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Ein Denkmal für den General

Ein Denkmal für den General
Original work 將軍碑
Author Zhang Dachun
Translator Susanne Ettl-Homfeck, Ines Gründel, Christiane Hammer et al.
Publisher Projekt Verlag
Publication year 1995
   Page 161
Language German
ISBN/ISSN 3-928861-39-5
  • Abstract
  • Content

The General's Monument originated from a series of experimental writings by Zhang Dachun during the mid-1980s. In the story, an elderly retired general’s consciousness could traverse time, traveling between the future and the past. Thanks to this special ability, the general revisited the old battlefield where they resisted the Japanese invasion and sneaked a look at his own funeral. While he gained the ability to travel freely through time, the general also lost his ability to speak, so he stopped talking altogether.Here the theme being explored is the “relationship between language and people.” Through the completely opposite perceptions of the same incident between the general and his son, Zhang Dachun mocked the reliability of memory. Thus in The General's Monument, neither language, nor writing, nor memory is sufficient in reflecting the truth. The story itself becomes a snarling interplay between truth and fabrication, reality and illusion. Zhang Dachun’s revolt against realism and suspicion of the language’s intent is revealed for all to see and is what makes this novel a fantastically engaging read.

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