by Hui-Lin Hsu
Hong Kong University Press, 2024
Cloth: 978-988-8842-77-3

A study of The Travels of Lao Can through an environmental lens.

When the Yellow River Floods explores the relationship between environmental degradation, hydraulic engineering, and nation-building in the context of Liu E’s The Travels of Lao Can. This book provides a unique perspective on modern Chinese literary history that goes beyond conventional narratives that focus solely on political and cultural factors. The main areas covered include the role of water management in literary nation-building and the connections between the novel’s various themes, such as river engineering, medical and political discourses, national sentiment, and landscape description.

By offering a comprehensive analysis of The Travels of Lao Can, this book broadens the understanding of nation-building in early twentieth-century China, highlighting the impact of environmental crises and hydraulics on the formation of national literature and consciousness. When the Yellow River Floods provides a new perspective on the environmental roots of modern Chinese literature, making it an essential read for those seeking to understand the complex interplay between literature, the environment, and national identity in China. This book will be of interest to scholars and students of Chinese literature, history, and environmental studies.

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