This volume of fourteen essays explores Chinese poetic modernism in all its facets, from its origins in the 1920s, through 21st century manifestations. Modernisms in the plural reflects the complexity of the ideas and forms which can be associated with this literary-historical term. The volume’s contributors take a variety of focus points, from literary groups such as “9 Leaves” or “Bamboo Hat,” to individuals such as modernist sonneteer Feng Zhi 冯至, or Taiwan experimentalist Xia Yu 夏宇 (Hsia Yü), and Hong Kong modernist Leung Ping-kwan 梁秉钧 to non-biographically oriented chapters concerning modernist language, poetry and visual art, among other issues. Collectively, the volume endeavors to present as complete a picture of modernist practice in Chinese poetry as possible.
Jina E. Kim
Urban Modernities reconsiders Japanese colonialism in Korea and Taiwan through a relational study of modernist literature and urban aesthetics from the late colonial period. By charting intra-Asian and transregional circulations of writers, ideas, and texts, it reevaluates the dominant narrative in current scholarship that presents Korea and Taiwan as having vastly different responses to and experiences of Japanese colonialism. By comparing representations of various colonial spaces ranging from the nation, the streets, department stores, and print spaces to underscore the shared experiences of the quotidian and the poetic, Jina E. Kim shows how the culture of urban modernity enlivened networks of connections between the colonies and destabilized the metropole-colony relationship, thus also contributing to the broader formation of global modernism.
The Writing of Fiction in the Great Transformative Epoch of Modern China 1937-1949
In Contending for the "Chinese Modern", Xiaoping Wang studies the writing of fiction in 1940s China. Through a practice of political hermeneutics of fictional texts and social subtexts, it explores how social modernity and literary modernity intertwined with and interacted upon each other in the development of modern Chinese literature. It not only makes critical reappraisement of some renowned modern Chinese writers, but also sheds fresh lights on a series of theoretical problems pertaining to the issue of plural modernities, in which the problematic of subjectivity, class consciousness and identity politics are the key words as well as the concrete procedures that it undertakes the ideological analysis. The manuscript signifies a new paradigm in studies of modern Chinese literature.
Paolo Santangelo and Gábor Boros
In The Culture of Love in China and Europe Paolo Santangelo, Gábor Boros and Roberto Gigliucci offer a survey of the cults of love developed in the history of ideas and literary production in China and Europe between the 12th and early 19th century. They describe parallel evolutions within the two cultures, and how innovatively these independent civilisations developed their own categories and myths to explain, exalt but also control the emotions of love and their behavioural expressions. The analyses contain rich materials for comparison, point out the universal and specific elements in each culture, and hint at differences and resemblances, without ignoring the peculiar beauty and attractive force of the texts cultivating love.
John T. P. Lai
Literary Representations of Christianity in Late Qing and Republican China contributes to the “literary turn” in the study of Chinese Christianity by foregrounding the importance of literary texts, including the major genres of Chinese Christian literature (novels, drama and poetry) of the late Qing and Republican periods. These multifarious types of texts demonstrated the multiple representations and dynamic scenes of Christianity, where Christian imageries and symbolism were transformed by linguistic manipulation into new contextualized forms which nurtured distinctive new fruits of literature and modernized the literary landscape of Chinese literature. The study of the composition and poetics of Chinese Christian literary works helps us rediscover the concerns, priorities, textual strategies of the Christian writers, the cross-cultural challenges involved, and the reception of the Bible.
Not Seeing Snow: Musō Soseki and Medieval Japanese Zen offers a critical reappraisal of a crucial yet sorely neglected figure in medieval Japan. It clarifies Musō’s far-reaching significance as a Buddhist leader, waka poet, landscape designer, and political figure. In doing so, it sheds light on how elite Zen culture was formed through a complex interplay of politics, religious pedagogy and praxis, poetry, landscape design, and the concerns of institution building. The appendix contains the first complete English translation of Musō’s personal waka anthology, Shōgaku Kokushishū.
Sinitic Poetry (Kanshi) from the Japanese Court, Eighth to the Twelfth Centuries
Edited by Judith N. Rabinovitch and Timothy R. Bradstock
This work is an anthology of 225 translated and annotated Sinitic poems ( kanshi 漢詩) composed in public and private settings by nobles, courtiers, priests, and others during Japan’s Nara and Heian periods (710-1185). The authors have supplied detailed biographical notes on the sixty-nine poets represented and an overview of each collection from which the verse of this eminent and enduring genre has been drawn. The introduction provides historical background and discusses kanshi subgenres, themes, textual and rhetorical conventions, styles, and aesthetics, and sheds light on the socio-political milieu of the classical court, where Chinese served as the written language of officialdom and the preeminent medium for literary and scholarly activity among the male elite.
The Father of History in Pre-Modern China
Esther S. Klein
In Father of Chinese History, Esther Klein explores the life and work of the great Han dynasty historian Sima Qian as seen by readers from the Han to the Song dynasties. Today Sima Qian is viewed as both a tragic hero and a literary genius. Premodern responses to him were more equivocal: the complex personal emotions he expressed prompted readers to worry about whether his work as a historian was morally or politically acceptable. Klein demonstrates how controversies over the value and meaning of Sima Qian’s work are intimately bound up with larger questions: How should history be written? What role does individual experience and self-expression play within that process? By what standards can the historian’s choices be judged?
An Introduction to Chinese and Japanese Characters, Their History and Influence
Edited by Imre Galambos
In The Other Greek, Arthur Cooper offers a captivating and unorthodox introduction to the world of the Chinese script through the medium of poetry, explaining the structure, meaning and cultural significance of each character. Written nearly half a century ago, and now published posthumously, the book argues that the role of Chinese writing was analogous to the influence of Greek civilization on Western culture. Chinese is the Greek of the Far East, ‘the other Greek’! Originally a cryptanalyst, Cooper uses his professional—and distinctly non-academic—training to analyse Chinese characters and points out a series of unacknowledged associations between them. Ultimately, he aims to initiate the reader with no prior knowledge of the language into Chinese writing and poetry.
Ideas and History in China’s "Independent Cinema", 1988-2008
In Postsocialist Conditions: Idea and History in China’s “Independent Cinema,” 1988-2008, WANG Xiaoping offers a comprehensive survey and trenchant critique of China’s “Independent Cinema” by the sixth-generation auteurs. By showing the multi-valence of the postsocialist conditions in contemporary Chinese society, their films articulate a new cultural-political logic in postsocialist China, which is also the logic of the market in this era of neoliberal transformation, brought about by the forces of marketization since the late 1980s. The directors laudably show the spirits of humanism and the humanitarian concerns of the underclass, yet the shortage and repudiation of class analysis prohibits the artists from exploring the social contradictions and the cause of class restructuration.