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The Construction of the Feminine Voice in Early Medieval Chinese Literature
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This book studies the formation of the male-constructed conventional voice of women in Chinese literature from the 3rd to 6th century.
It highlights specific moments during which the feminine voice became recognized, accepted, and stabilized, including the shift of focus from the performative to the textual in female representations; the formation of a male literary community; the popularity of romanticized historical narratives; and the emerging sense of literary history.
This study emphasizes the historicity of the feminine voice and strives to question and challenge established notions about textual stability, authorship, the literary canon, and literary history.
The Song Dynasty Making of China’s Greatest Poet
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Irreducible to conventional labels usually applied to him, the Tang poet Du Fu (712–770) both defined and was defined by the literary, intellectual, and socio-political cultures of the Song dynasty (960–1279).
Jue Chen not only argues in his work that Du Fu was constructed according to particular literary and intellectual agendas of Song literati but also that conventional labels applied to Du Fu do not accurately represent this construction campaign. He also discusses how Du Fu’s image as the greatest poet sheds unique light on issues that can deepen our understanding of the subtleties in the poetic culture of Song China.
Science and Society in the Sanskrit World contains seventeen essays that cover a kaleidoscopic array of classical Sanskrit scientific disciplines, such as the astral sciences, grammar, jurisprudence, theology, and hermeneutics. The volume foregrounds a unifying theme to Christopher Z. Minkowski’s intellectual oeuvre: that scholars’ scientific endeavors are inseparable from the social worlds that shaped those scholars’ lives.
Contributors are: Anne Blackburn, Johannes Bronkhorst, Jonathan Duquette, Robert Goldman, Setsuro Ikeyama, Stephanie Jamison, Takanori Kusuba, John Lowe, Clemency Montelle, Valters Negribs, Rosalind O'Hanlon, Patrick Olivelle, Deven Patel, Kim Plofker, Frederick Smith, Barbora Sojkova, Thomas Trautmann, Elizabeth Tucker, Anand Venkatkrishnan, and Dominik Wujastyk.
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Translators: and
How has modern Chinese literature emerged from the collision of domestic social upheaval, foreign inspiration and sparks of creative genius during the past century? Sihe Chen explores this question from a global perspective, analysing how Chinese authors assimilated Western literary movements to create new forms of expression adapted to a society in rapid transformation. The author then examines these global influences in the works of selected contemporary Chinese novelists and poets. He shows that the problems these writers confront are common to all peoples and that Chinese literature expresses not only the story of China, but also that of humanity.
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Javanese, a major language of Southeast Asia, possesses a little-known literature, occurring in various phases, Old, Middle and Modern. This publication presents a remarkable example, from the poetical literature of Middle Javanese, in an edited text with English translation and an extensive commentary. The aim is to acquaint a wider audience with this literature, in the hope of drawing attention to its fascinating qualities. Set principally in the Singhasari area of East Java, the narrative follows the journey of the lovers, Pañji Margasmara and Ken Candrasari, offering a glimpse of the beauty of the Javanese landscape in the 15th century. The cultural, historical and archaeological details preserved in the text help to shed light on the closing years of Majapahit, a largely unexplored period in Javanese history, before the age of Islam.
Premodern Chinese Texts in Western Translation
Volume Editors: and
This collected volume focuses on the history of Western translation of premodern Chinese texts from the seventeenth to the twentieth century. Divided into three parts, nine chapters feature close readings of translated texts, micro-studies of how three translations came into being, and broad-based surveys that inquire into the causes of historical change. Among the specific questions addressed are: What stylistic, generic, and discursive permutations were undergone by Chinese texts as they crossed linguistic borders? Who were the main agents in this centuries-long effort to transmit Chinese culture to the West? How did readership considerations affect the form that particular translations take? More generally, the contributors are concerned with the relevance of current research paradigms, like those of World Literature, transcultural reception, and the rewriting of translation history.
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Abstract

This article investigates European collecting of Malay manuscripts during the colonial era to address two inter-related questions: was this collecting instrumental in destroying the Malay manuscript tradition, and are colonial collections accurate representations of Malay manuscript culture? It makes the case that while European intervention was certainly destructive, in fact the majority of Malay-language literary texts survive only in colonial-era collections. It also considers whether colonial collections, precisely because they are high in Malay literary texts and low in Arabic religious texts (known as kitab), are unrepresentative of Malay manuscript culture in the nineteenth century and earlier. Taking Marsden’s seminal collection of Malay manuscripts as its case study, the article provides a fuller account of how this collection was assembled, and traces the individuals known to have acquired manuscripts for Marsden. Newly documented manuscript collections that remain in situ in Indonesia and in Malaysian institutions are discussed as a counterpoint.

Open Access
In: Philological Encounters
Free access
In: Journal of Chinese Humanities

Abstract

Following the Opium Wars, traditional notions of China as encompassing “all under heaven” (tianxia 天下) and the “Sino-barbarian dichotomy” (huayi 華夷) could no longer be sustained. Under the pressure and intimidation of the Great Powers’ advanced warships and fire power, the Qing government signed the unequal treaties and China was forced to adopt Western conceptual reasoning, discursive language, and rules of conduct. Western knowledge and lexicon was successively translated into Chinese, affecting transformations in local discourse and society. As part of this process, Japanese texts, which contained a great volume of Chinese characters, became an important medium for the transmission of Western epistemology. During the first Opium War between China and England, the cultural and political hegemony of the Great Powers were demonstrated through debates over interpretations of the Chinese character yi . During the Late Qing, Chinese intellectuals drew on their foundations in traditional Chinese lexicon to understand and adopt the foreign-derived words zhongzu 種族 (race) and minzu 民族 (nation). This process reflects both shifts in how Chinese people regarded collective identity and the various presumptions underlying state-building visions.

Open Access
In: Journal of Chinese Humanities

Abstract

The concepts “Great Unification” (Dayitong 大一統), “China” (Zhongguo 中國), and “all-under-Heaven” (Tianxia 天下) are all research topics which continue to attract the focus of the Chinese historical community. The three concepts are both related and different. This paper conducts a preliminary comparative analysis of the content of the three concepts and the role that they play in specific historical studies. It finds that the concept “China” emphasizes the origin of Huaxia 華夏 civilization and its significance as a center for expansion and Sinicization of surrounding ethnic groups. The concept “all-under-Heaven,” meanwhile, places more stress on the overall political governance relationship between the center and the periphery. Finally, the concept “Great Unification” focuses on the process by which a dynasty establishes its legitimacy in terms of both ideology and practice. Only by examining the three concepts together can we fully grasp the overall direction and characteristics of Chinese history.

Open Access
In: Journal of Chinese Humanities