Dissertation > Literature > Chinese Literature > The body of literature reviews and research > Prose, mixed with > Modern,Modern ( 1840 - 1949 )

Muti-dimensional Study on Yu Dafu’s Prose Style

Author LinShuYu
Tutor WangJingKe
School Shandong Normal University
Course Contemporary Chinese Literature
Keywords Yu Dafu Style Prose style
CLC I207.65
Type Master's thesis
Year 2013
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Yu Dafu is a unique writer in the history of Chinese literature in the20th century. Heinvented a new way of showing distinguished style in his novels. His prose is fresh and fluent,which has a high artistic quality. His classical poetry involves a lot of artistic conceptions, whichshows his matchless talent. In addition, Yu Dafu also published many insightful articles aboutliterary theory and some wonderful translation works, and all these works made him a suitableand meaningful object to study. In his twenty years literary career, he had been writing using thesame style, and moreover, this prose style became very unique because of its sentimental tune,fresh language, flexible narrative structure and colorful genres. This style also reflects Yu Dafu’sdistinctive ethos and a mixture of traditional and modern esthetics. In order to get acomprehensive and deeper understanding about Yu Dafu’s prose style from a multi-dimensionalperspective, I investigate his prose from four aspects in this paper, including an overview of hisprose style, an inquiry of his spiritual world, an investigation of reader’s acceptance of his work,and a comparison of literature genre.The introduction section focuses on defining “style”, analyzing both previous and currentstudies on Yu Dafu’s prose, and describing the significance of exploring Yu Dafu’s compositionfeatures from the perspective of stylistics.Style is a kind of text composed of discourse order. It is not only the explicit characteristicof prose style, but also the reflection of authors’ writing conventions, so style research is a goodway to capture the unique features of literature work, explore writers’ mentality, examine howwriters experience the world, and understand authors’ psychology. However, the concept of“style” has not been clearly defined. The study of prose style is not simply analyzing the textstructure. The study of style involves an analysis of the general style of the literature work andall the elements composed of the text. Only in this way can we get a comprehensive and detailedunderstanding of style. Therefore, in the first section of the main text, I investigate andsummarize Yu Dafu’s prose writing style using the following words:“sincere”,“implication”,“quiet” across three periods of time: early stage (the early part of1920s), middle stage (themiddle and latter part of1920s), later stage (1930s). In this way, I present the different styles ofYu Dafu’s prose from a historical perspective. From the “sincere” early stage to the “quiet” laterstage, Yu Dafu’s prose style changed so obviously that many researchers have ignored themiddle stage which is implicit and artistic in the process of his creation. Yu Dafu’s prose style inthe middle stage not only inherits the sincere tune from the early stage, but also creates a pretextfor the implicit style of the later stage, and meanwhile it actually embodies Yu Dafu’s life circumstances and artistic appeal. In addition to studying the general style of Yu Dafu’s prose,this paper also briefly introduces many types of his works in order to show the richness of hiswriting style laterally. In the second section of this paper, style is divided into two aspects: thetune of his prose style and the stylistic features of the text (language characteristics and textualstructures). This section focuses on studying Yu Dafu’s prose style from examining his mentalworld, such as his personality traits, spiritual change, psychological trauma, regional culture,spirit of times and so on. The style with sentimental tune, implicit words and mood structure isnot only the natural manifestation of Yu Dafu’s ethos, but also a remedy for his psychologicaltrauma. Moreover, the changing process of Yu Dafu’s prose style influenced by the time andregion he was living in always corresponds to his change from”sincere” to “quiet”.As a writer who is aware of readers’ acceptance consciously, Yu Dafu’s autobiographicstyle fits or affects readers’ expectation horizon and receptive attitude to some extent.Furthermore, the choice of diary, autobiography and travel notes can enhance readers’motivation to explore. Consequently, the third section of this paper intends to analyze readers’psychology in order to show the significance of studying style. In the last section of the main text,it focuses on discussing the impacts of lyric novels and classical poetry to his prose writing. As akind of artistic text, classical poetry is the first type created by Yu Dafu and it not only manifestshis classical literature quality, but also demonstrates his traditional aesthetic consciousness. Fromthe emotional creation way to the lyrical language expression, Yu Dafu’s prose does not get ridof the influence from the classical poetry, but also in the later stage, it quotes classical poetry sodirectly that a new form called “the unity of poetry and prose” appeared. The distinction betweenfiction and prose is obscure in Yu Dafu’s creations. No matter prosifying the lyric novel ornovelizing the early stage of his prose, the mixed-genres of Yu Dafu’s works have beenpracticed very well, and meanwhile, the convergence of fiction and prose result in his uniquestyle.

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