Chinese Lian Huan Hua and Literacy: Popular Culture Meets Youth Literature

Chapter
Part of the Multilingual Education book series (MULT, volume 2)

Abstract

This chapter traces the trajectory of lian huan hua—a Chinese term referring to visual reading materials that include illustrated story books and comic literature—and discusses the relationship between this publication format and literacy in twentieth-century China. Heavily illustrated and cheaply available, lian huan hua enjoyed a wide cross-age readership in a country characterized by a low literacy rate and a low purchasing power. The format held huge appeal for young readers, even though the majority of the titles were intended for a general audience as opposed to youth in particular. The content, style, readership, and perceived functions of lian huan hua shifted as China underwent drastic political, social, and cultural changes. Being continually left out of formal teaching practices but remaining a significant part of children’s and young adults’ leisure reading, the format begs for research into its value and use in literacy education and learning.

Keywords

Popular Culture Chinese Communist Party Cultural Revolution Picture Book Comic Strip 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

The author wishes to express heartfelt thanks to Professors Betsy Hearne and Christine Jenkins, faculty members of the University of Illinois Graduate School of Library and Information Science, for kindly reading early versions of this article and providing insightful feedback.

References

  1. Aying. (1957). 中国连环图画史话 [A historical account of Chinese lian huan tu hua]. 北京: 中国古典艺术出版社.Google Scholar
  2. Bai, R. (1950). 夺取旧小人书阵地 [Seizing the territory held by old LHH]. 文艺报, 2(4), 26.Google Scholar
  3. Bian, C. (1982). 边春光同志在全国部分省、市、自治区连环画出版工作座谈会上的讲话 [Comrade Chunguang Bian’s talk at the forum on the LHH publishing work of some provinces, cities, and autonomous regions]. 中国出版, 6, 5–10.Google Scholar
  4. Blumenthal, E. P. (1976). Models in Chinese moral education: Perspectives from children’s books. Doctoral dissertation, University of Michigan.Google Scholar
  5. Chang, P. H. (1979). Children’s literature and political socialization. In G. C. Chu & F. L. K. Hsu (Eds.), Moving a mountain: Cultural change in China (pp. 237–256). Honolulu: Published for the East–west Center by University Press of Hawaii.Google Scholar
  6. Chen, X. (1996). The disappearance of truth: From realism to modernism in China. In H. Chung & M. Falchikov (Eds.), In the party spirit: Socialist realism and literary practice in the Soviet Union, East Germany and China (pp. 158–165). Atlanta: Rodopi.Google Scholar
  7. Chi, K. (1987). 连环画 〈〈枫〉〉 的时代意义 [The historic significance of LHH work Maple Leaves]. In M. Lin, & S. Zhao (Eds.), 中国连环画艺术文 (pp. 905–910). 太原: 山西人民出版社. (Original work published 1979)Google Scholar
  8. Duan, X. (2000). 贺友直的“伤心” [Youzhi He’s “sadness”]. Retrieved from http://www.cartoonwin.com/personage/mjft/person.php?cat=x&own=heyz&name=x_01
  9. Fang, H. (1999). 新中国少儿读物出版 50 年 [Fifty years of publishing for youth in the new China]. 出版科学, 4, 10–15.Google Scholar
  10. Farquhar, M. (1999). Children’s literature in China: From Lu Xun to Mao Zedong. Armonk: M. E. Sharpe.Google Scholar
  11. Fei, S. (1987). 谈谈连环画的图文并茂 [On images and text of LHH]. In M. Lin, & S. Zhao (Eds.), 中国连环画艺术文集 (pp. 470–475). 太原: 山西人民出版社. (Original work published 1982)Google Scholar
  12. Gu, B. (1999). 二十年代连环画精品值得收藏 [Choice LHH works from the 1920s are worth collecting]. In G. Wang, & M. Li (Eds.), 老连环画 (p. 8). 上海: 上海画报出版社.Google Scholar
  13. He, G. (1947a, May 18). 连环图画在蜕变中(上) [Lian huan tu hua is in transmutation, part 1]. 大公报, p. 2.Google Scholar
  14. He, G. (1947b, May 25). 连环图画在蜕变中(中) [Lian huan tu hua is in transmutation, part 2]. 大公报, p. 2.Google Scholar
  15. He, G. (1947c, June 1). 连环图画在蜕变中(下) [Lian huan tu hua is in transmutation, part 3]. 大公报, p. 2.Google Scholar
  16. Huang, R., Wang, Y., & Li, M. (1999). 老连环画历史概述 [An introduction to the history of old LHH]. In G. Wang, & M. Li (Eds.), 老连环画 (pp. 2–5). 上海: 上海画报出版社.Google Scholar
  17. Hung, C. (1994). War and popular culture: Resistance in modern China, 1937–1945. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  18. Hwang, J. C. (1978). Lien huan hua: Revolutionary serial pictures. In G. C. Chu (Ed.), Popular media in China: Shaping new cultural patterns (pp. 51–72). Honolulu: Published for the East–west Center by the University Press of Hawaii.Google Scholar
  19. Jiang, W. (1986). 新连环画艺术的三十五年 [New LHH art of the past 35 years]. 连环画艺术论 (pp. 228–250). 沈阳市: 辽宁美术出版社.Google Scholar
  20. Jiang, W. (1987). 连环画编辑工作大有可为. In M. Lin, & S. Zhao (Eds.), 中国连环画艺术文集 (pp. 549–553). 太原: 山西人民出版社. (Original work published 1981)Google Scholar
  21. Jiang, W. (1995a). 保卫孩子,就是保卫未来—再谈国外连环画的翻印出版 [Protecting children is protecting future – revisiting LHH duplicating and publishing in foreign countries]. 出版参考, 18, 2.Google Scholar
  22. Jiang, W. (1995b). 清除精神毒品 保护青少年 [Cleaning up spiritual drugs and protecting youth]. 群言, 6, 2324.Google Scholar
  23. Jiang, W. (2000). 面对世纪之交关于连环画、年画、宣传画等通俗美术的一些思考 [Some thoughts on popular fine arts such as LHH, New Year print, and propaganda pictures at the turn of the century]. 美术, 2, 73–77.Google Scholar
  24. Jiang, W. (2001). 警惕军国主义的文化入侵 [Be alert to a militaristic aggression in culture]. 美术, 5, 54–55.Google Scholar
  25. Jiang, W. (2002). 追忆周恩来同志对连环画事业的关怀 [In memory of Zhou Enlai for his care for LHH]. 美术之友, 2, 14–16.Google Scholar
  26. Jie, Z. (2004). 褪色的记忆: 连环画 [A fading memory: LHH]. 太原市: 山西古籍出版社.Google Scholar
  27. Krashen, S. D. (2004). The power of reading: Insights from the research (2nd ed.). Westport, Conn.: Libraries Unlimited.Google Scholar
  28. Lin, Y. (1997). 中国连环画的昨天、今天和明天 [Chinese LHH in yesterday, today, and tomorrow]. 百科知识, 8, 42–44.Google Scholar
  29. Liu, T. (2009, March 26). 中少社引进日本漫画遇到难题 [China Children’s Press encounters challenge in importing Japanese manga]. 北京晨报, p. A13.Google Scholar
  30. Lu, X. (1973). “连环图画”辩护 [A defense of lian huan tu hua]. In Memorial Committee of Mr. Xun Lu (Ed.), 鲁迅全集.第五卷 (pp. 39–44). 北京: 人民文学出版社. (Original work published 1932)Google Scholar
  31. Mao, D. (1989). “连环图画小说” [Novels in lian huan tu hua]. In Q. Wang (Eds.), 中国现代儿童文学文论选 (pp. 650–653). 南宁市: 广西人民出版社. (Original work published 1932)Google Scholar
  32. Mao, Z. (2004). 在延安文艺座谈会上的讲话 [Talks at the Yen’an Forum on Literature and Art]. Retrieved from http://news.xinhuanet.com/ziliao/2004-06/24/content_1545090.htm. (Original work published 1942)
  33. McCloud, S. (1993). Understanding comics: The invisible art. New York: HarperPerennial.Google Scholar
  34. Mo, W., & Shen, W. (2006). “Sanmao, the vagrant”: Homeless children of yesterday and today. Children’s Literature in Education, 37, 267–285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Nebiolo, G. (1973). Introduction. In The people’s comic book (trans: F. Frenaye, pp. vii–xvi). Garden City: Anchor Press.Google Scholar
  36. Nodelman, P. (1988). Words about pictures: The narrative art of children’s picture books. Athens: University of Georgia Press.Google Scholar
  37. People’s Republic of China: Educating the masses with picture-story books. (1974). Interracial Books for Children, 5(1), 7–10.Google Scholar
  38. Pu, M. (1989). 导言 [Introduction]. In M. Pu (Ed.), 中国儿童文学大系.童话 [Chinese children’s literature series: Fairy tales] (pp. 1–39). 太原: 希望出版社.Google Scholar
  39. Qian, D. (1987). 让小人书发挥更大的作用. In M. Lin, & S. Zhao (Eds.), 中国连环画艺术文集 (pp. 290–295). 太原: 山西人民出版社. (Original work published 1982)Google Scholar
  40. Qiu, Y., & Zhang, W. (2007). 三毛之父 "从军" 记 [Sanmao’s father “joins the army”]. 上海: 上海科学技术文献出版社.Google Scholar
  41. Ross, H. (2005). China country study. Retrieved from http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0014/001461/146108e.pdf
  42. Shanghai lian huan hua gai zao yun dong shi liao/上海连环画改造运动史料 (1950–1952) [Historical materials on the LHH reform campaign in Shanghai (1950–1952)]. (1999). 档案与史学, 04, 18–27.Google Scholar
  43. Shen, J. (1999). 我和连环画有缘 [My lucky tie with LHH]. In G. Wang, & M. Li (Eds.), 老连环画 (pp. 6–7). 上海: 上海画报出版社.Google Scholar
  44. Shen, K. (2001). Lianhuanhua and manhua – picture books and comics in old Shanghai. In J. A. Lent (Ed.), Illustrating Asia: Comics, humor magazines, and picture books (pp. 100–120). Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.Google Scholar
  45. Shi, C., & Hu, J. (2008). 中国连环画衰落的原因 [Reasons for the decline of Chinese LHH]. 浙江艺术职业学院学报, 1, 95–100.Google Scholar
  46. Wang, P. (1987). 谈连环画的读者对象问题 [On the targeted readership of LHH]. In M. Lin, & S. Zhao (Eds.), 中国连环画艺术文集 (pp. 577–579). 太原: 山西人民出版社. (Original work published 1982)Google Scholar
  47. Wang, H. (2003a). 血染红 〈〈枫〉〉 噙泪读 [In tears reading blood-stained red Maple Leaves]. In G. Wang, & M. Li (Eds.), 新中囯连环画: 70 年代 (p. 11). 上海: 上海画报出版社.Google Scholar
  48. Wang, Y. (2003b). 中国连环画目录汇编 [A bibliography of Chinese LHH]. 上海: 上海画报出版社.Google Scholar
  49. Wang, G., & Li, M. (Eds.). (1999). 老连环画 [Old LHH]. 上海: 上海画报出版社.Google Scholar
  50. Wu, B. (1987). 连环画出版综述 [Summary of LHH publication]. In M. Lin & S. Zhao (Eds.), 中国连环画艺术文集 (pp. 302–307). 太原: 山西人民出版社. (Original work published 1982)Google Scholar
  51. Xu, G. (1951). 小人书 〈〈关连长〉〉 编者的检讨 [Self-criticism by the editor of LHH Company Commander Guan]. 文艺报, 10(4), 36.Google Scholar
  52. Xu, G. (1986). 三次恶性循环的教训 [Lessons from three vicious cycles]. 出版发行研究, 2, 41–46.Google Scholar
  53. Xu, G. (2001). 昨夜西风凋碧树 [Last night’s west wind and a withered tree]. 北京: 北京十月文艺出版社.Google Scholar
  54. Yi, D. (1987). 连环画出版工作为什么处于低潮 [Why publishing of LHH is declining]. 出版工作, 1, 75–76.Google Scholar
  55. Zan, J. (2009, March 12). Goats and wolves spring a surprise: A homegrown animated movie turns out to be a runaway hit. Beijing Review, 52. Retrieved from http://www.bjreview.com/print/txt/2009-03/07/content_184178.htm
  56. Zhang, R., & Sun, Y. (Eds.). (1999). 争鸣小说百年精品系. 2 [One hundred years of best controversial novels series: Part 2]. 北京: 当代世界出版社.Google Scholar
  57. Zhang, Y. (1987). 选题要严肃 [Selecting subject matter seriously]. In M. Lin & S. Zhao (Eds.), 中国连环画艺术文集 (pp. 585–586). 太原: 山西人民出版社. (Original work published 1982)Google Scholar
  58. Zhao, J. (1987). 回忆鲁迅与连环图画 [A recollection of Xun Lu and lian huan tu hua]. In M. Lin, & S. Zhao (Eds.), 中国连环画艺术文集 (pp. 121–131). 太原: 山西人民出版社. (Original work published 1979)Google Scholar
  59. Zhong yang. (2004). 中共中央关于处理反动的、淫秽的、荒诞的书刊图画问题和关于加强对私营文化事业和企业的管理和改造的指示 [Instructions by the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party on handling reactionary, obscene, and absurd books, periodicals, and pictures and on strengthening the management and reformation of private cultural entities and enterprises]. Retrieved from http://news.xinhuanet.com/ziliao/2004-12/29/content_2390374.htm (Original work published 1955)
  60. Zhong, Y. (2004). 新中国传统连环画的兴与衰 [The boom and decline of traditional LHH in new China]. 图书馆建设, 1, 107–108.Google Scholar

Major LHH titles examined:

  1. Chen, Y., Liu, Y., & Li, B. (1981). [Maple leaves]. 北京: 人民美术出版社.Google Scholar
  2. Hua, S., & Yan, H. (Illustrator). (1945). 狼牙山五壮士 [Five heroes at the Langya Mountain] (4th ed.). 上海: 群育出版社 (first published in 1945).Google Scholar
  3. Huadong People’s Publishing House. (1951). 婚姻法图解通俗本 [The marriage law in illustration: A popularized edition]. 上海: 华东人民出版社.Google Scholar
  4. Huang, S. (1943). 战地恩仇记 [Friends and foes in the battlefield]. 联友出版社.Google Scholar
  5. Liu, L., & Dai, Y. (1984). 烈火金钢 [Steel meets fire]. 石家庄: 河北美术出版社.Google Scholar
  6. Liu, L., & Zhou, N. (1998). 烈火金钢 [Steel meets fire]. 深圳: 海天出版社.Google Scholar
  7. Mo, P., Lü, M., & Ya, J. (1984). 铁佛寺: 木刻连环画 [Iron Buddha Temple]. 北京: 人民美术出版社 (first published in 1943).Google Scholar
  8. Shang, M., & Wang, Q. (1944). 三兄弟踊跃从军 [Three brothers eagerly join the army]. 重庆: 教育编译馆.Google Scholar
  9. Shang, M., & Wang, Q. (1944). 荣誉军人 [The disabled veteran]. 重庆: 教育编译馆.Google Scholar
  10. Political Propaganda Team of Suichuan County Revolution Commission. (1971). 沙子岭机场 [Shaziling Airport]. 南昌: 江西人民出版社.Google Scholar
  11. Zhang, L. (1949). 三毛从军记 [Saomao joins the army] (上册) (2nd ed.). 香港: 四方书局.Google Scholar
  12. Zhang, L. (2005). 三毛在1935年 [Sanmao in the year 1935]. 南昌: 二十一世纪出版社.Google Scholar
  13. Zhang, L. (2006). 三毛流浪记全集 [A complete story of Sanmao the vagrant] (2nd ed.). 上海: 少年儿童出版社.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cotsen Children’s LibraryPrinceton University Library Rare Books Division, Princeton UniversityPrincetonUSA

Personalised recommendations