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The Body/Mind Expression of the Intellectual in Zhang Xianliang's Novels
The Case of The Course of Feelings
This study focuses on Zhang Xianliang’s The Course of Feelings, including “First Kiss,” “Mimosa” and Half of Man is Woman, to analyze the body/mind expression of the intellectual in his novels. In addition to the preface and the conclusion, the article is composed of three sections. Section One “New figure casting through labor reform” examines political regulations on the body and the contrast between the weak and strong body. The capitalist rightists were demanded to find inspiration through labor participation, but it is doubtful whether the ideal reform was reached. Section Two “Erotic/political passion and dedication” discusses how the novel shows the beginning and sublimation of erotic desire. It explores the interaction between sex and politics and what the intellectual finally chooses. Section Three “Body/mind discrimination of the intellectual” illustrates how the protagonist reminates on food, sex and death, and analyzes the intellectual’s state of mind as revealed in the novel. The study concludes that Zhang’s body writing is still limited to the binary oppositions of sense/sensibility and soul/body, and sense and soul is always far greater than sensibility and body in his novels. While his portrayal of the body is certainly bold, on the whole, Zhang’s themes and content follow the Marxist line and show obedience to the system. However, Zhang opens up the intellectual’s thinking about bodily desire. His novels can have more meaningful contrast with future writings on body and sex. This is the true value of his “Revelation of Materialist” series.
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