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date: 29 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The Cold War marks a key moment in a historical process that catalyzed a multivalent, transnational topography of Chinese literature. This chapter examines borderlands narratives in Cold War China that deal with borders, border-crossers, and the imaginary of other spaces. It features an analysis of Lu Ling’s “Wadi shang de ‘zhanyi’” (“Battle” of the Lowlands) in conjunction with Eileen Chang’s Chidi zhilian (Love in the Redland). By emplotting the Korean War, these two stories address China–Korea contact from the perspective of romance, passion, and desire. The chapter continues with a reading of Deng Kebao (Bo Yang)’s Yiyu (Alien lands), which tells the story of a Kuomintang force that continued to fight on in the borderlands of southwestern China, Burma, Laos, and Thailand long after the government had retreated to Taiwan. Although informed by ideological dictates of the KMT or the PRC cultural propaganda bureaus, or in Eileen Chang’s case by the United States Information Service (USIS) in Hong Kong, these three works explore border-crossing experiences in national, cultural, or existential terms and complicate the jagged boundaries of China and its identity politics.

Keywords: Cold War, borderlands narrative, border crossing, Lu Ling, Eileen Chang, Bo Yang

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