New Book: The Objectionable Li Zhi

The University of Washington Press has published The Objectionable Li Zhi:Fiction, Criticism, and Dissent in Late Ming China edited by Rivi Handler-Spitz, Pauline C. Lee and Haun Saussy. The editorial description:

Iconoclastic scholar Li Zhi (1527–1602) was a central figure in the cultural world of the late Ming dynasty. His provocative and controversial words and actions shaped print culture, literary practice, attitudes toward gender, and perspectives on Buddhism and the afterlife. Although banned, his writings were never fully suppressed, because they tapped into issues of vital significance to generations of readers. His incisive remarks, along with the emotional intensity and rhetorical power with which he delivered them, made him an icon of his cultural moment and an emblem of early modern Chinese intellectual dissent.

In this volume, leading China scholars demonstrate the interrelatedness of seemingly discrete aspects of Li Zhi’s thought and emphasize his far-reaching impact on his contemporaries and successors. In doing so, they challenge the myth that there was no tradition of dissidence in premodern China.

One reply

  1. Steve Angle says:

    An editor at UW Press shared with me the full Table of Contents of the book:

    Acknowledgments vii
    Introduction 3

    PART I. AUTHENTICITY AND FILIALITY
    1. The Paradoxes of Genuineness: Problematic Self-Revelation in Li Zhi’s Autobiographical Writings, by Wai-Yee Li 17
    2. Li Zhi’s Strategic Self-Fashioning: Sketch of a Filial Self, by Maram Epstein 38

    PART II. FRIENDS AND TEACHERS
    3. The Perils of Friendship: Li Zhi’s Predicament, by Martin W. Huang 55
    4. A Public of Letters: The Correspondence of Li Zhi and Geng Dingxiang, by Timothy Brook 75
    5. Affiliation and Differentiation: Li Zhi as Teacher and Student, by Rivi Handler-Spitz 92

    PART III. MANIPULATIONS OF GENDER
    6. Image Trouble, Gender Trouble: Was Li Zhi An Enlightened Man?, by Ying Zhang 111
    7. Native Seeds of Change: Women, Writing, and Rereading Tradition, by Pauline C. Lee 132

    PART IV. TEXTUAL COMMUNITIES
    8. An Avatar of the Extraordinary: Li Zhi as a Shishang Writer and Thinker in the Late- Ming Publishing World, by Kai-wing Chow 145
    9. Performing Authenticity: Li Zhi, Buddhism, and the Rise of Textual Spirituality in Early Modern China, by Jiang Wu 164

    PART V. AFTERLIVES
    10. Performing Li Zhi: Li Zhuowu and the Fiction Commentaries of a Fictional Commentator, Robert E. Hegel 187
    11. The Question of Life and Death: Li Zhi and Ming- Qing Intellectual History, by Miaw-Fen Lu 209

    Glossary 229
    Bibliography 241
    Contributors 263
    Index 265

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