Hundred Days’ Literature

Chinese Utopian Fiction at the End of Empire, 1902–1910

Series:

In Hundred Days’ Literature, Lorenzo Andolfatto explores the landscape of early modern Chinese fiction through the lens of the utopian novel, casting new light on some of its most peculiar yet often overshadowed literary specimens. The wutuobang or lixiang xiaoshuo, by virtue of its ideally totalizing perspective, provides a one-of-a-kind critical tool for the understanding of late imperial China’s fragmented Zeitgeist. Building upon rigorous close reading and solid theoretical foundations, Hundred Days’ Literature offers the reader a transcultural critical itinerary that links Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward to Wu Jianren’s Xin Shitou ji via the writings of Liang Qichao, Chen Tianhua, Bihe Guanzhuren, and Lu Shi’e. The book also includes the first English translation of Cai Yuanpei’s short story “New Year’s Dream.”

E-Book List price

EUR €132.00USD $159.00

Biographical Note

Lorenzo Andolfatto, Ph.D. (2015) is a research fellow at Heidelberg University’s Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context," where he pursues research in modern Chinese and comparative literature. He is also a translator of Chinese fiction.

Table of contents

Acknowledgments
Editorial Note

Introductory Steps to Utopia
 0.1 Proposal for a Critical Itinerary within the Chinese Utopia of Modernity
 0.2 Preliminary Steps: Cai Yuanpei’s Xinnian meng
 0.3 Prospective Steps into the Late Qing Utopian Landscape

1 Of Textual Territories and Literary Cartographies
 1.1 Staking a Claim to Utopia
 1.2 Landscapes Long Overshadowed
 1.3 Tracing Boundaries to Cross, Drawing Grids to Escape

2 Gesturing Toward Utopia
 2.1 Liang Qichao’s Xin Zhongguo weilai ji; or, on Futures Unrealized
 2.2 Layers of Estrangement in Chen Tianhua’s Shizi hou
 2.3 If One Intends to Renovate the People of a Nation

3 Empires Erased, Empires Rewritten
 3.1 The Productive Distortion of Looking Backward
 3.2 Looking Further Backward versus Xin jiyuan: the Internecine Phase of Utopia
 3.3 Toward a Synthesis of Complementary Discourses

4 The Staging of the Utopian Spectacle
 4.1 Mending the Waterproof Covering of New China
 4.2 Utopia as a Spectacle on the Stage of History
 4.3 Familiar and Unfamiliar Rituals in Wu Jianren’s Xin Shitou ji

5 The Celebration of the Utopian Spectacle
 5.1 Utopia as a Geography of Language New and Old
 5.2 An Interplay of Absences
 5.3 Suvinian Nova, Utopian Tokens

Coda: Utopia’s Carnivalization

Appendix: New Year’s Dream, by Cai Yuanpei
Bibliography
Index

Readership

All interested in the developments of Chinese fiction at the turn of the century, translation, and the transcultural history of genres such as utopian, speculative, and political fiction.