2022 Vol. 5, No. 2

The Accidental Facilitator: Xiao San's Outsized Role in Sino-Soviet Literary Exchanges
Katerina Clark
2022, 5(2): 7-27. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20225201
The language barrier was a recurrent impediment to realizing any literary international. In addition to this, there was also the problem of the lack of a common language in the more extended sense, of a lack of mutual cultural referents and tropes. Further obstacles to amalgamation were the very different writing systems in Asian countries, and widespread illiteracy, especially in Asia, which made it less realistic that throughout Eurasia leftists would be generating and reading common literary texts, let alone the masses. Despite these problems, in Europe and Soviet Russia many intellectuals strove to overcome language differences in the name of establishing a common culture. In the Soviet Union, in the initial and more internationalist post-revolutionary years, Soviet bodies and many intellectuals promoted what they called an "international language." Among the Soviet avant-garde, leading enthusiasts for internationalism were mostly also distinctly Euro-centric, although some of its members sought to include Asian languages in their messianic scenarios for a world literature. Nevertheless, during the interwar years something like a litintern did emerge, if in faltering fashion. It was most in evidence in the 1930s, when the need to unite the cultural forces of the left gained a new urgency. After the Nazi takeover in Germany in 1933, followed by the Spanish Civil War in 1936-39 and the SinoJapanese War of 1937-1945, writers all over the world were moved to join literary organizations linked with the Comintern. The author points out that China was obviously a particularly problematic case for melding its literatures with the Euro-Russian in a single literature, given the very different literary traditions of the two. A further complication is that the Chinese hieroglyphic writing system proved an impediment to spreading literacy, which was essential if the Chinese masses were to participate in the literary commons. Yet within Asia-and actually, as compared with European literatures as well-Chinese leftist literature came closest to fusing with the Russian Soviet. The article looks at the career of the figure who played an outsized role in bringing together the Soviet and Chinese leftist literatures, the Chinese poet and translator Xiao San 萧三(Xiao Zizhang 萧子暲, 1896-1983). It argues that-as is indicated in the name he adopted for himself in the early 1920s and used in the Soviet Union, Emi Xiao-Xiao identified with Émile Zola and sought to project for himself an identity as a writer and political activist;but even more consequential than his role as a writer per se proved to be the part he played as a broker between the Soviet and Chinese literary worlds.
Mu Xin's Tribute to Goethe
2022, 5(2): 28-38. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20225202
Mu Xin 木心(1927-2011) is a writer who constantly innovates by drawing on discourses and images of globality on an aesthetic scale. Through his flexible, ever changing touches, we see his extremely diversified visions of interest and unrestricted, superb writing style."Weimar in Early Spring," a prose poem, is Mu Xin's tribute to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and to the divine correspondence between human creativity and nature's creativity, which is a Goethean theme. The article briefly reviews Goethe's Faust and The Metamorphosis of Plants to explore Goethe's reflections on modernization and his philosophy of nature, which organically integrates his artistic sensibility and scientific sensibility. With the review of Goethe as a comparative foundation, the article further provides a detailed explication of "Weimar in Early Spring," with emphasis on its symmetrically balanced form, its cultivated whispering power, and the sacred aura of nature that celebrates a profound view of art as embodied by Goethe.
De-Anthropocentrism and Onto-Taxonomy: An Ecological View
Niki Young
2022, 5(2): 39-57. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20225203
There is little question that issues such as accelerating climate change, environmental degradation, rainforest depletion, and pollution have anthropogenic causes, and that these factors put the survival of the human species in jeopardy. In response to this, one often hears and reads about the urgent need to "save Mother Nature," or claims related to the fact that humans are ultimately "part of Nature" and therefore vulnerable to it. Arguably, these seemingly innocuous and tautological claims mask a precarious "onto-taxonomical" assumption, a term coined by Graham Harman in order to emphasise the broadly diffused tendency to postulate an a-priori difference between humans and nature. In this paper, I seek to achieve two specific goals:first, I consider Harman's underdeveloped yet important notion of "onto-taxonomy," framing it in relation to issues pertaining to anthropocentrism, the Anthropocene, and ecology. Second, I shall defend Harman's position against specific ecological criticisms of his philosophy in order to hold that Object-Oriented Philosophy(OOP) is in fact especially well-suited for a radical revaluation of ecological thinking more generally and our present state more specifically..
On the “Xingwei School” Novelists and Western Literature in the Early Republic of China
SUN Chao
2022, 5(2): 58-73. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20225204
During the May 4th Movement, "Xingwei School" novelists in the early Republic of China were regarded as the "old school" by the "new writers," which obviously obscured their open mentality towards Western literature. This open mentality is mainly manifested in three aspects. First, "Xingwei School" novelists in the early Republic of China highly valued the translation of Western novels. Most of them were directly engaged in it, and some were famous translators. They not only translated a large number of Western novels, but also used the mainstream newspapers they controlled to publish numerous translations of Western novels. They chose their objects of translation with interest, guided by the translation of short stories, and their method of translation is discussed in this article. Second, these novelists began to conduct relatively systematic comparative studies of Western novels and Chinese novels. They were keen to introduce to readers the situation of the Western novel world and famous works, and examine the characteristics, advantages and disadvantages of Chinese and Western novels with an equal attitude, and initially had the vision of a world literature. Third, these novelists actively learned from Western literature to create novels. They took the initiative to accept the concepts of Western novels, combined with the concept of "interest" in their own novels, and formed a new creative style of pursuing the aesthetics of interest;they extensively adopted Western novel techniques to promote new changes in the existing novel style and create a new style;and they absorbed a great deal of sustenance from Western novels, and created the most popular genre novels at that time by inheriting their own tradition. They also used the Western short story as a reference to promote the proliferation and modern transformation of domestic short story writing. In fact, even if learning from Western literature has always been deemed a new approach to literature, we should not forget to tear off the label of the "old school" from the "Xingwei School" novelists.
Soviet Dramatic Theory and Dramas on Stage in 1930s Shanghai
Mei Li Inouye
2022, 5(2): 74-100. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20225205
This paper examines left-wing dramatists'engagement with Soviet dramas and theories in their experiments to mobilize the Chinese people and modern-ize the Chinese nation during the 1930s in Shanghai.It asks how the incorporation of Soviet dramatic theories and the performance of Soviet works advanced left-wing dramatist agendas and laid the ground for later modern spoken drama and film re-forms.It demonstrates that prior to the first translation of Stanislavski into Chinese in 1943, Shanghaiyeyu juren xiehui上海业余剧人协会(the ShanghaiAmateur Drama-tists Association) under the direction of Zhang Min章泯(1907-1975) engaged with Soviet dramatic theories in their rehearsals and productions in the mid-to-late 1930s in Shanghai.Actors in this troupe translated Richard Boleslawski(Boleslavsky) (1889-1937)—a Polish director, teacher and actor and a student of Konstantin Stan-islavski(1863-1938)—into Chinese and wrote articles comparing themselves to characters such as Katerina from Alexander Nikolayevich Ostrovksy's(1823-1886) play The Storm and Dasha from Feodor Vasilyevich Gladkov's(1883-1958) play Cement.This paper contributes to the history of modern drama in China by exploring the Soviet connection to Chinese modern drama as early as the 1930s.
“Only Historians Can Assume the Role of Translator”: Analyzing the Style of Lin Shu's Posthumous Translation, Hengli diwu ji
DAI Yunfang
2022, 5(2): 101-118. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20225206
Leaving a profound mark on Chinese translation history, Lin Shu introduced a great number of foreign authors into China. Among them was Shakespeare, who occupied an important position. Notably, Lin's translations concerning the Bard were all rendered from tales adapted from Shakespeare's original works.While Yinbian yanyu《吟边燕语》, Lin's translation from the Lambs' Tales from Shakespeare, has enjoyed sustained attention from critics, his other works translated from Quiller-Couch's Historical Tales from Shakespeare have been largely dismissed. Hengli diwu ji《亨利第五纪》, Lin's posthumous translation from the tale of Henry V, is even less explored than other works. Aiming to throw light on this translated work, this article is divided into three parts:(1) Lin Shu followed the Chinese historian tradition, carrying on this tradition in Hengli diwu ji.(2) Lin Shu employed jizhuanti 纪传体(the style of historical biography) to translate Henry V.(3) Due to differences between the two rival poetics of Western and Chinese literatures, Lin Shu transplanted Europeanized vocabulary, syntax, images, and customs into his translation, marking a breakthrough in the style of historical biography. Lin's translated works were stamped with the mark of Chinese traditional poetics, and were also heavily influenced by foreign poetics. He not only insisted on the poetics established in China, but also brought in poetic innovations learned from foreign literatures. The analysis offers some perspectives for understanding how the translator's linguistic role and ideologies shaped the Chinese Shakespeare, and how the cultural values therein were re-presented in early twentieth-century China.
Between Gender and Genre: Tanci Texts at the Turn of the Twentieth Century
2022, 5(2): 119-145. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20225207
The genre of tanci 弹词has received increasing scholarly attention in recent years. Current research on tanci primarily focuses on full-length women-authored tanci fiction in late imperial China, when pre-modern gentry women thrived through composing tanci and reflected on their own experiences, thoughts, and feelings. Entering the twentieth century, women-authored tanci fiction gradually gave way to tanci written by male literati or intellectuals. By considering tanci as an inclusive and continuously evolving genre and directing our attention to a broader set of texts, this paper extends the research scope to explore the efforts to reform, revolutionize, and urbanize the genre in the modern era. This paper examines three groups of tanci writers and their texts:tanci writers before the mid-nineteenth century, particularly gentry women;late Qing tanci writers who advocated a strong nationalist theme;and tanci writers in the 1920s and 1930s whose works further commercialized the genre. This paper investigates the complexities of the interactions between literary genres and gender relations in particular by answering the following three integrated questions:Who were tanci writers? How did tanci writers of the new generation enrich the genre in the Republican period? And how did this old-fashioned genre help to(re) shape gender norms together with the emergence of capitalism?
De-anthropocentrism in the Contemporary Chinese and German Bildungsroman: Schalansky's The Giraffe's Neck and Wang Anyi's Anonym
ZHENG Jiaxin
2022, 5(2): 146-166. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20225208
The main plot line of the classical Bildungsroman is that the protagonist develops into a "universal man" by self-cultivation through his experiences in different fields of society, which corresponds to the idea of New Humanism and Enlightenment. German writer Schalansky's The Giraffe's Neck:Bildungsroman(2011) and Chinese writer Wang Anyi's 王安忆(1954-) Ni Ming《匿名》(Anonym, 2016) subvert the classical narrative mode of traditional Bildungsroman. Both novels describe the protagonist's "degeneration" process with an ending of failure, which represents the latest characteristics of contemporary Bildungsroman. This article compares the narrative characteristics of the two novels in terms of time structure, figure configuration and space writing. In this analysis, it discusses how the two writers reflect on the realistic validity of evolutionism and re-examine the historical view of Enlightenment and the ideal of New Humanism in different cultural contexts. Both novels use biological discourse to explain evolutionism, observe the history of civilization from the viewpoint of natural history and discuss the modernity problematic from the perspective of the history of philosophy. Both reveal the operation of modern human mechanisms in the place where some people are traditionally identified as "non-human" or "savage" and challenge the human ideals of the New Humanism through reference to animality. Furthermore, both writers write about "unhistorical history" by describing the survival plight of small historical figures in the crevices of civilization and inquire about history in a unique place of memory. In the criticism of the concept of civilization evolutionism, the standpoint presented in Anonym is more ambiguous than that in The Giraffe's Neck, which reflects the efforts of contemporary Chinese literature to seek cultural totality in the fragmented art world. This article attempts to use the genre of Bildungsroman as a platform for transcultural dialogue, so as to explore the aesthetic characteristics of Chinese Bildungsroman and to reflect on the validity and applicability of genre theory by textual criticism. Deciphering the "subjective myth" of Western literature also shows that the debate on the existence of Bildungsroman caused by the narrative characteristics of modern Bildungsroman actually highlights the inherent reflection mechanism of this genre and the paradox of modern subjectivity it embodies.
The “Baojuan Reciter” in the West: An Interview with Professor Wilt L.Idema
YAO Wei, Wilt L. Idema
2022, 5(2): 169-177. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20225209

From publishing the first research paper centered on Yingge Baojuan(The Precious Scroll of the Parrot) in 1999 to the recent translations of Wenshu Baojuan(The Precious Scroll of the Rat Epidemic), Foshuo Yangshi Guixiu Hongluo Huaxiange Baojuan(The Precious Scroll, as Preached by the Buddha, of Little Huaxian:How Woman Yang as a Ghost Embroidered Red Gauze), and Foshuo Wangzhongqing Dashisan Shoujin Baojuan(The Precious Scroll, as Preached by the Buddha, of the Handkerchief:How Wangzhongqing Lost Everything) in 2021, Wilt L. Idema has devoted himself to studies and translations of Baojuan for 22 years. With 24 volumes of Baojuan translations(including four selected translations), he has established himself as the chief Western translator in this genre. This interview was translated and reorganized based on e-mail drafts over 22 months(November 6, 2019 to September 23, 2021), involving translation motivation, material selection, translation strategies, publishing process, and the overseas dissemination of Idema's translations.During the interview, Idema points out that unrhythmical translation is the mainstream for Baojuan, and blindly insisting on the rhythm will inevitably hamper the content greatly. In addition, to ensure the overall acceptance and transmission of these translations, "Baojuan," as a culturally-bound term within China, should be rendered literally as "Precious Scroll," with detailed annotations to explain deeper meanings. What's more, the dissemination paradigm of working through a commercial press with an "agent" is not suitable for China's vernacular works, like Baojuan. Instead, a network constituted of foreign academic presses, periodicals and scholarly reviewers can meet the needs of educated Western readers, thus promoting the spread of Baojuan in the West in a practicable manner. Professor Idema is humble and generous not only in kindly solving all the puzzles concerning his translations, but also in meticulously commenting on the interviewer's newly published papers.

Book Reviews
ZHOU Yunlong.The World Elsewhere: Travel Writing and Images of Asia in Early Modern Europe
WANG Xiulu
2022, 5(2): 181-184. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20225210
WANG Xiaoping.Chinese Literature and Culture in the Age of Global Capitalism: Renaissance or Rehabilitation?
2022, 5(2): 185-187. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20225211
YANG Zhiyi.Dialectics of “Nature”: The Limitation and Immortality of Su Shi
PENG Xun, LUO Xiaoqian
2022, 5(2): 188-192. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20225212
Conference Reports
Comparative Literature Curriculum and Teaching from the Perspective of New Liberal Arts: Report on the 7th Annual Conference and Symposium of the Teaching and Research Branch of the Chinese Comparative Literature Association
ZHU Pu, SUN Haijun
2022, 5(2): 195-198. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20225213