Liberal Cosmopolitan

Lin Yutang and Middling Chinese Modernity


Chinese modernity discourses have been dominated by nationalism and revolutionary radicalism in much of the 20th century, but liberal cosmopolitanism has always been an important force in modern Chinese intellectuality, though a much neglected topic in modern Chinese studies. This book is a cross-cultural critique on the problem of the liberal cosmopolitan in modern Chinese intellectuality in light of Lin Yutang’s literary and cultural practices across China and America. It includes comparative reference to other discourses of major literary and intellectual figures such as Zhang Zhidong, Liang Qichao, Gu Hongming, Hu Shi, Lu Xun, Zhou Zuoren, Pearl S. Buck, Agnes Smedley and Edgar Snow. It also demonstrates that a liberal cosmopolitan road, which suggests a middling Chinese modernity, is both possible and desirable.

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Qian Suoqiao (钱锁桥), PhD (1996) in Comparative Literature, UC Berkeley, is Assistant Professor at City University of Hong Kong. He has published extensively both in English and Chinese, including Selected Bilingual Essays of Lin Yutang (2010).
"...[Liberal Cosmopolitan] is a welcome contribution to the study of Lin Yutang...It serves to redress the ensuing verdict of him, pointing out some of his long-lasting contributions to literature, above all with his translations and his "cultural brokering," and the liberal cosmopolitan potential he embodied."
Gotelind Müller, Monumenta Serica 60 (2012)
1. Introduction: Re-discovering Lin Yutang in the Post-Mao Era
2. Chinese Modernity: Nationalism, Imperialism, and the Liberal Cosmopolitan Alternative
3. Enlightenment and National Salvation: The Politics of a Liberal Nationalist
4. "Little Critic": "Returned" Professionals and the Cosmopolitan Modern
5. A Cross-cultural Aesthetic of Life: Translating "Xingling" into "Self-expression," "Xianshi" into "Leisure" and "Humor" into "Youmo"
6. Oriental Other: The Business of Translating Chinese and American Cultures
7. Cosmopolitan Difference: Critique of Imperialism and Debating "Chinahands"
8. Conclusion: What a Liberal Cosmopolitan Alternative Means for Contemporary Chinese Intellectual Dilemma
Students and scholars in the fields of Chinese literature, Chinese history, Asian studies, Asian American studies, comparative literature, and cross-cultural studies.
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