Fou Lei

An Insistence on Truth

In Fou Lei: An Insistence on Truth, Mingyuan Hu thinks through the life and work of one of modern China’s most significant public intellectuals, investigating his Shanghai-Paris trajectory and his resistance against cultural barbarism. Using hitherto undiscovered archival documents, Hu presents the first study of Fou Lei’s youth, particularly his formative years in Europe (1928–1931), and analyses the critic-translator’s identity vis-à-vis intercultural friendships and political predicaments. Bringing together previously untranslated material in French and Chinese, Fou Lei paints a man in dark times searching for illumination through words, and invites the reader to reconsider questions, unresolved and unspoken, about his tragic end.
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EUR €130.00USD $150.00

Biographical Note

Mingyuan Hu, Ph.D. University of Glasgow, is Lecturer in Art History at the University of Leeds.

Table of contents

Note on Transliteration
Note on Translation

Part 1: Shanghai in Revolution: An Unlived Youth
Chapter 1: Everywhere a Stranger

Part 2: The Spleen of Paris: A Bildungsroman
Chapter 2: Crisis: What Bruges Did Not Appease
Chapter 3: Malady: Child of the Century by Lac Léman
Chapter 4: Remedy: The Promise of Tainean Scientism
Chapter 5: Fever: From Werther to Beethoven
Chapter 6: Light: A Willed Metamorphosis

Part 3: Shanghai in Turmoil: A Land of Chimera
Chapter 7: Moralising in Times of War: A Critic was Born
Chapter 8: Translating, or the Search for a Brother
Chapter 9: Creatures of Prometheus, or Unresolved Grief



All interested in the art and intellectual histories in twentieth-century China, in Sino-European communication in interwar Paris, and in cross-lingual relations, cultural studies, and biography.