Chinese Literature Today

Articles from Vol. 1, No. 1, Summer

A Sense of Reality
(ProQuest: ... denotes non-US-ASCII text omitted.)1. My GrandmaMy grandma coughs, waking a thousand roosters.A thousand roosters crow, waking ten thousand people.Ten thousand people walk out of the village, with the roosters in the villagestill crowing.The...
Asking the Boundless Land
Cao Zhenglu. Asking the Boundless Land. Fiction. Beijing. The People's Literature Publishing House. 2009. 385 pages. 21 RMB. ISBN 9787020068814The title phrase "asking the boundless land" originated in one of Mao Zedong's poems, in which Mao wrote: "I...
A Writer Has a Nationality, but Literature Has No Boundary
Respected Mr. President, ladies, and gentlemen,China has as its most fundamental situation a huge population.And large populations produce large numbers of writers, which may also constitute a fundamental attribute of China.In the history of the Frankfurt...
Beijing Voices
I. The Experimental Voice of HeterodoxyIn the early 1980s China underwent rapid social transformations and Chinese literature found that in the face of these unprecedented widespread social and individual changes, its voice was changing-it had to relearn...
Bi Feiyu's Voice
In Bi Feiyu's novels, there is an obvious but seldom fully elaborated desire: that the narrator or the writer could guide readers to notice him, to listen to him with rapt attention. He seems keenly aware that it is difficult if not impossible for a...
Body-Writing: Shanghai Baby's Love Affair with Transnational Capitalism
When Shanghai Baby was published in September 1999 in China, the impact of the book was so powerful that its author Wei Hui became famous overnight.1 The book was reportedly recalled and banned from the market by the government, due to both the book's...
Can Xue Interview
I first met Can Xue in April 2009 at the reading for her newly published novel Five Spice Street at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. Can Xue, whose pseudonym means "the dirty snow that refuses to melt," and I had already been in correspondence after...
Chrysanthemum Lanterns Float By
(ProQuest: ... denotes non-US-ASCII text omitted.)Chrysanthemums float by one by onein the night in the surrounding stillnessAmong layered voices of children on the riverbankchrysanthemums fade fade into bird shadowsChildren float by carrying lanternsIn...
Discovery
(ProQuest: ... denotes non-US-ASCII text omitted.)even ants are afraid of the darkeven stones suffer from insomniaeven the moonlight is polluted so our shadows are blurryeven the mountaintops grow as if they were brewing fissureseven the Great Tang Dynasty...
Disguise
(ProQuest: ... denotes non-US-ASCII text omitted.)(When I lick a hole in the paper window this bathroom fills my eyes)I see a womandoing some thingsShe opens her eyes wide lets her hair downFacing the mirror she uses a sea spongeto scrub her entire bodyas...
Editor's Note
(ProQuest: ... denotes non-US-ASCII text omitted.)As the world enters what many have already begun calling the Pacific Era, it is more important than ever for Westerners to gain a better understanding of Chinese culture, history, and perspectives. Chinese...
Eileen Chang and the Fall of the Pagoda
(ProQuest: ... denotes non-US-ASCII text omitted.)In 1938 the Shanghai Evening Post, an Englishlanguage newspaper, published an essay entitled "What a Life! What a Girl's Life!"1 The author was an eighteen-year-old Chinese girl by the name Eileen Chang...
Empty Mountain
Alai. Empty Mountain. Fiction. Beijing. The People's Literature Publishing House. 2009. ix + 661 pages. 55 RMB. isbn 9787020051793Tibet and Tibetan culture are featured prominently in the fiction of Alai. As China moves toward modernization, his works...
Escaping Alone
Without having to look in all directions yourfragrance will float out everywhere If you wantto escape alone an assassin will arrive hereWhen your body is light and longing for flight there's no needto cut off the wings of birdsand no need to be right...
Every Word Counts
Liu Zhenyun. Every Word Counts. Fiction. Wuhan. Changjiang Literature and Art Publishing House. 2009. ix + 362 pages. 29.80 RMB. isbn 9787535439765In recent years, novelist Liu Zhenyun has devoted himself largely to examinations of human communication...
Gender and Theater: Changing Images of Women on the Chinese Stage
The traditional Chinese theater has long been a stronghold of feudal morality. In the Maoist era it became an arena where ideological battles were fought. Female characters in Chinese operas accordingly underwent a drastic transformation from virtuous...
Global Conference on Sinology, 2009
(ProQuest: ... denotes non-US-ASCII text omitted.)The Second World Conference on Sinology, sponsored by Renmin University and the Han Ban, ended with an unexpected surprise: While we knew the closing banquet would be held in an area of the Forbidden...
Human World: The White Snake Legend Recounted
Li Rui. Human World: The White Snake Legend Recounted. Myth Series. Fiction. Chongqing. Chongqing Publishing House. 2007. 159 pages. 22 RMB. ISBN 9787536685611Li Rui, a writer from Shanxi Province, is a unique figure in China's contemporary literary...
Ill Fortune U 20000
(ProQuest: ... denotes non-US-ASCII text omitted.)He forgives the countryside cock-a-doodle-doo and the darkness that has not yet receded at cock-a-doodle-doo.He forgives the primitive stone mill slat-board architecture unimproved upon since the Qin...
Little Aunt Tatsuru
Yan Geling. Little Aunt Tatsuru. Fiction. Beijing. The Writers' Publishing House. 2008. ix + 274 pages. 28 RMB. ISBN 9787506342490Little Aunt Tatsuru is an intriguing novel. Readers just can't help but develop an emotional bond with the heroine and hope...
Massage
(ProQuest: ... denotes non-US-ASCII text omitted.)Bi Feiyu. Massage. Fiction. Beijing. The People's Literature Publishing House. 2008. 325 pages. 20 RMB. isbn 9787020068258In recent years, Bi Feiyu has increasingly been recognized as an important young...
Memory Is Unreliable
The relationship between writing and memory is a delicate one, and intensely personal. What is the relationship between my writing and my memory? For starters, I do not believe memories or trust in any neutral relationship between my writing and my unreliable...
Mustard
Mr. Zheng, nicknamed "Mustard," was loaded. When he first visited a casino in the States, he was asked his name and simply shook his head with a blank look. Someone from the casino staff randomly gave him the English name "Jim," which he later transliterated...
Opening Up "Modern Chinese Literature": A Conversation with David Der-Wei Wang
(ProQuest: ... denotes non-US-ASCII text omitted.)Christopher G. Rea: How did you first become interested in literature?David Der-wei Wang: I had actually been quite interested in literature since high school, so it wasn't a difficult career choice for...
Paper Butterfly
Diane Wei Liang. Paper Butterfly. Fiction. New York. Simon & Schuster. 2009. 240 pages. $24.00. isbn 9781416549579Diane Wei Liang, mystery writer and business school professor, was born in Beijing in 1966, the year the Cultural Revolution began,...
Shanghai's Metropolitan Literature
The first half of the twentieth century, with the end of the Qing Dynasty and the beginning of the Republican Era, witnessed the golden age of Shanghai literature. The Mandarin Duck and Butterfly school, as exemplified by the work of Xu Zhenya, emerged...
The Birth, Rupture, and Death of Literary Shanghai
From the very way it is made and disseminated, "modern literature" implies an industrial product that is printed en-masse on paper in order to reach its market. In today's world it is still highly necessary to specify such features upfront. By doing...
The New Literature of the People: A Perspective on the Contemporary Chinese Literary Experience
Before we address the larger problem of discussing contemporary Chinese literature, we must examine an important paradox. Over a century of globalization has already incorporated the Chinese literary experience so that it has become just one part of...
The Political Discourse of Empires: The Invention of Modern World Order
Liu He. The Political Discourse of Empires: The Invention of Modern World Order. Nonfiction. Beijing. Sdxjoint Publishing Company. 2009. 3 + 4 + 6 + 344 pages. 38 RMB. isbn 9787108032492In the afterword of this Chinese version of The Clash of Empires:...
The Unhappiness of Old Master Guo
Old Master Guo awoke from his dreams as the bright sun shone in from the eastern skies. He stared at the bright red jinbei he now used as a cover and recalled the pompous affair of the seventieth birthday party that his three sons and two daughters had...
To Japan: Respect and Farewell
(ProQuest: ... denotes non-US-ASCII text omitted.)Zhang Chengzhi. To Japan: Respect and Farewell. Nonfiction. Beijing. China Friendship Publishing Company. 2009. 3 + 282 pages. 29.80 RMB. isbn 9787505725126The works of Zhang Chengzhi have been gaining...
Two Stories
The Weeping YangtzeAlways raining. Each of the few times I've been through Wuhan, I've met with this same endless, anxiety-provoking rain, usually because it's always been summer. Yet this time, it has been particularly irritating; we've waited three...
Wang Village and the World
I liked the ducks best. There were eighty-six of them. The production team leader gave them to me, every last one. He said to me specially, "Eighty-six, now, count them. More is fine. But not less." I couldn't count them, though. It's not that I can't...
Who Touches the Iron of the Age: On Zheng Xiaoqiong's Poetry
(ProQuest: ... denotes non-US-ASCII text omitted.)Inside the furnace singing iron, full of memoryIt's bass or treble, painful and piercing lifeIts dialect is draped in spring's fire and autumn's rainThis burning brilliance. . . .-Zheng Xiaoqiong, SingingAfter...
World Literature and China in a Global Age: Selected Papers of International Conference on "World Literature Today and China."
World Literature and China in a Global Age: Selected Papers of International Conference on "World Literature Today and China." Zhang Jian, Liu Hongtao, Zhang Qinghua, ed. Nonfiction. Beijing. China Social Sciences Press. 2010. 7 + 9 + 459 pages. 56 RMB....
XI Chuan
The professional career path of Xi Chuan follows his poetic development: gaining recognition first as one of the post-Obscure poets in the late '80s, his writing was defined by a condensed lyricism in the Western modernist mode. Today, he writes expansive...
Zhai Yongming
(ProQuest: ... denotes non-US-ASCII text omitted.)Zhai Yongming began publishing her poems in 1981 and soon established herself as one of the foremost poets in China. Her collection Woman, written in 1984 and first published in 1985, was credited with...
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