Sinographies: Writing China

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Hilde De Weerdt. Yao, eds.

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Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, ISBN ; To what extent the contributors are successful in fulfilling the ambition implicit in this parallel will be taken up near the end of the review. More precisely, they justify their enterprise by underscoring that these problems are directly constituted by sinographical practices, and thus their elucidation requires sinography.

The quintuple division of the fourteen essays contained in Sinographies fails to capture their significance. The editors use a combination of thematic language and rhetoric, minority discourses and immigra- tion , chronological early modern cultural production , and genre reportage or media mediated externalities categories, but neither they nor the authors articulate the rationale of these groupings, collective questions or conclusions.

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Hence I will discuss the papers in different configurations, high- lighting the synergies that are created around translation, encounter and subaltern subjectivity. The essays treating translation processes demonstrate that both source and translated texts are unstable, subject to ongoing transformation, invention and negation. The translations are inventions that, by mimicking features of stele texts and other types of inscriptions, make an implicit claim to explicate the essential meaning of the genre, and through it, the essential immobility of Chineseness.

Through a close comparison of the stele text and its Jesuit translations Billings restores the multiplex readings embedded in the language of the text as well as in its trans- lations. Strategies of untranslation are deployed to construct nor- mative readings of a source text and render invisible incompatible elements.


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In an essay on three contemporary adaptations of the sixteenth-century novel Journey to the West, Carlos Rojas teases out the tensions embedded in translations of traditional literature among literary producers and consumers who are negotiating traditional Chinese cultural identities on the margins of China in Hong Kong, Japan and the US.

Adaptations in various media of the story of Monkey who, as a Chinese traveler in search of Indian Buddhist scriptures, symbolizes the trajectories of translation, at once borrow and undermine the authority of the traditional novel.

The impact of marginality on the transformation of traditional genres and on the translation of modernity is explored in more detail by Steven G. Yao and Steven J.

Sinographies: Writing China (Eric Hayor, Haun Saussy, Steven G. Yao, eds., ) | eBay

While these poems are Chinese, they are also transnational literary products that, like jazz music, acquire different social and cultural meanings as traditional forms are reshaped in new settings. Sinography is a neologism Hsia borrows from a recent collection of essays not only for its metacritical view on the sinological project on analogy with historiography , but also to emphasize the range and materiality of graphic forms text, image, manuscript, print at issue in this study.

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Conference--Sound and Symbol in Sinography

Natural Philosophy. Perspectives and Methods Anthropocene. Digital Humanities. Cultural Criticism , Literature , Theory and Philosophy. Analyzing discourse of civilization, geography, ethics, ethnicity, writing, and differences about China, this work disrupts the boundaries that have previously defined this country as an object of study.

Catalog Record: Sinographies : writing China | HathiTrust Digital Library

Sinographies respects the power of texts to shape realities both backward and forward, to create or foreclose possibilities not only of interpretation but of experience. The essays examine topics like colonialism, literary modernism, translation, anime, and Tibet.


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  • As a whole, the volume imagines sinography as a new methodological approach to the study of China, one that clears unexpected ground for new kinds of comparative work. Eric Hayot is associate professor of comparative literature at Pennsylvania State University.

    Sinographies offers new modes of contextualizing the various disciplines explored by its contributors, and Asian American studies in particular may benefit from an approach that attends to affective encounters and problems in signification—one that provides another way of opening the field beyond the boundaries of the United States.