BOOK NOTES LYDIA LIU. TranslingualPractice:Literature, National Culture, and Trans- lated Modernity, China 1919-1937. Stanford: Stanford UP, 1995. ix + 474 pp. Lydia Liu's new book is one ofthe most thoughtful and wide-ranging ofrecent efforts to unravel the complex discourses of China's modernity in the light of contemporary critical theory. For a specialist in Chinese literature it is a pleasure to read, not least because every few pages Liu delicately skewers one or another piece of the field's conventional wisdom. This is also one of the few books on modern Chinese literature that will be accessible and rewarding for those more interested in the forms ofmodernity outside Europe and North America than in the specifics of Chinese literary history. Not that Liu is short on specifics. Among the pleasures of the book are die appendices on missionary-Chinese neologisms, Sino-Japanese and Sino-JapaneseEuropean loanwords, and transliterations from European languages in modern Chinese. These reveal China's specific points ofencounter with European and Japanese modernity: the historical fractures and fissures one will never again fail to notice in die ordinary language oftwentieth-century Chinese family and public life, fiction and memoirs, textbooks and newspapers. Liu focuses on what she calls translingual practice, organizing her
The Comparatist – University of North Carolina Press
Published: Oct 3, 1997
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