Ecocriticism and Chinese Literature
Imagined Landscapes and Real Lived Spaces
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Focusing on ecocritical aspects throughout Chinese literature, particularly modern and contemporary Chinese literature, the contributors to this book examine the environmental and ecological dimensions of notions such as qing (情) and jing (境).
Chinese modern and contemporary environmental writing offers a unique aesthetic perspective toward the natural world. Such a perspective is mainly ecological and allows human subjects to take a benign and nonutilitarian attitude toward nature. The contributors to this book demonstrate how Chinese literary ecology tends toward an ecological-systemic holism from which all human behaviors should be closely examined. They do so by examining a range of writers and genres, including Liu Cixin’s science fiction, Wu Ming-yi’s environmental fiction, and Zhang Chengzhi’s historical narratives.
This book provides valuable insights for scholars and students looking to understand how Chinese literature conceptualizes the relationship between humanity and nature, as well as our role and position within the natural realm.
Table of Contents
Part I Ecocriticism and Chinese Literature 1. Trees Keep Time: An Ecocritical Approach to Literary Temporality 2. The Transcultural Landscape and Modernity in a Feng Zhi Sonnet: Sound, Silence, and the Lesson of Metamorphosis 3. Nonhuman Poetics (By Way of Wang Guowei) 4. Shared Sensibilities: Human-environment Relationship in Contemporary Chinese Poetry 5. The Writing of Inner/Outer World and Ecopoetics in Contemporary Chinese Poetry: An Analysis of Zang Di’s Poetic Creation 6. Rethinking the Urban Form: Overpopulation, Resource Depletion, and Chinese Cities in Science Fiction 7. Representing Environmental Issues in Post-1990s Chinese Science Fiction: Technological Imaginary and Ecological Concerns Part II Imagined Landscapes and Real Lived Spaces 8. Bridging Qing (Emotions) and Jing (Natural Realm): Fei Ming’s Eco-Poetics in Bridge 9. (Un)natural Landscapes and Can Xue’s Re-interpretation of "Tianrenheyi" 10. Autopoiesis and Sympoiesis: Imagining Post-Anthropocene in Contemporary Chinese Science Fiction 11. Feeling the Catastrophe: Affective Ecocriticism in Liu Cixin’s "The Wandering Earth" 12. Environmental Nostalgia from Idyll to Disillusionment: Zhang Chengzhi’s Inner Mongolia from Short Stories to Essays 13. History, Landscape and Living Things in the Work of Wu Ming-yi 14. Situationality in Tropical Malaysia: A Literary Sense of Place in Ng Kim Chew’s Fiction
Riccardo Moratto is Full Professor of Translation Studies, Chinese Translation and Interpreting at the Graduate Institute of Interpretation and Translation (GIIT), Shanghai International Studies University (SISU) and Honorary Guest Professor at Nanjing Agricultural University. Prof. Moratto is a Chartered Linguist and Fellow Member of CIoL, Visiting Scholar at Shandong University, Honorary Research Fellow at the Center for Translation Studies of Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, and Expert Member of the Translators Association of China (TAC). Prof. Moratto is also an international conference interpreter and a renowned literary translator. He has published extensively in the field of translation and interpreting studies and Chinese literature in translation.
Nicoletta Pesaro is Associate professor of Chinese language and literature at Ca’ Foscari University Venice. Her research interests include modern Chinese literature, narrative studies and translation studies. She wrote several articles on Chinese literature and translated various works, among which Lu Xun’s collections Nahan and Panghuang. She edited The Ways of Translation. Constraints and Liberties of Translating Chinese (2013) and Littérature chinoise et globalisation: enjeux linguistiques, traductologiques et génériques (2017). She co-authored a book on modern Chinese fiction Narrativa cinese del Novecento. Autori, opere, correnti (Twentieth-Century Chinese Fiction: Authors, works and schools, 2019). Chief-Editor of the book series Translating Wor(l)ds.
Di-kai Chao is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. He obtained his BA in Chinese literature from National Chengchi University in Taiwan (NCCU), his first MA in Diplomacy studies from NCCU and his second MA in teaching Chinese as a second language from National Taiwan Normal University. He is also a certificated Chinese language teacher. His research interests mainly focus on Sinophone literature and its relationship with world literature, ghost narrative in contemporary Sinophone fiction and the lyrical tradition discourse.
"Applying a theoretically informed approach involving the key terms of sentiment (qing) and situatedness (jing), this timely collection of essays expertly tackles the entanglements between human agency, transhuman affective intensities and nonhuman environmental forces in Chinese and Sinophone literary texts. Highlighting the precarity of all forms of life and matter vis-à-vis human superpredation, the volume opens up new horizons beyond the prevailing anthropocentric perception of the world. In this way, it promises to deepen our understanding of the continuities, hybridity, ruptures and new departures of Chinese landscape aesthetics. Moreover, it is a strong testimony to literature’s inexhaustible vitality - presently infusing academic research, cultural production, and discourses on climate change across the globe."
Prof. Dr. Andrea Riemenschnitter, Chair, Modern China, Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies, University of Zurich
"From early modern poetry to contemporary science fiction, this remarkable volume presents a diverse group of cutting-edge scholars as they explore ideas about landscape, environment, and ecoliterature. A wonderful sourcebook for re-thinking the complex intersections between text and context, emotion and environment, qing and jing, in Sinophone literature."
Michael Berry, Director, UCLA Center for Chinese Studies, Professor of Contemporary Chinese Cultural Studies Asian Languages & Cultures/Film, Television and Digital Media UCLA, author of Jia Zhangke on Jia Zhangke.
"Ecocriticism and Chinese Literature: Imagined Landscapes and Real Lived Spaces, edited by Riccardo Moratto, Nicoletta Pesaro, and Di-kai Chao, centers around qing (情) and jing (境) in facilitating the dialogue between traditional poetics and contemporary ecocriticism. It is an insightful volume that opens new pathways for scholars who share the same research interests."
Chia-rong Wu, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Global, Cultural and Language Studies at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand.
Ecocriticism and Chinese Literature: Imagined Landscapes and Real Lived Spaces, edited by Riccardo Moratto, Nicoletta Pesaro, and Di-kai Chao, is an important work, which brings together scholars from different fields of research and investigates a topic whose relevance also relies on its solid interdisciplinary approach which broadens to reach the so-called "green (cultural) studies". This approach can be very fruitful in offering new interpretations and opening new research perspectives. It connects qing (情), a central topic in the Chinese literary tradition, with jing (境), environment, an issue whose centrality is unquestionable in the contemporary world.
Stefania Stafutti, Full Professor of Chinese Language and Literature, University of Torino, Italy
"This collection of essays responds to the most urgent issue of the current world, in which human activities are destroying natural environment – the space and fabric of life on which humans depend. Looking into this topic through modern literature from mainland China (but also Taiwan and Malaysia), it provides the reader with fascinating insights from an Asian perspective. Shared interest in ancient Chinese vision of man and nature, re-interpreted through post-modern anxiety about the environment, connects contemporary literature with domestic tradition and offers an innovative view on Chinese tradition as re-inventing itself in response to new challenges. The idea to bring together two cutting-edge genres in Sinophone literature – poetry and science-fiction – is brilliant and provoking, and it encourages new ways of thinking about modern Chinese literature."
Prof. Olga Lomová, Charles University - Univerzita Karlova