Il fumetto cinese moderno tra centro e periferia = Modern Chinese Comics, between center and periphery


Abstract


Modern Chinese Comics, between center and periphery. Until the XIX century, China considered itself as the center of the world, the “Middle Kingdom”(Zhongguo 中国). However, due to intensifying and unavoidable exchanges with Western powers, the Middle Kingdom had to reconsider its cultural stance, having been confined the peripheries of the modern world. In this scenario, China developed both the lianhuanhua, its traditional form of graphic narrative, and the manhua, a new hybrid text with Western characteristics. The notions of “center” and “periphery” and their supposed dialectical relationship, as well as the definition(s) of comics, inform the selection of authors, works and events in the present essay. The main body of the article synthetically retraces the history of Chinese comics from its origins in the late XIX century to nowadays, according to a twofold perspective. While considering continuities and peculiarities of the intertextual dialogue between comics, novels and Opera, the study also underlines the significance of the West, Soviet Russia and Japan, as a positive or negative, explicit or implicit models. In conclusion, it offers an overview on the most recent phenomena in a long-term scenario.

Keywords: Chinese comics; Manhua; Chinese literature; Visual studies; Media studies

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