Language : English
Published : 2017-10-27
Pages : 208
Stories, essays, and interviews explore dystopias that may offer lessons for the present.As the recent success of Margaret Atwood’s novel-turned-television hit Handmaid’s Tale shows us, dystopia is more than minatory fantasy; it offers a critical lens upon the present. “It is not only a kind of vocabulary and idiom,” says bestselling author and volume editor Junot Diaz. “It is a useful arena in which to begin to think about who we are becoming.”Bringing together some of the most prominent writers of science fiction and introducing fresh talent, this collection of stories, essays, and interviews explores global dystopias in apocalyptic landscapes and tech futures, in robot sentience and forever war. Global Dystopias engages the familiar horrors of George Orwell’s 1984 alongside new work by China Mieville, Tananarive Due, and Maria Dahvana Headley. In “Don’t Press Charges, and I Won’t Sue,” award-winning writer Charlie Jane Anders uses popularized stigmas toward transgender people to create a not-so-distant future in which conversion therapy is not only normalized, but funded by the government. Henry Farrell surveys the work of dystopian forebear Philip K. Dick and argues that distinctions between the present and the possible future aren’t always that clear. Contributors also include Margaret Atwood and award-winning speculative writer, Nalo Hopkinson.In the era of Trump, resurgent populism, and climate denial, this collection poses vital questions about politics and civic responsibility and subjectivity itself. If we have, as Diaz says, reached peak dystopia, then Global Dystopias might just be the handbook we need to survive it.ContributorsCharlie Jane Anders, Margaret Atwood, Tananarive Due, Maria Dahvana Headley, Nalo Hopkinson, Maureen McHugh, China Mieville, Alex Rivera, Jordy Rosenberg
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“The Story of the Stone” (c. 1760) is one of the greatest novels of Chinese literature. The first part of the story, The Golden Days, begins the tale of Bao-yu, a gentle young boy who prefers girls to Confucian studies, and his two cousins: Bao-chai, his parents’ choice of a wife for him, and the ethereal beauty Dai-yu. Through the changing fortunes of the Jia family, this rich, magical work sets worldly events – love affairs, sibling rivalries, political intrigues, even murder – within the context of the Buddhist understanding that earthly existence is an illusion and karma determines the shape of our lives.
David Hintons compelling new translation of Chuang Tzus Inner Chapters makes these ancient texts from the Golden Age of Chinese philosophy accessible to contemporary readers. Standing alongside the Tao Te Ching as a founding text in the Taoist tradition, Chuang Tzu is highly readablewith a wild menagerie of characters and passages full of witty and engaging anecdotes. Revered for millennia in the Chinese spiritual tradition, Chuang Tzu stands alongside the Tao Te Ching as a founding classic of Taoism. The Inner Chapters is the only sustained section of this text widely believed to be the work of Chuang Tzu himself, dating to the fourth century B.C. Witty and engaging, spiced with the lyricism of poetry, Chuang Tzus Taoist insights are timely and eternal, profoundly concerned with spiritual ecology. Indeed, the Tao of Chuang Tzu was a wholesale rejection of a human-centered approach. Zen traces its sources back to these Taoist roots–roots at least as deep as those provided by Buddhism. But this is an ancient text that yields a surprisingly modern effect. In bold and startling prose, David Hintons translation captures the zany texture and philosophical abandon of the original. The Inner Chapterss fantastical passages–in which even birds and trees teach us what they know–offer up a wild menagerie of characters, freewheeling play with language, and surreal humor. And interwoven with Chuang Tzus sharp instruction on the Tao are short-short stories that are often rough and ribald, rich with satire and paradox.On their deepest level, The Inner Chapters are a meditation on the mysteries of knowledge itself. Chuang Tzus propositions, the translators introduction reminds us, seem to be in constant transformation, for he deploys words and concepts only to free us of words and concepts. Hintons vital new translation makes this ancient text from the golden age of Chinese philosophy accessible to contemporary readers.
New in the Harper Perennial Modern Chinese Classics series, Border Town is a classic Chinese novel—banned by Mao’s regime—that captures the ideals of rural China through the moving story of a young woman and her grandfather. Originally published in 1934 by author Shen Congwen, this beautifully written novel tells the story of Cuicui, a young country girl who is coming of age in rural China in the tumultuous time before the communist revolution.
The third edition of The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature is the complete and authoritative reference guide to the classical world and its literary heritage. It not only presents the reader with all the essential facts about the authors, tales, and characters from ancient myths and literature, but it also places these details in the wider contexts of the history and society of the Greek and Roman worlds. With an extensive web of cross-references and a useful chronological table and location maps (all of which have been brought fully up to date), this volume traces the development of literary forms and the classical allusions which have become embedded in our Western culture. Extensively revised and updated, the Companion includes more thematic entries – medicine, friendship, science, the concept of freedom, and sexuality. These topical entries provide an excellent starting point to the exploration of their subjects in classical literature. The Companion contains extensive biographies of classical literary figures from Aeschylus to Zeno; entries on a multitude of literary styles from biography and rhetoric to lyric poetry and epic, and character entries and plot summaries for the major figures and myths in the classical canon. It is the ideal guide for students in Classics, and for all who are passionate about the vast and varied literary tradition bequeathed to us from the classical world.