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.
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.
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.
A Sense of the City, Gala Maria Follaco examines Nagai Kafū’s (1879-1959) literary construction of urban spatialities from late Meiji through the early Shōwa period. She argues that Kafū’s urban critique was based on his awareness of the cultural sedimentation of the cityscape and of the complex relationship that it bore with the historical framework of modern Japan.
With the overall aim to define Kafū’s position within pre-war Japanese literature, Follaco touches upon key issues such as memory, class difference, and language ideologies; draws connections between his sojourn abroad and strategies of “mapping” the city of Tokyo in his literature; and takes into account works previously understudied, including his biography of Washizu Kidō and his photographs.