Secondhand China review

MCLC Resource Center is pleased to announce publication of Miaowei Weng’s review of Secondhand China: Spain, the East, and the Politics of Translation, by Carles Prado-Fonts. The review appears below and at its online home: https://u.osu.edu/mclc/book-reviews/miaowei-weng/. My thanks to Michael Gibbs Hill, our translations/translation studies book review editor, for ushering the review to publication.

Kirk Denton, MCLC

Secondhand China:
Spain, the East, and the Politics of Translation

By Carles Prado-Fonts


Reviewed by Miaowei Weng

MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright May, 2023)


Carles Prado-Fonts. Secondhand China: Spain, the East, and the Politics of Translation Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2022. 272 pp. ISBN: 9780810144767 (paperback); 9780810144774 (cloth).

Secondhand China offers an in-depth examination of the complex relationships between East and West, Spain and Europe, and Catalonia and other parts of Spain between the late nineteenth century and the 1930s. Carles Prado-Fonts analyzes Spanish and Catalan cultural texts about China produced during this period, providing a unique perspective on the cultural and political dynamics at play in these relationships as well as on the politics of translation.

Secondhand China should be read in the context of the distinction between the study of China (Sinology, or, more politically correct, China Studies) and the study of written China(s) (Sinography). While China studies scholars focus on China as a geopolitical location, exploring its culture, society, history, politics, and various other aspects, Sinographers like Eric Hayot, Haun Saussy, and Steven G. Yao take a different approach. In Sinographies: Writing China (2008), they propose in a provocative way that “China” is not simply something to be studied, but rather, something to be thought through, or a lens through which to examine or even redefine the crucial problems of contemporary thought. “China” is viewed as central to many of these problems, such as the problems of translation, subalternity, the value of texts, and so on. Obviously, Secondhand China participates in this ongoing project of Sinography that “thinks through ‘China.’”[1] Continue reading

The Specter of Materialism review

MCLC Resource Center is pleased to announce publication of Wenqing Kang’s review of The Specter of Materialism: Queer Theory and Marxism in the Age of the Beijing Consensus, by Petrus Liu. The review appears below and at its online home: https://u.osu.edu/mclc/book-reviews/wenqing-kang/. My thanks to Nicholas Kaldis, our literary studies book review editor, for ushering the review to publication.

Kirk Denton, MCLC

The Specter of Materialism: Queer Theory
and Marxism in the Age of the Beijing Consensus

By Petrus Liu


Reviewed by Wenqing Kang

MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright May, 2023)


Petrus Liu. The Specter of Materialism: Queer Theory and Marxism in the Age of the Beijing Consensus Durham: Duke University Press, 2023, x + 239 pp. ISBN 978-1-4780-1942-8 (paper) / ISBN 978-1-4780-1679-3 (cloth).

Queer theory emerged in the early 1990s to challenge social norms and move beyond LGBT identity politics. In recent years in the US, however, it has become a tool for advocating gender and sexual diversity and equal representation. Petrus Liu’s The Specter of Materialism: Queer Theory and Marxism in the Age of the Beijing Consensus is an imaginative intervention that aims to transform the field into a Queer Marxist critique of capitalism on a global scale.

Since its inception with Michel Foucault and Eve Sedgwick, queer theory has tended to treat the non-western world such as China as “the other” and deny its coevality in order to establish modern western sexual identity as the historical vanguard. In an earlier work, “Why Does Queer Theory Need China?”, Liu pointed out this blind spot and provided a trenchant critique of this Orientalist and Western-centric mode of thought.[1] Although queer theory should not use China as the other, the field still needs China to expand its geopolitical scope and make queer theory a tool that can provide a critical understanding of gender and sexuality in contemporary global capitalism. In this new book, Liu makes a persuasive case that China’s recent rise in the capitalist system (i.e., the Beijing Consensus) “presents an opportunity for queer theory to develop a more analytically precise vocabulary (and politics) for deciphering the matrix of gendered life and political economy” (5). Continue reading

Young China review

MCLC Resource Center is pleased to announce publication of Pu Wang’s review of Young China: National Rejuvenation and the Bildungsroman, 1900-1959, by Mingwei Song. The review appears below and at its online home: https://u.osu.edu/mclc/book-reviews/pu-wang/. My thanks to Nicholas Kaldis, MCLC book review editor for literary studies, for ushering the review to publication.

Kirk Denton, MCLC

Young China: National Rejuvenation
and the Bildungsroman, 1900-1959

By Mingwei Song


Reviewed by Pu Wang

MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright May, 2023)


Mingwei Song, Young China: National Rejuvenation and the Bildungsroman, 1900–1959 Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2015. xiv+379 pp. ISBN 978-0-674-08839-9 (cloth).

Mingwei Song’s Young China: National Rejuvenation and the Bildungsroman, 1900-1959 opens with a discussion of the beginning of the young protagonist’s journey in Ye Shengtao’s 葉聖陶 novel Ni Huanzhi 倪煥之, which Song identifies as “the first major Chinese novel to showcase the formative experience of a modern youth” (1-2). Song’s Prologue is accordingly titled “The Beginning of the Journey.” Concepts and emotions associated with a young person setting out on a journey are central to Song’s literary historical narrative. As the author notes, the beginning of the journey “is highly allegorical. Journey and dream, passion and promise, hope and future—these elements constitute the foundation of a master plot of China’s modern story about youth” (1); the point is reiterated throughout, as in this later observation: “In the Bildungsroman of the new youth generation, the protagonist’s journey stands as a central motif” (237). Terms associated with the young person’s journey and its affects reappear like touchstones throughout this engaging monograph.

Song’s book-length study of this “master plot,” this “motif” of the journey in the Chinese Bildungsroman of the first half of the twentieth century, can also be read as a critical journey, or more precisely, a genealogy of the various journeys and beginnings of the new youth depicted in modern Chinese discourse and fiction from the late Qing era through the socialist period. The book thus combines a critical study of the “Chinese vision of youth”—in its dynamic and complicated relationship to national rejuvenation as that relationship played out in intellectual discourses—with a brilliant exploration of “fictional representations of young people in modern Chinese novels that integrate the individual’s Bildung into the different visions of national rejuvenation” (8). Continue reading

A History of Taiwan Literature review

MCLC Resource Center is pleased to announce publication of Po-hsi Chen’s review of A History of Taiwan Literature, by Ye Shitao, translated and edited by Christopher Lupke. The review appears below and at its online home: https://u.osu.edu/mclc/book-reviews/po-hsi-chen/. My thanks to Michael Hill, our translation/translation studies book review editor, for ushering the review to publication.

Kirk Denton, MCLC

A History of Taiwan Literature

Ye Shitao

Translated, Edited, and Introduced by Christopher Lupke


Reviewed by Po-hsi Chen

MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright April, 2023)


Ye Shitao, A History of Taiwan LiteratureTranslated, with introduction and epilogue, by Christopher Lupke. Amherst, NY: Cambria Press, 2020. 404 pp. ISBN: 9781638570035 (paperback).

In 2022, Yeh Shih-tao, a Taiwan Man 台灣男子葉石濤 (dir. Hsu Hui-lin 許卉林) was released, marking a rare occasion where a documentary about a Taiwanese literary writer hit the big screen. The film’s subject, Ye Shitao (1925–2008), was a renowned novelist and literary historian. In the previous year, Christopher Lupke’s much-anticipated translation of Ye’s A History of Taiwan Literature 台灣文學史綱 was awarded the well-deserved MLA Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for a Translation of a Scholarly Study of Literature. Before its translation, this book was long considered a must-read for students interested in pursuing a degree in Taiwanese literature. Given the relatively marginalized status of Taiwanese literary history in English-language curricula, Lupke’s contribution is significant. Although a general history of Taiwan can be taught by using Wan-yao Chou’s A New Illustrated History of Taiwan,[1] a similar resource for literature was not available until this translation was published. Moreover, before Lupke’s translation, there was no comprehensive book in English that systematically covers the history of Taiwanese literature from the late imperial to the post-martial law period.[2] In the English translation, Ye’s original text is bookended by Lupke’s detailed introduction and an epilogue that chronicles the post-1987 development of Taiwanese literature. Continue reading

Telling Details review

MCLC Resource Center is pleased to announce publication of Paola Iovene’s review of Telling Details: Chinese Fiction, World Literature, by Jiwei Xiao. The review appears below and at its online home: https://u.osu.edu/mclc/book-reviews/iovene/. My thanks to Nicholas Kaldis, our literary studies book review editor, for ushering the review to publication.

Kirk A. Denton, MCLC

Telling Details:
Chinese Fiction, World Literature

By Jiwei Xiao


Reviewed by Paola Iovene

MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright April, 2023)


Jiwei Xiao. Telling Details: Chinese Fiction, World Literature New York: Routledge, 2022, xiv + 212 pp. ISBN: 9781032197852 (cloth).

Telling Details reassesses the contours of Chinese literary modernity by excavating the “novel of details” 細節小說: not a genre, but a “literary phenomenon” (2) in which details “become the drivers of the novel, decentering the plot and forming the core interest of the text” (1). The novel of details, the book argues, emerged in late sixteenth-century China and constitutes one of the earliest manifestations of the modern novel worldwide. By mingling “high and low forms” (1), consistently engaging sensuous experience, and adopting an episodic form in which “waves of interlinked mini scenes advance the storytelling” (2), the novel of details offers, in Xiao’s view, China’s most remarkable contribution to world literature, continuing to shape Chinese fiction to this day. Telling Details reinvigorates the practice of literary criticism by offering imaginative “slow readings” informed by the author’s passion for cinema and guided by her literary sensibility. The book unsettles dichotomies of realism and modernism, lyrical and narrative, and sheds new light on a remarkable range of issues, authors, and texts. Continue reading

The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories

MCLC Resource Center is pleased to announce publication of Virginia L. Conn’s review of The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories, edited by Yu Chen and Regina Kanyu Wang. The review appears below and at its online home: https://u.osu.edu/mclc/book-reviews/conn/. My thanks to Michael Hill, our translation/translation studies book review editor, for ushering the review to publication.

Kirk Denton, MCLC

The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories

Edited by Yu Chen and Regina Kanyu Wang


Reviewed by Virginia L. Conn

MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright April, 2023)


Yu Chen and Regina Kanyu Wang, eds. The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories New York: Tor, 2022. 400 pp. ISBN: 978-1-250-76891-9 (Hardback).

An anthology, like any material product, is a cultural object that moves through the world. It does not exist independently of context—on either the creative or receiving end—and thus means different things to different people. The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories is a collection with a deliberately ambiguous context: written, translated, and edited by what the cover labels a “visionary team of female and non-binary creators,” the stories contained within may mean very different things to Sinophone and/or Anglophone readers, not least of which is what role gender plays in the stories and how we are intended to receive them as a result.

A collection of seventeen pieces of science fiction and five nonfiction essays, The Way Spring Arrives (TWSA) is edited by the inimitable Yu Chen and Regina Kanyu Wang and was released in early 2022 by Tor. The anthology as a whole treats gender as a mechanism for creating and transmitting cultural values and, as a result, gender itself as an act of speculative worldbuilding that often leaves the specifics of how it functions unexamined. In fact, rather than a collection of methods and practices for dismantling extant approaches to gender, TWSA is better understood as a collection at the nexus of three issues that are both co-constitutive and co-confounding: gender, translation, and speculation. What does it mean to write a text as/for/about the non-male other, and how do we recognize this otherness? What happens when non-maleness encompasses a range of experiences, embodiments, and perspectives that are not necessarily shared, nor are commensurable or recognizable across cultures? How do we speculate about the way such identities and the societies that produce them might change in the future when we’re not necessarily in agreement about what they stand for now? Continue reading

Taking China to the World review

MCLC Resource Center is pleased to announce publication of Nathaniel Isaacson’s review of Taking China to the World: The Cultural Production of Modernity, by Theodore Huters. The review appears below and at its online home: https://u.osu.edu/mclc/book-reviews/isaacson-2/. My thanks to Nicholas Kaldis, our literary studies book review editor, for ushering the review to publication.

Kirk Denton, MCLC

Taking China to the World:
The Cultural Production of Modernity

By Theodore Huters


Reviewed by Nathaniel Isaacson

MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright March, 2023)


Theodore Huters, Taking China to the World: The Cultural Production of Modernity. Amherst, NY: Cambria Press, 2022. ix + 288 pp. ISBN: 9781621966166 (cloth); ISBN: 9781638571346 (paper).

Rigorous attention to language is what makes literary and intellectual history a discipline, but it can also feel kind of tedious. What is Confucianism; what is China; what is a Sinograph? There are two popular approaches to this problem, the first being a diligent delineation of one’s methodology in which all such terms and concepts are carefully set forth, and even omissions are explained. The other approach is to cast most of that aside, and if your readers claim they don’t know what Confucianism is, then to hell with them anyway. Theodore Huters’ latest book, Taking China to the World: The Cultural Production of Modernity, takes a third tack, which is to dwell rather comfortably in the ambiguity of a number of such key words. The book “looks at the challenges posed by ‘modernity’” in China circa 1895-1920 (3), explaining both how knotty and how significant to the country’s history “modernity”—whatever it may be—and its pursuit have become.

One of Sinology’s grand challenges lies in understanding the vital importance and polyvalence of concepts like modernity, and how this ephemerality manifested in other intellectual spheres and organizational structures. Huters identifies a number of attendant keywords associated with the pursuit of modernity that share similar misprisions, among them a certainty about their significance that belies their polysemous nature, demonstrating how concepts like “literature,” “vernacular,” “translation,” “popular literature,” have remained persistently as elusive as they are vital to China’s project of national development. Coming to terms with this vocabulary has been and continues to be a major task confronting the fields of modern Chinese intellectual and literary history. Continue reading

Old Lady Wang and Her Piglet

Here’s my third–and, for now, final–translation of a Lu Ling short story, this one titled “Old Lady Wang and Her Piglet” (1944). It appears below and at its online home: https://u.osu.edu/mclc/online-series/old-lady-wang/.

Enjoy,

Kirk Denton, MCLC

Old Lady Wang and Her Piglet
王家老太婆和她的小豬

By Lu Ling 路翎

Translated by Kirk A. Denton [*]


MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright March 2023)


Cover of In Search of Love and Other Stories.

A winter’s night, and although it had only just turned nine o’clock, the village on the bank of the river was dead silent. Not a single light could be seen in the village, or along the riverbank, or in the surrounding fields. Under thick, formless gray clouds, the dark shadows of houses clustered on the slope and those of the wooden boats clustered by the shore lay heavy, forlorn, desolate. In the gray dark, giving off a faint light, the river sounded a wild cry and flowed on. A cold wind began to blow in the rain.

The streets had long been deserted. The sound of the wind and rain made the small village appear yet darker and more desolate. Off the main street, from a small lane cluttered with run-down shacks, came a clear, sharp, and emotion-filled voice, now angry, now anxious, now admonishing, now consoling; accompanying the voice was the crisp cracking sound of a bamboo stick and the coarse high-pitched squeal of a pig. In the deep still night and cold rain these sounds were so clear and anxious they could be heard far into the distance. Continue reading

A Novel Amusement

Find below, and at its online home, my translation of Lu Ling’s (very) short story “A Novel Amusement” (1944). Last week, we published a translation of his “Autumn Night.” Enjoy.

Kirk Denton, MCLC

A Novel Amusement 新奇的娛樂

By Lu Ling 路翎

Translated by Kirk A. Denton [*]


MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright February 2023)


Lu Ling, circa 1950s.

On the side of a muddy street in dark and dreary Chongqing, people began to form a single-file line at a bus stop. One by one the newly-arrived joined in, and the line got longer and longer. Most in the line were functionaries impeccably dressed in uniforms and overcoats of grey, yellow, and black; amongst this drabness were the pretty silk scarves, hairpins, and brightly colored jackets worn by young girls. Standing among them were also a few rather unsightly workers, troubled youths, and drifters.

They had been waiting for the bus for a long time and were bored, restless, and annoyed. Some among them read newspapers, some repeatedly tightened their belts to make themselves appear yet more impeccable; others—the young girls—forever under the impression that it had come undone, played continuously with their hair.

Cars and trucks rushed along the street splattering mud . . . Continue reading

Imagining India in Modern China review

MCLC Resource Center is pleased to announce publication of Adhira Mangalagiri’s review of Imagining India in Modern China: Literary Decolonization and the Imperial Unconscious, 1895-1962, by Gal Gvili. The review appear below and at its online home: https://u.osu.edu/mclc/book-reviews/mangalagiri/. My thanks to our translation/translation studies book review editor, Michael Hill, for ushering the review to publication.

Kirk Denton, MCLC

Imagining India in Modern China: Literary
Decolonization and the Imperial Unconscious, 1895-1962

By Gal Gvili


Reviewed by Adhira Mangalagiri

MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright February, 2023)


Gal Gvili, Imagining India in Modern China: Literary Decolonization and the Imperial Unconscious, 1895-1962. New York: Columbia University Press, 2022. 264 pp. ISBN 9780231205719 (paper).

Imagining India in Modern China: Literary Decolonization and the Imperial Unconscious, 1895-1962 makes a compelling case for reading Chinese writers’ imaginations of India as constitutive of the makings of both Chinese anti-imperial discourse and the project of modern Chinese literature as a whole. Gal Gvili convincingly argues that during the early decades of the twentieth century—a period marked by vigorous contestation over literature’s forms and uses—the practice of seeking imagined connections to India proved a powerful strategy for Chinese writers to “undo imperialist knowledge structures” (2). The book’s conceptual framework hinges upon the seeming contradiction between, on the one hand, Chinese writers’ interest in the idea of India as a site for anti-imperialist thought and, on the other, the markedly imperialist and Orientalist character of those texts and discourses about India accessible in China at the time. The book’s central task lies in exposing the mediating force of “Western imperialism’s truth claims and structures of knowledge” in Chinese imaginations of India (4), what Gvili terms “the imperial unconscious” (9). The book argues that attending to the workings of the imperial unconscious does not diminish “the anticolonial critique and fervor with which Chinese writers turned to India,” but instead “makes clearer the immensely complicated epistemic untangling they undertook” (19). Although the idea of the “imperial unconscious” has been explored in other contexts,[1] Imagining India importantly introduces this concept to the study of modern Chinese literature, a field in which there still remains much to uncover regarding the role of colonial networks and hierarchies in shaping the literary sphere. Continue reading

“Autumn Night” by Lu Ling

I’ve been working on translations of a few short stories by Lu Ling 路翎 (1923-1994) that I will be making available through the MCLC Resource Center web publication series. Here is the first—”Autumn Night” (1944). It appears below and at its online home: https://u.osu.edu/mclc/online-series/autumn-night/.

Kirk Denton, MCLC

Autumn Night 秋夜

By Lu Ling 路翎

Translated by Kirk A. Denton [*]


MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright February 2023)


A young Lu Ling, circa early 1940s.

When Zhang Boyao, a clerk for the county government, heard the county magistrate hold forth that morning on the merits and rewards of strenuous study, it dawned on him how very young he still was and something stirred inside him. Before lunch, paging through some “Secrets to the Success of Great Men,” he had a noble presentiment that provoked a plan of great passion. He borrowed a copy of Selections from the Classics and an Introduction to Accounting and took an abacus from the office; first he read “Military Counsel” by Master Zhuge Liang, then he read some accounting, practiced the abacus, and drew some charts—hard into the wee hours of the morning. He felt contented, full of yearning. There was no one around; a cold fall wind blew outside, and the indistinct sound of dogs barking could be heard in the distance. He listened intensely and felt that this was the most beautiful moment of his life.

“How nice to sit here reading quietly, I didn’t even notice the time!” he said, pushing aside the abacus in front of him and stretching. Continue reading

Rebel Men review

MCLC Resource Center is pleased to announce publication of Jun Lei’s review of Rebel Men: Masculinity and Attitude in Postsocialist Chinese Literature, by Pamela Hunt. The review appears below and at its online home: https://u.osu.edu/mclc/book-reviews/jun-lei/. My thanks to Nicholas Kaldis, our literary studies book review editor, for ushering the review to publication.

Kirk Denton, MCLC

Rebel Men: Masculinity and Attitude
in Postsocialist Chinese Literature

By Pamel Hunt


Reviewed by Jun Lei

MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright February, 2023)


Pamela Hunt, Rebel Men: Masculinity and Attitude in Postsocialist Chinese Literature Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2022, viii + 154 pp. ISBN 978-988-8754-05-2.

The exploration of masculinity presents a fecund field for investigating not only the interactions between individuals in the realm of gender relations, but also the interplay of individual agency and institutionalized power, as gender relations interact with various aspects of society. This is a seemingly inexhaustible field, requiring continuous scholarly investigation. In the 1980s, Anglophone masculinity studies emerged as a subfield in the sociology of gender in Australia, the U.S., and the U.K., mainly to address the limitations of the gender role approach. Today, it has evolved into an interdisciplinary field that attends to power, and to the social, economic, and emotional relations of gender. It complements studies of women and sexual minorities, allowing us to further understand heteropatriarchy’s multilayered effects, mostly regarding the conceptualization of manhood and male gender performances, although there have been limited studies also on female masculinities. Researchers generally agree that masculinities are not innate or universal traits of men; rather, they are a socio-cultural and psychological process actively under construction. Masculinities perceived as “authentic” are in fact difficult to achieve, easy to lose, and must be constantly re-proven. Continue reading

New World Orderings review

MCLC Resource Center is pleased to announce publication of Kelly A. Hammond’s review of New World Orderings: China and the Global South, edited by Lisa Rofel and Carlos Rojas. The review appears below and at its online home here: https://u.osu.edu/mclc/book-reviews/hammond/. My thanks to Nicholas Kaldis, MCLC book review editor for literary studies, for ushering the review to publication.

Kirk Denton, MCLC

New World Orderings:
China and the Global South

Edited by Lisa Rofel and Carlos Rojas


Reviewed by Kelly A. Hammond

MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright January, 2023)


Lisa Rofel and Carlos Rojas, eds. New World Orderings: China and the Global South Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2022. vii + 268 pp. ISBN 9781478019015 (paper).

This interdisciplinary volume—New World Orderings: China and the Global South, edited by Lisa Rofel and Carlos Rojas—has a lot to offer. By focusing on circulations of global capital and challenges posed by China and the Global South to the neoliberal world order, the combined efforts of the twelve contributors deemphasize state-level diplomacy in favor of an approach that emphasizes “globalization from below” (96). In doing so, the book concentrates mostly on movements of individuals, non-state actors, and economic intermediaries in and out of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and around and throughout the Global South. The chapters focus both on migrations and diasporas, and on cultural and economic interactions, to paint a variegated picture of the lives and experiences of both citizens of the PRC and peoples of the Global South who interact and deal with China and Chinese people on their own terms. The actors in this book—be they African women trying to eke out a living in Guangzhou, or the Chinese traders trying to make it in Johannesburg—are all active agents in the ongoing efforts to displace—or at least disrupt—traditional flows of capital. Continue reading

Bird Talk review

MCLC Resource Center is pleased to announce publication of Chris Song’s review of Bird Talk and Other Stories by Xu Xu, translated with commentary by Frederik H. Green. The review appears below and at its online home: https://u.osu.edu/mclc/book-reviews/chris-song/. My thanks to Michael Hill, MCLC translation/translation studies book review editor, for ushering the review to publication.

Kirk Denton, MCLC

Bird Talk and Other Stories by Xu Xu:
Modern Tales of a Chinese Romantic

By Xu Xu
Translated with commentary by Frederik H. Green


Reviewed by Chris Song
MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright January, 2023)


Bird Talk and Other Stories by Xu Xu. Translated with commentary by Frederik H. Green. Berkeley, CA: Stone Bridge Press, 2020. 256 pp. ISBN: 9781611720556 (paper).

Despite immense popularity in Republican Shanghai and postwar Hong Kong, Xu Xu 徐訏 (1908–1980) remains an under-studied modern Chinese writer. Frederik H. Green’s research endeavor over the past two decades, however, has reminded the field of Xu Xu’s fiction, poetry, essays, and other literary activities. Green’s unrelenting efforts have been brought to fruition with the publication of Bird Talk and Other Stories. The book opens with Green’s introduction, which details Xu Xu’s life and works; collects five stories that Green selected and translated into English; and concludes with Green’s commentary on Xu Xu’s postwar fiction. The selection of stories reflects Green’s emphasis on the transformative (neo-)romantic sensibility that spanned Xu Xu’s entire literary career. The book not only reintroduces an ingenious author to the forgetful readership of modern Chinese literature but also makes an insightful contribution to the study of Hong Kong literature and other cultural productions during the Cold War. I shall refrain here from translation criticism and from reiterating Green’s able summary of each story. Instead, I discuss Green’s study of Xu Xu’s stories in the context of what he calls “transnational romanticism” (200), a concept that drove his selection and translation, and consider how Green’s illustration of this idea with Xu Xu’s stories might inspire new understandings of postwar Hong Kong literature. Continue reading

MCLC 34.2

We are pleased to announce publication of Modern Chinese Literature and Culture, vol. 34, no. 2 (2022), a special issue on “Taiwan and Hong Kong’s Global Connections.” Find the table of contents below, with links to abstracts. See here for information on how to subscribe.

Natascha Gentz and Christopher Rosenmeier, Editors

Table of Contents
Volume 34, Issue 2, December, 2022

Note from the Editors, by Natascha Gentz and Christopher Rosenmeier
34(2), pp. v–vii
Full Text | PDF/EPUB

Beyond Party Politics? Visitors and Meaning-Making in the National Museum of Taiwan Literature, by Emily GRAF
34(2), pp. 241–290
Abstract

The Making of Small Literature as World Literature: Taiwanese Writer Wu Ming-Yi, by Kuei-fen CHIU
34(2), pp. 291–312
Abstract

“World Literature” between Transcultural Poetics and Colonial Politics: Yang Chichang, Le Moulin, and Surrealism in Taiwan, by Fangdai CHEN
34(2), pp. 313–344
Abstract Continue reading