Conflicting Memories is a study of how the Tibetan encounter with the Chinese state during the Maoist era has been recalled and reimagined by Chinese and Tibetan authors and artists since the late 1970s. Written by an international team of historians, anthropologists, and scholars of religion, literature and film, together with translated extracts from key interviews, biographies, fiction and films, it examines official histories and films, unofficial autobiographies, memoirs and novels as well as oral testimonies and writings by Buddhist adepts. The book explores what these revised versions of the past chose as their focus, which types of people produced them, and what aims they pursued in the production of new, post-Mao descriptions of Tibet under Chinese socialism.
Contributors include: Robert Barnett, Benno Weiner, Françoise Robin, Bianca Horlemann, Alice Travers, Alex Raymond, Chung Tsering, Dáša Pejchar Mortensen, Charlene Makley, Xénia de Heering, Nicole Willock, M. Maria Turek, Geoffrey Barstow, Gedun Rabsal, Heather Stoddard, Orgyen Nyima.
Intoxicating Shanghai Paul Bevan explores the work of a number of Chinese modernist figures in the fields of literature and the visual arts, with an emphasis on the literary group the New-sensationists and its equivalents in the Shanghai art world, examining the work of these figures as it appeared in pictorial magazines. It undertakes a detailed examination into the significance of the pictorial magazine as a medium for the dissemination of literature and art during the 1930s. The research locates the work of these artists and writers within the context of wider literary and art production in Shanghai, focusing on art, literature, cinema, music, and dancehall culture, with a specific emphasis on 1934 – ‘The Year of the Magazine’.
Not Seeing Snow: Musō Soseki and Medieval Japanese Zen offers a detailed look at 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
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.
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?
The Chinese Cultural Revolution is the single most important internal social event in contemporary Chinese history. The plethora of history, literary, and artistic representations inspired by this event are critical to our understanding of the diversified, often contested, interpretations of contemporary China.
Li Li’s critical examination of autobiographic, filmic and fictional presentations in
Memory, Fluid Identity, and the Politics of Remembering: The Representations of the Chinese Cultural Revolution in English-speaking Countries demonstrates that “memory works” not only reflect memories of those who lived through that period, but memories about their past, and, more importantly, about their identity remapping and artistic negotiation in a cross-cultural environment.
Nogami Yaeko's novel
The Labyrinth deals with the doubts and dilemmas of leftwing intellectuals before and during World War II. Rich in social detail and profound in its psychology, it follows the political and sentimental evolution of the protagonist Kanno Shōzō from a humiliating recantation of his socialist creed to a problematic participation in Japan's war against China. Nogami Yaeko (1885-1985) was Japan's longest-lived woman writer and has an assured place in the history of Japanese fiction. Winner of the prestigious Nomiuri prize,
The Labyrinth was immediately recognized as a major critical contribution to the understanding of Japanese political and intellectual history.
When modern Chinese intellectuals embarked on what they claimed to be a vernacularization movement in the second decade of the twentieth century, they took modern Europe as their putative model. They argued that China, in its ongoing transformation from the old empire into a modern nation-state, must undergo a similar shift in which the “dead” classical writing was superseded by a vernacular writing rooted in the “living language.” Despite their apparent adherence to modern discourse on language revolution and nation-state building, however, the revolution they initiated moved in the opposite direction. Instead of promoting one or more written forms of the “regional vulgar tongues,” they replaced the established classical writing with “plain writing,” which had originated in the tenth century and continued to be an integral component of the writing system of the empire. In so doing, they succeeded in inventing a cosmopolitan national language that, through the subsequent state-sponsored standardization of pronunciation, would effectively overtake all the existing regional tongues (including Cantonese, Hakka, and the language of Amoy, or South Min) and become “the mother tongue” of the whole Chinese people. Taking this non-European, “vernacularization-by-writing” movement as the starting point for a scholarly inquiry, we gain an illuminating perspective on the unique path China has taken to become a nation-state and a better understanding of the writing culture and linguistic politics of the bygone empire. This approach also allows us to more adequately appreciate the legacy of the early modern empire in the making of the modern Chinese nation and the radical transformations China underwent in the modern era.