Admussen’s Recite and Refuse on New Books in East Asian Studies

Image result for nick admussen recite refuseMiranda Corcoran interviews Nick Admussen about his monograph Recite and Refuse: Contemporary Chinese Prose Poetry–about Lu Xun 鲁迅, Bing Xin 冰心, Ke Lan 柯蓝, Guo Feng 郭风, Liu Zaifu 刘再复, Ouyang Jianghe 欧阳江河, Xi Chuan, and more–for New Books in East Asian Studies.

From the intro:

Published by the University of Hawaii Press in 2016, Nick Admussen’s exciting new book Recite and Refuse: Contemporary Chinese Prose Poetry explores the development of twentieth-century prose poetry within the unique political and cultural context of Communist China. In this ambitious study, Admussen attempts not only to define prose poetry but also to trace its ever-shifting role in modern Chinese society. In doing so, he produces a study which comprehensively analyses the dynamic manner in which Chinese prose poetry engages with a range of diverse cultural discourses, including science, popular culture and political rhetoric. Throughout the book, Admussen foregrounds the protean nature of the genre by exploring how prose poetry has been used by poets working both within and outside of official Communist Party strictures. Moreover, he identifies Chinese prose poetry as a unique tradition, distinct from Euro-American manifestations of the genre. In addition to these insightful analyses, Recite and Refuse also contains a number of original translations of important Chinese prose poems, including Ouyang Jianghe’s stunning “Hanging Coffin”.

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Julia Lin Obituary

Julia Lin Julia Chang Lin, a scholar of Chinese literature who brought a forgotten generation of women poets in China and a new generation of post-war Chinese women poets to a western audience, died on Thursday, Aug. 1, of complications from neuroendocrine cancer in New York City. She was 85.

At Washington, she developed her skills as a writer and translator of poetry. She spoke Mandarin, Shanghainese, an Amoy dialect (her summer language), English, Cantonese, French, Fukienese (her husband’s native tongue), and a bit of Japanese. One of her teachers, Theodore Roethke, liked one of her poems, “Song of the Crazy Monk,” so much that he mailed it off to the prominent literary journal Botteghe Oscure, which published it. It was Julia’s first publication. Her thesis advisor at UW was so impressed with her PhD thesis that he helped secure its publication as “Modern Chinese Poetry: An Introduction.”

Dr. Lin made groundbreaking contributions to the field of modern and contemporary Chinese poetry. “Modern Chinese Poetry: An Introduction,” completed shortly after the Nixon detente made visits to China possible, enabled her to go to China to gather poetic materials and small literary journals and produce pioneering scholarly/critical studies of modern and contemporary Chinese poetry. Lin became friends with many of these poets, including Shu-Ting, who was persecuted during the “anti-spiritual pollution” movement that was launched in 1983. Among the poets translated in her first book, was Ping Hsin and Lin Huiyin whose short lyric mini-poems were pioneering works in modern China. At Ohio University she helped inaugurate Chinese language courses and, in her courses and colloquiums, she was the one-person Asian Studies department, introducing students to “The Tale of Genji” and “Journey to the West.” After retiring in 1998, she continued to champion the works of women writers in China. Her four books have been influential in bringing recognition to, and appreciation of, Chinese women poets from mainland China and Taiwan.

She is survived by a daughter, Maya, the artist who created the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and a son, Tan, a poet and English professor, both of New York City; a brother Ke-Heng of Beijing; a stepsister, Yining Zhang of Lawrenceville, N.J.; and three grandchildren, Ahn Churchouse Lin, Rachel Ming Wolf and India Lin Wolf.

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