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Benjamin Bowen Carter as an Agent of Global Knowledge
Author: Man Shun Yeung
Benjamin Bowen Carter (1771-1831), one of the first Americans to speak and read Chinese, studied Chinese in Canton and advocated its use in diplomacy decades before America established a formal relationship with China. Drawing on rediscovered manuscripts, this book reconstructs Carter’s multilingual learning experience, reveals how he helped translate a diplomatic document into Chinese, describes his interactions with European sinologists, and traces his attempts to convince the US government and American academics of the practical and cultural value of Chinese studies. The cross-cultural perspective employed in this book emphasizes the reciprocal dynamics of Carter’s relationships with Chinese and European “others,” while Carter’s story itself forces a rewriting of the earliest years of US-China relations.
After piloting an emperor the age of a college student through China’s most drastic government reforms before the modern era, Wang Anshi retreated to his Halfway Hill villa at Nanjing, where in late middle age he became one of the Northern Song dynasty’s three or four most innovative poets.
He redirected the craft of composing high-stakes policy papers into lighter-than-air evocations of clear-eyed grief, sensuous Buddhism, and intricate reactions to rain on the river or donkey-riding up Bell Mountain. Acrimony over his redesigned government, which he lived just long enough to see totally dismantled, remains relevant to Chinese politics and economics. Published during his thousand-year jubilee, this first full English biography since 1937 draws on Wang’s essays, poems, and his vivid, seldom-explored throne-room diary.
Its Social and Cultural Significance
Author: Jiří Jákl
In Alcohol in Early Java: Its Social and Cultural Significance, Jiří Jákl offers an account of the production, trade, and consumption of alcohol in Java before 1500 CE, and discusses a whole array of meanings the Javanese have ascribed to its use. Though alcohol is extremely controversial in contemporary Islamic Java, it had multiple, often surprising, uses in the pre-Islamic society.
This longitudinal study weaves the complex stories of many disparate musics into an account of quests for identities that illuminates Lombok’s history, its complex religious and ethnic composition, and its current political circumstances. It focuses on agents, musicians and leaders on the ground, and the socioreligious and artistic changes that transformed many music forms. The book outlines the years of political difficulty for music and years of transition and government interventions to remake musics, and identifies the emerging ideologies and developments that laid the groundwork for a diversity of musics – traditional, Islamic, popular – to simultaneously exist in an unprecedented way.
Textualization and Performance, Authorship and Censorship of the “National Drama” of China from the Late Qing to the Present
Author: David Rolston
What was the most influential mass medium in China before the internet? Jingju (Peking opera)! Although its actors were commonly thought to have been illiterate, written and other inscripted versions of plays became more and more important and varied.
This book shows how increasing textualization and the resulting fixation of a performance tradition that once privileged improvisation changed the genre. It traces, from Jingju’s birth in the 19th century to the present, how texts were used for the production and consumption of this important performance genre and the changes in the concepts of authorship, copyright, and performance rights that took place during the process. The state’s desire to police what was performed is shown to have been a major factor in these changes.
The scope and coverage of the book is already unprecedented, but it is also supplemented by an additional chapter (on where the plays were performed, who performed them, and who went to see them) available for download online.
Author: Zaifu Liu
Volume Editors: Howard Y. F. Choy and Jianmei Liu
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.”
Author: Alexander Vovin
“The echo of the stone/ where I carved the [Buddha’s] honorable footprints/ reaches the Heaven, […]”.
This book presents the transcription, translation, and analysis of Chinese (753 AD) and Japanese inscriptions (end of the 8th century AD) found on two stones now in the possession of the Yakushiji temple in Nara. All these inscriptions praise the footprints of Buddha, and more exactly their carvings in the stone. The language of the Japanese inscription, which consists of twenty-one poems, reflects the contemporary dialect of Nara. Its writing system shows a quite unique trait, being practically monophonic. The book is richly illustrated by photos of the temple and of the inscriptions.
Zhu Guangqian’s Life and Philosophy: An Introduction is Mario Sabattini’s last uncompleted work dedicated to the work of Zhu Guangqian, one of the most representative figures of contemporary Chinese aesthetics. Since the '30s, Zhu Guangqian had an active role in China both on the literary and philosophical scenes, and, through his writings, he exerted an important influence in the moulding of numerous generations of intellectuals. Some of his works have been widely read, and they still provoke considerable interest in China, on the mainland as well as in Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Crossing Cultural Boundaries in East Asia and Beyond explores the personal complexities and ambiguities, and the successes and failures, of crossing borders and boundaries. While the focus is on East Asia, it universalizes cultural anxieties with comparative cases in Russia and the United States. The authors primarily engage the individual experiences of border-crossing, rather than more typically those of political or social groups located at territorial boundaries. Drawing on those individual experiences, this volume presents an array of attempts to negotiate the discomforts of crossing personal borders, and attends to the intimate experiences of border crossers, whether they are traveling to an unfamiliar cultural location or encountering the “other” in local settings such as the classroom or the coffee shop.