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Dialectics of Spontaneity

The Aesthetics and Ethics of Su Shi (1037-1101) in Poetry


Zhiyi Yang

In Dialectics of Spontaneity, Zhiyi Yang examines Su Shi’s poetry on art and connoisseurship, his emulation of Tao Qian in exile poetry, and his inner alchemical practice. She argues that the concept of absolute spontaneity is defined negatively, and artistic and ethical spontaneity which can be actualized must be provisional and conditioned.

This book argues that Su Shi’s lyrical persona of a 'spontaneous genius' is a construction that serves various rhetorical and existential purposes. Making use of Su’s prolific works and referring to a broad scope of Western philosophy, this book not only enriches the literature on Su Shi, but further attempts to engages Chinese literature in a cross-cultural and interdisciplinary dialogue.


Edited by Antje Richter

A History of Chinese Letters and Epistolary Culture is the first publication, in any language, that is dedicated to the study of Chinese epistolary literature and culture in its entirety, from the early empire to the twentieth century. The volume includes twenty-five essays dedicated to a broad spectrum of topics from postal transmission to letter calligraphy, epistolary networks to genre questions. It introduces dozens of letters, often the first translations into English, and thus makes epistolary history palpable in all its vitality and diversity: letters written by men and women from all walks of life to friends and lovers, princes and kings, scholars and monks, seniors and juniors, family members and neighbors, potential patrons, newspaper editors, and many more.
With contributions by: Pablo Ariel Blitstein, R. Joe Cutter, Alexei Ditter, Ronald Egan, Imre Galambos, Natascha Gentz, Enno Giele, Natasha Heller, David R. Knechtges, Paul W. Kroll, Jie Li, Y. Edmund Lien, Bonnie S. McDougall, Amy McNair, David Pattinson, Zeb Raft, Antje Richter, Anna M. Shields, Suyoung Son, Janet Theiss, Xiaofei Tian, Lik Hang Tsui, Matthew Wells, Ellen Widmer, and Suzanne E. Wright.

Feng Menglong's Treasury of Laughs

A Seventeenth-Century Anthology of Traditional Chinese Humour


Pi-ching Hsu

The Treasury of Laughs is a treasure house for students of literature, psycholinguistics, history, sociology, and cultural anthropology. Feng Menglong systematically collected and edited 700-odd humourous skits that presented the entire spectrum of traditional Chinese jokes, and wrote commentaries of great philosophical insight. The anthology offers satirical caricatures of human follies from the cradle to the grave and reveals tension in all sectors of human societies and institutions. Hsu Pi-ching reconstructs the complete Ming Chinese original with meticulous editorial work, in modern punctuated typesetting, and provides the only complete English translation available, with useful footnotes on word plays, literary allusions, and historical background. Readers should find the introductory essays on the connections between humour and emotions/states of mind particularly illuminating.

Experimental Chinese Literature

Translation, Technology, Poetics


Tong King Lee

Experimental Chinese Literature is the first theoretical account of material poetics from the dual perspectives of translation and technology. Focusing on a range of works by contemporary Chinese authors including Hsia Yü, Chen Li, and Xu Bing, Tong King Lee explores how experimental writers engage their readers in multimodal reading experiences by turning translation into a method and by exploiting various technologies.

The key innovation of this book rests with its conceptualisation of translation and technology as spectrums that interact in different ways to create sensuous, embodied texts. Drawing on a broad range of fields such as literary criticism, multimodal studies, and translation, Tong King Lee advances the notion of the translational text, which features transculturality and intersemioticity in its production and reception.

From New Woman Writer to Socialist

The Life and Selected Writings of Tamura Toshiko from 1936–1938


Anne E. Sokolsky

From New Woman Writer to Socialist: The Life and Selected Writings of Tamura Toshiko From 1936 to 1938 by Anne Sokolsky offers a detailed biography of Tamura Toshiko’s life and translations of selected writings from the latter part of Tamura’s career. Considered one of Japan’s early modern feminists and hailed as a New Woman writer, Tamura is best known for her bold depictions of female sexuality and her condemnation of Japan’s patriarchal marriage system. Less well-known are the works Tamura produced when she returned to Japan in 1936 after spending two decades in North America. Through these selected translations, Sokolsky presents Tamura’s more politicized writing voice and shows how the objective of Tamura’s writing expanded beyond the sphere of women’s issues in Japan to more global concerns.

Hanvueng: The Goose King and the Ancestral King

An Epic from Guangxi in Southern China


Edited by David Holm and Meng Yuanyao

This work is an annotated edition of a ritual manuscript, written in the traditional Zhuang character script. The Hanvueng epic is a narrative in verse about murderous enmity between two royal step-brothers, recited when there is fraternal feuding, death by violence, outbreaks of smallpox, or other such disasters. The theme of enmity is an important one that resonates deeply in the Tai societies on the periphery of the Chinese empire. The narrative touches on many other aspects of life in the valley-kingdoms in the highlands of Guangxi: marriage and inheritance, match-making, slavery and social stratification, agriculture, hunting, fishing, raiding, livestock raising dye-making, wild animals and plants, and the use of ritual to put things to rights.

The Lost Geopoetic Horizon of Li Jieren

The Crisis of Writing Chengdu in Revolutionary China


Kenny Kwok-kwan Ng

Engaged with the paradigms of cultural geography, local history, spatial politics, and everyday life, The Lost Geopoetic Horizon of Li Jieren unveils a Sichuan writer’s lifelong quest: an independent historical fiction writing project on Chengdu from the turn of the century through China’s 1911 Revolution. Kenny Kwok-kwan Ng's study illuminates the crisis of writing home in a globalized age by rescuing Li Jieren’s repeatedly revised but never finished river-novel series written from Republican to Communist China, struggling to liberate local memory from the national cum revolutionary currents. The book undercuts official historiography and rewrites Chinese literary history from the ground up by highlighting Li’s resilient geopoetics of writing that decenters the nation by adopting the place-based view of a distant province.

Shinkokinshū (2 vols)

New Collection of Poems Ancient and Modern


Edited by Laurel Rasplica Rodd

The Shinkokinshū: A New Collection of Poems Ancient and Modern (ca. 1205) is supreme among the twenty-one anthologies of court poetry ordered by the Japanese emperors between the tenth and fifteenth centuries in terms of overall literary art, the high quality of the almost two thousand poems included, and the depth of poetic sentiment. Laurel Rasplica Rodd's complete translation allows the reader to appreciate the elaborate integration of the anthologized poems into a single whole by means of chronological procession or imagistic association from one poem to the next that was perfected in the Shinkokinshū by Retired Emperor Gotoba, himself a serious poet, and the courtiers he appointed as compilers, including Fujiwara no Teika, one of the greatest of Japanese poets.

Cross-cultural Studies: China and the World

A Festschrift in Honor of Professor Zhang Longxi


Edited by Suoqiao QIAN

Cross-cultural Studies: China and the World, A Festschrift in Honor of Professor Zhang Longxi collects twelve essays by eminent scholars across several disciplines in Chinese and cross-cultural studies to celebrate Zhang Longxi’s scholarly achievements. As a leading scholar from post-Cultural Revolution China, Zhang Longxi’s academic career has set a milestone in cross-cultural studies between China and the world. With an introduction by Qian Suoqiao, and a prologue by Zhang Longxi himself, the volume features masterly essays by Ronald Egan, Torbjörn Lodén, Haun Saussy, Lothar von Falkenhausen, and Hwa Yol Jung among others, which will make significant contributions to Sinological and cross-cultural studies of themselves on the one hand, and demonstrate Zhang Longxi’s friendships and scholarly impact on the other.

Neo-Victorian Cities

Reassessing Urban Politics and Poetics


Edited by Marie-Luise Kohlke and Christian Gutleben

This volume explores the complex aesthetic, cultural, and memory politics of urban representation and reconfiguration in neo-Victorian discourse and practice. Through adaptations of traditional city tropes – such as the palimpsest, the labyrinth, the femininised enigma, and the marketplace of desire – writers, filmmakers, and city planners resurrect, preserve, and rework nineteenth-century metropolises and their material traces while simultaneously Gothicising and fabricating ‘past’ urban realities to serve present-day wants, so as to maximise cities’ potential to generate consumption and profits. Within the cultural imaginary of the metropolis, this volume contends, the nineteenth century provides a prominent focalising lens that mediates our apperception of and engagement with postmodern cityscapes. From the site of capitalist romance and traumatic lieux de mémoire to theatre of postcolonial resistance and Gothic sensationalism, the neo-Victorian city proves a veritable Proteus evoking myriad creative responses but also crystallising persistent ethical dilemmas surrounding alienation, precarity, Othering, and social exclusion.