquesFrom her contact with a group of young novelists, film-makers and artists in China, Zha examines a wide range of developments largely unknown to Western readers: the planning of soap operas to placate popular unrest after Tiananmen; the growth of the sex tabloid and pornography industries; the new generation of entrepreneurs bringing to the mainland the consumer techniques of Hong Kong and the West; and the politics behind the censorship and commercial success of the film directors Chen Kaige (Farewell my Concubine) and Zhang Yimou (Ju Dou and Raise the Red Lantern)....
|Title||:||China Pop: How Soap Operas, Tabloids and Bestsellers Are Transforming a Culture|
|Number of Pages||:||224 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
China Pop: How Soap Operas, Tabloids and Bestsellers Are Transforming a Culture Reviews
I had to read this book for a Modern Chinese History course. It was much better than I originally expected it to be. It's a sort of contemporary analysis by a Chinese journalist who writes for American and Hong Kong magazines. She talks about how Chinese popular culture has changed since the 1980's and how it affects Chinese culture, society, politics, economics, and psychology. It's rather humorous and amazing that pornography was criminalized in China as an attempt to achieve popular support by a Minister of Culture bureaucrat and to make people forget about the massacre at Tiananmen Square in 1989. A widely acclaimed and state-supported novelist decided to write a novel with graphic language and depictions of sexual acts and crimes, and the book was banned after selling millions in China. The first popular mainland Chinese Television drama series spoke to common feelings towards the Cultural Revolution and the capitalist reforms. Tabloids on fashion and sex have taken over precendence in sales, leaving the official Chinese Communist Party's organs with low sales and low support. Many people in China have become almost entirely de-politicizes and a-historical. Politics is a game of corruption and money. "No one believes in communism in China anymore" is put forward in this book. Everyone's out to make a buck in Zha's view. Where have the revolutionaries gone? How can they all forget the power they had in making history and society only a half a century ago?
This book is a collection of essays on culture in China, with a focus on Beijing, in the early 1990s, right after Tiananmen Square. Therefore it's outdated as a look at culture in today's China, but it is great as a snapshot of immediately post-Tiananmen China and Chinese culture. Some things are funny with the benefit of hindsight: "Beijing might emerge as yet another densely populated, badly polluted, cheerfully prosperous Asian metropolis." I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is interested in modern Chinese history and culture.
Admittedly I didn't have very high hopes for this book. The title definitely didn't draw me to it. It's an interesting read though. Although it's a bit scattered at times, the author shows a rapidly changing culture through her countless interviews and personal stories that gives one a glimpse into modern China and where it's headed. It was published in 1995 so it's a bit outdated, but important in that it shows the major changes that took place in China after the Tiananmen Square incident of 1989.
This was very interesting, but rather suffered from the fact that each chapter had previously been published separately, so there was a fair amount of repetition & no real overarching analysis tying the facets of Chinese popular culture together. I was glad to read it, but don't think I'll revisit it, although it did make me want to see how some of the people interviewed in the book (in the late 80s/early 90s) feel about China's cultural scene in 2010.
This is a terrific insight into the cultural scene in China (Beijing, really) in the 1990s. Zha Jianying is a terrific writer, observer and interviewer. She is part of the scene and society she writes about, and yet with one foot in the US, able to maintain critical distance as well.
Dated, but she still has a lot of great insight into Chinese culture, art, and the Communist party's methods of control over it all.A new afterword, expanded edition, or even 2nd work following this theme for China today would be great.
As a Chinese I have to say that I love this book so much. And I suspect people in mainland China like me might understand the book better. To me the book is not just about the culture, it also depicts intellectuals’ inner worlds which is the most valuable part to me. And probably one has to be part of this society to understand confusions and conflicts felt by Chinese intellectuals after the Tiananmeng. Born in late 1990s, I’ve never read too much deep thoughts about Tiananmeng, partly because of the government censorship, partly because many intellectuals are simply not willing to discuss these things as they are not willing to discuss their own behaviors in the Culture Revolution. And with the rapid development of economy and growing pressure for the young generations, this memory just fades quickly. It is somehow a huge comfort to see someone who still cares and has the courage and the ability to capture all these memory for us. And truly, I’ve learnt a lot from it.
Good articles on Chinese film, food and other parts of Chinese culture.
this book was just okay for me. I was reading another great book at the same time, so it was difficult to give this book full attention. maybe ill give it another whirl in the future.