Shanghai’s “Literary Comet”
When the avant-garde author Mu Shiying was once assassinated in 1940, China misplaced considered one of its maximum modernist writers whereas Shanghai misplaced its such a lot designated chronicler of the city’s Jazz-Age nightlife. Mu’s hugely unique stream-of-consciousness method of brief tale writing merits to be re-examined and re-read. As Andrew box argues, Mu complicated glossy chinese language writing past the vernacular expression of might Fourth giants Lu Xun and Lao She to bare much more starkly the alienation of a urban trapped among the forces of civilization and barbarism within the 1930s.
Mu Shiying: China’s misplaced Modernist comprises translations of six brief tales, 4 of that have now not seemed prior to in English. every one tale makes a speciality of Mu’s key obsessions: the pleasant but anxiety-ridden social and sexual relationships within the glossy urban, and the decadent maelstrom of intake and rest epitomized by means of the dance corridor and nightclub. In his creation, box situates Mu’s paintings in the transnational and hedonistic surroundings of inter-war Shanghai, the city’s leisure economic climate, in addition to his position in the wider area of Jazz-Age literature from Berlin, Paris, Tokyo and New York.
Andrew David box is the writer of Shanghai’s Dancing international: Cabaret tradition and concrete Politics, 1919–1954.
“Mu Shiying is a mythical determine of Thirties Shanghai. His striking chronicle of contemporary Shanghai gave upward thrust to chinese language modernist literature. His meteoric occupation as a author, a flâneur, and allegedly a double agent testifies to cosmopolitanism at its so much flamboyant, amazing and enigmatic. Andrew Field’s translation is concise and full of life, and his account of Mu Shiying’s experience in sleek Shanghai is itself a desirable tale. this can be a excellent booklet for someone attracted to the dynamics of Shanghai modern.”
— David Der-wei Wang, Harvard University
“Mu Shiying was once one in every of China’s pioneer modernists, and his tales are jam-packed with artistic touches, together with his personal experimental means of stream-of-consciousness, that evoke the emergent splendour of city decadence of Shanghai within the Thirties. This English translation of his most vital tales edited and translated via an said historian of Shanghai tradition is lengthy overdue.”
— Leo Ou-fan Lee, writer of Shanghai sleek: The Flowering of a brand new city tradition in China: 1930–1945
“During his brief, tumultuous existence, Mu Shiying produced a small oeuvre of outstanding brief tales that stand out within the wider context of recent chinese language literature. He captures the essence of the Shanghai jazz age along with his racy, musical, and infrequently fragmented prose, which blends a real pleasure concerning the wonders of “the Paris of the East” with an from time to time sobering undertone of social critique. not like the various extra explicitly left-wing writers of his time, Mu by no means relinquishes the medium for the message. he's initially a author of experimental, unique paintings that even these days has misplaced not anything of its strength. As a instructor of recent chinese language literature, i'm extremely joyful that this new translation has develop into available.”
—Michel Hockx, Director, SOAS China Institute
“Mu’s tales provide readers a glimpse into the energetic and colourful, but occasionally empty and soulless lifestyles in Shanghai throughout the early 1930s.”
—Asian evaluation of Books, 26 may perhaps 2014
“Field is a cautious translator who truly strives for a compromise between clarity, faithfulness, and completeness. [… His] quantity is a such a lot welcome contribution to the canon of Republican-era literature in translation. it's going to not just heighten our appreciation of Mu Shiying, yet upload new layers of complexity to this interesting literary determine of Shanghai’s golden age.”
—Modern chinese language Literature and tradition, August 2014