Language and Literature
This paper aims to demonstrate that Chinese science fiction literature, throughout its history, has always been a “post-traumatic” literary genre. Indeed, the genre was promoted several times through modernisation movements which were launched after traumas sustained by the country. The first time at the late Qing period, following the trauma left by foreign invasions, the introduction of Western science, Darwinian theory of evolution and social Darwinism. After the establishment of the People’s Republic Of China in 1949, the genre was put back in the centre of the stage, following the traumas provoked by numerous internal conflicts, the Sino-Japanese War and the civil war between Nationalists and Communists; back then, science fiction was therefore used to promote socialism and communism, together with the modernisation, independence and power of socialist China. Right after the Cultural Revolution, the genre was called once again, following the traumas generated by the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution; it is thus used to promote the new regime of Deng Xiaoping and his well-known policy of the “Four Modernisations”. Finally, science fiction rose again at the beginning of the 1990s, following the trauma caused by the Tian’anmen massacre in 1989 which puts an end to the hopes insufflated by the libertarian movements of the 1980s.