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The Space Network and the Private Publishing Industry of Hongkou in the First Half of the 1930s

Author: ZhengZuo
Tutor: WuJun
School: East China Normal University
Course: Contemporary Chinese Literature
Keywords: Space Network Half of the 1930s Hongkou Private Publication
CLC: G239.27-F
Type: PhD thesis
Year: 2008
Downloads: 164
Quote: 2
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Adopting the theory of human geography,this thesis does research on the private publishing industry of Hongkou in the first half of 1930s.Hongkou in 1930s was recognized as the second street for publishing in Shanghai.There were more than 30 publishing houses along and near North Sichuan Road,not to mention all kinds of bookstores for old and new,Chinese and foreign language books.Various publishing organizations are located in the map of 1930s,which presents the characteristics of complicated and diverse of Hongkou publishing industry from an overview sight.The Map of Cultural Publishing and Recreation Places of Hongkou in 1930s by Shanghai Map Institute in 1932 has been cited for a couple of times.The Map located 130 cultural sites of Hongkou at that time,among which 64 sites were related to publishing and cultural movements,60 sites were places for recreation(including cinema,theatre,bookstore,film company,film school,etc.),6 sites were private gardens and cultural education institutes.The Map can also be referred when people are strolling in Hongkou today,which takes the visitors away from the presents and brings them back to the past.Due to the damages of the war and the reconstruction of the city later,some streets and lanes in "Cultural Hongkou" are closer to the imagination,however,since successful works of literature are always inspired by imagination,when drawing this map,I,being a honest and cautions imaginator, referred to a large amount of historical and geographic materials,and investigated most of the sites in person and has tried my best to recover an exact cultural map of Hongkou in 1930s.In addition to that,the appendix encloses The Big Events of Hongkou’s Publishing(1928-1935).But,the publishing in Hongkou is not dealt with under a static and separated circumstance.On the contrary,at the beginning of the thesis,it is put forward that Shanghai,on geography,is a continuous or discrete distribution of related or similar cultural areas.Hongkou is one of these cultural areas.Hongkou was one of the sub-center areas.However,it didn’t obey and follow the center area,the uniqueness of which was proved by the quantity of cinemas and the theatres and the publishing industry.The quantity of the cinemas and the theatres covered half of that in Shanghai. As far as the publishing industry was concerned,Hongkou was the most important area only second to Fuzhou Road.The thesis makes comparisons of agglomeration of the publishing industry between Fuzhou Road and North Sichuan Road from several aspects,including registering fund,the range of the publications,the family background of the publishers,and the choices of locations,etc.The thesis puts forward that the agglomeration pattern of Fuzhou Road was the agglomeration of big enterprises.There were more than one leading enterprise and several big enterprises (the biggest publishing houses of Shanghai,which were also the biggest in China,for example,The Commercial Press,Chung Hwa Book Co.,Ltd,and The World Book Co.,Ltd)on Fuzhou Road,while the agglomeration of Hongkou was more like "Marshall Agglomeration".In Hongkou area,there were many members with small scales.Because of the good printing industry,a complete producing and consuming system was developed in the area.According to the famous British economist Alfred Marshall’s theory,Hongkou’s publishing industry was fit for the "industry agglomeration".Industry agglomeration is an industrial accumulation of the same level,i.e.the enterprises selling the similar or supplementary or related products gather together.The publishing industry in Hongkou not only sold the products of the same type,and was also supported by the printing industry,which also became a strong support for the big-scale publishing house on Fuzhou Road.The second part of the thesis has investigated the publishing process of Liangyou Printing and Publishing Co.,Ltd and Shui Mo Bookstore.Liangyou Printing and Publishing Co.,Ltd was a private publishing organization with largest funds,well-organized department,reasonable-equipped staffs in Hongkou area,which was the most influential one to Shanghai citizens.Although it was established in 1920s,the thesis focuses on its developments and changes in the first half of 1930s.From the angle of "institution & people","the publishing cases of Liangyou" and "the economic status of Liangyou",the thesis elaborates Liangyou in 1930s.The early success of Liangyou depended on the cooperation of some Cantonese—Wu Liande,Yu Hansheng,and Liang Desuo,etc.They came from the same region or graduated from the same school.The traditional elite network was based on clan,kinship and regional relationship.In modern society,because of the splitting of clan system,the geographic and cultural movements of elite have been accelerated.Especially when the elite of the villages or towns moved to the big cities like Shanghai and Beijing,we would take it for granted that the network of these elite would be transformed from fellow provincials into another new pattern,or,in other words,the traditional elite network would be broken because of the moving of the intellectuals.However,in fact,it has been discovered that the relationship based on traditional kinship and region still allow these new-type intellectuals coming to the cities from villages(or from the second-level culturally developed cities to the first-level ones)have more common language and sympathy.Before 1930s,the moving was not singular or separated,but had the tendency of moving in small group. When they were settled in big cities,the locations they chose to live and to develop were always the ones where the people coming from the same region were gathered together.The living atmosphere of Cantonese satisfied their basic living requirements, and also appeased their nostalgia.For Liangyou,choosing Hongkou means to choose to be deeply rooted in Cantonese group.The acknowledgement to this publication by the Cantonese people promoted the Chinese people from all over the world to know this publication.But at the same time,located in Hongkou would be unavoidably destroyed by the war too early.Liangyou in Hongkou displayed its declining tendency after 1932 when "Jan 28th" happened,while cultural industry in other regions stopped in 1937 because of the anti-Japan war.Although the painstaking planning and the good selling of The Great Series of the Chinese New Literature imparted freshness to the late Liangyou,it was declining together with other cultural institutes in Hongkou, and did not revive later.In this part of the thesis,the publishing process of The Great Series of the Chinese New Literature by Liangyou has been carefully studied.During the history of Chinese New Literature,the birth of The Great Series of the Chinese New Literature was the most impressive and typical involvement of the modern publishing industry in "Contemporary Literature".Different from normal journals and magazines,The Great Series of the Chinese New Literature was more than a place for new works,literary criticism.It was a thorough and complete reorganization and arrangement of the New Literature during ten years.Depending on the power of modern publishing industry,the position of Chinese New Literature was established, and later New Literature language was developed.The research on The Great Series of the Chinese New Literature has been done with the theory of Communication Studies and through the angle of publishing history.Some neglected but decisive details during the publishing process,such as economic situation,policies and laws, are traced.These details were the promoter of the publishing process and even the development of the history.Later,the report forms of Liangyou in 1935 have been analyzed with the help of a professional auditor from Price Waterhouse Coopers to achieve an objective evaluation of the operation status of Liangyou in 1930s.The application of accountancy and some conclusions from the application of accountancy is the breakthrough compared to the traditional theses. Next,the Shui Mo Bookstore in Gong Yi Lane on North Sichuan Road is analyzed.Existing from 1929 to 1931,it was very typical.It could be the representative of the small-scale private publishing institutes in Hongkou.First,it came into being because of the interests of the fellow men.When it met with the economic difficulties at the beginning or in the end,no party or organization took over it or gave it economic support.Liu Na’ ou,the investor,had other business and making profit from Shui Mo Bookstore was not his purpose.Secondly,Liu Na’ou was the only investor without any other investors,the institute couldn’t run smoothly when Liu came across economic problems,and no one could share the authority with Liu,which would deeply influence the purpose and direction of the institute.Thirdly, the fellowmen of Shui Mo Bookstore were not the professional publishers,but the modern young literary persons at the foreland of cultural communication between China and foreign countries in the colonized metropolis.They had their own fixed living orientation and unique tastes.No matter in life or in art,they made emphasis on their astounding and changeable individuality.They explored all kinds of possibilities in the field of writing with a delicate aesthetic attitude.These modern young people tried to create a kind of fashionable and popular culture.The producing and consuming strata of the popular culture were not two opposite or separated strata,but two permeating and transferring strata.In most cases,the producer of popular culture was also the consumer.The living condition and the writing model of the fellowmen in Shui Mo Bookstore were the best illustrations.The once stable division between different social strata was vanishing,and the connection between strata was also becoming vague.The fellowmen of Shui Mo Bookstore were the consumers and the producers of the popular culture.They were also the promoter of middle class culture, which stayed between upper and lower class culture and made their differences become vague.These intellectuals were called "new bourgeoisie" or "new intellectuals" by Bourdieu.What they loved was the changeable living styles.When it came to writing,they also showed a unique style and characteristics.It was also proved later that when an outside power forced them to be unified with others,Shui Mo group never accepted and then separated.Fourthly,Shui Mo Bookstore had a very significant moving,i.e.from North Sichuan and Road East Baoxing Road to Gong Yi Lane,which was located to the south of North Sichuan and Wujin Road.Different factors had influences on the publishing institutions:from geographic point of view, Wujin Road was the division of South and North cultural region of Hongkou;as far as culture was concerned Wujin Road was the division of international settlement and Chinese territory.This geographic division line also divided the power,administration and cultural organizations.Its existence made the private publishing industry influenced by policies in Hongkou dynamic,intertwining,changeable, diverse-oriented,and complicated.Closely related to economic reason,policy factors,immigration and communications,the publishing process of Hongkou in 1930s was unduplicated. Without these factors,this cultural phenomenon would disappear.This is also the reason that in the 21stcentury,Fuzhou road can be labeled as "cultural street" because of several big bookstores and a few reorganized publishing groups while the North Sichuan Road in Hongkou can only exist in the memory of the old people.

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CLC: > Culture, science,education, sports > Information and knowledge dissemination > Publishing > Countries in the world publishing industry > China > Local publishing industry
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