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Tales of Futures PastAnticipation and the Ends of Literature in Contemporary China$
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Paola Iovene

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780804789370

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804789370.001.0001

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A Clean Place To Die

A Clean Place To Die

Fog, Toxicity, and Shame in End of Spring in Jiangnan

Chapter:
(p.135) 5 A Clean Place To Die
Source:
Tales of Futures Past
Author(s):

Paola Iovene

Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804789370.003.0006

The chapter offers a close reading of Ge Fei’s 2011 novel, exploring its use of fog as a poetic trope, as a concrete manifestation of environmental pollution, and as a vector for manifestations of social toxicity: shame, sacrifice, surplus, and crime. The dystopic End of Spring in Jiangnan denotes a mode of anticipation encompassing the contrasting temporal scales of the environment and of human life: the long-term scale of environmental devastation and its much more immediate, though often subtle and less obvious, effects on the human body. The novel seeks to rejoin these two dimensions of time, yet their incommensurability makes it difficult for individuals to fully acknowledge their connections. Engaging with shifting qualities of air,” End of Spring in Jiangnan confronts the remnants of the promises and hopes of modernism that have been at the center of this book.

Keywords:   Ge Fei, Jiangnan Trilogy, capitalism, environmental literature, modernism, fog, pollution, shame, sacrifice

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