Vincent Fang's love lyrics: A poetic and nostalgic reconfiguration of modern concepts about romantic love

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Vincent Fang's love songs are a unique literary and cultural phenomenon in the contemporary Chinese media sphere. Fang critiques the habitualization and atomization of aesthetic appreciation evoked by contemporary popular lyrics. Employing Shklovsky's theory of defamiliarization, and through an in-depth textual analysis on Fang's lyrics, this paper finds that Fang's lyrics illustrate a process of defamiliarization, which utilizes ancient imagery, unconventional poetic forms and language. These thematic and linguistic innovations in Fang's lyrics reintroduce the traditional ideals of romantic love of the ancient Chinese people. They also challenge the beliefs held by contemporary Chinese music fans about love and romance, thus increasing the aesthetic value of contemporary Chinese love songs through resurrecting the ancient love traditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-188
Number of pages19
JournalForum for World Literature Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Aesthetic perception
  • Defamiliarization
  • Love concepts
  • Nostalgic reconfiguration
  • Poetic language
  • Popular lyric

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