Li Qingxi

b. 1951, Shanghai
Literary critic
Active especially in the 1980s, Li Qingxi is a critic and writer known for his challenge to the literary principles and practices promoted in China between the 1950s and 1970s. Li Qingxi went to work in the ‘great northern wilderness’ after finishing his junior secondary education. He graduated from the Department of Chinese Language and Literature of the University of Heilongjiang in 1982. He has had experience working both as a cadre and an editor, and is now engaged in literary writing and criticism in Hangzhou.
The Modernity of Literature (Wenxue de dangdaixing), a collection of critical articles, represents his work in literary criticism.
In the context of a long-standing opposition to Western modernism in the PRC, these articles, of which most were published in the mid 1980s, inspired people to rethink the virtues of Western modernist literature and theory, especially the work of Joyce, Eliot, Hemingway, the New Critics and the structuralists. He emphasizes the independent awareness of critics and the stylistic quality of critical writing. Another characteristic of Li’s criticism is its emphasis on traditional Chinese literary theory and technique. Li’s own literary writing encompasses different genres, including poems and fiction. He likes biji xiaoshuo, a traditional genre of literary sketches. His serial fiction, Notes of the World (Renjian biji), to which Li tried to apply modern narrative techniques, attracted an audience in the 1980s.

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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