Magazine article Chinese Literature Today

Creative Connections across Sinological Boundaries

Magazine article Chinese Literature Today

Creative Connections across Sinological Boundaries

Article excerpt

Few scholars in Chinese studies are as ubiquitous as Christopher Lupke. Whether one were to attend the annual meeting of any number of associations-the Association of Asian Studies, the Modern Language Association, the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association, the American Literary Translators Association, the North American Taiwan Studies Association, the Association of Chinese and Comparative Literature, the Chinese Language Teachers Association, the European Association of Chinese Studies, or a general symposia on contemporary cultural luminaries-one would be likely to find Professor Lupke presenting, organizing panels, agitating for greater recognition of Chinese (and Asian) studies in academia, sharing ideas with peers, and providing career advice to many a young scholar. It is not an overstatement to say that Professor Lupke is a true academic leader, an organizer par excellence. Lupke's steadfast work to strengthen the framework upon which sinology depends should stand as a reminder that service remains at the heart of every vital and energized discipline.

While Lupke's leadership distinguishes him in the field, readers have likely also come across many of his contributions to leading journals and seminal volumes on Chinese literary and film studies, or his translations of Chinese fiction, poetry, and academic prose. For instance, his masterful and definitive The Sinophone Cinema of Hou Hsiao-hsien: Culture, Style, Voice and Motion is a painstaking and meticulous chronicle and analysis of Hou's entire oeuvre (give or take a few films). The volume is deeply informed and rigorous in its scholarship while remaining accessible and engaging. It stands to be the essential handbook and guide to all things Hou for the foreseeable future. Its publication in 2016 marked the twenty-fifth year of Professor Lupke's publications in the field of Taiwan studies, for which he has been an ardent advocate, promoter, and participant.

Lupke's scholarship has been a major force in the field of Taiwan studies, but his copious translations of poetry, fiction, and historical and theoretical essays about Taiwan may prove to have the widest impact. This will almost certainly be the case when his translations-each accompanied by a critical introduction-of the novel Setting Moon and A History of Taiwan Literature arrive in print. Setting Moon, published in 1956 by the prolific mainland-born author Peng Ge ..., drew the attention of well-known scholar T. A. Hsia, who singled it out for criticism on many points, while also finding it a noteworthy literary effort, especially in its valiant approximation of a psychological novel. Situated at the nexus of anti-communist literature of the 1950s, the Taiwan modernist literature movement, and then-nascent psychological and (ostensibly) feminist fiction (it is written from the first-person perspective of an actress looking back on her life), this popular novel has yet to garner much attention in the Anglophone scholarship on Taiwan and sinophone literature. The novel represents a number of key historical and literary historical issues with a unique style, readability, and an engaging narrative, making it a major contribution to the growing body of English-language translations of Taiwan novels. A History of Taiwan Literature is Ye Shitao's . …

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