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Holz- und Königswege zur Republik : Diskussionen um eine chinesische Fernsehserie

Müller-Saini, Gotelind

In: Bochumer Jahrbuch zur Ostasienforschung, 30 (2006), pp. 133-157

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This article deals with a Chinese television drama broadcast in 2003 during the SARS crisis which sparked heated debates because it challenged the official narrative regarding Chinese modern history: Zou xiang gonghe or “Towards the Republic”. On the surface, the TV drama deals with Chinese history from 1890 to 1917, describing the historical vicissitudes leading to the abolishment of the imperial system, the establishment of the Chinese Republic and the problems with which the latter had to struggle in its formative phase. Still, the decidedly unconventional way in which historical figures and events were presented and construed generated the impression that the TV drama’s agenda was more complex than a mere re-enactment of history for entertainment. During the period when this monumental and extremely expensive drama was broadcast, critics and supporters of the drama started to clash on a number of issues, and the drama was eventually dropped from the programme, which again added fuel to the debate. This article considers the context of the drama and its production, the problematic relationship between the entertaining and educational functions of Chinese television and the purported “new” historiography as portrayed by the drama. It also analyses the public debate, its participants and their arguments in order to figure out implicit meanings and the broader implications for diverging visions of China’s future as a nation.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Bochumer Jahrbuch zur Ostasienforschung
Volume: 30
Date Deposited: 23 Jul 2013 11:27
Date: 2006
Page Range: pp. 133-157
Faculties / Institutes: Philosophische Fakultät > Institut für Sinologie
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