Browse results

The Other Greek

An Introduction to Chinese and Japanese Characters, Their History and Influence

Arthur Cooper

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.

The Organization of Distance

Poetry, Translation, Chineseness

Series:

Lucas Klein

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.

Revolution and Form

Mao Dun's Early Novels and Chinese Literary Modernity

Series:

CHEN Jianhua

In Revolution and Form, Jianhua Chen offers a detailed analysis of several early works by Mao Dun, focusing in particular on their engagement with themes of modernity and revolution, gender and desire. One of the leading authors of the early twentieth century May Fourth period, Mao Dun had a complicated relationship with both the Communist Party and the women’s liberation movement, and his fictional works reflect these twin concerns with revolution and gender. Chen’s study examines Mao Dun’s early fiction in relationship to the biographical and historical conditions under which it was produced.

Translated by Max Bohnenkamp, Todd Foley, FU Poshek, Nga Li LAM, LI Meng, and Carlos Rojas.

Series:

Edited by Wendy Swartz and Robert F. Campany

Memory is not an inert container but a dynamic process. It can be structured by ritual, constrained by textual genre, and shaped by communities’ expectations and reception. Urging a particular view of the past on readers is a complex rhetorical act. The collective reception of portrayals of the past often carries weighty implications for the present and future. The essays collected in this volume investigate various aspects of memory in medieval China (ca. 100-900 CE) as performed in various genres of writing, from poetry to anecdotes, from history to tomb epitaphs. They illuminate ways in which the memory of individual persons, events, dynasties, and literary styles was constructed and revised through processes of writing and reading.
Contributors include: Sarah M. Allen, Robert Ashmore, Robert Ford Campany, Jack W. Chen, Alexei Ditter, Meow Hui Goh, Christopher M. B. Nugent, Xiaofei Tian, Wendy Swartz, Ping Wang.

Song Dynasty Figures of Longing and Desire

Gender and Interiority in Chinese Painting and Poetry

Series:

Lara C.W. Blanchard

In Song Dynasty Figures of Longing and Desire, Lara Blanchard analyzes images of women in painting and poetry of China’s middle imperial period, focusing on works that represent female figures as preoccupied with romance. She discusses examples of visual and literary culture in regard to their authorship and audience, examining the role of interiority in constructions of gender, exploring the rhetorical functions of romantic images, and considering connections between subjectivity and representation. The paintings in particular have sometimes been interpreted as simple representations of the daily lives of women, or as straightforward artifacts of heteroerotic desire; Blanchard proposes that such works could additionally be interpreted as political allegories, representations of the artist’s or patron’s interiorities, or models of idealized femininity.

Series:

Dennitza Gabrakova

In The Unnamable Archipelago: Wounds of the Postcolonial in Postwar Japanese Literature and Thought, Dennitza Gabrakova discusses how the island imagery in the works by Imafuku Ryūta, Ukai Satoshi, Ōba Minako, Ariyoshi Sawako, Hino Keizō, Ikezawa Natsuki, Shimada Masahiko and Tawada Yōko shapes a critical understanding of Japan on multiple intersections of trauma and sovereignty.
The book attempts an engagement with the vocabulary of postcolonial critique, while attending to the complexity of its translation into Japanese.

Wolf Totem and the Post-Mao Utopian

A Chinese Perspective on Contemporary Western Scholarship

Series:

Xiaojiang Li

Wolf Totem and the Post-Mao Utopian by Li Xiaojiang explores the controversial best-selling novel by the political economist Jiang Rong as an allegory of utopia through discussion of an encyclopaedic range of scholarship in the humanities and social sciences that offer thinking on topics introduced in the novel. In promoting the significance of utopian thought, Li stresses that the term for her study, “post-utopian criticism,” is not the same as anti-utopian criticism, but an analytical approach to criticism in order to addresses the shortcomings of postmodern and postcolonial theories applied to contemporary China, and to open up interpretive space for the specific historical experience of its people and its utopian ideals.

Dancer, Nun, Ghost, Goddess

The Legend of Giō and Hotoke in Japanese Literature, Theater, Visual Arts, and Cultural Heritage

Series:

Roberta Strippoli

Dancer, Nun, Ghost, Goddess explores the story of the dancers Giō and Hotoke, which first appeared in the fourteenth-century narrative Tale of the Heike. The story of the two love rivals is one of loss, female solidarity, and Buddhist salvation. Since its first appearance, it has inspired a stream of fiction, theatrical plays, and visual art works. These heroines have become the subjects of lavishly illustrated hand scrolls, ghosts on the noh stage, and Buddhist and Shinto goddesses. Physical monuments have been built to honor their memories; they are emblems of local pride and centerpieces of shared identity. Two beloved characters in the Japanese literary imagination, Giō and Hotoke are also models that have instructed generations of women on how to survive in a male-dominated world.

Australian Theatre after the New Wave

Policy, Subsidy and the Alternative Artist

Series:

Julian Meyrick

In Australian Theatre after the New Wave, Julian Meyrick charts the history of three ground-breaking Australian theatre companies, the Paris Theatre (1978), the Hunter Valley Theatre (1976-94) and Anthill Theatre (1980-94). In the years following the controversial dismissal of Gough Whitlam’s Labor government in 1975, these ‘alternative’ theatres struggled to survive in an increasingly adverse economic environment. Drawing on interviews and archival sources, including Australia Council files and correspondence, the book examines the funding structures in which the companies operated, and the impact of the cultural policies of the period. It analyses the changing relationship between the artist and the State, the rise of a managerial ethos of ‘accountability’, and the growing dominance of government in the fate of the nation’s theatre. In doing so, it shows the historical roots of many of the problems facing Australian theatre today.

“This is an exceptionally timely book... In giving a history of Australian independent theatre it not only charts the amazing rise and strange disappearance of an energetic, radical and dynamically democratic artistic movement, but also tries to explain that rise and fall, and how we should relate to it now.”
Prof. Justin O’Connor, Monash University

“This study makes a significant contribution to scholarship on Australian theatre and, more broadly… to the global discussion about the vexed relationship between artists, creativity, government funding for the arts and cultural policy.”
Dr. Gillian Arrighi, The University of Newcastle, Australia

Series:

Edited by Gülru Necipoğlu and Maria J. Metzler

Muqarnas 34 features articles ranging from monumental architecture in seventh-century Jerusalem to modern Arab painting in Syria. It includes an archaeological study of the Agdal in Marrakesh, one of the few surviving medieval Islamic estates; as well as a fresh assessment of Ilkhanid polychrome stucco decoration in the Pir-i Bakran mausoleum. The volume contains several articles on interactions between Islamic and Christian societies as attested in architectural landscapes from the early modern period. One piece interprets an inscribed Renaissance gate at a Crimean palace; another provides a fascinating micro-history of Venetian merchants in Aleppo, who lived in commercial khans. Other highlights include an article exploring the impact of Shirazi poets and their tombs on the famous traveler, Pietro della Valle; and an investigation of the forgotten Galata New Mosque in Istanbul, built by the queen mother in 1698 to replace a prominent Catholic convent church following Ottoman military defeats.

The Notes and Sources section introduces several new texts, including a Neo-Latin poem that challenges recent modifications to the Alhambra’s iconic Fountain of Lions, and a hitherto undeciphered Persian chronogram poem, which sheds valuable light on the production sites of luster-painted ceramics in the Safavid period. Also featured is a sixteenth-century Arabic chronicle describing Ottoman construction projects in Mecca within the context of diplomatic relations between Istanbul and Gujarat.