The dream of universalism dies when it comes up against the institutional demand to specialize; a review written for a certain audience must take sides in the battle between area studies and comparative literature. This tension comes to a head in reviewing Jacob Edmond's Make It the Same: Poetry in the Age of Global Media for a journal addressing “theory and modern Chinese literature.” In covering a book on contemporary Anglophone, Russian, and Chinese poetry, do I focus on Chinese-language writers Yang Lian 楊煉 (1955–), Yi Sha 伊沙 (1966–), and Hsia Yü 夏宇 (1956–), whose contexts we likely know better than we do those of Kamau Brathwaite (1930–2020), Dmitri Prigov (1940–2007), and contemporary performance writing or conceptual poetics in the Soviet Union and the Anglophone world today? Or do I give each chapter equal weight, perhaps feigning expertise and risking intimidation of Chinese literature...

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