Internet Literature in China. New York: Columbia University Press (2015). 272 pp. isbn: 978-0-2311-6082-7. Price: $50.00.HI: What exactly is this thing called ‘internet literature’ in China or, indeed, in any country in the world? This is one of the central questions explored by Michel Hockx in this eagerly awaited book, simply entitled Internet Literature in China. Given the consistency with which the category of internet literature (wangluo wenxue) has ranked within or just outside the top ten online activities in the People’s Republic of China (hereafter, prc) over the past decade, readers might be forgiven for assuming that some basic understanding of what this literature is – its generic and technological parameters – would have long been settled by now. Hockx’s work shows that this is far from the case. Pleasingly (for this reader at least), Internet Literature in China does not set out to assert a stable definition of what Chinese literature is or should be when it moves onto the World Wide Web. I would suggest that one of the biggest contributions of this book is, indeed, its reluctance to define, categorize, or otherwise contain what its author aptly describes as the ‘mess’ (18) of online forms
Asiascape: Digital Asia – Brill
Published: Feb 23, 2017
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