Translator Denis Mair reviews Liang Yujing’s Zero Distance: New Poetry from China (Tinfish) for the International Examiner:
In the late 90s and early years of the new millennium, a polemical battle between “intellectual writing” and “populist writing” unfolded on Chinese websites … The populist camp was interested in developing China’s own native modernism; the intellectual writing camp seemed committed to working through Western modernist currents that had been interrupted during China’s period of leftist isolationism … we can hear reverberations of that clash in this concise anthology ably edited and translated by Liang Yujing. This svelte volume indeed gives English readers “a glimpse of what is being written in China now.” However, a random sampling would be confusing in a country where “good poetry can be found anytime anywhere…and good unknown poets can be seen at every corner of the land.”
This collection hangs together because the translator mines an authentic vein of native modernism. It also earns the title Zero Distance by affording glimpses into the life-experience of inquiring young minds since the new millennium.
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