Twentieth-Century Literary Encounters in China : Modernism, Travel, and Form

Research output: Scholarly Books, Monographs, Reports and Case Studies (RGC: 11, 13, 14, 48, 49)11_Research book or monograph (Author)peer-review

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Original languageEnglish
PublisherRoutledge
Number of pages172
ISBN (Electronic)9780367815400
ISBN (Print)9780367415983
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameRoutledge Studies in Twentieth-Century Literature
Volume68

Abstract

From the travel writing of the eccentric plant collector and Reginald Farrer, to Emily Hahn’s insider depictions of bohemian life in semi-colonial Shanghai, to Ezra Pound’s mediated ‘journeys’ to Southwest China via the explorer Joseph Rock – Anglo-American representations of China during the first half of the twentieth century were often unconventional in terms of style, form, and content. By examining a range of texts that were written in the flux of travel – including poems, novels, autobiographies – this study argues that the tumultuous social and political context of China’s Republican Period (1912-49) was a key setting for conceptualizing cultural modernity in global and transnational terms. In contrast with accounts that examine China’s influence on Western modernism through language, translation, and discourse, the book recovers a materialist engagement with landscapes, objects, and things as transcribed through travel, ethnographic encounter, and embodied experience. The book is organized by three themes which suggest formal strategies through which notions cultural modernity were explored or contested: borderlands, cosmopolitan performances, and mobile poetics. As it draws from archival sources in order to develop these themes, this study offers a place-based historical perspective on China’s changing status in Western literary cultures.

Citation Format(s)

Twentieth-Century Literary Encounters in China : Modernism, Travel, and Form. / Mather, Jeffrey.

Routledge, 2020. 172 p. (Routledge Studies in Twentieth-Century Literature; Vol. 68).

Research output: Scholarly Books, Monographs, Reports and Case Studies (RGC: 11, 13, 14, 48, 49)11_Research book or monograph (Author)peer-review