Dealing with the central issue of style in literature, this groundbreaking study is a must for sinologists, but also for all students of comparative literature.
Michel Hockx takes as a point of departure the observation that most writers of the Republican period adhered to a distinctly traditional practice of gathering in literary societies, while at the same time displaying a marked preference for publishing their works through the modern medium of the literary journal.
The first part of the book analyses different types of societies and their journals. The case studies in part two convey the wider impact of literary collectives and journal publications on literary practice.
Convincingly breaking with the 'May Fourth' paradigm, the author proposes a radically new way of understanding the relationship between New Literature and other styles of modern Chinese writing.
Michel Hockx, Ph.D. (1994) at Leiden University, is Professor of Chinese at SOAS, University of London. He has published extensively on modern Chinese poetry and on the sociology of modern Chinese literature.
Graduate students for decades have been sent into the stacks of libraries to acquaint themselves with journals and their appearance and content, but perhaps never with the rigor and scope that Hockx has brought to this task of making journals the text of study, rather than the context. Edward M. Gunn,
In the end, the number of questions raised by Hockx's study is the surest testimony to its richness: it takes on most of the major issues that should be involved in the study of modern Chinese literature, including many that have been heretofore swept under the rug. The controversies the book will inevitably raise will in many ways provide our field with a new agenda that should finally help us to transcend the old politically engendered paradigms that have hobbled us for so long.'
Theodore D. Huters,
Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, 2005.
Scholars and students in the fields of Chinese literature, Chinese Studies ('sinology'), comparative literature, sociology of literature and modern Chinese history