For a Splendid Sunny Apocalypse (Paperback)
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In these self-mocking poems -- populated with youths and elders, cellphones and televisions -- Jiang Tao presents and dissects a discontent with the state of the world. The complex use of metaphor highlights his profound wit and poetic mastery, building subtle layers of satire that act as commentary and proposed remedy for society's flaws. But melancholy, nostalgia, dispassion, and the occasional lyricism also come into play as he explores the passage of time, city life, materialism, economic realities, and the difficulties of human communication and connection. Jiang Tao's verse is, as translator Josh Stenberg has written, "a quintessential expression of urban malaise in contemporary China."
About the Author
Jiang Tao is a Beijing-based poet, literary critic, translator, and historian, known as much for his wry, cerebral verse as his ground-breaking studies of Republican (1911-49) literature. An Associate Professor at Peking University, he has held literary residencies in Japan, Taiwan, and the United States. He was born in Tianjin in 1970, and studied first at Tsinghua University, only to abandon biomedical engineering for a PhD in Chinese literature at Peking University, where he also began teaching in 2002. He wrote poetry as a student, and was editor of the folk poetry journals Offset and Poetry Communications. His first collection Bird Sutras was published in 2005, and he has since published Four Poems and Mourning for Sometimes. He won the Liu Li'an Prize for Poetry in 1997. Josh Stenberg is a Senior Lecturer in Chinese Studies at the University of Sydney. He is the author of Minority Stages: Sino-Indonesian Performance and Public Display (2019) and an upcoming book on Hokkien theatre, as well as the editor of Irina's Hat: New Short Stories from China (2013) and Kunqu Masters on Chinese Theatrical Performance (2022). He translated two volumes of short fiction by Nanjing author Su Tong, short fiction by PRC, Taiwanese, and Southeast Asian Chinese authors, and numerous works of spoken and traditional Chinese theatre. His fiction and poetry have been published in The Antigonish Review, The New Quarterly, CV2, The Dalhousie Review and other literary journals. He has been a fellow of Fulbright Taiwan, the Center for Chinese Studies (National Central Library), the International Institute for Asian Studies (Leiden), and the Vermont Studio Centre/Luce Foundation.