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Joanne Tsao

In The City of Ye in the Chinese Literary Landscape, Joanne Tsao demonstrates how the city of Ye changed from an iconic space that represented Cao Cao’s heroic enterprise to a symbol of the fruitlessness of human endeavour, and then finally to a literary landmark, a synecdoche for the vicissitudes of human life caught in the predictable cycles of dynastic rise and decline. Through a close reading of literary works on Ye, she illustrates how the city transformed from a lived to imaginative space to become a symbol in the poetic lexicon.
Making use of literary and historical texts on Ye and its material remains through the Song and beyond she shows the potency of place as a generative force in literary production and in historical discourse.

Edited by Paul Goldin and Elisa Levi Sabattini

Lu Jia's New Discourses:  A Political Manifesto from the Early Han Dynasty is a readable yet accurate translation by Paul R. Goldin and Elisa Levi Sabattini. Celebrated as “a man-of-service with a mouth [skilled] at persuasion”, Lu Jia (c. 228-140 BCE) became one of the leading figures of the early Han dynasty, serving as a statesman and diplomat from the very beginning of the Han empire. This book is a translation of Lu Jia’s New Discourses, which laid out the reasons for rise and fall of empires. Challenged by the new Emperor to produce a book explaining why a realm that was conquered on horseback cannot also be ruled on horseback, Lu Jia produced New Discourses, to great acclaim.

Postsocialist Conditions

Ideas and History in China’s "Independent Cinema", 1988-2008

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Xiaoping Wang

In Postsocialist Conditions: Idea and History in China’s “Independent Cinema,” 1988-2008, WANG Xiaoping offers a comprehensive survey and trenchant critique of China’s “Independent Cinema” by the sixth-generation auteurs. By showing the multi-valence of the postsocialist conditions in contemporary Chinese society, their films articulate a new cultural-political logic in postsocialist China, which is also the logic of the market in this era of neoliberal transformation, brought about by the forces of marketization since the late 1980s. The directors laudably show the spirits of humanism and the humanitarian concerns of the underclass, yet the shortage and repudiation of class analysis prohibits the artists from exploring the social contradictions and the cause of class restructuration.