literature

Sinoscapes A Moller Olsen
30. Sep 2022

Sensing the Sinophone: Urban Memoryscapes in Contemporary Fiction

China, cultural studies, Hong Kong, InFocus, literature, Shangahi, Taipei, urban development

What happens when the city you live in changes so rapidly that space melts into time and your memories can find no recognisable place to take hold? This kind of morphing urban reality was and is experienced by many in east Asian mega cities, where what cultural critic Dai Jinhua calls the “destructiveness of construction work” (“Imagined Nostalgia.” Boundary 2 24 (3), 1997: 146) is a defining factor. For cities like Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Taipei, the 1990s saw a new level of urban transformation that fundamentally affected quotidian ways of life and urban identities, a tendency that continued well into the 21st century. In my new monograph Sensing the Sinophone: Urban Memoryscapes in Contemporary Fiction, I argue that fiction writing has the ability to capture both the sense of ongoing transformation and the complex and often ambiguous identity politics that follow. More than any other type of writing, narrative fiction can accommodate the paradox that it is the very disappearance of any material links to the past, which fosters a renewed interest in the private and public histories under erasure. Through the original framework of literary sensory studies, I use whole-body engagements with the cityscape as a perspective that bridges the divide between the elusive memories of the past and the material deconstruction of the present. I look at unconventional sensory modes such as temperature, pain, sense of self, and sense of time, as well as the cross-sensory and metaphorical nature of familiar sensations such as smell or sight.

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15. Oct 2012

Mo Yan på tryggt avstånd från politiken av Johan Lagerkvist

China, culture, democracy, government, Human rights, InFocus, International relations, literature, politics

Svenska Akademiens beslut att 2012 års Nobelpris i litteratur går till den kinesiske författaren Mo Yan är ett val som får enorm uppmärksamhet i Kina. Det är svårt att överskatta Nobelprisernas betydelse i ett land och en kultur där dessa utmärkelser – i synnerhet de naturvetenskapliga – varit stora nyheter alltsedan reformpolitiken inleddes 1978. I en […]

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19. Sep 2011

A female serial killer’s literary roots: Murakami Haruki, 1Q84 and Aomame

InFocus, Japan, literature

Five years after the long novel Kafka on the shore, Japanese author Haruki Murakami’s trilogy 1Q84 was published in Japan in 2009-10 where it quickly became a bestseller. With details of the book kept strictly secret prior to its release, anticipating Murakami readers had to satisfy their curiosity with train posters such as the above. […]

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