Humans, Beasts, and Ghosts: Stories and Essays by Zhongshu Qian

Humans, Beasts, and Ghosts: Stories and Essays

byZhongshu Qian, Christopher G. Rea

Kobo ebook | November 22, 2010

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Zhongshu Qian was one of twentieth-century China's most ingenious literary stylists, the author of short stories, essays, and a brilliant comedic novel that has inspired generations of Chinese readers. Writing between the early years of the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) and the Communist takeover in 1949, Qian was a pioneering modernist and extraordinary satirist whose insight into the irony and travesties of modern China remains stunningly fresh.

This eagerly awaited translation joins Qian's collection of iconoclastic essays on life, language, and literature, Written on the Margins of Life (1941), with his masterful short story collection, Man, Beast, Ghost (1946). Qian's essays elucidate substantive issues through deceptively simple subjects-the significance of windows versus doors, for example, or the blind spots of literary critics-and assert the primacy of critical and creative independence. His humorous stories blur the boundaries between various incarnations of humans, beasts, and ghosts who struggle through life, death, and resurrection. Christopher Rea situates these works within China's wartime politics and Qian's literary vision, highlighting significant changes between different editions that provide unprecedented insight into the author's creative process.

About The Author

Qian Zhongshu (1910-1998), hailed as twentieth-century China's "foremost man of letters," is best known for his novel, Fortress Besieged, and his groundbreaking study of the Chinese literary canon, Limited Views: Essays on Ideas and Letters. Christopher G. Rea is assistant professor of modern Chinese literature at the University of ...
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Details & Specs

Title:Humans, Beasts, and Ghosts: Stories and EssaysFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:November 22, 2010Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231526547

ISBN - 13:9780231526548

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Written in the Margins of Life and Human, Beast, Ghost
Author's Preface to the 1983 Editions of Written in the Margins of Life and Human, Beast, Ghost
Written in the Margins of Life
The Devil Pays a Nighttime Visit to Mr. Qian Zhongshu
On Happiness
On Laughter
Reading Aesop's Fables
On Moral Instruction
A Prejudice
Explaining Literary Blindness
On Writers
Human, Beast, Ghost
First Preface to the 1946 Kaiming Edition
Second Preface to the 1946 Kaiming Edition
God's Dream
Further Reading in English

Editorial Reviews

Excellently translated and well prepared with an introduction and endnote annotations, this volume of Qian's early short works is not only accessible to the general reader but should be read by all serious scholars of modern Chinese literature.