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Lightness of Being in China

Adaptation and Discursive Figuration in Cinema and Theater

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Harry H. Kuoshu

This study investigates how ideological discourses in China, especially the national-culture and social-class discourses, dictate cinematic and theatrical figuration. It focuses on a few groups of figures, on screen or stage, to explore their changes (refigurations) as they are adapted from literary texts. It illustrates how social and cultural concerns, at various moments in recent Chinese history, wrestle with each other for an ideologically figurative genesis. Providing insightful contextual overviews supported by the richness of textual details, the study promotes an educated understanding of recent Chinese representation, especially that in cinema.