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Paolo Santangelo and Gábor Boros

In The Culture of Love in China and Europe Paolo Santangelo, Gábor Boros and Roberto Gigliucci offer a survey of the cults of love developed in the history of ideas and literary production in China and Europe between the 12th and early 19th century. They describe parallel evolutions within the two cultures, and how innovatively these independent civilisations developed their own categories and myths to explain, exalt but also control the emotions of love and their behavioural expressions. The analyses contain rich materials for comparison, point out the universal and specific elements in each culture, and hint at differences and resemblances, without ignoring the peculiar beauty and attractive force of the texts cultivating love.
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John T. P. Lai

Literary Representations of Christianity in Late Qing and Republican China contributes to the “literary turn” in the study of Chinese Christianity by foregrounding the importance of literary texts, including the major genres of Chinese Christian literature (novels, drama and poetry) of the late Qing and Republican periods. These multifarious types of texts demonstrated the multiple representations and dynamic scenes of Christianity, where Christian imageries and symbolism were transformed by linguistic manipulation into new contextualized forms which nurtured distinctive new fruits of literature and modernized the literary landscape of Chinese literature. The study of the composition and poetics of Chinese Christian literary works helps us rediscover the concerns, priorities, textual strategies of the Christian writers, the cross-cultural challenges involved, and the reception of the Bible.
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Molly Vallor

Not Seeing Snow: New Views of Zen Master Musō Soseki (1275-1351) offers a critical reappraisal of 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 waka anthology, Shōgaku Kokushishū.
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No Moonlight in My Cup

Sinitic Poetry (Kanshi) from the Japanese Court, Eighth to the Twelfth Centuries

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Edited by Judith N. Rabinovitch and Timothy R. Bradstock

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.
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Edited by Gülru Necipoğlu and Maria J. Metzler

Muqarnas 35 begins in Almohad Marrakesh, with one article analyzing the plan of the twelfth-century Kutubiyya Mosque and another on the hydraulics, architecture, and agriculture of the Agdal, a medieval Islamic estate that continues to be cultivated. The volume also contains an essay discussing the patronage and decoration of the Begumpuri Masjid of Jahanpanah (Delhi), with an accompanying note tracing the history of glazed tiles. Several articles challenge long-held scholarly assumptions on topics such as Mughal portraiture and the atypical square-tower minarets in Herzegovina. Other essays deal with questions of cultural identity, whether manifested in grand-scale architectural monuments or in personal belongings—for example, the family photo album with portraits of Ottoman sultans compiled by a Hungarian woman who immigrated to Istanbul in the mid-nineteenth century; and an illustrated genealogy from seventeenth-century Baghdad that represents tensions between the Ottomans and Safavids. Rounding out the volume is a history of modern art in Baghdad, focusing on the painter Jewad Selim and his encounter with Yahya al-Wasiti’s illustrations of the Maqāmāt al-Ḥarīrī. The Notes and Sources section announces the discovery of two rare early Abbasid painted ceramic bowls from recent excavations in central Israel. It also features a study of a nineteenth-century Persian manuscript on porcelain manufacture; as well as a heretofore-unknown manuscript of The Arabian Antiquities of Spain by the Irish architect James Cavanah Murphy, with many extra illustrations, original drawings, and proofs of plates. Volume 35 includes articles by Julio Navarro et al., Abbey Stockstill, Yves Porter and Richard Castinel, Laura E. Parodi, Melis Taner, Maximilian Hartmuth, Nebahat Avcıoğlu, Saleem al-Bahloly, Itamar Taxel et al., Mehran and Moujan Matin, and Lynda S. Mulvin.
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Reading Sima Qian from Han to Song

The Father of History in Pre-Modern China

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Esther S. Klein

In 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?
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The Other Greek

An Introduction to Chinese and Japanese Characters, Their History and Influence

Arthur Cooper

Edited by Imre Galambos

In The Other Greek, Arthur Cooper offers a captivating and unorthodox introduction to the world of the Chinese script through the medium of poetry, explaining the structure, meaning and cultural significance of each character. Written nearly half a century ago, and now published posthumously, the book argues that the role of Chinese writing was analogous to the influence of Greek civilization on Western culture. Chinese is the Greek of the Far East, ‘the other Greek’! Originally a cryptanalyst, Cooper uses his professional—and distinctly non-academic—training to analyse Chinese characters and points out a series of unacknowledged associations between them. Ultimately, he aims to initiate the reader with no prior knowledge of the language into Chinese writing and poetry.
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Zhiyi Yang and Ma Dayong

In this paper, we examine the various approaches toward literary classicism among contemporary Chinese poets. If “poetry of the establishment” features ideological conservatism and aesthetic populism, then its opposite is the online scene of classicist poetry which represents an innovative continuation of the poetic tradition. Here such innovations are discussed in terms of theme, language, and form. Thematic innovations include further that of ideology, worldview, and urbanity. In particular, we argue that a major distinction between contemporary online classicist poets and their premodern predecessors is in their cultural identity. Unlike a traditional literatus who is a poet, scholar, and bureaucrat, contemporary poets often endure economic, intellectual, or political marginalization; or at the very least, writing in the marginalized genre of classicist poetry is a skill that can no longer be readily translated into career success. This new type of poetic identity, in addition to their modern education, has given rise to fresh interpretations of our living world unseen in premodern poetry. Despite their broad spectrum of intellectual persuasions and aesthetic preferences, most of the poets have demonstrated an audacity to experiment, which, coupled with full versatility and virtuosity in the classical poetry tradition, creates outstanding poems. The highly original works of a few leading classicist poets like Lizilizilizi (Zeng Shaoli), Xutang (Duan Xiaosong), and Dugu Shiroushou (Zeng Zheng) will be examined in depth.

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Lam Lap

A revival of ci writing was witnessed in the Qing dynasty. Emerging with this resurgence was the founding of scores of ci societies. After the fall of the Qing, some loyalists and traditional literati, following the examples of their predecessors, joined together to form a number of ci societies in Republican China. For loyalist-lyricists such as Zhu Zumou, ci writing was not just one of the effective ways to convey their memories of the past. It also meant to be a gesture of practicing and preserving traditional Chinese culture. However, due to ideological bias, their works and the vitality of cishe did not receive sufficient attention from literary historians in the past. This paper attempts to reveal and examine the interesting features of cishe in the Republican era, asserting that within the collective voice of and harmonious correspondence among the traditional lyricists, there were always some dissonances occurred. First I delineate a general picture of ci societies in Republican China, explicating the geographical distribution and social networks of ci lyricists and why lyricists from the Qing loyalist faction can associate with members of the anti-Manchu Southern Society (Nanshe), and what this phenomenon means to us. Then I focus on the Foam Society (Oushe), the ci society formed in Shanghai before the Japanese occupation of the city, and its group ci composition. Besides recounting Oushe members’ backgrounds and the details of their “refined gatherings,” I will bring into light the multifaceted thematic and stylistic features displayed in the members’ works.

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Xiaofei Tian

Nie Gannu 聶紺弩 (1903–86), essayist and poet, had begun his literary career as an avid advocate of the New Culture and New Literature Movement of the early twentieth century; but later in life, he became well-known for his classical-style poetry. This paper examines the paradox of old and new in Nie Gannu’s writings by juxtaposing classical-style with new-style poetry for a comparative analysis. In contrast to new-style poetry, classical-style poetry with its prosodic requirements and formal conventions has a strong technical aspect. Nie Gannu’s preference for the regulated verse in the seven-syllable line is a deliberate embrace of this technical aspect of classical-style poetry: On the one hand, the absorption in poetic skills and craftsmanship was therapeutic for him in the traumatic years of the socialist revolution; on the other, the restraint of the form and the use of parallel couplet afforded him linguistic resources unavailable in the new-style poetry, so that he was able to express emotional complexity, ambivalence, and an irony that is, in his own words, “both there and not quite there.” Nie Gannu’s case demonstrates the importance of understanding the new and old verse forms in each other’s context. Rather than considering the mapping of modern Chinese poetry as following a linear line of progression from classical-style to new-style, this paper proposes a spatial model of configuring the relationship of the two major verse forms in modern times, as mutually defining and constricting.