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WU Shuling

The spread of poetry by way of ancient postal service in Tang dynasty is an important subject in studying the development of Tang poetry. The ancient postal system in Tang dynasty included both water route and land route which covered every corner of the country, formed a highly developed and strict system. Besides transmitting government decrees and transporting officials and goods, the ancient postal service also helped the development of Tang poetry. Many historical documents proved that ancient postal service in Tang dynasty ensured an immediate transportation between poets and contributed to the wide-spread of the poetry, and it also served as a bridge between the poets who were in great distance and then helped to form different poetry schools and fashion.

CHENG Guangwei

In order to discuss the issue of classifying and categorizing history, this article takes the “Seventeen-Year Literature” as its subject of study. The author states that previous studies conducted on the “Seventeen-Year Literature” (1949–1966) should have been displayed on the following levels: the literary history of the Seventeen Years, the history of the Seventeen Years which was interpreted culturally in the 1980s, the literary history of the Seventeen Years produced in modern literature and the literary history of the Seventeen Years processed in Zai jiedu (A second interpretation). Therefore, the study of the “Seventeen-year Literature” has come forward in leaps and bounds and must not stagnate. Instead, it should take previous research findings and apply them retrospectively to the current structure of knowledge in the hopes of further development. Fixing the “Seventeen-Year Literature” not to a particular historical level, but to the dialogic context is an issue that scholars cannot avoid.

TANG Quan

Taiping leshi 太平乐事 (Joy in the time of peace and prosperity) by Cao Yin 曹寅 (1658–1712), is a drama of uniqueness involving exotic subjects. Act 8, entitled The Joyous Japanese Songs, is about the King of Japan paying tribute to the Chinese emperor, and most parts of it are written in Chinese characters carrying only sounds. Cao Yin called the phonetic characters “Woyu” (the Japanese language). But what does this kind of unprecedented “Woyu” intend to convey and what is the historical background behind these “Woyu”? This paper attempts to interpret this drama based on Japanese scholarship on Chinese-Japanese vocabularies compiled in the Ming dynasty, and on research into Cao Yin’s knowledge about Japan through textual analysis.

Todd Foley

Of the many forms of literary experimentation that arose in China during the 1980s, Can Xue’s writing stands out as some of the strangest and most enigmatic. This article intends to examine her most significant work from that period, Five Spice Street (Wuxiang jie; first published under the title Breakthrough Performance [Tuwei biaoyan]), in light of one of the major intellectual concerns in literature at the time: the question of the human. Through a close reading of the novel, I investigate the ways in which Can Xue interrogates and destabilizes the notion of the human with regard to the relationship between subject and object, corporeality, animality, sexuality, language, and time. Overall, I suggest that while Can Xue succeeds in offering a unique and provocative conceptualization of the human in Five Spice Street, she also refrains from “breaking through” the general realm of humanist discourse current at the time.

Bert M. Scruggs

This preliminary consideration of genre and memory explores the appearance of colonial Taiwan in the work of Japanese and Taiwan filmmakers. Visuality and identification in cinema, the pragmatic and affective dimensions of memory, and the colonial and postcolonial viewing subject are discussed. Also noted in this essay are the apparatuses of recording and reproducing music and the human voice, ideologies, and time in Taiwan during the twentieth century. The examination of postcolonial and colonial documentaries and postcolonial fiction films suggests that colonial filmmakers often demonstrate a utopian outlook, while postcolonial cinema tends to adopt a dystopian, retrospective gaze. These examinations, in turn, comprise a reflection, on multiple levels, of diegetic register and on the uniquely Taiwanese visual and aural aspects of these multi-lingual films. In summary, this article is an attempt to highlight the powerful and sometimes subversive uses of film in the propagation and circulation of a postcolonial Taiwanese identity which transcends national boundaries, and the polarizing, moribund research that they engender, so that scholars might better understand the postcolonial condition.

Zixu Liu

Starring Jet Li (Li Lianjie), directed by Tsui Hark (Xu Ke), and set in the turn of the century Guangdong Province, China, the martial arts trilogy Once upon a Time in China raises a number of questions concerning history, China-West dichotomy, the dilemma of Chinese modernity, the structure of the “feminizing” gaze, and Westernized Chinese subjectivity. It has been suggested that Once upon a Time in China is a deliberate effort to retell and rediscover the past, and constitutes part of a response to the “Western gaze”—a (re)affirmation of Chinese masculinity and cultural superiority—and therefore augments the “materiality of Chinese identity.” This study, by revisiting this old series, tries to address these points with the intention of demonstrating contradictions in the discourse regarding Chinese cultural identity and modernization and thereby creating a consciousness of the disjunctures, discontinuities, and most importantly, the inherent hybridity in Chinese culture and identity. The recognition of a mutually feminizing gaze between the West and the East reveals orientalism to be a cultural logic that lies in the center of the “truly traumatic experience” of the post-colonial subject.

Paize Keulemans

This essay explores different seventeenth-century accounts of the fall of the Ming dynasty in 1644—Chinese vernacular novels and literati memoirs, Jesuit histories, and Dutch poetry and plays—to investigate a developing notion of openness in both Europe and China. In Europe, the idea of openness helped to construct an early-modern global order based on the free flow of material goods, religious beliefs, and shared information. In these accounts, China’s supposed refusal to open itself to the world came to represent Europe’s Other, an obstacle to the liberal global order. In doing so, however, European accounts drew on Chinese popular sources that similarly embraced openness, albeit openness of a different kind, that is the direct and unobstructed communication between ruler and subject. This is not to say that Chinese late-Ming accounts of the fall of the Ming are the source of European ideals of liberalism, but rather to suggest that, at a crucial early-modern moment of globalization, European authors misapprehended late-Ming ideals of enlightened imperial rule so as to consolidate their own worldview, foreclosing late-Ming ideals in the process.

YANG Zhiyi

This article explores the stylistic innovations in the Ancient-Style Verse (gutishi 古體詩), and particularly in the subgenre of gexing 歌行, from the Late Qing to the 1930s and 1940s. It argues that the relative free prosody of the Ancient-Style allowed innovation disguised as restoration. Yet, instead of being the prelude to modern vernacular poetry, the innovations in this genre may have found an end in themselves—namely, creating a style of verse which showed a unique combination of modern elements and deliberate stylistic archaism. Its lyric archaism and innovation were formulated in dialectical terms, which have been frequently evoked in the reformative moments of the Chinese tradition. This paper examines the evolution of the new gexing style through the close reading of a few gexing poems by Huang Zunxian 黃遵憲 (1848−1905), Liang Qichao 梁啟超 (1873−1929), Lin Gengbai 林庚白 (1896−1941), and Liu Yazi 柳亞子 (1887−1958). Given the rise of vernacular poetry since 1917, the poems of Lin and Liu may be called the Classicist Verse, which represents the author’s conscious choice to elaborate on the subject matter using a particular classical genre, when other modern genres are available. In the end, I will also discuss the gexing style verses by Li Sichun 李思純 in the translation of multi-stanza European poetry, as a practice in accord to the indigenization agenda of the Critical Review magazine.

Jon Eugene von Kowallis

The extent of Lu Xun’s identification with the cause of the revolutionists who worked to bring about the 1911 Revolution has been the subject of debate among scholars ever since the year after his death when his brother Zhou Zuoren emphatically denied his membership in the Guangfu Hui. The scholars who think he did join (and actively participate in) that revolutionary organization rely on attributions to Lu Xun by third parties who conversed with him late in his life, but Lu Xun never actually addressed this question in his written or published works and, despite his student-teacher relationship with Zhang Taiyan (and therefore by inference the Tokyo and Zhejiang branches of the Guangfu Hui), no one has ever brought forth archival evidence to support the claim of his membership. Here I will examine the classical-style poetry Lu Xun wrote before and after the event in order to gauge through first-hand evidence his disposition toward the Republican revolution and the historic transition it signaled for China.

Yi Xie and Siqing Peng

In the recent marketplace, corporate brands are exposed to a variety of corporate publicity, which may elicit unexpected consumer responses and requires more academic attention. This study explores how two kinds of corporate publicity (ability-related vs. social responsibility-related) influence customer-brand relationship. We propose that both kinds of publicity influence customer-brand relationship strength through brand trust and brand affect. In addition, the interaction pattern between the two kinds of publicity is further examined. Two competing hypotheses predicting divergent patterns of the interaction effect are proposed. A 2×2 between-subject experiment is conducted in the context of fast food service industry. Results show that, after controlling the existing customer-brand relationship, social responsibility-related publicity has significant influence on the strength of customer-brand relationship, while ability-related publicity has no such effect, given the fact that consumers probably have developed well-established perceptions on the focal company’s ability. Furthermore, the specific interaction pattern between the two kinds of publicity is consistent with the prediction based on fairness heuristic theory. In addition, brand trust and brand affect play mediating roles in the mechanism through which corporate publicity influences customer-brand relationship.