Exposing the Obscurity of the Chinese Literary Establishment: The Destabilizing Power of Author Museums
Emily Mae Graf – 2022
From nation-building to reviving local economies, author museums in China are widely considered useful to the literary establishment. This chapter, however, inquires: Can author museums – intentionally or not – act as a destabilising force? The museum of Nobel Prize laureate Mo Yan materializes the contest between national and international prizes. Lu Xun’s museums reveal the administrative hierarchy which governs inter-museal relations in the PRC and highlight the agency objects can gain on display. The juxtaposition of Lai He in museums on either side of the Taiwan Strait renders the tension between competing canons visible. And the institutionalization of Lin Yutang sheds light on the process of rehabilitation. Author museums, sinologist Emily Graf argues, do not detect, but construct literary value.