Lorenzo Andolfatto's Hundred Days' Literature: Chinese Utopian Fiction at the End of Empire, 1902–1910 convincingly argues that the brief flourishing of utopian fiction (wutuobang xiaoshuo 烏托邦小說) in the last decade of the Qing dynasty should be read as the ultimate proving ground for the arduous development of modern Chinese identity in the face of fin-de-siècle China's semicolonial subjugation. The book introduces, characterizes, contextualizes, and advocates for a body of utopian texts that have traditionally been marginalized in the field of Chinese literary studies. Hundred Days' Literature is aptly titled, as it draws parallels between this body of texts and the 1898 Hundred Days Reform (Wuxu bianfa 戊戌變法), not simply because they emerged from a shared historical context (exiled reformer Liang Qichao 梁啟超 [1873–1929] was at the vanguard of late Qing utopian fiction) but also because both genre and movement were contradictory, transitional, short-lived, somewhat naive, and ultimately unsustainable....
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Book Review| March 01 2021
Hundred Days' Literature: Chinese Utopian Fiction at the End of Empire, 1902–1910
Hundred Days' Literature: Chinese Utopian Fiction at the End of Empire, 1902–1910. Andolfatto, Lorenzo.
CARA HEALEY is Byron K. Trippet Assistant Professor of Chinese and Asian Studies at Wabash College. Her research situates contemporary Chinese science fiction in relation to both Chinese literary traditions and global science fiction. Her work has appeared in journals such as Modern Chinese Literature and Culture, Science Fiction Studies, and Wenxue. She is also an active literary translator.
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Prism (2021) 18 (1): 285–288.
Cara Healey; Hundred Days' Literature: Chinese Utopian Fiction at the End of Empire, 1902–1910. Prism 1 March 2021; 18 (1): 285–288. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/25783491-8922289
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