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New book by Lorenzo Andolfatto

Apr 18, 2019

Dr. Lorenzo Andolfatto, postdoctoral researcher at the HCTS, recently published his book “Hundred Days’ Literature: Chinese Utopian Fiction at the End of Empire, 1902–1910” with Brill. The volume, published in the series “East Asian Comparative Literature and Culture,” addresses the literary landscape of late imperial China via the notion of utopia.

In “Hundred Days’ Literature,” Dr. Lorenzo Andolfatto explores the landscape of early modern Chinese fiction through the lens of the utopian novel, casting new light on some of its most peculiar yet often overshadowed literary specimens. The wutuobang or lixiang xiaoshuo, by virtue of its ideally totalizing perspective, provides a one-of-a-kind critical tool for the understanding of late imperial China’s fragmented Zeitgeist.

Building upon rigorous close reading and solid theoretical foundations, the book offers the reader a transcultural critical itinerary that links Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward to Wu Jianren’s Xin Shitou ji via the writings of Liang Qichao, Chen Tianhua, Bihe Guanzhuren, and Lu Shi’e. It also includes the first English translation of Cai Yuanpei’s short story “New Year’s Dream.”

The volume was published with Brill and is part of the series “East Asian Comparative Literature and Culture”, which deals with comparative research on the literary and cultural traditions of premodern and modern East Asia and their relation to the world.

Dr. Lorenzo Andolfatto is a postdoctoral researcher at the HCTS in the collaborative HERA research project “East Asian Uses of the Past: Tracing Braided Chronotypes,” which is located in Heidelberg, Madrid, London and Zurich. The group of researchers focuses on global co-productions of historical knowledge. Andolfatto’s research interests expand between early-modern Chinese literature, comparative literature, and translation studies, focusing on the study of late Qing fiction, utopian writing, and science fiction.


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