, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 53-69

The reception of East-European literature in modern China

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Abstract

“Eastern Europe,” as a geopolitical term coined in the Cold War, not only refers to a regional demarcation, but also carries specific political, historical and cultural connotations, especially in a Chinese context. The political situation, historical experience and cultural character of East-European countries were shared and could easily be understood by the Chinese, who have gained their national consciousness and independence as well as aspired for modernity by fighting the oppression and invasion of the foreign powers, and through learning from and resisting the Western empires at the same time. East-European literature has, therefore, exerted particular influence on modern Chinese literature at the time of its transition from the traditional. This article attempts to reveal the political, geographical, historical and cultural similarities shared by East-European countries and their significance to modern China. Then it makes a survey of the introduction, reception and influence of East-European literature in China, taking Petőfi Sándor, Bertolt Brecht and Milan Kundera as examples to show the significance of East-European literature to modern Chinese literature.