Flath, James A.
- Publication date:
- Vancouver : UBC Press ; Seattle : University of Washington Press, c2004.
- xii, 195 p. : ill. (some col.),  p. of plates ; 24 cm.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 177-187) and index.
- The production of print culture in north China
- Home and domesticity
- State and society
- Retelling history through the narrative print
- Rursal print and the cosmopolitan mystique
- The politics of the popular
- Exorcising modernity.
- Publisher's Summary:
This interdisciplinary study brings history and art together in a definitive discussion of the Chinese woodblock print form of nianhua (literally "New Year pictures"), and an extraordinary account of the cultural life of rural North China during the late 19th to mid-20th century. Beginning with an overview of nianhua production, the study makes the critical point that rural China was embedded in a highly developed print culture. Through an analysis of the role of nianhua first in the home, and later in commercial and political theatres, Flath considers the relationship of the prints to the social, cultural, and political milieu of North China from the late-Qing dynasty to the early 1950s. Using nianhua as historical documents, he offers an original reconstruction of popular conceptions of domesticity, morality, gender, society, and modernity. He concludes with an examination of how communist authorities conscripted and transformed the nianhua genre for use as a propaganda tool in the 1940s and early 1950s. The Cult of Happiness is among the first studies in any field to treat folk art and folk print as historical text. As such, this richly illustrated volume will appeal to a wide range of scholars in Asian studies, history, art history, folklore and print, as well as anyone having a passion for the creativity and culture of rural society.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)