Liu Zaifu: Selected Critical Essays

Volume Editors: and
Liu Zaifu 劉再復 is a name that has already been ingrained within contemporary Chinese literary history. This landmark volume presents Anglophone readers with Liu’s profound reflections on Chinese literature and culture at different times. The essays collected here demonstrate Liu’s historical experience and trajectory as an exiled Chinese intellectual who persistently safeguards the individuality and the autonomy of literature, refusing to succumb to political manipulation.

Liu’s theory of literary subjectivity has opened ways for Chinese writers to thrive and innovate. His panoramic view not only unravels the intricate interplay between literature and politics but also firmly regards the transcendental value of literature as a significant ground to subvert revolutionary dogmatism and criticize Chinese modernity. Rather than drawing upon the existing paradigm, he reinvents his own unique theoretical conceptions in order to exile the borrowed “gods.”

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Howard Y. F. Choy, Ph.D. (2004), Associate Professor at Hong Kong Baptist University. He is the editor of Discourses of Disease: Writing Illness, the Mind and Body in Modern China (Brill, 2016) and the author of Remapping the Past: Fictions of History in Deng's China, 1979-1997 (Brill, 2008).

Liu Jianmei, Ph.D. (1998), Professor at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. She is the author of Zhuangzi and Modern Chinese Literature (Oxford UP, 2016), Revolution Plus Love: Literary History, Women's Bodies, and Thematic Repetition in Twentieth-Century Chinese Fiction (Hawaii UP, 2003).
"From an editorial perspective, the selection of essays and the quality of the translations are very good, and both the volume’s preface (authored by David Der-wei Wang) and introduction (authored by the volume’s co-editors) are excellent. The translators and editors have included in-line Chinese characters for all proper names, titles of texts, and some specialized terminology, and have also added bibliographic footnotes where needed...The present volume offers English-language readers a small sampling of [Liu Zaifu's] formidable body of work."
-Carlos Rojas, Duke University, in MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright November, 2021)

Foreword: “Standing Alone atop the Mountain; Walking Freely under the Sea”
Liu Jianmei and Howard Y. F. Choy

part 1: Literary History

1 Literary History as Paradox
Translated by Howard Y. F. Choy

2 The End of Modern Chinese Revolutionary Literature
Translated by Steven Day

3 From the Monologic Era to the Polyphonic Era
  An Outline of Forty Years of Literary Development in Mainland China
Translated by Ke Wei and Torbjörn Lodén

part 2: Cultural Criticism and Literary Theory

4 Traditional Chinese Culture’s Designs on Humanity
Translated by Deirdre Sabina Knight

5 On the Stylistic Revolution of Literary Criticism in the 1980s
Translated by Ann Huss

6 Farewell to the Gods
  Contemporary Chinese Literary Theory’s Fin-de-siècle Struggle
Translated by Steven Day

7 Literature Exiling the State
Translated by Torbjörn Lodén

8 The Dimensions of Modern Chinese Literature and Their Limitations
Translated by Eileen J. Cheng

part 3: Modern and Contemporary Chinese Writers

9 Lu Xun and Chinese/Foreign Culture
Translated by Alan Berkowitz and Haili Kong

10 Miracle and Tragedy in Modern Chinese Literature
  In Honor of Lu Xun’s 120th Birthday
Translated by Lianying Shan

11 Eileen Chang’s Fiction and C. T. Hsia’s A History of Modern Chinese Fiction
Translated by Yunzhong Shu

12 Escape of the Mental Prisoner
  In Honor of Gao Xingjian
Translated by Nicole Elizabeth Barnes

13 A Comparative Study of Gao Xingjian and Mo Yan
Translated by Jessica Yeung

Postcript: Translation, Quotation, and Expatriation
Selected Bibliography
All interested in modern and contemporary Chinese culture and literature, including literary history and theory, as well as prominent writers like Lu Xun, Eileen Chang, Gao Xingjian and Mo Yan.
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