The study of urban literature, or of the city in literature, in the case of China has seen important studies, such as Leo Ou-fan Lee's Shanghai Modern: The Flowering of a New Urban Culture in China, 1930–1945 (1999) and Yingjin Zhang's The City in Modern Chinese Literature and Film: Configurations of Space, Time, and Gender (1996). Zhang's book devotes substantial attention to Beijing, particularly in reference to two writers featured in Weijie Song's book as well: Lao She 老舍 (1899–1966) and Zhang Henshui 張恨水 (1895–1967). Song, however, devotes his entire book to Beijing, a much needed development, and he also expands the scope beyond canonic works of the Republican period to include sinophone perspectives from Taiwan and Hong Kong, as well as images created by foreign or transcultural figures such as Lin Yutang 林語堂 (1895–1976), Princess Der Ling 裕德齡 (1885–1944), and Victor Segalen. This has the effect of creating more...
Mapping Modern Beijing: Space, Emotion, Literary Topography
CHARLES A. LAUGHLIN is Weedon Professor of East Asian Studies at the University of Virginia. His publications include Chinese Reportage: The Aesthetics of Historical Experience (2002) and The Literature of Leisure and Chinese Modernity (2008). He also coedited and contributed an introduction and translations to By the River: Seven Contemporary Chinese Novellas (2016). His current research is on desire in Chinese revolutionary literature and film.
Charles A. Laughlin; Mapping Modern Beijing: Space, Emotion, Literary Topography. Prism 1 March 2020; 17 (1): 203–206. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/25783491-8163904
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