Some Aspects of the Formation of Gender-based Literary Criticism in China




China, gender literature, Feminist literary criticism, alternative reading


The purpose of this article is to study some aspects of Gender Studies in Modern Chinese Literary criticism, which were not the subject of study in Ukraine. It will give an opportunity to the orientalists (as well as anyone who is interested in the problems of gender) to expand the understanding of the possibilities of the existing interpretive theories of feminist criticism. The author of the study applies the method of structural description. Particular attention is paid to Chinese methods of the “alternative reading” of classical texts. The article presents three strategies of conceptualization of female characters in Chinese literature mainstream, represented by Meng Yue, Li Ling, Liu Huiying, Wu Yuming, Chen Shunxin: 1) determination of the symbolic female types in the works of writers-men to rebuke false notions about the nature of women; 2) Criticism of the plot models of ancient and modern literature, which demonstrates the masculine nature of image system of the novels; 3) a combination of the abovementioned strategies.

The study results demonstrated the dual nature of gender studies in the Chinese literary criticism. On the one hand, the universality of interpretative methods was demonstrated by Western feminist critique (e.g. the method of “a woman’s re-reading” by E. Shovalter, S. Gilbert and S. Gubar). On the other hand, the Chinese researchers have shown constant reinterpretation in the borrowed methodological approaches. It formed new research strategies: the criticism of women's images in the literary mainstream has led to the study of man's psychology of creativity and analysis of archetypal values of feminine discourse eliminated the need for the gender differentiation of the literary canon. Actually such departures from the basic theories define national models of scientific knowledge.

Author Biography

Natalia Isaieva, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv

Department of Chinese, Korean and Japanese Languages

Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv

Blvd. T. Shevchenko, 14, of. 24, 01601, Kyiv, Ukraine


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How to Cite

Isaieva, N. “Some Aspects of the Formation of Gender-Based Literary Criticism in China”. Pitannâ lìteraturoznavstva, no. 91, Nov. 2015, pp. 196-08, doi:10.31861/pytlit2015.91.196.



Methodology. Psychoanalytical and Gender Studies