Posts Categorized: Uncategorized

Wait, Wait…Where’s Eddie Murphy?: The REAL Story of Mulan

No talking dragons. Little to no fighting. Lots of speeches. A woman warrior who just wants to go home and be a good, traditional daughter. And…rabbits? How exactly is this the Ballad of Mulan? Lee and I discuss the original story, and find ourselves split over the extent to which it qualifies as a work that…read more

The Ugly Stone: A Conversation with Nick Stember

We had the honor recently of talking with Nick Stember, a longtime translator of Chinese fiction and comics, and the official English-language translator of the renowned writer Jia Pingwa. On this podcast, we talk with Nick about his work, and about the intriguing Jia Pingwa short story “The Ugly Stone.” If you are interested in…read more

Of Gods and…More Gods: Idle Talk Under the Bean Arbor

  One of the earliest, and certainly fullest, examples of the frame story is the  collection Idle Talk Under the Bean Arbor. Through a series of stories told by a group of people sheltering from the heat under a bean arbor, everything from karmic justice to the end of the world is discussed. We welcome a guest, Lindsey…read more

Revolution or Reform: A Discussion of the May 4th Movement

Talk to anyone in China, and they will telly you that May 4th, 1919 is the day that modern China began. Everything before that is feudal, everything after that progress. But is it really that black and white? Rob and Lee take a look at the May 4th Movement, both a political and literary event, and try to…read more

Narration and Revolution: The True Story of Ah Q

How does a low-life moron become one of the great tragic figures in modern Chinese culture? Lu Xun’s 1921 novella The True Story of Ah Q, a masterpiece of the May 4th Movement, presents just such a situation. We discuss the story’s unique narrative choices, and Lu Xun’s varying reception in Taiwan and mainland China.    …read more

Of Gods and Telescopes: Li Yu’s A Tower for the Summer Heat

Want a shortcut to immortality? Get a telescope! Or at least that’s the scenario posed by Li Yu’s classic 1657 story Tower for the Summer Heat《夏宜樓》. We’ll also take a closer look at the notions of cultural “inside” and “outside” spaces that inform Chinese social discourse to this day.