The draft title is Conflicts of Ideals and Practice: Trajectories of Wang Meng and Liu Binyan, and the ‘trajectories’ part of this makes up the bulk of the draft structure.
Currently the basic outline is as follows:
- Why group 王蒙 and 刘宾雁 together?
- Biographical life events
- How their work differs
- Trajectories of 王蒙 and 刘宾雁
- Approach to literature
- Political trajectories
- How Liu always sought to expose truth and ‘serve the people’
- How Wang’s politics seem more fickle
- How they were perceived by their contemporaries
- Textual analysis and discussion of selected works of 王蒙 and 刘宾雁
- 王蒙 and 刘宾雁 as part of the ‘literary field’ of China
- Intellectual discourse
As you can see this is currently just a skeleton of suggested ideas with some early reasoning behind them. It will almost certainly change and develop as I get further into my reading and research.
At the moment I have three books on my reading list for the dissertation, all by Liu:
I’m hoping these will get me started on understanding Liu’s life and politics, and then I’ll move onto Wang. I’m planning to continually post short progress updates and notes about my dissertation in this way, partly to keep myself motivated and partly to give a little bit of insight into my whole process for anyone else who’s writing an undergraduate dissertation.