Crossing between Tradition and Modernity

I’m happy to announce publication of Crossing between Tradition and Modernity: Essays in Commemoration of Milena Doleželová-Velingerová (1932-2012) (Prague: Karolinum Press, 2016). After Professor Doleželová-Velingerová’s untimely death in 2012, a group of her students decided to put a volume of essays together to honor her life and career. This is the final product of those efforts. We are grateful to the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for supporting publication of the volume. The book is not yet available on Amazon, but will be, I’m told. The University of Chicago Press distributes Karolinum Press books, so it will eventually be available on its website as well. See the blurb and table of contents below for more information on the book.

On a related note, we have pooled the royalties from this volume into a fund at MCLC to establish the Milena Doleželová-Velingerová Memorial Prize, a (possibly) annual prize for the best essay published in the journal Modern Chinese Literature and Culture in a calendar year. The royalties from the book are not enough to sustain the fund/prize for more than a couple of years, so I am appealing to the MCLC community to consider making a donation. There’s a “DONATE MONEY” link on the main page of the MCLC site ( Or you can go directly to the link below (it’s a secured site):

I hope you will consider making a donation. We would be most grateful for your contribution.


Kirk A. Denton

Crossing between Tradition and Modernity: Essays in Commemoration of Milena Doleželová-Velingerová (1932-2012), edited by Kirk A. Denton. Karolinum Press, 2016.

Crossing Between Tradition and Modernity presents thirteen essays written in honor of Milena Doleželová-Velingerová (1932–2012), a member of the Prague School of sinology and an important scholar of Chinese literature who was at the forefront in introducing literary theory, and theoretical rigor, into sinology. Doleželová-Velingerová was that rare scholar who wrote with equal knowledge and skill about both modern and premodern Chinese literature. The essays emulate Doleželová-Velingerová’s scholarship in terms of treating a broad range of historical periods, literary genres, and topics—from Tang travel essays to cultural identity in postcolonial Hong Kong. Organized into two parts, “Language, Narrative Structure, and Genre,” and “Identities and Self-Representations,” the essays are motivated by an abiding concern with issues of language, narrative structure, and the complex nature of literary meaning that were at the heart of Doleželová-Velingerová’s work.

Table of Contents

Remembering Milena: A Preface (Chen Pingyuan)

Introduction (Kirk A. Denton)

Milena Doleželová-Velingerová: Publications

1. Literary Science” and “Literary Criticism”: The Průšek-Hsia Debate (Leonard K. K. Chan)

Part I: Language, Narrative Structure, and Genre

2. How to Do Things with Neologisms: A Study of Wang Wenxing’s Language (Shu-ning Sciban)

3. Towards an Analytical Approach to the Landscape Essay: Textual Analysis of Liu Zongyuan’s Eight Records on Yongzhou (Anthony Pak Wan-hoi)

4. Negotiating a Mortgage and Wooing a Minister: Gender, Structure, and Meaning in Chapters 36–38 of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms (Ihor Pidhainy)

5. Interstitial Memories: The Forensic Life of Wang Mingde (C. D. Alison Bailey)

6. From “Cinematic Novel” to “Literary Cinema”: A Cross-genre, Cross-cultural Reading of Zhang Yimou’s Judou and To Live (Li Zeng)

7. Rewriting Honglou meng in the Oral Performing Arts: The Case of Zidishu (or the Manchu Bannermen Tale) (Ying Wang)

8. Shi Tuo’s Narrator as Central Consciousness: Short-Story Cycle Records from Orchard Town (Dušan Andrš)

Part II: Identities and Self-Representations

9. Multicultural History in a Multiparty Taiwan: The National Museum of Taiwan History (Kirk A. Denton)

10. Empowered Mothers in an Alien Land: Three Chinese-Canadian Women Writers (Xueqing Xu)

11. Suspension of Identities: The Case of Hong Kong (Gilbert C. F. Fong and Shelby Kar-yan Chan)

12. Fluid Gazes: Narrative Perspectives and Identity Construction in Stories by Chinese Canadian Writers (Hua Laura Wu)

13. Revisiting Shen Fu’s Six Records of a Life Adrift (Fusheng liuji) (Graham Sanders)




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