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Politics, Poetics, and Gender in Late Qing ChinaXue Shaohui (1866-1911) and the Era of Reform$
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Nanxiu Qian

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780804792400

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804792400.001.0001

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Introducing Modern Science and Technology through Literature

Introducing Modern Science and Technology through Literature

(p.185) Six Introducing Modern Science and Technology through Literature
Politics, Poetics, and Gender in Late Qing China

Nanxiu Qian

Stanford University Press

As part of her reform efforts in the aftermath of the Hundred Days, Xue wrote broadly on modern science and technology when the topic yet to attract attentions in the territory of literature in China. Xue employed two literary forms in introducing related knowledge to Chinese readers—classical parallel prose and the more accessible genre of quasi-vernacular fiction. This chapter looks first at her parallel prose essays that poeticized modern science and technology. It then examines her co-translation with Shoupeng of Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days, which marked the first Chinese rendition of Western science fiction and the first of Jules Verne’s works. The couple’s extensive annotation to the text indicates that they aimed at translating this work into a textbook of world culture, history, and modern science and technology. Xue’s intentional rewriting of some parts further added feminist touch to this work.

Keywords:   science, technology, parallel prose, Jules Verne, science fiction, vernacular Chinese (baihua), classical Chinese (wenyan)

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