Michel Hockx’s seminal study, A Snowy Morning: Eight Chinese Poets on the Road to Modernity (Research School CNWS, 1994), is now available for free download.
Literary historians tend to deal with China’s earliest ‘new poets’ with scant regard. These poets are thought to have been the experimenters, the forerunners whose only task it was to fail so that others might succeed. Their pluriform and many-sided work is consequently only discussed in footnotes and introductory chapters.
Focusing on the poetry and poetics of the eight authors of A Snowy Morning (1922), and on contemporary and modern reception of their work, the present study not only offers a detailed view of the period during which modern Chinese poetry took shape, but also presents a new outlook on the modernity of early ‘new poetry’ itself.
Since the 1990s, Chinese literary enthusiasts have explored new spaces for creative expression online, giving rise to a modern genre that has transformed Chinese culture and society. Ranging from the self-consciously avant-garde to the pornographic, web-based writing has introduced innovative forms, themes, and practices into Chinese literature and its aesthetic traditions. Conducting the first comprehensive survey in English of this phenomenon, Michel Hockx describes in detail the types of Chinese literature taking shape right now online and their novel aesthetic, political, and ideological challenges.
Offering a unique portal into postsocialist Chinese culture, this book presents a complex portrait of internet culture and control in China that avoids one-dimensional representations of oppression. The Chinese government still strictly regulates the publishing world, yet it is growing increasingly tolerant of internet literature and its publishing practices while still attempting to draw a clear yet ever-shifting ideological bottom line. Readers interested in encountering these new forms of writing, some of which are no longer available online, will value this book. Hockx interviews online authors, publishers, and censors, capturing the convergence of mass media, creativity, censorship, and free speech that is upending traditional hierarchies and conventions within China—and across Asia.
Michel Hockx is professor of Chinese at SOAS, University of London, and founding director of the SOAS China Institute. He studied Chinese language and literature at Leiden University in The Netherlands and at Liaoning University and Peking University in China. His research looks at modern and contemporary Chinese literary communities and the way they organize themselves, their relation to the state, and the technologies they employ to distribute their work. He is the author of Questions of Style: Literary Societies and Literary Journals in Modern China, 1911–1937 and A Snowy Morning: Eight Chinese Poets on the Road to Modernity.
Yang was nominated by UC Davis professor Michelle Yeh, co-translator with Lawrence R. Smith of Yang’s collection No Trace of the Gardener (another volume, translated by Joseph Allen, was published as Forbidden Games & Video Poems: The Poetry of Lo Chʻing [羅青]). The other nominees were Hsia Yü 夏宇, Yang Lian 杨炼, Zhai Yongming 翟永明, and Ouyang Jianghe 欧阳江河, nominated by Jennifer Feeley (U. Iowa, USA), Michel Hockx (U. London SOAS, UK), Wolfgang Kubin (Bonn U., Germany), and Zhang Qinghua 张清华 (BNU, PRC), respectively.
Rare for contemporary Chinese poetry, all nominated poets have single-author collections available in English translation. Coincidentally, three of the nominees–Hsia, Zhai, and Ouyang–have had their only books in English published by Zephyr Press.