Lu Xun’s Diary of a Madman

Recorded just after Halloween, this podcasts feels a little like a ghost of podcasts past for two reasons. We have recorded an episode on this story, Lu Xun’s Diary of a Madman, three times. Unfortunately, we lost the first two attempts, so we resurrected this podcast from the grave on All Soul’s Day. The second ghostly…read more

Confucius

Confucius, Confucius, Confucius. What more can be said about the man who, since two and a half millinea after he lived, has defined China. In this podcast, we will focus on how a single passage, just eight characters echoes throughout Chinese literature and beyond, even into the contemporaneous Communist Party shindig happening in Beijing this…read more

October Dedications: An Interview with Lucas Klein on the Poetry of Mang Ke

Back in action after a brief hiatus, Lee and Rob interview translator and professor Lucas Klein, whose most recent work, October Dedications, is a book of translations of the poet Mang Ke. Prof. Klein is best-known for his work with Xi Chuan, but gives a nice guided tour of historical trends in poetry translation, the differences…read more

That’s One Weird Utopia: Kang Youwei’s “Book of Great Unity”

There were a lot of texts dealing with reform in the late Qing (1895-1911), but few of them were more radical, or more bizarre, than Kang Youwei’s Book of Great Unity (《大同书》). The venerable linguist and Confucian scholar advocated a future utopia in which not only would governments and international commerce no longer exist, but even species…read more

Liberia By Way of Beijing: The Appeal of Uncle Tom’s Cabin in Late Qing China

So here’s a question for you: why was one of the most popular books in the late Qing Dynasty (1895-1911) a translation of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin? Lee and Rob attempt to answer this question, and along the way discuss matters of representation and legal rights in America and China.   http://traffic.libsyn.com/chineseliteraturepodcast/Uncle_Toms_Cabin_-_Edited.mp3

Off With His Interior Self!: Shi Zhecun’s Weird and Wonderful “The General’s Head”

A character forgets whose head he has on his shoulders. An entire army delivers a unison monologue. Oh, and along the way an entire national approach to ethnicity comes into question. Shi Zhecun’s The General’s Head has a little of everything, and anyone interested in questions of nations, personal identification, and the life of the mind…read more

Song Dynasty Ci and Liu Yong

  In the finest traditions of podcasting, Lee and Rob here discuss something they know next to nothing about: the poetry tradition of the Song Dynasty. Colloquial and relatable in ways that the Tang couldn’t have been, and which the Yuan and Ming weren’t, Song Ci remain some of the more popular poetic entries in…read more

How to Be a Failure and Still Get Rich: Ling Mengzhu’s “The Tangerines and the Tortoise Shell

In the Ming Dynasty, If you weren’t born into a noble family, and weren’t on track to pass the civil service exams, you pretty much had to make something of yourself…by yourself. But if fate’s on your side, well, maybe that’s enough. In this classic vernacular short story (hua ben), a man who just never…read more

Literature for the People, or Without the People? : A Discussion of Zhou Zuoren’s “People’s Literature”

Lee and Rob have an ongoing feud over May 4th Literature, with Rob championing it, and Lee attacking it. Lee’s ire reaches its focal point in this early essay by Zhou Zuoren, Lu Xun’s  brother, which he claims eliminates from literature any consideration of what it means to be properly human, while Rob defends the…read more

Shen Xiu’s Little Bird Causes Seven Deaths

http://traffic.libsyn.com/chineseliteraturepodcast/Shen_Xius_Bird_-_edited.mp3 This week, we are getting back to our roots. Some of the earliest podcasts we did were on the huaben (話本) story. The very first podcast we posted (we recorded others before, but we canned them because they weren’t good enough) was a huaben  that we called Of Gods and Telescopes. We also did the gender-bending huaben Male Mencius’…read more

Lu Xun’s Diary of a Madman

Recorded just after Halloween, this podcasts feels a little like a ghost of podcasts past for two reasons. We have recorded an episode on this story, Lu Xun’s Diary of a Madman, three times. Unfortunately, we lost the first two attempts, so we resurrected this podcast from the grave on All Soul’s Day. The second ghostly…read more

Confucius

Confucius, Confucius, Confucius. What more can be said about the man who, since two and a half millinea after he lived, has defined China. In this podcast, we will focus on how a single passage, just eight characters echoes throughout Chinese literature and beyond, even into the contemporaneous Communist Party shindig happening in Beijing this…read more

October Dedications: An Interview with Lucas Klein on the Poetry of Mang Ke

Back in action after a brief hiatus, Lee and Rob interview translator and professor Lucas Klein, whose most recent work, October Dedications, is a book of translations of the poet Mang Ke. Prof. Klein is best-known for his work with Xi Chuan, but gives a nice guided tour of historical trends in poetry translation, the differences…read more

That’s One Weird Utopia: Kang Youwei’s “Book of Great Unity”

There were a lot of texts dealing with reform in the late Qing (1895-1911), but few of them were more radical, or more bizarre, than Kang Youwei’s Book of Great Unity (《大同书》). The venerable linguist and Confucian scholar advocated a future utopia in which not only would governments and international commerce no longer exist, but even species…read more

Liberia By Way of Beijing: The Appeal of Uncle Tom’s Cabin in Late Qing China

So here’s a question for you: why was one of the most popular books in the late Qing Dynasty (1895-1911) a translation of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin? Lee and Rob attempt to answer this question, and along the way discuss matters of representation and legal rights in America and China.   http://traffic.libsyn.com/chineseliteraturepodcast/Uncle_Toms_Cabin_-_Edited.mp3

Song Dynasty Ci and Liu Yong

  In the finest traditions of podcasting, Lee and Rob here discuss something they know next to nothing about: the poetry tradition of the Song Dynasty. Colloquial and relatable in ways that the Tang couldn’t have been, and which the Yuan and Ming weren’t, Song Ci remain some of the more popular poetic entries in…read more

Shen Xiu’s Little Bird Causes Seven Deaths

http://traffic.libsyn.com/chineseliteraturepodcast/Shen_Xius_Bird_-_edited.mp3 This week, we are getting back to our roots. Some of the earliest podcasts we did were on the huaben (話本) story. The very first podcast we posted (we recorded others before, but we canned them because they weren’t good enough) was a huaben  that we called Of Gods and Telescopes. We also did the gender-bending huaben Male Mencius’…read more