As a type of fiction, documentary fiction means to reappear objectively the life experience, anecdotes and true feelings of certain people, present figuratively the social change and cultural development, so that some literary images can be shaped and subject awareness is expressed. Although there are some differences among documentary fiction, fiction, non-fiction and reportage, some other reportages and prose works are within the scope of my study.
Two reasons lead to the developing and growing of documentary fiction in the 21st century. One is the thought of being realistic and pursuit of truth in Chinese traditional culture, which claims that human being’s labors, behaviors, products and achievements have the practical function and can serve the existence and development of human beings. When converted into the literature,it strengthens the necessity and functional characteristics of the Documentary Literature. The other is the positive evaluation given to the non-fiction by the medium abroad and the critics in recent nearly 50 years. Many national prizes awarded to non-fiction cause great repercussion among the readers’Fiction and non-fiction are two ways of literature creation, which were adopted in Chinese ancient historical biography and recorded in oral literature. In modern Chinese literature, biography, reportage,true record, travel notes as well as most narrative prose are classified as documentary fiction. After entering the new century, the spate of documentary fiction leads to its transformation of the aesthetics
appreciation, and the aesthetic connotation also turns to reflection and deconstruction. This aesthetic direction is based on the facility of the documentary fiction; and reality style becomes its essential. When writing non-fiction, writers are bound to abide the facticity of the works and the writers themselves, that is, theme must be highly consistent with the actualities of life, story line of the works must be corresponding with real events, archetypal structures must correspond to life prototype, and time, place, characters and
events in the works are in line with the facts of real life. When transforming the life events into non-fiction by recalling personal experience, interviewing or referring to the literature, writers keep a objective and neutral position, but convey their subjective emotion and rational thoughts timely and moderately. Writer’s thoughts are consistent to the thoughts gained by readers from works; the writer’s facticity is also part of the artistic facticity of documentary fiction. The facticity of the works and the writer’s thoughts sometimes is conveyed through the hypertext—a kind self-evidence system in the works, is sometimes referenced through the intertextuality. Thus it can be seen that objectivity, facticity, progressiveness, relationship, comprehensiveness, nonfiction, specificity and self-evidence are the artistic features of the documentary fiction in the 21st century, which has reflected and deconstructed the contemporary Chinese culture via a different perspective. Writers attempt to choose various methods for conveying the facticity of life, while keeping it interesting, readable and scientific. Taking Yang Xianhui’s and Li Juan’s documentary fiction as examples, the thesis looks into the entry point and different perspective for writers in the 21st century to reflect real and social culture In all, the documentary method used by writers in the 21st century is at an exploratory stage, which is similar to response and comments from the critics. Owing to the lack of a systematic and mature theory of documentary fiction creation and criticism, the postures of the critics and writers have not been established for futher reflecting and deconstructing social culture. Most are the common analogies among ancient Chinese historical biography, documentary fiction and foreign non-fiction. Critics often criticize them in different ways, but some viewpoints need expending, stretching and synthesizing. Combined with the evaluation and analysis of the domestic, the thesis summarizes the artistic and academic value, which can be summarized as the following: to convey information, to promote critical thoughts, to book and proof the history, to retort false, to probe the new order, and to stretch academic principle, etc. At last, the thesis prospects developing tendency of the documentary fiction, and illustrates the future vision of documentary fiction.