Anglophone Poetry in Colonial India, 1780–1913: A Critical Anthology makes accessible for the first time the entire range of poems written in English on the subcontinent from their beginnings in 1780 to the watershed moment in 1913 when Rabindranath Tagore won the Nobel Prize in Literature.Mary Ellis Gibson establishes accurate texts for such well-known poets as Toru Dutt and the early nineteenth-century poet Kasiprasad Ghosh. The anthology brings together poets who were in fact colleagues, competitors, and influences on each other. The historical scope of the anthology, beginning with the famous Orientalist Sir William Jones and the anonymous “Anna Maria” and ending with Indian poets publishing in fin-de-siècle London, will enable teachers and students to understand what brought Kipling early fame and why at the same time Tagore’s Gitanjali became a global phenomenon. Anglophone Poetry in Colonial India, 1780–1913 puts all parties to the poetic conversation back together and makes their work accessible to American audiences.With accurate and reliable texts, detailed notes on vocabulary, historical and cultural references, and biographical introductions to more than thirty poets, this collection significantly reshapes the understanding of English language literary culture in India. It allows scholars to experience the diversity of poetic forms created in this period and to understand the complex religious, cultural, political, and gendered divides that shaped them.
Following India’s independence in 1947, Indian artists creating modern works of art sought to maintain a local idiom, an “Indianness” representative of their newly independent nation, while connecting to modernism, an aesthetic then understood as both universal and presumptively Western. These artists depicted India’s precolonial past while embracing aspects of modernism’s pursuit of the new, and they challenged the West’s dismissal of non-Western places and cultures as sources of primitivist imagery but not of modernist artworks. In Art for a Modern India, Rebecca M. Brown explores the emergence of a self-conscious Indian modernism—in painting, drawing, sculpture, architecture, film, and photography—in the years between independence and 1980, by which time the Indian art scene had changed significantly and postcolonial discourse had begun to complicate mid-century ideas of nationalism.
Through close analyses of specific objects of art and design, Brown describes how Indian artists engaged with questions of authenticity, iconicity, narrative, urbanization, and science and technology. She explains how the filmmaker Satyajit Ray presented the rural Indian village as a socially complex space rather than as the idealized site of “authentic India” in his acclaimed Apu Trilogy, how the painter Bhupen Khakhar reworked Indian folk idioms and borrowed iconic images from calendar prints in his paintings of urban dwellers, and how Indian architects developed a revivalist style of bold architectural gestures anchored in India’s past as they planned the Ashok Hotel and the Vigyan Bhavan Conference Center, both in New Delhi. Discussing these and other works of art and design, Brown chronicles the mid-twentieth-century trajectory of India’s modern visual culture.
We might think the Egyptians were the masters of building tombs, but no other civilization has devoted more time and resources to underground burial structures than the Chinese. For at least five thousand years, from the fourth millennium B.C.E. to the early twentieth century, the Chinese have been building some of the world’s most elaborate tombs and furnishing them with exquisite objects. It is these objects and the concept of the tomb as a “treasure-trove” that The Art of the Yellow Springs seeks to critique, drawing on recent scholarship to examine memorial sites the way they were meant to be experienced: not as a mere store of individual works, but as a work of art itself.
Wu Hung bolsters some of the new trends in Chinese art history that have been challenging the conventional ways of studying funerary art. Examining the interpretative methods themselves that guide the study of memorials, he argues that in order to understand Chinese tombs, one must not necessarily forget the individual works present in them—as the beautiful color plates here will prove—but consider them along with a host of other art-historical concepts. These include notions of visuality, viewership, space, analysis, function, and context. The result is a ground-breaking new assessment that demonstrates the amazing richness of one of the longest-running traditions in the whole of art history.
Nuclear bombs and geopolitical controversy are often the first things associated with North Korea and its volatile leader Kim Jong-II. Yet behind the secretive curtain of this isolated nation also lies a little-known and slowly expanding world of art.
Art Under Control in North Korea is the first Western publication to explore the state-controlled role of art in North Korea. This timely volume places North Korean art in its historical, political, and social contexts, with a discussion on the state system of cultivating and promoting artists and an examination of the range of art produced, from painting and calligraphy to architecture and applied art. Portal offers an incisive analysis that compares the dictatorial control exerted over artists by North Korean leaders to that of past regimes. She also examines the ways in which archaeology has been employed for political ends to legitimize the present regime.
Art Under Control in North Korea is an intriguing and vibrant volume that explores the creation of art under totalitarian rule and the ways art can subvert a dictatorial regime.
Behind the Red Mist gives us for the first time in English a wide range of stories from the most important writer of the post-war generation in Vietnam. The characters range from a party official who turns into a goat while watching porno movies, to an Indian who carries his mother's bones in his knapsack, to a war widow trying desperately to piece together her life through the fragments of debris she collects from her back yard. The title novella "Behind the Red Mist" is a Vietnamese "Back To the Future", a social satire in which a young man in the Hanoi of the eighties receives an electric shock and is transported back to his same apartment block in 1967 wartime Vietnam during the American bombing. He not only witnesses the war with the eyes of someone who knows its outcome, but participates in his parents' courtship and discovers some truths about the generation held up to his own as a role model.
Korea’s history is divided into four periods: the Three Kingdoms of Koguryo (37 bc–ad 668), Shilla (57 bc–ad 668), and Paekche (18 bc–ad 660); Unified Shilla (668–935); Koryo (935–1392); and Choson (1392–1910). Kevin O’Rourke’s The Book of Korean Poetry traces Korean poetry from the pre-Shilla era to the end of Korea’s golden poetry period in the Koryo dynasty.There are two poetry traditions in Korea: hanshi (poems by Korean poets in Chinese characters) and vernacular poems, which are invariably songs. Hanshi is a poetry to be read and contemplated; the vernacular is a poetry to be sung and heard. Hanshi was aimed at personal cultivation, vernacular poetry primarily at entertainment. Hanshi was a much more private discipline; vernacular poetry was composed for the most part against a convivial background of wine, music, and dance.In this comprehensive treatment of the poetry of Shilla and Koryo, O’Rourke divides one hundred fifty poems into five sections: Early Songs, Shilla hanshi, Shilla hyangga, Koryo kayo, and Koryo hanshi and shijo. Only a few pre-Shilla poems are extant; O’Rourke features all five. All fourteen extant Shilla hyangga are included. Seventeen major Koryo kayo are featured; only a few short, incantatory pieces that defied translation were excluded. Fourteen of the fewer than twenty Koryo shijo with claims to authenticity are presented. From the vast number of extant hanshi, O’Rourke selected poems with the most intrinsic merit and universal appeal. In addition to introductory essays on the genres of hanshi, hyangga, Koryo kayo, and shijo, O’Rourke interleaves his graceful translations with commentary on the historical backgrounds, poetic forms, and biographical notes on the poets’ lives as well as guides to the original texts, bibliographical materials, and even anecdotes on how the poems came to be written. Along with the translations themselves, O’Rourke’s annotations of the poems make this volume a particularly interesting and important introduction to the scholarship of East Asian literature.
Haiku at its best is an art in which the poet takes a natural, most ordinary event, and without fuss, ornament or inflated words makes of it a rare moment — sparely rendered, crystallized into a microcosm which reveals transcendent unity. Small wonder haiku has a growing audience throughout the world.
In all arts — music, painting, dance, theatre — change has come with that startling moment of dissatisfaction when the artist upends complacency, shocks the old to its foundations, and emerges with clear vision. He has had the courage to rescue his art from dullness. Two of Japan’s “Great Four” of haiku, Basho (1644-94) and Shiki (1862-1902), were such revolutionaries, albeit two hundred years apart. Before Basho, haiku was but a pleasant occupation for the idle. He set about transforming it with such success that experts to this day agree that his were the first true haiku.
Shiki, who lived into the 20th century, was passionate in his attempt to salvage haiku from its past, sending out shock waves by dismissing virtually all earlier work, including most of Basho’s. He saw it as his mission to make a difference — to let nothing, not even the most revered, stand in the way. He proclaimed, “A poem has no meaning. It is feeling alone.” And he practiced what he preached.
lies, lies, lies.
These modern Japanese poets, many of whom are translated here into English for the first time, learned as much from Basho as from Shiki, and from Buson (1715-83) and Issa (1763-1827), the “Great Four.” Yet in a sense they are followers of Shiki, in spite of the harshness of his views and the impossibly high standards he demanded. They were forced to reckon with him, became willing participants in a heated dialogue with him. They had to: his spirit dominated the age. Stryk captures that spirit here, in this Cage of Fireflies.
China to Chinatown tells the story of one of the most notable examples of the globalization of food: the spread of Chinese recipes, ingredients and cooking styles to the Western world. Beginning with the accounts of Marco Polo and Franciscan missionaries, J.A.G. Roberts describes how Westerners’ first impressions of Chinese food were decidedly mixed, with many regarding Chinese eating habits as repugnant. Chinese food was brought back to the West merely as a curiosity.
The Western encounter with a wider variety of Chinese cuisine dates from the first half of the 20th century, when Chinese food spread to the West with emigrant communities. The author shows how Chinese cooking has come to be regarded by some as among the world’s most sophisticated cuisines, and yet is harshly criticized by others, for example on the grounds that its preparation involves cruelty to animals.
Roberts discusses the extent to which Chinese food, as a facet of Chinese culture overseas, has remained differentiated, and questions whether its ethnic identity is dissolving.
Written in a lively style, the book will appeal to food historians and specialists in Chinese culture, as well as to readers interested in Chinese cuisine.
Filled with mirages, hallucinations, myths, mental puzzles, and the fantastic, the contemporary experimental fiction of the Chinese avant-garde represents a genre of storytelling unlike any other. Whether engaging the worn spectacle of history, expressing seemingly unmotivated violence, or reinventing outlandish Tibetan myths, these stories are defined by their devotion to theatrics and their willful apathy toward everything held sacred by the generation that witnessed the Cultural Revolution. Jing Wang has selected provocative examples of this new school of writing, which gained prominence in the late 1980s. Contradicting many long-cherished beliefs about Chinese writers—including the alleged tradition of writing as a political act against authoritarianism—these stories make a dramatic break from conventions of modern Chinese literature by demonstrating an irreverence toward history and culture and by celebrating the artificiality of storytelling. Enriched by the work of a distinguished group of translators, this collection presents an aesthetic experience that may have outraged many revolutionary-minded readers in China, but one that also occupies an important place in the canon of Chinese literature. China’s Avant-Garde Fiction brings together a group of exceptional writers (including Raise the Red Lantern author Su Tong) to the attention of an English-speaking audience. This book will be enjoyed by those interested in Chinese literature, culture, and society—particularly readers of contemporary fiction. Contributors. Bei Cun, Can Xue, Gei Fei, Ma Yuan, Su Tong, Sun Ganlu, Yu Hua
Translators. Eva Shan Chou, Michael S. Duke, Howard Goldblatt, Ronald R. Janssen, Andrew F. Jones, Denis C. Mair, Victor H. Mair, Caroline Mason, Beatrice Spade, Kristina M. Torgeson, Jian Zhang, Zhu Hong
China’s profound influence on the avant-garde in the 20th century was nowhere more apparent than in the work of Ezra Pound, Bertolt Brecht, and the writers associated with the Parisian literary journal Tel quel. Chinese Dreams explores the complex, intricate relationship between various “Chinas”—as texts—and the nation/culture known simply as “China”—their context—within the work of these writers. Eric Hayot calls into question the very means of representing otherness in the history of the West and ultimately asks if it might be possible to attend to the political meaning of imagining the other, while still enjoying the pleasures and possibilities of such dreaming. The latest edition of this critically acclaimed book includes a new preface by the author.
“Lucid and accessible . . . an important contribution to the field of East-West comparative studies, Asian studies, and modernism.” —Comparative Literature Studies
“Instead of trying to decipher the indecipherable ‘China’ in Western literary texts and critical discourses, Hayot chose to show us why and how ‘China’ has remained, and will probably always be, an enchanting, ever-elusive dream. His approach is nuanced and refreshing, his analysis rigorous and illuminating.” —Michelle Yeh, University of California, Davis
Chinese Modern examines crucial episodes in the creation of Chinese modernity during the turbulent twentieth century. Analyzing a rich array of literary, visual, theatrical, and cinematic texts, Xiaobing Tang portrays the cultural transformation of China from the early 1900s through the founding of the People’s Republic, the installation of the socialist realist aesthetic, the collapse of the idea of utopia in the aftermath of the Cultural Revolution, and the gradual cannibalization of the socialist past by consumer culture at the century’s end. Throughout, he highlights the dynamic tension between everyday life and the heroic ideal. Tang uncovers crucial clues to modern Chinese literary and cultural practices through readings of Wu Jianren’s 1906 novel The Sea of Regret and works by canonical writers Lu Xun, Ding Ling, and Ba Jin. For the midcentury, he broadens his investigation by considering theatrical, cinematic, and visual materials in addition to literary texts. His reading of the 1963 play The Young Generation reveals the anxiety and terror underlying the exhilarating new socialist life portrayed on the stage. This play, enormously influential when it first appeared, illustrates the utopian vision of China’s lyrical age and its underlying discontents—both of which are critical for understanding late-twentieth-century China. Tang closes with an examination of post–Cultural Revolution nostalgia for the passion of the lyrical age. Throughout Chinese Modern Tang suggests a historical and imaginative affinity between apparently separate literatures and cultures. He thus illuminates not only Chinese modernity but also the condition of modernity as a whole, particularly in light of the postmodern recognition that the market and commodity culture are both angel and devil. This elegantly written volume will be invaluable to students of China, Asian studies, literary criticism, and cultural studies, as well as to readers who study modernity.
This volume makes available for the first time in English the work of a significant Indian nationalist author, Pandey Bechan Sharma, better known in India as “Ugra,” meaning “extreme.” His book Chocolate, a 1927 collection of eight stories, was the first work of Hindi fiction to focus on male same-sex relations, and its publication sparked India’s first public debates about homosexuality. Many prominent figures, including Gandhi, weighed in on the debates, which lasted into the 1950s. This edition, translated and with an introduction by Ruth Vanita, includes the full text of Chocolate along with an excerpt from Ugra’s novel Letters of Some Beautiful Ones (also published in 1927). In her introduction, Vanita situates Ugra and his writings in relation to Indian nationalist struggles and Hindi literary movements and feuds, and she analyzes the controversies that surrounded Chocolate. Those outraged by its titillating portrayal of homosexuality labeled the collection obscene. On the other side, although no one explicitly defended homosexuality in public, some justified Ugra’s work by arguing that it was the artist’s job to educate through provocation.
The stories depict male homoeroticism in quotidian situations: a man brings a lover to his disapproving friend’s house; a good-looking young man becomes the object of desire at his school. The love never ends well, but the depictions are not always unsympathetic. Although Ugra claimed that the stories were aimed at suppressing homosexuality by exposing it, Vanita highlights the ambivalence of his characterizations. Cosmopolitan, educated, and hedonistic, the Hindu and Muslim men he portrayed quote Hindi and Urdu poetry to express their love, and they justify same-sex desire by drawing on literature, philosophy, and world history. Vanita’s introduction includes anecdotal evidence that Chocolate was enthusiastically received by India’s homosexual communities.
The Clash of Empires
Lydia He. LIU Harvard University Press, 2004 Library of Congress DS761.L58 2004 | Dewey Decimal 951.034
What is lost in translation may be a war, a world, a way of life. A unique look into the nineteenth-century clash of empires from both sides of the earthshaking encounter, this book reveals the connections between international law, modern warfare, and comparative grammar--and their influence on the shaping of the modern world in Eastern and Western terms.
The Clash of Empires brings to light the cultural legacy of sovereign thinking that emerged in the course of the violent meetings between the British Empire and the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Lydia Liu demonstrates how the collision of imperial will and competing interests, rather than the civilizational attributes of existing nations and cultures, led to the invention of "China," "the East," "the West," and the modern notion of "the world" in recent history. Drawing on her archival research and comparative analyses of English--and Chinese--language texts, as well as their respective translations, she explores how the rhetoric of barbarity and civilization, friend and enemy, and discourses on sovereign rights, injury, and dignity were a central part of British imperial warfare. Exposing the military and philological--and almost always translingual--nature of the clash of empires, this book provides a startlingly new interpretation of modern imperial history.
Yoshinobu Hakutani traces the development of African American modernism, which initially gathered momentum with Richard Wright’s literary manifesto “Blueprint for Negro Writing” in 1937. Hakutani dissects and discusses the cross-cultural influences on the then-burgeoning discipline in three stages: American dialogues, European and African cultural visions, and Asian and African American cross-cultural visions.
In writing Black Boy, the centerpiece of the Chicago Renaissance, Wright was inspired by Theodore Dreiser. Because the European and African cultural visions that Wright, Ralph Ellison, Alice Walker, and Toni Morrison acquired were buttressed by the universal humanism that is common to all cultures, this ideology is shown to transcend the problems of society. Fascinated by Eastern thought and art, Wright, Walker, Sonia Sanchez, and James Emanuel wrote highly accomplished poetry and prose. Like Ezra Pound, Wright was drawn to classic haiku, as reflected in the 4,000 haiku he wrote at the end of his life. As W. B. Yeats’s symbolism was influenced by his cross-cultural visions of noh theatre and Irish folklore, so is James Emanuel’s jazz haiku energized by his cross-cultural rhythms of Japanese poetry and African American music.
The book demonstrates some of the most visible cultural exchanges in modern and postmodern African American literature. Such a study can be extended to other contemporary African American writers whose works also thrive on their cross-cultural visions, such as Amiri Baraka, Ishmael Reed, Charles Johnson, and haiku poet Lenard Moore.
For South Asians, food regularly plays a role in how issues of race, class, gender, ethnicity, and national identity are imagined as well as how notions of belonging are affirmed or resisted. Culinary Fictions provides food for thought as it considers the metaphors literature, film, and TV shows use to describe Indians abroad. When an immigrant mother in Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake combines Rice Krispies, Planters peanuts, onions, salt, lemon juice, and green chili peppers to create a dish similar to one found on Calcutta sidewalks, it evokes not only the character’s Americanization, but also her nostalgia for India.
Food, Anita Mannur writes, is a central part of the cultural imagination of diasporic populations, and Culinary Fictions maps how it figures in various expressive forms. Mannur examines the cultural production from the Anglo-American reaches of the South Asian diaspora. Using texts from novels—Chitra Divakaruni’s Mistress of Spices and Shani Mootoo’s Cereus Blooms at Night—and cookbooks such as Madhur Jaffrey’s Invitation to Indian Cooking and Padma Lakshmi’s Easy Exotic, she illustrates how national identities are consolidated in culinary terms.
Developmental Fairy Tales
Andrew F. Jones Harvard University Press, 2011 Library of Congress PL2265.J66 2011 | Dewey Decimal 895.109355
Jones revises our understanding of modern China by tracing the ways that evolutionary works developed into a form of vernacular knowledge in modern Chinese literature. From children’s primers to print culture, from fairy tales to filmmaking, his analysis offers an innovative and interdisciplinary angle of vision on China’s cultural evolution.
In the first exploration of Chinese paintings as both material products
and pictorial representations, The Double Screen shows how the
collaboration and tension between material form and image gives life to
a painting. A Chinese painting is often reduced to the image it bears;
its material form is dismissed; its intimate connection with social
activities and cultural conventions neglected.
A screen occupies a space and divides it, supplies an ideal surface for
painting, and has been a favorite pictorial image in Chinese art since
antiquity. Wu Hung undertakes a comprehensive analysis of the screen,
which can be an object, an art medium, a pictorial motif, or all three
at once. With its diverse roles, the screen has provided Chinese
painters with endless opportunities to reinvent their art.
The Double Screen provides a powerful non-Western perspective on
issues from portraiture and pictorial narrative to voyeurism,
masquerade, and political rhetoric. It will be invaluable to anyone
interested in the history of art and Asian studies.
"Wendy Doniger O'Flaherty . . . weaves a brilliant analysis of the complex role of dreams and dreaming in Indian religion, philosophy, literature, and art. . . . In her creative hands, enchanting Indian myths and stories illuminate and are illuminated by authors as different as Aeschylus, Plato, Freud, Jung, Kurl Gödel, Thomas Kuhn, Borges, Picasso, Sir Ernst Gombrich, and many others. This richly suggestive book challenges many of our fundamental assumptions about ourselves and our world."—Mark C. Taylor, New York Times Book Review
"Dazzling analysis. . . . The book is firm and convincing once you appreciate its central point, which is that in traditional Hindu thought the dream isn't an accident or byway of experience, but rather the locus of epistemology. In its willful confusion of categories, its teasing readiness to blur the line between the imagined and the real, the dream actually embodies the whole problem of knowledge. . . . [O'Flaherty] wants to make your mental flesh creep, and she succeeds."—Mark Caldwell, Village Voice
The Essential Tagore
Rabindranath Tagore Harvard University Press, 2011 Library of Congress PK1722.A2 2011 | Dewey Decimal 891.448409
India’s Rabindranath Tagore was the first Asian Nobel Laureate and possibly the most prolific and diverse serious writer ever known. The largest single volume of his work available in English, this collection includes poetry, songs, autobiographical works, letters, travel writings, prose, novels, short stories, humorous pieces, and plays.
Poetry by Asian American writers has had a significant impact on the landscape of contemporary American poetry, and a book-length critical treatment of Asian American poetry is long overdue. In this groundbreaking book, Xiaojing Zhou demonstrates how many Asian American poets transform the conventional “I” of lyric poetry—based on the traditional Western concept of the self and the Cartesian “I”—to enact a more ethical relationship between the “I” and its others.
Drawing on Emmanuel Levinas’s idea of the ethics of alterity—which argues that an ethical relation to the other is one that acknowledges the irreducibility of otherness—Zhou offers a reconceptualization of both self and other. Taking difference as a source of creativity and turning it into a form of resistance and a critical intervention, Asian American poets engage with broader issues than the merely poetic. They confront social injustice against the other and call critical attention to a concept of otherness which differs fundamentally from that underlying racism, sexism, and colonialism. By locating the ethical and political questions of otherness in language, discourse, aesthetics, and everyday encounters, Asian American poets help advance critical studies in race, gender, and popular culture as well as in poetry.
The Ethics and Poetics of Alterity is not limited, however, to literary studies: it is an invaluable response to the questions raised by increasingly globalized encounters across many kinds of boundaries.
Marilyn Chin, Kimiko Hahn, Myung Mi Kim, Li Young Lee, Timothy Liu, David Mura, and John Yau
In this revisionist study of texts from the mid-Heian period in Japan, H. Richard Okada offers new readings of three well-known tales: The Tale of the Bamboo-cutter, The Tale of Ise, and The Tale of Genji. Okada contends that the cultural and gendered significance of these works has been distorted by previous commentaries and translations belonging to the larger patriarchal and colonialist discourse of Western civilization. He goes on to suggest that this universalist discourse, which silences the feminine aspects of these texts and subsumes their writing in misapplied Western canonical literary terms, is sanctioned and maintained by the discipline of Japanese literature. Okada develops a highly original and sophisticated reading strategy that demonstrates how readers might understand texts belonging to a different time and place without being complicit in their assimilation to categories derived from Western literary traditions. The author’s reading stratgey is based on the texts’ own resistance to modes of analysis that employ such Western canonical terms as novel, lyric, and third-person narrative. Emphasis is also given to the distinctive cultural circles, as well as socio-political and genealogical circumstances that surrounded the emergence of the texts. Indispensable readings for specialists in literature, cultural studies, and Japanese literature and history, Figures of Resistance will also appeal to general readers interested in the problems and complexities of studying another culture.
Folktales of India
Edited by Brenda E. F. Beck, Peter J. Claus, Praphulladatta Goswami, and Jawaharlal Handoo University of Chicago Press, 1987 Library of Congress GR305.F65 1987 | Dewey Decimal 398.20954
Bringing together nearly one hundred tales translated from fourteen languages, Folktales of India opens the vast narrative world of Indian folklore to readers of English. Beck includes oral tales collected from tribal areas, peasant groups, urban areas, and remote villages in north and south India, and the distinctive boundary regions of Kashmir, Assam, and Manipur. The tales in this collection emphasize universal human characteristics—truthfulness, modesty, loyalty, courage, generosity, and honesty. Each story is meant to be savored individually with special attention given to the great range of motifs presented and the many distinct narrative styles used. Folktales of India offers a superb anthology of India's bountiful narrative tradition.
"This collection does an excellent job of representing India. . . . It is the type of book that can be enjoyed by all readers who love a well-told tale as well as by scholars of traditional narrative and scholars of India in general."—Hugh M. Flick, Jr., Asian Folklore Studies
"The stories collected here are representative, rich in structural subtlety, and endowed with fresh earthy humor."—Kunal Chakraborti, Contributions to Indian Sociology
Takayuki Tatsumi is one of Japan’s leading cultural critics, renowned for his work on American literature and culture. With his encyclopedic knowledge and fan’s love of both Japanese and American art and literature, he is perhaps uniquely well situated to offer this study of the dynamic crosscurrents between the avant-gardes and pop cultures of Japan and the United States. In Full Metal Apache, Tatsumi looks at the work of artists from both sides of the Pacific: fiction writers and poets, folklorists and filmmakers, anime artists, playwrights, musicians, manga creators, and performance artists. Tatsumi shows how, over the past twenty years or so, writers and artists have openly and exuberantly appropriated materials drawn from East and West, from sources both high and low, challenging and unraveling the stereotypical images Japan and America have of one another.
Full Metal Apache introduces English-language readers to a vast array of Japanese writers and performers and considers their work in relation to the output of William Gibson, Thomas Pynchon, H. G. Wells, Jack London, J. G. Ballard, and other Westerners. Tatsumi moves from the poetics of metafiction to the complex career of Madame Butterfly stories and from the role of the Anglo-American Lafcadio Hearn in promoting Japanese folklore within Japan during the nineteenth century to the Japanese monster Godzilla as an embodiment of both Japanese and Western ideas about the Other. Along the way, Tatsumi develops original arguments about the self-fashioning of “Japanoids” in the globalist age, the philosophy of “creative masochism” inherent within postwar Japanese culture, and the psychology of “Mikadophilia” indispensable for the construction of a cyborg identity. Tatsumi’s exploration of the interplay between Japanese and American cultural productions is as electric, ebullient, and provocative as the texts and performances he analyzes.
Boldly challenging traditional understandings of Heian literature, Tomiko Yoda reveals the connections between gender, nationalism, and cultural representation evident in prevailing interpretations of classic Heian texts. Renowned for the wealth and sophistication of women’s writing, the literature of the Heian period (794–1192) has long been considered central to the Japanese literary canon and Japanese national identity. Yoda historicizes claims about the inherent femininity of this literature by revisiting key moments in the history of Japanese literary scholarship from the eighteenth century to the present. She argues that by foregrounding women’s voices in Heian literature, the discipline has repeatedly enacted the problematic modernizing gesture in which the “feminine” is recognized, canceled, and then contained within a national framework articulated in masculine terms.
Moving back and forth between a critique of modern discourses on Heian literature and close analyses of the Heian texts themselves, Yoda sheds light on some of the most persistent interpretive models underwriting Japanese literary studies, particularly the modern paradigm of a masculine national subject. She proposes new directions for disciplinary critique and suggests that historicized understandings of premodern texts offer significant insights into contemporary feminist theories of subjectivity and agency.
Gods in the Bazaar is a fascinating account of the printed images known in India as “calendar art” or “bazaar art,” the color-saturated, mass-produced pictures often used on calendars and in advertisements, featuring deities and other religious themes as well as nationalist leaders, alluring women, movie stars, chubby babies, and landscapes. Calendar art appears in all manner of contexts in India: in chic elite living rooms, middle-class kitchens, urban slums, village huts; hung on walls, stuck on scooters and computers, propped up on machines, affixed to dashboards, tucked into wallets and lockets. In this beautifully illustrated book, Kajri Jain examines the power that calendar art wields in Indian mass culture, arguing that its meanings derive as much from the production and circulation of the images as from their visual features.
Jain draws on interviews with artists, printers, publishers, and consumers as well as analyses of the prints themselves to trace the economies—of art, commerce, religion, and desire—within which calendar images and ideas about them are formulated. For Jain, an analysis of the bazaar, or vernacular commercial arena, is crucial to understanding not only the calendar art that circulates within the bazaar but also India’s postcolonial modernity and the ways that its mass culture has developed in close connection with a religiously inflected nationalism. The bazaar is characterized by the coexistence of seemingly incompatible elements: bourgeois-liberal and neoliberal modernism on the one hand, and vernacular discourses and practices on the other. Jain argues that from the colonial era to the present, capitalist expansion has depended on the maintenance of these multiple coexisting realms: the sacred, the commercial, and the artistic; the official and the vernacular.
In premodern China, elite painters used imagery not to mirror the world around them, but to evoke unfathomable experience. Considering their art alongside the philosophical traditions that inform it, The Great Image Has No Form explores the “nonobject”—a notion exemplified by paintings that do not seek to represent observable surroundings.
François Jullien argues that this nonobjectifying approach stems from the painters’ deeply held belief in a continuum of existence, in which art is not distinct from reality. Contrasting this perspective with the Western notion of art as separate from the world it represents, Jullien investigates the theoretical conditions that allow us to apprehend, isolate, and abstract objects. His comparative method lays bare the assumptions of Chinese and European thought, revitalizing the questions of what painting is, where it comes from, and what it does. Provocative and intellectually vigorous, this sweeping inquiry introduces new ways of thinking about the relationship of art to the ideas in which it is rooted.
Hong Kong Art is the first comprehensive survey of contemporary art from Hong Kong presented within the changing social and political context of the territory’s 1997 handover from British to Chinese sovereignty. Tracing a distinctive and increasingly vibrant art scene from the late 1960s through the present, David Clarke discusses a wide range of media, including painting, sculpture, photography, video, and installations, as well as other kinds of visual production such as architecture, fashion, graphic design, and graffiti. Clarke shows how a sense of local identity emerged in Hong Kong as the transition approached and found expression in the often politicized art produced. Given the recent international exposure of mainland Chinese contemporary art, this book considers the uniqueness of the art of China’s most cosmopolitan city. With a modern visual culture that was flourishing even when the People’s Republic was still closed to the outside world, Hong Kong has established itself as an exemplary site for both local and transnational elements to formulate into brilliant and groundbreaking art. The author writes about individual artists and art works with a detail that will appeal to artists, curators, and art historians, as well as to postcolonial scholars, cultural studies scholars, and others.
The rulers of the Mughal Empire of India, who reigned from 1526 to 1858, spared no expense as patrons of the arts. They left as their legacy an extraordinarily rich body of commissioned artistic projects, including illustrated manuscripts and paintings that represent music-making in numerous spheres of Mughal court life, particularly that of women. These images form the basis of Bonnie C. Wade's study of how musicians of Hindustan encountered and Indianized music from the Persian cultural sphere.
Combining ethnomusicological and art historical methods with history and lore, Wade focuses first on paintings for Akbar, showing how political and cultural agendas intertwined in the portrayal of his life and that of his grandfather Babur and father, Humayun. Wade then follows the depictions of music-making through paintings for Akbar's successors, Jahangir and Shah Jahan, to trace the gradual synthesis of Persian and Indian culture. Richly illustrated with reproductions of rare Mughal paintings, this work will appeal broadly to anyone interested in Indian history, ethnomusicology, and art history.
The Impossible Nude
François Jullien University of Chicago Press, 2007 Library of Congress BJ1500.N8J8513 2007 | Dewey Decimal 704.9421
The undraped human form is ubiquitous in Western art and even appears in the art of India and Japan. Only in China, François Jullien argues, is the nude completely absent. In this enthralling extended essay, he explores the different conceptions of the human body that underlie this provocative disparity.
Contrasting nakedness (which implies a diminished state) with nudity (which represents a complete presence), Jullien explores the traditional European vision of the nude as a fixed point of fusion where form joins truth. He then shows that the absence of the nude in Chinese art evinces an understanding of the human body as changeable and transitory. Viewed in light of each other, these differing concepts allow for a new way of thinking about form, the ideal, and beauty, enabling us to delve deeper into the relationship between art and the ideas that lie at its roots. Beautifully illustrated and gracefully translated into English for the first time, The Impossible Nude will fascinate anyone interested in art history, Chinese art, or aesthetics.
In a culture where poetry is considered the highest form of human language, Gendun Chopel is revered as Tibet’s greatest modern poet. Born in 1903 as British troops were preparing to invade his homeland, Gendun Chopel was identified at any early age as the incarnation of a famous lama and became a Buddhist monk, excelling in the debating courtyards of the great monasteries of Tibet. At the age of thirty-one, he gave up his monk’s vows and set off for India, where he would wander, often alone and impoverished, for over a decade. Returning to Tibet, he was arrested by the government of the young Dalai Lama on trumped-up charges of treason, emerging from prison three years later a broken man. He died in 1951 as troops of the People’s Liberation Army marched into Lhasa.
Throughout his life, from his childhood to his time in prison, Gendun Chopel wrote poetry that conveyed the events of his remarkable life. In the Forest of Faded Wisdom is the first comprehensive collection of his oeuvre in any language, assembling poems in both the original Tibetan and in English translation. A master of many forms of Tibetan verse, Gendun Chopel composed heartfelt hymns to the Buddha, pithy instructions for the practice of the dharma, stirring tributes to the Tibetan warrior-kings, cynical reflections on the ways of the world, and laments of a wanderer, forgotten in a foreign land. These poems exhibit the technical skill—wordplay, puns, the ability to evoke moods of pathos and irony—for which Gendun Chopel was known and reveal the poet to be a consummate craftsman, skilled in both Tibetan and Indian poetics. With a directness and force often at odds with the conventions of belles lettres, this is a poetry that is at once elegant and earthy. In the Forest of Faded Wisdom is a remarkable introduction to Tibet’s sophisticated poetic tradition and its most intriguing twentieth-century writer.
In Indian Angles, Mary Ellis Gibson provides a new historical approach to Indian English literature. Gibson shows that poetry, not fiction, was the dominant literary genre of Indian writing in English until 1860 and that poetry written in colonial situations can tell us as much or even more about figuration, multilingual literacies, and histories of nationalism than novels can. Gibson recreates the historical webs of affiliation and resistance that were experienced by writers in colonial India—writers of British, Indian, and mixed ethnicities.
Advancing new theoretical and historical paradigms for reading colonial literatures, Indian Angles makes accessible many writers heretofore neglected or virtually unknown. Gibson recovers texts by British women, by non-elite British men, and by persons who would, in the nineteenth century, have been called Eurasian. Her work traces the mutually constitutive history of English language poets from Sir William Jones to Toru Dutt and Rabindranath Tagore. Drawing on contemporary postcolonial theory, her work also provides new ways of thinking about British internal colonialism as its results were exported to South Asia.
In lucid and accessible prose, Gibson presents a new theoretical approach to colonial and postcolonial literatures.
In 1957, encouraged by Georgia O’Keeffe, artist Yayoi Kusama left Japan for New York City to become a star. By the time she returned to her home country in 1973, she had established herself as a leader of New York’s avant-garde movement, known for creating happenings and public orgies to protest the Vietnam War and for the polka dots that had become a trademark of her work. Her sculptures, videos, paintings, and installations are to this day included in major international exhibitions.
Available for the first time in English, Infinity Net paints a multilayered portrait of this fascinating artist. Taking us from her oppressive childhood in postwar Japan to her present life in the psychiatric hospital where she voluntarily stays—and is still productive—Kusama’s autobiography offers insight into the persona of mental illness that has informed her work. While she vibrantly describes the hallucinatory episodes she experiences, her tale is punctuated by stories of her pluck and drive in making her artistic voice heard. Conveying the breadth and ambition of her own work, Kusama also offers a dazzling snapshot of 1960s and 1970s New York City and her encounters with its artists—she collaborates with Andy Warhol, shares an apartment with Donald Judd, and becomes romantically entangled with Joseph Cornell. Replete with the sense of the sheer necessity within an artist to create, Infinity Net is an energetic and juicy page-turner that offers a glimpse into Kusama’s exhilarating world.
The spread of Islam eastward into South and Southeast Asia was one of the most significant cultural shifts in world history. As it expanded into these regions, Islam was received by cultures vastly different from those in the Middle East, incorporating them into a diverse global community that stretched from India to the Philippines.
In Islam Translated, Ronit Ricci uses the Book of One Thousand Questions—from its Arabic original to its adaptations into the Javanese, Malay, and Tamil languages between the sixteenth and twentieth centuries—as a means to consider connections that linked Muslims across divides of distance and culture. Examining the circulation of this Islamic text and its varied literary forms, Ricci explores how processes of literary translation and religious conversion were historically interconnected forms of globalization, mutually dependent, and creatively reformulated within societies making the transition to Islam.
Journey to the West, Volume 1
Translated by Anthony C. Yu University of Chicago Press, 1977 Library of Congress PL2697.H75E596 1977 | Dewey Decimal 895.134
First published in 1952, The Journey to the West, volume I, comprises the first twenty-five chapters of Anthony C. Yu's four-volume translation of Hsi-yu Chi, one of the most beloved classics of Chinese literature. The fantastic tale recounts the sixteen-year pilgrimage of the monk Hsüan-tsang (596-664), one of China's most illustrious religious heroes, who journeyed to India with four animal disciples in quest of Buddhist scriptures. For nearly a thousand years, his exploits were celebrated and embellished in various accounts, culminating in the hundred-chapter Journey to the West, which combines religious allegory with romance, fantasy, humor, and satire.
The Journey to the West, volume 2, comprises the second twenty-five chapters of Anthony C. Yu's four-volume translation of Hsi-yu Chi, one of the most beloved classics of Chinese literature. The fantastic tale recounts the sixteen-year pilgrimage of the monk Hsüan-tsang (596-664), one of China's most illustrious religious heroes, who journeyed to India with four animal disciples in quest of Buddhist scriptures. For nearly a thousand years, his exploits were celebrated and embellished in various accounts, culminating in the hundred-chapter Journey to the West, which combines religious allegory with romance, fantasy, humor, and satire.
The Journey to the West, volume 3, comprises the third twenty-five chapters of Anthony C. Yu's four-volume translation of Hsi-yu Chi, one of the most beloved classics of Chinese literature. The fantastic tale recounts the sixteen-year pilgrimage of the monk Hsüan-tsang (596-664), one of China's most illustrious religious heroes, who journeyed to India with four animal disciples in quest of Buddhist scriptures. For nearly a thousand years, his exploits were celebrated and embellished in various accounts, culminating in the hundred-chapter Journey to the West, which combines religious allegory with romance, fantasy, humor, and satire.
The Journey to the West, volume 4, comprises the last twenty-five chapters of Anthony C. Yu's four-volume translation of Hsi-yu Chi, one of the most beloved classics of Chinese literature. The fantastic tale recounts the sixteen-year pilgrimage of the monk Hsüan-tsang (596-664), one of China's most illustrious religious heroes, who journeyed to India with four animal disciples in quest of Buddhist scriptures. For nearly a thousand years, his exploits were celebrated and embellished in various accounts, culminating in the hundred-chapter Journey to the West, which combines religious allegory with romance, fantasy, humor, and satire.
This volume makes available for the first time in English two of the most important novels of Japanese colonialism: Yuasa Katsuei’s Kannani and Document of Flames. Born in Japan in 1910 and raised in Korea, Yuasa was an eyewitness to the ravages of the Japanese occupation. In both of the novels presented here, he is clearly critical of Japanese imperialism. Kannani (1934) stands alone within Japanese literature in its graphic depictions of the racism and poverty endured by the colonized Koreans. Document of Flames (1935) brings issues of class and gender into sharp focus. It tells the story of Tokiko, a divorced woman displaced from her Japanese home who finds herself forced to work as a prostitute in Korea to support herself and her child. Tokiko eventually becomes a landowner and oppressor of the Koreans she lives amongst, a transformation suggesting that the struggle against oppression often ends up replicating the structure of domination.
In his introduction, Mark Driscoll provides a nuanced and engaging discussion of Yuasa’s life and work and of the cultural politics of Japanese colonialism. He describes Yuasa’s sharp turn, in the years following the publication of Kannani and Document of Flames, toward support for Japanese nationalism and the assimilation of Koreans into Japanese culture. This abrupt ideological reversal has made Yuasa’s early writing—initially censored for its anticolonialism—all the more controversial. In a masterful concluding essay, Driscoll connects these novels to larger theoretical issues, demonstrating how a deep understanding of Japanese imperialism challenges prevailing accounts of postcolonialism.
The spicy tang of kimchi, the richness of Korean barbecue, the hearty flavors of bibimbap: Korean cuisine is savored the world over for its diversity of ingredients and flavors. Michael Pettid offers here a lushly illustrated historical account of Korean food and its intricate relationship with the nation’s culture.
Over the last twelve centuries, Korean food dishes and their complex preparations have evolved along with the larger cultural and political upheaval experienced by the nation. Pettid charts this historical development of the cuisine, exploring the ways that regional distinctions and historical transformations played out in the Korean diet—including the effects of wartime food shortages and preparation techniques. Underlying all these dishes are complicated philosophical and aesthetic considerations, and Pettid delves into their impact on everything from the rituals associated with group meals or drinks with friends to the strict rules governing combinations of dishes and ingredients according to temperature, texture, spices, color, and consistency.
Featuring a batch of mouthwatering recipes and over a hundred vivid photographs of a striking array of dishes, Korean Cuisine is an incisive and engaging investigation into the relationship between Korean culture and food that will spice up the bookshelves of foodies and scholars alike.
Delving into three hundred years of Chinese literature, from the mid-sixteenth century to the mid-nineteenth, The Libertine’s Friend uncovers the complex and fascinating history of male homosexual and homosocial relations in the late imperial era. Drawing particularly on overlooked works of pornographic fiction, Giovanni Vitiello offers a frank exploration of the importance of same-sex love and eroticism to the evolution of masculinity in China.
Vitiello’s story unfolds chronologically, beginning with the earliest sources on homoeroticism in pre-imperial China and concluding with a look at developments in the twentieth century. Along the way, he identifies a number of recurring characters—for example, the libertine scholar, the chivalric hero, and the lustful monk—and sheds light on a set of key issues, including the social and legal boundaries that regulated sex between men, the rise of male prostitution, and the aesthetics of male beauty. Drawing on this trove of material, Vitiello presents a historical outline of changing notions of male homosexuality in China, revealing the integral part that same-sex desire has played in its culture.
Emphasizing how modes of book production, promotion, and consumption shape ideas of literary value, Edward Mack examines the role of Japan’s publishing industry in defining modern Japanese literature. In the late nineteenth century and early twentieth, as cultural and economic power consolidated in Tokyo, the city’s literary and publishing elites came to dominate the dissemination and preservation of Japanese literature. As Mack explains, they conferred cultural value on particular works by creating prizes and multivolume anthologies that signaled literary merit. One such anthology, the Complete Works of Contemporary Japanese Literature (published between 1926 and 1931), provided many readers with their first experience of selected texts designated as modern Japanese literature. The low price of one yen per volume allowed the series to reach hundreds of thousands of readers. An early prize for modern Japanese literature, the annual Akutagawa Prize, first awarded in 1935, became the country’s highest-profile literary award. Mack chronicles the history of book production and consumption in Japan, showing how advances in technology, the expansion of a market for literary commodities, and the development of an extensive reading community enabled phenomena such as the Complete Works of Contemporary Japanese Literature and the Akutagawa Prize to manufacture the very concept of modern Japanese literature.
Mishima: A Vision of the Void
Maguerite Yourcenar University of Chicago Press, 2001 Library of Congress PL833.I7Z98713 2001 | Dewey Decimal 895.635
On November 25, 1970, Japan's most renowned postwar novelist, Yukio Mishima, stunned the world by committing ritual suicide. Here, Marguerite Yourcenar, a brilliant reader of Mishima and a scholar with an eye for the cultural roles of fiction, unravels the author's life and politics: his affection for Western culture, his family and his homosexuality, his brilliant writings, and his carefully premeditated death.
Over the past two decades, the popularity of Japanese food in the West has increased immeasurably—a major contribution to the evolution of Western eating habits. But Japanese cuisine itself has changed significantly since pre-modern times, and the food we eat at trendy Japanese restaurants, from tempura to sashimi, is vastly different from earlier Japanese fare. Modern Japanese Cuisine examines the origins of Japanese food from the late nineteenth century to unabashedly adulterated American favorites like today’s California roll.
Katarzyna J. Cwiertka demonstrates that key shifts in the Japanese diet were, in many cases, a consequence of modern imperialism. Exploring reforms in military catering and home cooking, wartime food management and the rise of urban gastronomy, Cwiertka shows how Japan’s numerous regional cuisines were eventually replaced by a set of foods and practices with which the majority of Japanese today ardently identify.
The result of over a decade of research, Modern Japanese Cuisine is a fascinating look at the historical roots of some of the world’s best cooking and will provide appetizing reading for scholars of Japanese culture and foodies alike.
Modern Tibetan Literature and Social Change is the first systematic and detailed overview of modern Tibetan literature, which has burgeoned only in the last thirty years. This comprehensive collection brings together fourteen pioneering scholars in the nascent field of Tibetan literary studies, including authors who are active in the Tibetan literary world itself. These scholars examine the literary output of Tibetan authors writing in Tibetan, Chinese, and English, both in Tibet and in the Tibetan diaspora.
The contributors explore the circumstances that led to the development of modern Tibetan literature, its continuities and breaks with classical Tibetan literary forms, and the ways that writers use forms such as magical realism, satire, and humor to negotiate literary freedom within the People’s Republic of China. They provide crucial information about Tibetan writers’ lives in China and abroad, the social and political contexts in which they write, and the literary merits of their oeuvre. Along with deep social, cultural, and political analysis, this wealth of information clarifies the complex circumstances that Tibetan writers face in the PRC and the diaspora. The contributors consider not only poetry, short stories, and novels but also other forms of cultural production—such as literary magazines, films, and Web sites—that provide a public forum in the Tibetan areas of the PRC, where censorship and restrictions on public gatherings remain the norm. Modern Tibetan Literature and Social Change includes a previously unavailable list of modern Tibetan works translated into Western languages and a comprehensive English-language index of names, subjects, and terms.
Contributors: Pema Bhum, Howard Y. F. Choy, Yangdon Dhondup, Lauran R. Hartley, Hortsang Jigme, Matthew T. Kapstein, Nancy G. Lin, Lara Maconi, Françoise Robin, Patricia Schiaffini-Vedani, Ronald D. Schwartz, Tsering Shakya, Sangye Gyatso (aka Gangzhün), Steven J. Venturino, Riika Virtanen
The first comprehensive English-language study of literary trends in the fiction of Taiwan over the last forty years, this pioneering work explores a rich tradition of literary Modernism in its shifting relationship with Chinese politics and culture. Situating her subject in its historical context, Sung-sheng Yvonne Chang traces the connection between Taiwan's Modernists and the liberal scholars of pre-Communist China. She discusses the Modernists' ambivalent relationship with contemporary Taiwan's conservative culture, and provides a detailed critical survey of the strife between the Modernists and the socialistically inclined, anti-Western Nativists. Chang's approach is comprehensive, combining Chinese and comparative perspectives. Employing the critical insights of Raymond Williams, Peter Burger, M. M. Bahktin, and Fredric Jameson, she investigates the complex issues involved in Chinese writers' appropriation of avant-gardism, aestheticism, and various other Western literary concepts and techniques. Within this framework, Chang offers original, challenging interpretations of major works by the best-known Chinese Modernists from Taiwan. As an intensive introduction to a literature of considerable quality and impact, and as a case study of the global spread of Western literary Modernism, this book will be of great interest to students of Chinese and comparative literature, and to those who wish to understand the broad patterns of twentieth-century literary history.
Anthony C. Yu’s celebrated translation of The Journey to the West reinvigorated one of Chinese literature’s most beloved classics for English-speaking audiences when it first appeared thirty years ago. Yu’s abridgment of his four-volume translation, The Monkey and the Monk, finally distills the epic novel’s most exciting and meaningful episodes without taking anything away from their true spirit.
These fantastic episodes recount the adventures of Xuanzang, a seventh-century monk who became one of China’s most illustrious religious heroes after traveling for sixteen years in search of Buddhist scriptures. Powerfully combining religious allegory with humor, fantasy, and satire, accounts of Xuanzang’s journey were passed down for a millennium before culminating in the sixteenth century with The Journey to the West. Now, readers of The Monkey and the Monk can experience the full force of his lengthy quest as he travels to India with four animal disciples, most significant among them a guardian-monkey known as “the Great Sage, Equal to Heaven.” Moreover, in its newly streamlined form, this acclaimed translation of a seminal work of world literature is sure to attract an entirely new following of students and fans.
“A new translation of a major literary text which totally supersedes the best existing version. . . . It establishes beyond contention the position of The Journey to the West in world literature, while at the same time throwing open wide the doors to interpretive study on the part of the English audience.”—Modern Language Notes, on the unabridged translation
In this fascinating study, Partha Mitter traces the history of European reactions to Indian art, from the earliest encounters of explorers with the exotic. East to the more sophisticated but still incomplete appreciations of the early twentieth century. Mitter's new Preface reflects upon the profound changes in Western interpretations of non-Western societies over the past fifteen years.
Mulan, the warrior maiden who performed heroic deeds in battle while dressed as a male soldier, has had many incarnations from her first appearance as a heroine in an ancient Chinese folk ballad. Mulan’s story was retold for centuries, extolling the filial virtue of the young woman who placed her father's honor and well-being above her own. With the publication of Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior in the late 1970s, Mulan first became familiar to American audiences who were fascinated with the extraordinary Asian American character. Mulan’s story was recast yet again in the popular 1998 animated Disney film and its sequel.
In Mulan’s Legend and Legacy in China and the United States, Lan Dong traces the development of this popular icon and asks, "Who is the real Mulan?" and "What does authenticity mean for the critic looking at this story?" Dong charts this character’s literary voyage across historical and geographical borders, discussing the narratives and images of Mulan over a long time span—from premodern China to the contemporary United States to Mulan’s counter-migration back to her homeland.
As Dong shows, Mulan has been reinvented repeatedly in both China and the United States so that her character represents different agendas in each retelling—especially after she reached the western hemisphere. The dutiful and loyal daughter, the fierce, pregnant warrior, and the feisty teenaged heroine—each is Mulan representing an idea about female virtue at a particular time and place.
No Enemies, No Hatred
Xiaobo Liu Harvard University Press, 2012 Library of Congress PL2879.X53A2 2012 | Dewey Decimal 895.1452
When the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded on December 10, 2010, its recipient, Liu Xiaobo, was in Jinzhou Prison, serving an eleven-year sentence for what Beijing called “incitement to subvert state power.” In Oslo, actress Liv Ullmann read a long statement the activist had prepared for his 2009 trial. It read in part: “I stand by the convictions I expressed in my ‘June Second Hunger Strike Declaration’ twenty years ago—I have no enemies and no hatred. None of the police who monitored, arrested, and interrogated me, none of the prosecutors who indicted me, and none of the judges who judged me are my enemies.”
That statement is one of the pieces in this book, which includes writings spanning two decades, providing insight into all aspects of Chinese life. Liu speaks pragmatically, yet with deep-seated passion, about peasant land disputes, Han Chinese in Tibet, child slavery, the Internet in China, the contemporary craze for Confucius, and the Tiananmen massacre. Also presented are poems written for his wife, Liu Xia, public documents, and a foreword by Václav Havel. These works not only chronicle a leading dissident’s struggle against tyranny but enrich the record of universal longing for freedom and dignity.
Not Out of Hate—published in Burmese in 1955 and set in 1939–42—was Ma Ma Lay’s fifth novel and one that further cemented her status as one of twentieth-century Burma’s foremost writers and voices for change. A journalist by trade, Lay applied her straightforward observational style with compassion and purpose to the story of Way Way, a teenage village girl whose quiet life assisting her father in his rice-brokerage business is disrupted by the arrival of U Saw Han, the cosmopolitan Burmese rice trader twenty years her senior. When she first encounters him, Way Way is entranced by his Western furnishings, servants, and mannerisms. The two marry, but before long, it becomes clear that U Saw Han’s love is a stifling one that seeks to obliterate her traditional ways.
Not Out of Hate was enormously popular in Burma and went through several editions in the 1950s and 1960s. When Ohio University Press published its English translation, in 1991, it became the first significant fictional account of prewar Burma available in English since George Orwell’s Burmese Days, and provided a Burmese counterpoint to Orwell’s novel. Translated into English here for the first time, the novel is an engaging drama, finely observed work of social realism, and stirring rejection of Western cultural dominance.
In Obscene Things Naifei Ding intervenes in conventional readings of Jin Ping Mei, an early scandalous Chinese novel of sexuality and sexual culture. After first appearing around 1590, Jin Ping Mei was circulated among some of China’s best known writers of the time and subsequently was published in three major recensions. A 1695 version by Zhang Zhupo became the most widely read and it is this text in particular on which Ding focuses. Challenging the preconceptions of earlier scholarship, she highlights the fundamental misogyny inherent in Jin Ping Mei and demonstrates how traditional biases—particularly masculine biases—continue to inform the concerns of modern criticism and sexual politics. The story of a seductive bondmaid-concubine, sexual opportunism, domestic intrigue, adultery and death, Jin Ping Mei has often been critiqued based on the coherence of the text itself. Concentrating instead on the processes of reading and on the social meaning of this novel, Ding looks at the various ways the tale has been received since its first dissemination, particularly by critiquing the interpretations offered by seventeenth-century Ming literati and by twentieth-century scholars. Confronting the gender politics of this “pornographic” text, she troubles the boundaries between premodern and modern readings by engaging residual and emergent Chinese gender and hierarchic ideologies.
Stanley K. Abe University of Chicago Press, 2002 Library of Congress N8193.C6A24 2002 | Dewey Decimal 704.9489430951
This richly illustrated book explores the large body of sculpture, paintings, and other religious imagery produced for China's common classes from the third to the sixth centuries C.E. In contrast to the works made for imperial patrons, illustrious monastics, or other luminaries, these ordinary images-modest in scale, mass produced, and at times incomplete-were created for those of lesser standing. Because they cannot be related to well-known historical figures or social groups, these images have been considered a largely nebulous, undistinguished mass of works.
Situating his study in the gaps between conventional categories such as Buddhism, Daoism, and Chinese popular art, Abe examines works—including some of the earliest known examples of Buddha-like images in China—that were commissioned by patrons of modest standing and produced by nameless artists and artisans. Sophisticated and lucidly written, Ordinary Images offers an unprecedented exploration of the lively and diverse nature of image making and popular practices.
Until now, Orientalist art—exemplified by paintings of harems, slave markets, or bazaars—has predominantly been understood to reflect Western interpretations and to perpetuate reductive, often demeaning stereotypes of the exotic East. Orientalism's Interlocutors contests the idea that Orientalist art simply expresses the politics of Western domination and argues instead that it was often produced through cross-cultural interactions. Focusing on paintings and other representations of North African and Ottoman cultures, by both local artists and westerners, the contributors contend that the stylistic similarities between indigenous and Western Orientalist art mask profound interpretive differences, which, on examination, can reveal a visual language of resistance to colonization. The essays also demonstrate how marginalized voices and viewpoints—especially women's—within Western Orientalism decentered and destabilized colonial authority.
Looking at the political significance of cross-cultural encounters refracted through the visual languages of Orientalism, the contributors engage with pressing recent debates about indigenous agency, postcolonial identity, and gendered subjectivities. The very range of artists, styles, and forms discussed in this collection broadens contemporary understandings of Orientalist art. Among the artists considered are the Algerian painters Azouaou Mammeri and Mohammed Racim; Turkish painter Osman Hamdi; British landscape painter Barbara Bodichon; and the French painter Henri Regnault. From the liminal "Third Space" created by mosques in postcolonial Britain to the ways nineteenth-century harem women negotiated their portraits by British artists, the essays in this collection force a rethinking of the Orientalist canon.
This innovative volume will appeal to those interested in art history, theories of gender, and postcolonial studies.
Contributors. Jill Beaulieu, Roger Benjamin, Zeynep Çelik, Deborah Cherry, Hollis Clayson, Mark Crinson, Mary Roberts
Perfect Worlds is an extensive, comparative study of utopian narratives in both the East and the West. Douwe Fokkema provides an elegant argument about the human impulse to imagine new and better worlds, astutely observing that the utopian imagination thrives in the context of secularization. Fokkema also tracks the rise of dystopian narratives, invoking authors as diverse as Margaret Atwood and Lao She, and provides a cogent evaluation of the role of imagined worlds in both Chinese and Euro-American fiction. A shrewd comparison of cultures, as well as a vivid account of cross-cultural influence, this volume is a welcome addition to the scholarly discourse on utopias.
Pictures and Visuality in Early Modern China is not simply a survey of sixteenth-century images, but rather, a thorough and thoughtful examination of visual culture in China's Ming Dynasty, one that considers images wherever they appeared—not only paintings, but also illustrated books, maps, ceramic bowls, lacquered boxes, painted fans, and even clothing and tomb pictures.
Clunas's theory of visuality incorporates not only the image and the object upon which it is placed but also the culture which produced and purchased it. Economic changes in sixteenth-century China—the rapid expansion of trade routes and a growing class of consumers—are thus intricately bound up with the evolution of the image itself. Pictures and Visuality in Early Modern China will be a touchstone for students of Chinese history, art, and culture.
Pictures and Visuality in Early Modern China is not simply a survey of sixteenth-century images, but rather, a thorough and thoughtful examination of visual culture in China's Ming Dynasty, one that considers images wherever they appeared—not only paintings, but also illustrated books, maps, ceramic bowls, lacquered boxes, painted fans, and even clothing and tomb pictures.
Clunas's theory of visuality incorporates not only the image and the object upon which it is placed but also the culture which produced and purchased it. Economic changes in sixteenth-century China—the rapid expansion of trade routes and a growing class of consumers—are thus intricately bound up with the evolution of the image itself. Pictures and Visuality in Early Modern China will be a touchstone for students of Chinese history, art, and culture.
For more than half a century, Chinese-Western comparative literature has been recognized as a formal academic discipline, but critics and scholars in the field have done little to develop a viable, common basis for comparison between these disparate literatures. In this pioneering book, Cecile Chu-chin Sun establishes repetition as the ideal perspective from which to compare the poetry and poetics from these two traditions.
Sun contends that repetition is at the heart of all that defines the lyric as a unique art form and, by closely examining its use in Chinese and Western poetry, she demonstrates howone can identify important points of convergence and divergence. Through a representative sampling of poems from both traditions, she illustrates how the irreducible generic nature of the lyric transcends linguistic and cultural barriers but also reveals the fundamental distinctions between the traditions. Most crucially, she dissects the two radically different conceptualizations of reality—mimesis and xing—that serve as underlying principles for the poetic practices of each tradition.
Skillfully integrating theory and practice, The Poetics of Repetition in English and Chinese Lyric Poetryprovides a much-needed model for future study of Chinese and English poetry as well as lucid, succinct interpretations of individual poems.
This collection of essays addresses the perception that our understanding of modern China will be enhanced by opening the literature of China to more rigorous theoretical and comparative study. In doing so, the book confronts the problematic and complex subject of China's literary, theoretical, and cultural responses to the experience of the modern. With chapters by writers, scholars, and critics from mainland China, Hong Kong, and the United States, this volume explores the complexity of representing modernity within the Chinese context. Addressing the problem of finding a proper language for articulating fundamental issues in the historical experience of twentieth-century China, the authors critically re-examine notions of realism, the self/subject, and modernity and draw on perspectives from feminist criticism, ideological analysis, and postmodern theory. Among the many topics explored are subjectivity in Chinese cultural theory, Chinese gender relations, the viability of a Lacanian approach to Chinese identity, the politics of subversion in Chinese reportage, and the ambivalent status of the icon of paternity since Mao. At the same time this book offers a probing look into the transformation that Chinese culture as well as the study of that culture is currently undergoing, it also reconfirms private discourse as an ideal site for an investigation into a real and imaginary, private and collective encounter with history.
Contributors. Liu Kang, Xiaobing Tang, Liu Zaifu, Stephen Chan, Lydia H. Liu, Wendy Larson, Theodore Huters, David Wang, Tonglin Lu, Yingjin Zhang, Yuejin Wang, Li Tuo, Leo Ou-fan Lee
In The Promise of the Foreign, Vicente L. Rafael argues that translation was key to the emergence of Filipino nationalism in the nineteenth century. Acts of translation entailed technics from which issued the promise of nationhood. Such a promise consisted of revising the heterogeneous and violent origins of the nation by mediating one’s encounter with things foreign while preserving their strangeness. Rafael examines the workings of the foreign in the Filipinos’ fascination with Castilian, the language of the Spanish colonizers. In Castilian, Filipino nationalists saw the possibility of arriving at a lingua franca with which to overcome linguistic, regional, and class differences. Yet they were also keenly aware of the social limits and political hazards of this linguistic fantasy.
Through close readings of nationalist newspapers and novels, the vernacular theater, and accounts of the 1896 anticolonial revolution, Rafael traces the deep ambivalence with which elite nationalists and lower-class Filipinos alike regarded Castilian. The widespread belief in the potency of Castilian meant that colonial subjects came in contact with a recurring foreignness within their own language and society. Rafael shows how they sought to tap into this uncanny power, seeing in it both the promise of nationhood and a menace to its realization. Tracing the genesis of this promise and the ramifications of its betrayal, Rafael sheds light on the paradox of nationhood arising from the possibilities and risks of translation. By repeatedly opening borders to the arrival of something other and new, translation compels the nation to host foreign presences to which it invariably finds itself held hostage. While this condition is perhaps common to other nations, Rafael shows how its unfolding in the Philippine colony would come to be claimed by Filipinos, as would the names of the dead and their ghostly emanations.
R. K. Narayan, author of more than a dozen novels and numerous short stories, is a writer of international stature. Only recently, however, has he received the critical attention that is his due.
This lucid and often eloquent study provides both new and devoted Narayan readers with an introduction to his life and work. William Walsh, who makes generous and apt use of quotations from Narayan's work, traces Narayan's artistic development and brings into clear relief the qualities that characterize his fiction: gentle irony, humor, and a tolerance of human foibles. Both a criticism and an appreciation, this work will prove valuable to those already acquainted with this delightful and important novelist and will lead others to his work for the first time.
Sonia Ryang casts new light on the study of North Korean culture and society by reading literary texts as sources of ethnographic data. Ryang focuses critical attention on three central themes—love, war, and self—that reflect the nearly complete overlap of the personal, social, and political realms in North Korean society.
Throughout India and Southeast Asia, ancient classical epics—the Mahabharata and the Ramayana—continue to exert considerable cultural influence. Rethinking India's Oral and Classical Epics offers an unprecedented exploration into South Asia's regional epic traditions.
Using his own fieldwork as a starting point, Alf Hiltebeitel analyzes how the oral tradition of the south Indian cult of the goddess Draupadi and five regional martial oral epics compare with one another and tie in with the Sanskrit epics. Drawing on literary theory and cultural studies, he reveals the shared subtexts of the Draupadi cult Mahabharata and the five oral epics, and shows how the traditional plots are twisted and classical characters reshaped to reflect local history and religion. In doing so, Hiltebeitel sheds new light on the intertwining oral traditions of medieval Rajput military culture, Dalits ("former Untouchables"), and Muslims.
Breathtaking in scope, this work is indispensable for those seeking a deeper understanding of South Asia's Hindu and Muslim traditions.
This work is the third volume in Hiltebeitel's study of the Draupadi cult. Other volumes include Mythologies: From Gingee to Kuruksetra (Volume One), On Hindu Ritual and the Goddess (Volume Two), and Rethinking the Mahabharata (Volume Four).
Pad thai, pho, bao: the cuisines of Southeast Asia have ardent enthusiasts far beyond their native lands, and are now among the most-consumed dishes in the world. But the familiar take-out menus and thriving storefronts rest atop a compelling history of food, culture, and modernity. Award-winning photographer and writer Michael Freeman now offers here an all-encompassing guide to the cuisines of eight Southeast Asian countries.
Ricelands takes the reader on a colorful and engaging tour of these popular tourist destinations through the richly layered cultures surrounding the various food traditions. Traveling across the landscapes of Thailand, Vietnam, Burma, Cambodia, Malaysia, Laos, Indonesia, and the Philippines, Freeman explores the origins of their respective cuisines, the defining characteristics of authentic dishes, and the evolution of the cuisines as they entered foreign cultures. From birds’ nests gathered in Thailand’s coastal caves to the less familiar dishes of Burma and Cambodia to the pungent durian fruit (and Westerners’ often aghast reactions), the author unearths unexpected treasures and tantalizing facts about Southeast Asia and its social history. The book also examines the cooking techniques, complex spices, and agricultural economies that underpin the countries’ food cultures, and considers how the informal nature of Southeast Asian eating fits into the rhythms of modern-day living.
Vibrantly illustrated and elegantly conceived, Ricelands takes us into the heart of tropical Asia and the delicious foods that define it the world over.
What do twentieth-century fictional images of the Chinese reveal about the construction of nationhood in the former West Indian colonies? In her groundbreaking interdisciplinary work, Searching for Mr. Chin, Anne-Marie Lee-Loy seeks to map and understand a cultural process of identity formation: “Chineseness” in the West Indies.
Reading behind the stereotypical image of the Chinese in the West Indies, she compares fictional representations of Chinese characters in Jamaica, Trinidad, and Guyana to reveal the social and racial hierarchies present in literature by popular authors such as V.S. Naipaul and Samuel Selvon, as well as lesser known writers and hard to access literary texts.
Using historical, discursive, and theoretical frameworks for her literary analysis, Lee-Loy shows how the unstable and ambiguous “belonging” afforded to this “middleman minority” speaks to the ways in which narrative boundaries of the nation are established. In addition to looking at how Chinese have been viewed as “others,” Lee-Loy examines self-representations of “Chineseness” and how they complicate national narratives of belonging.
With Sensuous Surfaces, Jonathan Hay offers one of the most richly illustrated and in-depth introductions to the decorative arts of Ming and Qing dynasty China to date. Examining an immense number of works, he explores the materials and techniques, as well as the effects of patronage and taste, that together have formed a loose system of informal rules that define the decorative arts in early modern China.
Hay demonstrates how this system—by engaging the actual and metaphorical potential of surface—guided the production and use of decorative arts from the late sixteenth century through the middle of the nineteenth, a period of explosive growth. He shows how the understanding of decorative arts made a fundamental contribution to the sensory education of China’s early modern urban population. Enriching his study with 280 color plates, he ultimately offers an elegant meditation, not only on Ming and Qing art but on the importance of the erotic in the form and function of decorations of all eras.
During the Edo period in eighteenth-century Japan, erotic paintings and prints known today as shunga were popular among both men and women. Yet, prior to Tim Screech’s definitive study, Sex and the Floating World, no one had attempted to situate these overtly sexual images within the contexts of the sexual, gender, or class tensions of the time.
Newly revised and expanded, this second edition of Sex and the Floating World examines how and why these images were made and used. Along the way, Screech illuminates a provocative world of sexual fantasy in Edo Japan.
‘With concern, proportion, wit and a bit of levity, the author of this authoritative and invaluable contribution to scholarship has given us the book for which we have long waited.”—JapanTimes
“Screech provides a fascinating and informative introduction to the social and sexual habits of pre-modern Japan, copiously illustrated and full of witty anecdotes as well as solid scholarly research. The ideal bedtime read?”—Insight Japan
The Shiga Hero
William F. Sibley University of Chicago Press, 1979 Library of Congress PL816.H5Z846 | Dewey Decimal 895.634
Shiga Naoya (1883-1971), one of Japan's foremost modern writers, is known primarily for his spare, intense short stories. Highly subjective, Shiga's work belongs to the genre of "personal" or "psychological" fiction; much of his raw material is rooted in his own inner experience. His incisive style and disregard of the formal aspects of fiction present a vision of the world that is at times "primitive" and archetypal. Shiga relentlessly explores the vision through the viewpoint of a single central character who appears in almost all his works.
Sibley unifies Shiga's sparse, fragmented narratives by reconstructing the cyclical biography of this imaginary hero. Through an analysis of Shiga's psychoanalytic and mythopoetic approach to fiction, Sibley develops a useful model for the study of personal writers.
In recreating the life of Shiga's hero, Sibley uncovers a close link between the fictional hero and Shiga himself. Sibley finds an important part of Shiga's purpose as a writer was to "psychoanalyze" himself by projecting various personal problems onto this fictional alter ego.
Ten newly translated stories complement Sibley's analysis of Shiga's work. In this second part of the book, one encounters Shiga's hero at various stages of development: as a child facing the early loss of his mother and an uneasy relationship with his cold, distant father; as an adolescent encountering death and punishment; and as an adult searching for solace in solitary contemplation of life. Shiga renders these experiences through a highly textured prose and symbolic vocabulary. Sibley's integral text makes this major Japanese writer accessible to readers of English for the first time in a fascinating and original way.
Maeda Ai was a prominent literary critic and an influential public intellectual in late-twentieth-century Japan. Text and the City is the first book of his work to appear in English. A literary and cultural critic deeply engaged with European critical thought, Maeda was a brilliant, insightful theorist of modernity for whom the city was the embodiment of modern life. He conducted a far-reaching inquiry into changing conceptions of space, temporality, and visual practices as they gave shape to the city and its inhabitants. James A. Fujii has assembled a selection of Maeda’s essays that question and explore the contours of Japanese modernity and resonate with the concerns of literary and cultural studies today.
Maeda remapped the study of modern Japanese literature and culture in the 1970s and 1980s, helping to generate widespread interest in studying mass culture on the one hand and marginalized sectors of modern Japanese society on the other. These essays reveal the broad range of Maeda’s cultural criticism. Among the topics considered are Tokyo; utopias; prisons; visual media technologies including panoramas and film; the popular culture of the Edo, Meiji, and contemporary periods; maps; women’s magazines; and women writers. Integrally related to these discussions are Maeda’s readings of works of Japanese literature including Matsubara Iwagoro’s In Darkest Tokyo, Nagai Kafu’s The Fox, Higuchi Ichiyo’s Growing Up, Kawabata Yasunari’s The Crimson Gang of Asakusa, and Narushima Ryuhoku’s short story “Useless Man.” Illuminating the infinitely rich phenomena of modernity, these essays are full of innovative, unexpected connections between cultural productions and urban life, between the text and the city.
Theatres of Independence is the first comprehensive study of drama, theatre, and urban performance in post-independence India. Combining theatre history with theoretical analysis and literary interpretation, Aparna Dharwadker examines the unprecedented conditions for writing and performance that the experience of new nationhood created in a dozen major Indian languages and offers detailed discussions of the major plays, playwrights, directors, dramatic genres, and theories of drama that have made the contemporary Indian stage a vital part of postcolonial and world theatre.The first part of Dharwadker's study deals with the new dramatic canon that emerged after 1950 and the variety of ways in which plays are written, produced, translated, circulated, and received in a multi-lingual national culture. The second part traces the formation of significant postcolonial dramatic genres from their origins in myth, history, folk narrative, sociopolitical experience, and the intertextual connections between Indian, European, British, and American drama. The book's ten appendixes collect extensive documentation of the work of leading playwrights and directors, as well as a record of the contemporary multilingual performance histories of major Indian, Western, and non-Western plays from all periods and genres. Treating drama and theatre as strategically interrelated activities, the study makes post-independence Indian theatre visible as a multifaceted critical subject to scholars of modern drama, comparative theatre, theatre history, and the new national and postcolonial literatures.
In Things Fall Away, Neferti X. M. Tadiar offers a new paradigm for understanding politics and globalization. Her analysis illuminates both the power of Filipino subaltern experience to shape social and economic realities and the critical role of the nation’s writers and poets in that process. Through close readings of poems, short stories, and novels brought into conversation with scholarship in anthropology, sociology, politics, and economics, Tadiar demonstrates how the devalued experiences of the Philippines’ vast subaltern populations—experiences that “fall away” from the attention of mainstream and progressive accounts of the global capitalist present—help to create the material conditions of social life that feminists, urban activists, and revolutionaries seek to transform. Reading these “fallout” experiences as vital yet overlooked forms of political agency, Tadiar offers a new and provocative analysis of the unrecognized productive forces at work in global trends such as the growth of migrant domestic labor, the emergence of postcolonial “civil society,” and the “democratization” of formerly authoritarian nations.
Tadiar treats the historical experiences articulated in feminist, urban protest, and revolutionary literatures of the 1960s–90s as “cultural software” for the transformation of dominant social relations. She considers feminist literature in relation to the feminization of labor in the 1970s, when between 300,000 and 500,000 prostitutes were working in the areas around U.S. military bases, and in the 1980s and 1990s, when more than five million Filipinas left the country to toil as maids, nannies, nurses, and sex workers. She reads urban protest literature in relation to authoritarian modernization and crony capitalism, and she reevaluates revolutionary literature’s constructions of the heroic revolutionary subject and the messianic masses, probing these social movements’ unexhausted cultural resources for radical change.
In the first book-length study of Vietnamese American literature, Isabelle Thuy Pelaud probes the complexities of Vietnamese American identity and politics. She provides an analytical introduction to the literature, showing how generational differences play out in genre and text. In addition, she asks, can the term Vietnamese American be disassociated from representations of the war without erasing its legacy?
Pelaud delineates the historical, social, and cultural terrains of the writing as well as the critical receptions and responses to them. She moves beyond the common focus on the Vietnam war to develop an interpretive framework that integrates post-colonialism with the multi-generational refugee, immigrant, and transnational experiences at the center of Vietnamese American narratives.
Her readings of key works, such as Andrew Pham's Catfish and Mandala and Lan Cao's Monkey Bridge show how trauma, racism, class and gender play a role in shaping the identities of Vietnamese American characters and narrators.
An exciting analysis of the myriad literary effects of Tiananmen, Belinda Kong's Tiananmen Fictions Outside the Square is the first full-length study of fictions related to the 1989 movement and massacre. More than any other episode in recent world history, Tiananmen has brought a distinctly politicized Chinese literary diaspora into stark relief.
Kong redefines Tiananmen's meaning from an event that ended in local political failure to one that succeeded in producing a vital dimension of contemporary transnational writing today. She spotlights key writers-Gao Xingjian, Ha Jin, Annie Wang, and Ma Jian-who have written and published about the massacre from abroad. Their outsider/distanced perspectives inform their work, and reveal how diaspora writers continually reimagine Tiananmen's relevance to the post-1989 world at large.
Compelling us to think about how Chinese culture, identity, and politics are being defined in the diaspora, Tiananmen Fictions Outside the Square candidly addresses issues of political exile, historical trauma, global capital, and state biopower.
China’s most outrageous character—the magical Monkey who battles a hundred monsters—returns to the fray in this seventeenth-century sequel to the Buddhist novel Journey to the West. In The Tower of Myriad Mirrors, he defends his claim to enlightenment against a villain who induces hallucinations that take Monkey into the past, to heaven and hell, and even through a sex change. The villain turns out to be the personification of his own desires, aroused by his penetration of a female adversary’s body in Journey to the West.
The Tower of Myriad Mirrors is the only novel of Tung Yüeh (1620–1686), a monk and Confucian scholar. Tung picks up the slapstick of the original tale and overlays it with Buddhist theory and bitter satire of the Ming government’s capitulation to the Manchus. After a nod to Journey’s storyteller format, Tung carries Monkey’s quest into an evocation of shifting psychological states rarely found in premodern fiction. An important though relatively unknown link in the development of the Chinese novel, and a window into late Ming intellectual history, The Tower of Myriad Mirrors further rewards by being a wonderful read.
The world of traditional Chinese drama can be at once fascinating and bewildering to the uninitiated Western observer. Attuned to his own dramatic conventions, he is hard put to apprehend the delicate fusion of poetry, music, and subtle gesture which is the essence of Chinese theatre. Because of these difficulties, the task of translating traditional Chinese drama must go far beyond the conventional literary treatment and evoke the entire world of stagecraft and directing.
Longing for Worldly Pleasures (Ssu Fan) is a lyric monologue in which a young Buddhist laments the waning of her youth in the seclusion of the convent. The brief piece involves a complexity of mood which makes it an actor’s tour de force, undertaken only by the most highly skilled performers.
Fifteen Strings of Cash (Shih Wu Kuan), a much longer play, is a comic murder mystery satirizing bureaucratic ineptitude in the administration of justice. The comic lead role of Lou the Rat is a virtuoso part which illustrates the intricate mimetic art of the traditional comic actor and was the play’s main appeal to Chinese audiences.
In a groundbreaking approach to avant-garde Chinese art, the 1999 exhibition "Transience: Chinese Experimental Art at the End of the Twentieth Century" established a historical framework for current artistic production in China. Organized by the David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago, the show and its catalog highlighted the diverse responses of twenty-two artists to Chinas recent history and current social transformation.
These detailed essays on the artists and their works are now available in a revised edition of the exhibition catalog. Written by Wu Hung, a leading authority and the curator of the exhibit, Transience explores contemporary Chinese art through the themes of demystification, ruins, and transience, and represents an original perspective in the continuing discussion on Chinese experimental art.
Treacherous Subjects is a provocative and thoughtful examination of Vietnamese films and literature viewed through a feminist lens. Lan Duong investigates the postwar cultural productions of writers and filmmakers, including Tony Bui, Trinh T. Minh-ha, and Tran Anh Hung.
Taking her cue from the double meaning of "collaborator," Duong shows how history has shaped the loyalties and shifting alliances of the Vietnamese, many of whom are caught between opposing/constricting forces of nationalism, patriarchy, and communism. Working at home and in France and the United States, the artists profiled in Treacherous Subjects have grappled with the political and historic meanings of collaboration. These themes, which probe into controversial issues of family and betrayal, figure heavily in fictions such as the films The Scent of Green Papaya and Surname Viet Given Name Nam.
As writers and filmmakers collaborate, Duong suggests that they lay the groundwork for both transnational feminist politics and queer critiques of patriarchy.
The tumultuous last decades of British colonialism in India were catalyzed by more than the work of Mahatma Gandhi and violent conflicts. The concurrent upheavals in Western art driven by the advent of modernism provided Indian artists in post-1920 India a powerful tool of colonial resistance. Distinguished art historian Partha Mitter now explores in this brilliantly illustrated study this lesser known facet of Indian art and history.
Taking the 1922 Bauhaus exhibition in Calcutta as the debut of European modernism in India, The Triumph of Modernism probes the intricate interplay of Western modernism and Indian nationalism in the evolution of colonial-era Indian art. Mitter casts his gaze across a myriad of issues, including the emergence of a feminine voice in Indian art, the decline of “oriental art,” and the rise of naturalism and modernism in the 1920s. Nationalist politics also played a large role, from the struggle of artists in reconciling Indian nationalism with imperial patronage of the arts to the relationship between primitivism and modernism in Indian art. An engagingly written study anchored by 150 lush reproductions, The Triumph of Modernism will be essential reading for scholars of art, British studies, and Indian history.
Focusing on the historical and contemporary narration of the Partition of India, Violent Belongings examines transnational South Asian culture from 1947 onwards. Spanning the Indian subcontinent and its diasporas in the United Kingdom and the United States, it asks how postcolonial/diasporic literature (eg., Rushdie, Mistry, Sidwa and Lahiri), Bollywood film, personal testimonies and journalism represent the violence, migration and questions of national belonging unleashed by that pivotal event during which two million people died and sixteen million were displaced.
In addition to challenging the official narratives of independence and Partition, these narratives challenge our contemporary understanding of gender and ethnicity in history and politics. Violent Belongings argues that both male and female bodies, and heterosexual coupledom, became symbols of the nation in public life. In the newly independent Indian nation both men and women were transformed into ideal citizens or troubling bodies, immigrants or refugees, depending on whether they were ethnically Hindu, Muslim, Jewish or Sikh. The divisions set in motion during Partition continue into our own time and account for ethnic violence in South Asia.
Glimpses of village life during a tumultuous period of Thai history
Set in northern Thailand during the mid-1970s, the stories in this collection capture a period of dramatic social and economic change. Amidst a setting of marketplaces and paddyfields, lemon trees and leaf-roofed houses, these vignettes offer revealing insights into the daily lives of ordinary villagers and hillspeople struggling to survive.
In the period between the 1920s and 1940s, a genre emerged in Chinese literature that would reveal crucial contradictions in Chinese culture that still exist today. At a time of intense political conflict, Chinese women began to write autobiography, a genre that focused on personal identity and self-exploration rather than the national, collective identity that the country was championing.
When “I” Was Born: Women’s Autobiography in Modern China reclaims the voices of these particular writers, voices that have been misinterpreted and overlooked for decades. Tracing women writers as they move from autobiographical fiction, often self-revelatory and personal, to explicit autobiographies that focused on women’s roles in public life, Jing M. Wang reveals the factors that propelled this literary movement, the roles that liberal translators and their renditions of Western life stories played, and the way in which these women writers redefined writing and gender in the stories they told. But Wang reveals another story as well: the evolving history and identity of women in modern Chinese society. When “I” Was Born adds to a growing body of important work in Chinese history and culture, women’s studies, and autobiography in a global context.
Writers discussed include Xie Bingying, Zhang Ailing, Yu Yinzi, Fei Pu, Lu Meiyen, Feng Heyi, Ye Qian, Bai Wei, Shi Wen, Fan Xiulin, Su Xuelin, and Lu Yin.
What can we do about China? Gloria Davies pursues this inquiry through a wide range of contemporary topics, including the changing fortunes of radicalism, the peculiarities of Chinese postmodernism, shifts within official discourse, attempts to revive Confucianism for present-day China, and the historically problematic engagement of Chinese intellectuals with Western ideas.
From Einstein and Truman to Sartre and Derrida, many have declared the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to be decisive events in human history. None, however, have more acutely understood or perceptively critiqued the consequences of nuclear war than Japanese writers. In this first complete study of the nuclear theme in Japanese intellectual and artistic life, John Whittier Treat shows how much we have to learn from Japanese writers and artists about the substance and meaning of the nuclear age.
Treat recounts the controversial history of Japanese public discourse around Hiroshima and Nagasaki—a discourse alternatively celebrated and censored—from August 6, 1945, to the present day. He includes works from the earliest survivor writers, including Hara Tamiki and Ota Yoko, to such important Japanese intellectuals today as Oe Kenzaburo and Oda Makoto. Treat argues that the insights of Japanese writers into the lessons of modern atrocity share much in common with those of Holocaust writers in Europe and the practitioners of recent poststructuralist nuclear criticism in America. In chapters that take up writers as diverse as Hiroshima poets, Tokyo critics, and Nagasaki women novelists, he explores the implications of these works for critical, literary, and cultural theory.
Treat summarizes the Japanese contribution to such ongoing international debates as the crisis of modern ethics, the relationship of experience to memory, and the possibility of writing history. This Japanese perspective, Treat shows, both confirms and amends many of the assertions made in the West on the shift that the death camps and nuclear weapons have jointly signaled for the modern world and for the future.
Writing Ground Zero will be read not only by students of Japan, but by all readers concerned with the fate of culture after the fact of nuclear war in our time.
Writing Taiwan is the first volume in English to examine the entire span of modern Taiwan literature, from the first decades of the twentieth century to the present. In this collection, leading literary scholars based in Taiwan and the United States consider prominent Taiwanese authors and works in genres including poetry, travel writing, and realist, modernist, and postmodern fiction. The diversity of Taiwan literature is signaled by the range of authors treated, including Yang Chichang, who studied Japanese literature in Tokyo in the early 1930s and wrote all of his own poetry and fiction in Japanese; Li Yongping, an ethnic Chinese born in Malaysia and educated in Taiwan and the United States; and Liu Daren, who was born in mainland China and effectively exiled from Taiwan in the 1970s on account of his political activism.
Because the island of Taiwan spent the first half of the century as a colony of Japan and the second half in an umbilical relationship to China, its literature challenges basic assumptions about what constitutes a “national literature.” Several contributors directly address the methodological and epistemological issues involved in writing about “Taiwan literature.” Other contributors investigate the cultural and political grounds from which specific genres and literary movements emerged. Still others explore themes of history and memory in Taiwan literature and tropes of space and geography, looking at representations of boundaries as well as the boundary-crossing global flows of commodities and capital. Like Taiwan’s history, modern Taiwan literature is rife with conflicting legacies and impulses. Writing Taiwan reveals a sense of its richness and diversity to English-language readers.
Contributors. Yomi Braester, Sung-sheng Yvonne Chang, Fangming Chen, Lingchei Letty Chen, Chaoyang Liao, Ping-hui Liao, Joyce C. H. Liu, Kim-chu Ng, Carlos Rojas, Xiaobing Tang, Ban Wang, David Der-wei Wang, Gang Gary Xu, Michelle Yeh, Fenghuang Ying