MCLC and MCLC Resource Center are pleased to announce publication of Angie Chau’s review of On the Margins of Modernism: Xu Xu, Wumingshi and Popular Chinese Literature in the 1940s (Edinburgh UP, 2017), by Christopher Rosenmeier. The review appears below and online at: http://u.osu.edu/mclc/book-reviews/angie-chau/. My thanks to Nicholas Kaldis, MCLC literary studies book review editor, for ushering the review to publication.
Kirk A. Denton, editor
On the Margins of Modernism: Xu Xu,
Wumingshi and Popular Chinese Literature in the 1940s
By Christopher Rosenmeier
Reviewed by Angie Chau
MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright November, 2018)
Up to now, Xu Xu 徐訏 (1908–1980) and Wumingshi 無名氏 (1917–2002), two of the most widely-read writers in the 1940s, have been neglected in English-language literary studies of modernism during the Republican period. Christopher Rosenmeier’s On the Margins of Modernism: Xu Xu, Wumingshi and Popular Chinese Literature in the 1940s aims to correct that oversight by providing readers with ample translations and clear textual analyses of the writers’ (lesser known) works.
Focusing on popular literature published during the Sino-Japanese war (1937–1945), Rosenmeier’s study shows how Xu Xu and Wumingshi’s stories and novels appealed to a broad readership and drew upon the earlier literary experimentation of New Sensationists Shi Zhecun and Mu Shiying. Rosenmeier argues that because both authors “stayed outside politics” (2) and because their fiction, which navigates the border between romanticism and modernism defies easy categorization, Xu Xu and Wumingshi have been marginalized in the Chinese literary canon. Continue reading