Paper Republic newsletter 13

Happy Friday y’all!

This issue comes with a set of brilliant answers to questions we put to three Chinese-Spanish translators, as a continuation of our previous collab with their respective translator collectives. You can find their answers beneath the news. We hope to have more collaboration with Chinese translators and publishers into more languages besides Chinese, so if you fall into one of those categories, feel free to get in touch.

First, let me direct your attention to the great events there are coming up, which for the first time in a long time are all in person. So Londoners and Copenhageners, get to booking.

Oh, and remember news of Han Song’s new novel Hospital, coming out from Amazon Crossing (read our chat with acquiring editor Gabriella Page-Fort here)? We’ve got a look at the striking cover, check it out!

Enjoy your perusing!

Extracts, stories and poems:

Continue reading

The Chinese Comparatist online

In its earliest days, the Association of Chinese & Comparative Literature (then the American Chapter of the Chinese Comparative Literature Association) published the journal, The Chinese Comparatist. As the ACCL house journal, The Chinese Comparatist was edited and printed by the late Wu Beiling, and published three issues between 1987 and 1989, before its untimely demise.

The journal is not widely available in library collections today. To make it more accessible, the ACCL has partnered with Penn State University Libraries to digitize the issues for open access.

So if you want to (re-)read Liu Kang’s essay, “Storyteller and Ideologeme: Some Aspects of Discourse in Classical Chinese Fiction,” or Zhang Yingjin on “Fetishism and Faddism: Manifestations of Literature as Commodity in Contemporary China,” or Eugene Eoyang’s “Still Life in Words: The Art of Li Ch’ing-Chao”—and many more—then go to the link below:

With best regards,

Nico Volland (ACCL President)

Chinese Independent Cinema Observer no. 3

Dear list members,

The third issue of the Chinese Independent Cinema Observer, “The Keywords of Chinese Independent Cinema”, edited by Flora Lichaa and Yang Yishu, is now available to download from the Chinese Independent Film Archive:

This issue includes essays on a range of keywords in independent Chinese cinema by scholars, practitioners, and critics.

In addition, we have an online launch event for the issue, on Saturday May 28th at 1.30pm UK time/8.30am New York time/8.30pm Beijing time. The event, “How to Make the Invisible Visible: The Past and Present of the Dissemination of Chinese Independent Films”, will be chaired by the issue editors, and features guest speakers Cong Feng, Gan Xiao’er, Jiang Nengjie, Yang Zi, and Zhang Yaxuan. Further details on the event can be found here.

Registration for the launch is required.

Many thanks,

Luke Robinson

A Catalog of Such Stuff as Dreams Are Made On

New Publication: A Catalog of Such Stuff as Dreams Are Made On
Dung Kai-cheung. Translated by Bonnie S. McDougall and Anders Hansson
Columbia University Press

Dung Kai-cheung’s A Catalog of Such Stuff as Dreams Are Made On is a playful and imaginative glimpse into the consumerist dreamscape of late-nineties Hong Kong. First published in 1999, it comprises ninety-nine sketches of life just after the handover of the former British colony to China. Each of these stories in miniature begins from a piece of ephemera, usually consumer products or pop culture phenomena, and develops alternately comic and poignant snapshots of urban life.

Dung’s sketches center on once-trendy items that evoke the world at the turn of the millennium, such as Hello Kitty, Final Fantasy VIII, a Windows 98 disk, a clamshell mobile phone, Air Jordans, and cargo shorts. The protagonist of each piece, typically a young woman, is struck by an odd, even overriding obsession with an object or fad. Characters embark on brief dalliances or relationships lasting no longer than the fashions that sparked them. Dung blends vivid everyday details—Portuguese egg tarts, Japanese TV shows, the Hong Kong subway—with situations that are often fantastical or preposterous. This catalog of vanished products illuminates how people use objects to define and even invent their own selves. A major work from one of Hong Kong’s most gifted and original writers, Dung’s archaeology of the end of the twentieth century speaks to perennial questions about consumerism, nostalgia, and identity. Continue reading

Taking China to the World

New Publication: Taking China to the World: The Cultural Production of Modernity by Theodore Huters (Cambria Press)
Cambria Sinophone World Series (General Editor: Victor H. Mair). Hardback 9781621966166  $114.99  302pp. (Save 20% off hardback—use coupon code SAVE20 by ordering from Cambria Press).

Modernity, modernization, modernism, and the modern have all been key, interrelated terms in post-traditional China. For all their ubiquity, however, in previous studies of Chinese culture and society there has been insufficient clarity as to what the precise meanings each term has encompassed from the period beginning in 1895, the year of China’s catastrophic defeat by Japan. The importance of these terms is underlined by their implication in China’s positioning in the world over the course of the past century and a half, as well as the path China will follow in the future.

Looking into a set of concepts and practices that have been instrumental in China’s road to modernity, namely, the definition of the modern itself, a new notion of literature, linguistic reform, translation, popular culture, and the transformation of the publishing world, Taking China to the World explores the various ways in which activity in the cultural sphere shaped Chinese perceptions of both how its historical course might evolve and how all-compassing change needed to be managed. Continue reading

Power of Freedom: Hu Shih’s Political Writings

Dear colleagues,

We are happy to announce the launch of a new book:

Power of Freedom: Hu Shih’s Political Writings (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2022). Carlos Yu-Kai Lin and Chih-p’ing Chou, Editors

Dr. Hu Shih (1891–1962) was one of China’s top scholars and diplomats and served as the Republic of China’s ambassador to the United States during World War II. As early as 1941, Hu Shih warned of the fundamental ideological conflict between dictatorial totalitarianism and democratic systems, a view that later became the foundation of the Cold War narrative. In the 1950s, after Mao’s authoritarian regime was established, Hu Shih started to analyze the development and nature of Communism, delivering a series of lectures and addresses to reveal what he called Stalin’s “grand strategy” for facilitating the International Communist Movement. Continue reading

Journal of Chinese Studies 74

中國文化研究所 Institute of Chinese Studies
Journal of Chinese Studies no. 74 (January 2022)



葉 嘉:從翻譯至懷疑:廣東《述報》(1884–1885)的時事知識取徑

LAM Lap:Transcending Regional Boundaries: Poetic Connection between Nanyang and Lingnan



TIAN Xiaofei: An Imaginary City State against Its Imaginary Big Bad Other Continue reading

Dissent issue on conflict in 21st-century China

Dissent: Conflict in Twenty-first-Century China
A preview of our Spring 2022 issue.

Cover art by Tabitha Arnold

Our Spring 2022 issue, out April 4, features a special section on China. “The contributors to this section do not have a single position to promote or stance to defend,” Jeffrey Wasserstrom writes in his introduction. “Taken together, however, they offer up a nuanced collective view of an increasingly powerful People’s Republic of China that is both shaping and being shaped by a world that ricochets from crisis to crisis.”

Subscribe now.

In the section, you’ll find: Sebastian Veg on China’s grassroots intellectuals; Eli Friedman and Ching Kwan Lee on global statecraft; JS Tan on the tech workers mobilizing against brutal schedules; Lü Pin on Peng Shuai; Han Zhang on venture capitalist Eric Li; Ilham Tohti on ethnonationalist chauvinism in Xinjiang; and Tobita ChowPatrick IberYangyang ChengBrian HioeRebecca E. Karl, and Ted Fertik on the prospect of a new Cold War.

Also in the issue: Frank Guan on The Battle of Lake ChangjinSarah Jones on Dungeons & Dragons; Taras Bilous’s “Letter to the Western Left from Kyiv”; Gregory Afinogenov on left perspectives on the Russian invasion of Ukraine; Meaghan Winter on how progressives left abortion advocates behind; Humberto Beck and Patrick Iber on AMLO’s contradictions; Mark Engler and Paul Engler on movements and political parties; Tommaso Bardelli, Ruqaiyah Zarook, and Derick McCarthy on prison profiteers; Sarah Jaffe on Bloody Sunday at fifty; and Wilfred Chan on Deacon Lui’s photographs of Hong Kong. Continue reading

Paper Republic newsletter 12

Duck! Here comes your erratic, out of the blue newsletter on all things Chinese lit in translation.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, it hasn’t been a month since the last one. But bear with us, we’re still finetuning how long we have between each edition before they become unwieldy. So here is a petite, slimline edition.

Happily, it’s still as nutritious as ever, chocker with links to good news, good writing* and good times.

*poetry in particular this time around!

A quick reminder first that Bristol Translates and BCLT Summer School are still open for applications. The former will have Nicky Harman and me (Jack Hargreaves) teaching the Chinese strand, swapping and changing between the classes from the mornings to the afternoons; the latter has Jeremy Tiang running the Literature from Taiwan workshop alongside Writer-in-Residence Kan Yao-Ming.

Now for the news:

Extracts, stories and poems:

Continue reading

Made in Censorship

Made in Censorship: The Tiananmen Movement in Chinese Literature and Film
By Thomas Chen
Columbia University Press, 2022

The violent suppression of the 1989 Tiananmen Square demonstrations is thought to be contemporary China’s most taboo subject. Yet despite sweeping censorship, Chinese culture continues to engage with the history, meaning, and memory of the Tiananmen movement. Made in Censorship examines the surprisingly rich corpus of Tiananmen literature and film produced in mainland China since 1989, both officially sanctioned and unauthorized, contending that censorship does not simply forbid—it also shapes what is created.

Thomas Chen explores a wide range of works made despite and through censorship, including state propaganda, underground films, and controversial best-sellers. Moving across media, from print to the internet, TV to DVD, fiction to documentary, he shows the effects of state intervention on artistic production and consumption. Chen considers art at the edge of censorship, reading such disparate works as a queer love story shot without permission that found official release on DVD, an officially sanctioned film that was ultimately not permitted to be released, a novel built on orthographic elisions that was banned and eventually reissued, and an internet narrative set during the SARS epidemic later published with alterations. He also connects Tiananmen with the story of COVID-19 in China and considers the implications for debates about the reach and power of the Chinese state in the public realm, both domestic and abroad. A bold rethinking of contemporary Chinese literature and film, this book upends understandings of censorship, uncovering not just what it suppresses but also what it produces. Continue reading

Bamboo and Silk 5.1

Dear friends,

We are happy to announce the publication of Bamboo and Silk 5.1, a special issue devoted to the Liye Qin manuscripts. It includes contributions by Robin Yates, Miyake Kiyoshi, Yang Zhenhong, Tsuchiguchi Fuminori, and a book review by Yuri Pines. Please find the articles online at the following address:


The Fate of the Defeated: Qin’s Treatment of Their Enemies  1
Robin D.S. Yates(葉山)

From the End of Conquest to the Beginning of Occupation: The Withdrawal of the Qin Army from Qianling Prefecture  73
Miyake Kiyoshi(宮宅潔) Continue reading

Selected Plays of Stan Lai

NEW PUBLICATION: Selected Plays of Stan Lai, edited by Lissa Tyler Renaud

Stan Lai (Lai Shengchuan) is one of the most celebrated theatre practitioners working in the Chinese-speaking world. His work over three decades has pioneered the course of modern Chinese language theatre in Taiwan, China, and other Chinese-speaking regions. He has been declared “the preeminent Chinese playwright and stage director of this generation” (China Daily) and “the best Chinese language playwright and director in the world” (BBC). Lai’s works include masterpieces of the modern Chinese language theatre, such as Secret Love in Peach Blossom LandThe Village, and his epic eight-hour A Dream Like a Dream, all of which are in this collection.

The collection was edited by Lissa Tyler Renaud, who is known internationally as a master teacher, actor-scholar, invited speaker, writer, critic, and 2nd generation editor.

The three volumes feature works from across Lai’s career, providing an exceptional selection of a diverse range of performances, and are available individually or as a set.

Volume 1 contains:

Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land
Look Who’s Crosstalking Tonight
The Island and the Other Shore
I Me She Him
Ménage à 13 Continue reading

Sensing the Sinophone

New Publication
Sensing the Sinophone: Urban Memoryscapes in Contemporary Fiction by Astrid Møller-Olsen (Cambria Press)
Cambria Sinophone World Series (General Editor: Victor H. Mair)
Hardback  9781621965435  $114.99  326pp. (Save 20% off hardback—use coupon code SAVE20 by ordering from Cambria Press).

Since the 1990s, extensive urbanization in East Asia has created a situation in which more people identify themselves as citizens of the city where they live, rather than their ancestral village or nation. At the same time, this new urban identity has been under constant threat from massive municipal restructuring. Such rapidly changing cityscapes form environments of urban flux that lead to narrative reconfigurations of fundamental concepts such as space, time, and memory. The resulting contemporary urban fiction describes and explores this process of complex spatial identification and temporal fluctuation through narratives that are as warped and polymorphic as the cities themselves. Building on previous scholarship in the fields of Chinese/Sinophone urban fiction, sensory studies, and comparative world literature, Sensing the Sinophone provides a new city-based approach to comparativism combined with a cross-disciplinary focus on textual sensescapes. Continue reading

“Into the Tiger’s Den”

MCLC Resource Center is pleased to announce publication of Julia Keblinska’s translation of “Into the Tiger’s Den,” volume 3 of a lianhuanhua (serial comic) adapted from Qu Bo’s novel Tracks in the Snowy Forest. Find a teaser below. For the full translation, with images of each panel, see: My gratitude to Julia Keblinska for sharing her work with the MCLC community.

Kirk Denton, MCLC

Into the Tiger’s Den 深入虎穴

Adapted from the novel by Qu Bo 曲波 Tracks in the Snowy Forest 林海雪原
Wang Xingbei 王星北 (adaptation); Luo Xing 罗兴 and Wang Yiqiu 王亦秋 (illustrations)[1]

Translated by Julia Keblinska

MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright March 2022)

Content Summary:

The second volume, “Troops Divide onto Three Roads,” tells the story of a small detachment of soldiers who capture the bandit Luan Ping and search out the “Vanguard Map” of Nipple Mountain’s Horse Cudgel Xu. They then divide into three groups and set out to trace the enemy’s tracks.

This volume follows Yang Zirong as he disguises himself as a bandit and, with only a horse for company, enters the bandit nest on Tiger Mountain to become a deputy colonel under Mountain Vulture. Meanwhile, we also learn how the small detachment mobilizes the masses at Jiapi Valley Village. They organize a civilian-army team, practice skiing, and enthusiastically prepare to annihilate the cruel bandits.

The next volume, “Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy,” recounts how Yang Zirong rejoins the small detachment and destroys Mountain Vulture’s bandit gang together with them.

(1) After Yang Zirong left the small detachment, he rode the speedy steed captured at Nipple Mountain. Following in the footsteps Big Chump had left in the snow, he traveled alone through the forest with only his horse for company. He now sported a full-faced beard and long hair; he looked just like a real bandit. [click here to read the entire text]

Kong (空) in Chinese Philosophy, Psychology and Poetics

Dear All,

My new book, Kong (空) in Chinese Philosophy, Psychology and Poetics: The Idea of Creative Emptiness, was just published by the Edwin Mellen Press.

Kong (emptiness) is a key word in this project. With philosophical and religious significance, kong in the Chinese context refers to a state of xin 心 (heartmind) when it is tranquil, detached, and free of any prejudice, presumption, or preconception. It helps writers and artists to intuitively feel and observe the vividness of the world, and to stimulate their vitality and creativity when they seek communion (instead of interference) with nature. Numerous examples show how writers and artists in China and the Romantic era in the West approach the poetics of creative emptiness (kongling 空灵)  and represent it differently in their works.

Here is the link to the book:

If you are interested, you may buy it there.

Leah (Liyan) Shen <>