Detecting Chinese Modernities: Rupture and Continuity in Modern Chinese Detective Fiction (1896–1949), Yan Wei historicizes the two stages in the development of Chinese detective fiction and discusses the rupture and continuity in the cultural transactions, mediation, and appropriation that occurred when the genre of detective fiction traveled to China during the first half of the twentieth century. Wei identifies two divergent, or even opposite strategies for appropriating Western detective fiction during the late Qing and the Republican periods. She further argues that these two periods in the domestication of detective fiction were also connected by shared emotions. Both periods expressed ambivalent and sometimes contradictory views regarding Chinese tradition and Western modernity.
What makes a Chinese poem “Chinese”? Some call modern Chinese poetry insufficiently Chinese, saying it is so influenced by foreign texts that it has lost the essence of Chinese culture as known in premodern poetry. Yet that argument overlooks how premodern regulated verse was itself created in imitation of foreign poetics. Looking at Bian Zhilin and Yang Lian in the twentieth century alongside medieval Chinese poets such as Wang Wei, Du Fu, and Li Shangyin,
The Organization of Distance applies the notions of foreignization and nativization to Chinese poetry to argue that the impression of poetic Chineseness has long been a product of translation, from forces both abroad and in the past.
Remaking Gender and the Family, Sarah Woodland examines the complexities of Chinese-language cinematic remakes. With a particular focus on how changes in representations of gender and the family between two versions of the same film connect with perceived socio-cultural, political and cinematic values within Chinese society, Woodland explores how source texts are reshaped for their new audiences. In this book, she conducts a comparative analysis of two pairs of intercultural and two pairs of intracultural films, each chapter highlighting a different dimension of remakes, and illustrating how changes in gender representations can highlight not just differences in attitudes towards gender across cultures, but also broader concerns relating to culture, genre, auteurism, politics and temporality.
Narratives of Kingship in Eurasian Empires, 1300-1800 Richard van Leeuwen analyses representations and constructions of the idea of kingship in fictional texts of various genres, especially belonging to the intermediate layer between popular and official literature. The analysis shows how ideologies of power are embedded in the literary and cultural imagination of societies, their cultural values and conceptualizations of authority. By referring to examples from various empires (Chinese, Indian, Persian, Arabic, Turkish, European) the parallels between literary traditions are laid bare, revealing remarkable common concerns. The process of interaction and transmission are highlighted to illustrate how literature served as a repository for ideological and cultural values transforming power into authority in various imperial environments.
The first monograph published in English on Ihara Saikaku’s fiction, David J. Gundry’s lucid, compelling study examines the tension reflected in key works by Edo-period Japan’s leading writer of ‘floating world’ literature between the official societal hierarchy dictated by the Tokugawa shogunate’s hereditary status-group system and the era’s de facto, fluid, wealth-based social hierarchy. The book’s nuanced, theoretically engaged explorations of Saikaku’s narratives’ uses of irony and parody demonstrate how these often function to undermine their own narrators' intermittent moralizing. Gundry also analyzes these texts’ depiction of the fleeting pleasures of love, sex, wealth and consumerism as Buddhistic object lessons in the illusory nature of phenomenal reality, the mastery of which leads to a sort of enlightenment.
This book offers a thorough and thought-provoking study on the impact of Japanese colonialism on Taiwan’s literary production from the 1920s to 1945. It redresses the previous nationalist and Japan-centric interpretations of works from Taiwan’s Japanese period, and eschews a colonizer/colonized dichotomy. Through a highly sensitive textual analysis and contextual reading, this chronologically structured book paints a multi-layered picture of colonial Taiwan’s literature, particularly its multi-styled articulations of identities and diverse visions of modernity. By engaging critically with current scholarship, Lin has written with great sentiment the most complete history of the colonial Taiwanese literary development in English.
Transcultural Lyricism: Translation, Intertextuality, and the Rise of Emotion in Modern Chinese Love Fiction, 1899–1925, Jane Qian Liu examines the profound transformation of emotional expression in Chinese fiction between the years 1899 and 1925. While modern Chinese literature is known to have absorbed narrative modes of Western literatures, it also learned radically new ways to convey emotions.
Drawn from an interdisciplinary mixture of literary, cultural and translation studies, Jane Qian Liu brings fresh insights into the study of intercultural literary interpretation and influence. She convincingly proves that Chinese writer-translators in early twentieth century were able to find new channels and modes to express emotional content through new combinations of traditional Chinese and Western techniques.
With the increasing international importance of East Asia in economic, political, and cultural terms, more and more readers are interested in better understanding this part of the world which can boast long-standing histories and traditions as well as vibrating modern cultures. This book series publishes substantial comparative research on the literary and cultural traditions of premodern and modern East Asia and their relation to the world. It welcomes in particular forms of comparative analysis that combine the depth of area-study-expertise and philology with theoretical acumen and a courageous orientation towards fundamental questions.
The series aims to showcase original research on the methodology and practice of comparison in three main areas: intra-Asian comparisons of China, Korea, Japan, and Vietnam; East-West comparisons that examine Western alongside East Asian traditions and explore their historical encounters and cultural interactions; and multi-polar studies that examine East Asian literatures and cultures in light of their relations with India, the Middle East, Africa, or Latin America. The series focuses on the core humanities such as literature, history, religion, philosophy and thought, art history, and archaeology, but also welcomes contributions adopting culturally-informed approaches in anthropology, political science, sociology, or linguistics.
The series is directed at scholars and graduate students of East Asia and, more broadly, comparatists engaged in the study of various literary and cultural traditions around the world. We publish English-language monographs, conference volumes, and, occasionally, English translations of outstanding scholarship in other languages.
The series has published an average of 2,5 volumes per year since 2014.