Humans, Beasts, and Ghosts

Stories and Essays

Humans, Beasts, and Ghosts

"So long as wit and satire, insightfully imagined characterization, and unmatched erudition matter in literature, Qian Zhongshu's writing will have a place, and this translation of his work is among the most significant renderings from Chinese."---Ron Egan, University of California, Santa Barbara Qian Zhongshu was one of twentieth-century China's most ingenious literary stylists, one whose insights into the ironies and travesties of modern China remain stunningly fresh. Between the early years of the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) and the Communist takeover in 1949, Qian wrote a brilliant series of short stories, essays, and a comedic novel that continue to inspire generations of Chinese readers. With this long-awaited translation, English-language readers can immerse themselves in the invention and satirical wit of one of the world's great literary cosmopolitans. This collection brings together Qian's best short works, combining his iconoclastic essays on the "book of life" from written in the Margins of Life (1941) with the four masterful short stories of Human, Beast, Ghost (1946). His 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 stories blur the boundaries between humans, beasts, and ghosts as they struggle through life, death, and resurrection. Christopher G. Rea situates these works within China's wartime politics and Qian's literary vision, highlighting significant changes that Qian Zhongshu made to different editions of his writings and providing unprecedented insight into the author's creative process. 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

At the Borders of the Human

Beasts, Bodies and Natural Philosophy in the Early Modern Period

At the Borders of the Human

What is, what was the human? This book argues that the making of the human as it is now understood implies a renegotiation of the relationship between the self and the world. The development of Renaissance technologies of difference such as mapping, colonialism and anatomy paradoxically also illuminated the similarities between human and non-human. This collection considers the borders between humans and their imagined others: animals, women, native subjects, machines. It examines border creatures (hermaphrodites, wildmen and cyborgs) and border practices (science, surveying and pornography).

Picturing the Beast

Animals, Identity, and Representation

Picturing the Beast

Looks at how Western culture pictures the beast, examining how such images affect how real animals are perceived and treated.

Beasts and Beauties

Animals, Gender and Domestication in the Italian Renaissance

Beasts and Beauties

Beasts and Beauties examines the relationship between domesticity and power by focusing on the contemporaneous development of the invention of the 'pet' and the delineation of the home as a uniquely private enclosure, where the pater familias ruled over his own secluded world of domesticated wife, children, servants, and animals.

Renaissance Beasts

Of Animals, Humans, and Other Wonderful Creatures

Renaissance Beasts

Animals, as Lévi-Strauss wrote, are good to think with. This collection addresses and reassesses the variety of ways in which animals were used and thought about in Renaissance culture, challenging contemporary as well as historic views of the boundaries and hierarchies humans presume the natural world to contain. Taking as its starting point the popularity of speaking animals in sixteenth-century literature and ending with the decline of the imperial Ménagerie during the French Revolution, Renaissance Beasts uses the lens of human-animal relationships to view issues as diverse as human status and power, diet, civilization and the political life, religion and anthropocentrism, spectacle and entertainment, language, science and skepticism, and domestic and courtly cultures. Within these pages scholars from a variety of disciplines discuss numerous kinds of texts--literary, dramatic, philosophical, religious, political--by writers including Calvin, Montaigne, Sidney, Shakespeare, Descartes, Boyle, and Locke. Through analysis of these and other writers, Renaissance Beasts uncovers new and arresting interpretations of Renaissance culture and the broader social assumptions glimpsed through views on matters such as pet ownership and meat consumption. Renaissance Beasts is certainly about animals, but of the many species discussed, it is ultimately humankind that comes under the greatest scrutiny.

Ethical Vegetarianism

From Pythagoras to Peter Singer

Ethical Vegetarianism

For vegetarians seeking the historical roots of vegetarianism, for animal rights activists and the environmentally concerned, and for those questioning their consumption of meat, here's a book that provides a deep understanding of vegetarianism as more than just a dietary decision. This is the first comprehensive collection of primary source material on vegetarianism as a moral choice and includes the writings of Carol Adams, Bernard de Mandeville, Mohandas Gandhi, Oliver Goldsmith, Anna Kingsford, Frances Moore Lappé, Porphyry, Pythagoras, Tom Regan, Albert Schweitzer, Seneca, Peter Singer, Leo Tolstoy, and Richard Wagner, among others.

Deconstructing the Hero

Literary Theory and Children's Literature

Deconstructing the Hero

This book sets out to explore the structure and meanings within the most popular of all literary genres - the adventure story. Deconstructing the Hero offers analytical readings of some of the most widely read adventure stories such as Treasure Island , the James Bond stories and Star Wars. The book describes how adventure stories are influential in shaping children's perception and establishing values. When many of these stories define non-white, non-European people as inferior, and women as marginal or incapable, we should be worried about what they are teaching our children to think. Margery Hourihan shows how teaching children to read books critically can help to prevent the establishment of negative attitudes, discourage aggression and promote values of emotion and creativity.

Literature After Darwin

Human Beasts in Western Fiction 1859-1939

Literature After Darwin

What makes us human? Where is the limit between human and animal? These are questions that haunt post-Darwinian literature. Covering fiction from Kipling to Kafka, this study offers a historically embedded analysis of anthropological anxiety in the period between the publication of the Origin of Species and the beginning of the Second World War.

Animals and the Human Imagination

A Companion to Animal Studies

Animals and the Human Imagination

Human beings have long imagined their subjectivity, ethics, and ancestry with and through animals, yet not until the mid-twentieth century did contemporary thought reflect critically on animals' significance in human self-conception. Thinkers such as French philosopher Jacques Derrida, South African novelist J. M. Coetzee, and American theorist Donna Haraway have initiated rigorous inquiries into the question of the animal, now blossoming in a number of directions. It is no longer strange to say that if animals did not exist, we would have to invent them. This interdisciplinary and cross-cultural collection reflects the growth of animal studies as an independent field and the rise of "animality" as a critical lens through which to analyze society and culture, on a par with race and gender. Essays consider the role of animals in the human imagination and the imagination of the human; the worldviews of indigenous peoples; animal-human mythology in early modern China; and political uses of the animal in postcolonial India. They engage with the theoretical underpinnings of the animal protection movement, representations of animals in children's literature, depictions of animals in contemporary art, and the philosophical positioning of the animal from Aristotle to Derrida. The strength of this companion lies in its timeliness and contextual diversity, which makes it essential reading for students and researchers while further developing the parameters of the discipline.