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The Research on the Co-text of Best-selling Novels from2006to2010

Author: HouDingYue
Tutor: TanGuangHui
School: Sichuan Normal University
Course: Contemporary Chinese Literature
Keywords: Co-text New century Best-selling Novels Semiotics Co-textObsession
CLC: I207.42
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2013
Downloads: 28
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There are various reasons for a novel to be best-selling. For some, thereason lies in the text itself. And for others, the reason comes from something else. Eachcopy of text is accompanied by large amounts of information beyond the text itself. Theinformation is conveyed to the readers with the text, influencing the conception ofmeaning and explanation by the reader. The text containing the outside information isknown as co-text. This thesis follows the idea of Zhao Yiheng, dividing the co-text asseven categories, including the paratext, the architext, the meta-text, the link-text, thepre-text, and the successive text. The best-selling novels in the new century have showntraits of the great influence from consumerism and cultural zeitgeist. And the core ofthese characteristics is the operation on the co-text. This thesis mainly focuses on thebest-selling novels from2006to2010as the objects of study, exploring the specificreflection and the regularity shown in this phenomenon of these seven types of co-textin the best-selling novels. Through the analysis on the co-text of the best-selling novelsin this period, a new clue that differs from the writing mode of the past best-sellingnovels is found, which indirectly reflects the multiple changes of the popular culturalpsychology and the Chinese publishing sector.This thesis consists of five parts. Chapter one, the Overview, is an introductorychapter which mainly introduces the basic theories and research status quo of the co-text,as well as the research contents and meaning, etc. Chapter Two, The Explicit Co-text ofBest-selling novels, mainly discusses the para-text and architext of the co-text. Thenovel-publishers in the new century tend to attract the readers by promote the co-text,and they intensively publish novels of certain genres to develop the readership of suchgenres. The diversity of the architext of best-selling novels is the result of marketingcampaigns. Chapter Three, The Explanatory Co-text of Best-selling Novels, mainlydiscusses the meta-text, the link-text, and the successive text. The factor of the meta-textis ubiquitous, therefore it is increasingly evident, and its influence on best-selling novelsis unprecedentedly greater than any other period in the past. The major reflection of such phenomena is the celebrity recommendation and media promotions. The link-textis the factor with the greatest influence and widest coverage among all the categories ofco-text, and it is able to overlap with any form of texts. The information explosionallows greater efficiency and convenience for link-text operations. The readersubconsciously conducts extended and repeated consumption, which is obviouslydifferent from the consumption mode of last century. The TV dramas and filmsconcerning the successive text influence more directly and visually, and the sequels,continuations, and copycat editions are able to attract expectations from the readers,therefore influencing the sales of the novels. In Chapter Four, The Generative Co-text ofBest-selling Novels analyzes the cultural contexts, such as the changes of the pre-text,media, and lifestyles, and their differences that result in the different ways of novelcreation from the past. It also covers the subject matters of the novels. Thesecharacteristics present evident characteristics of the times in this period. Vice versa, thenovel is involved in the formation of the pre-text in this period. In Chapter Five, TheCo-text Obsession focuses on the representations of the co-text obsession. It shows howthe novel publishers try to attract readers with obsession in the co-text and generatesuccessful sales, meanwhile the defects of the text itself is ignored. The final part is theconclusion. The author presents some thoughts on the literary and social valuesregarding the forms of literature, and discusses how the relationship between the co-textand real text should be readjusted. This is a crucial problem for the authors andpublishers in the new century.

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