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Hundred Days’ Literature

Chinese Utopian Fiction at the End of Empire, 1902–1910


Lorenzo Andolfatto

In Hundred Days’ Literature, Lorenzo Andolfatto explores the landscape of early modern Chinese fiction through the lens of the utopian novel, casting new light on some of its most peculiar yet often overshadowed literary specimens. The wutuobang or lixiang xiaoshuo, by virtue of its ideally totalizing perspective, provides a one-of-a-kind critical tool for the understanding of late imperial China’s fragmented Zeitgeist. Building upon rigorous close reading and solid theoretical foundations, Hundred Days’ Literature offers the reader a transcultural critical itinerary that links Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward to Wu Jianren’s Xin Shitou ji via the writings of Liang Qichao, Chen Tianhua, Bihe Guanzhuren, and Lu Shi’e. The book also includes the first English translation of Cai Yuanpei’s short story “New Year’s Dream.”


Adam Parr

will have the effect of sowing terror among your enemies, while stirring the courage of your own soldiers; the spectacle of a large number of banners, their many movements, the variety of their colors and their collective strangeness, while instructing your men, keeping them from tiring by daylight

Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis

Translator Robert Patrick Newcomb

. Without rejecting the Romantic legacy, Machado called for his contemporaries to take up the challenge of bringing the implicitly urban “analytical novel,” concerned with “passions and characters,” to Brazil. In his mature fiction he would present Rio de Janeiro as a sort of human spectacle, as a