Blanks to be Filled
Jia Pingwa’s Decadent Capital was wildly popular upon its publication in 1993. Offering plenty of sex and a bleak view of Chinese society under reform, it was also highly controversial, not least because of the blank squares strewn throughout the text to represent erotic descriptions edited out by the author. Commentators accused Jia of selling out high culture, much like the intellectuals portrayed in the narrative. The novel was banned in 1994 but rereleased in 2009 with one major change: the blank squares were replaced by ellipses. I argue that these blank squares not only make public censorship itself but also constitute the space of alternative publics, whether harking back to an elided past or projecting into a future yet to be written, that the post-Tiananmen Party-state tries to nullify.
Index by keyword :censorship, Jia Pingwa, publishing industry, postsocialism, dystopia, utopia, Tiananmen Square, public, criticism, Lu Xun.
Thomas Chen, « Blanks to be Filled », China Perspectives [Online], 2015/1 | 2015, Online since 01 January 2017, connection on 28 March 2017. URL : http://chinaperspectives.revues.org/6625Top of page
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