Hundred Days’ Literature
Chinese Utopian Fiction at the End of Empire, 1902–1910
New Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in East Asian StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Intellectual HistoryNew Books in Literary StudiesNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books Network July 8, 2019 Victoria Lupascu
In Hundred Days’ Literature, Chinese Utopian Fiction at the End of Empire, 1902–1910 (Brill, 2019), Lorenzo Andolfatto explores the landscape of early modern Chinese fiction through the lens of the utopian novel, casting new light on some of its most peculiar yet often overshadowed literary specimens. The wutuobang or lixiang xiaoshuo, by virtue of its ideally totalizing perspective, provides a one-of-a-kind critical tool for the understanding of late imperial China’s fragmented Zeitgeist. Building upon rigorous close reading and solid theoretical foundations, Hundred Days’ Literature offers the reader a transcultural critical itinerary that links Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward to Wu Jianren’s Xin Shitou ji via the writings of Liang Qichao, Chen Tianhua, Bihe Guanzhuren, and Lu Shi’e. The book also includes the first English translation of Cai Yuanpei’s short story “New Year’s Dream.”
The completion of this book has benefitted from Lorenzo joining the collaborative research project “East Asian Uses of the European Past” supported by the HERA network and led by Professor Joachim Kurtz.