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范轶伦
范轶伦,香港中文大学文化研究文学学士(一级荣誉,2013)及哲学硕士(2015),现于加州大学河滨分校就读比较文学博士学位。硕士毕业论文以跨语际实践的视角探索韩松对中国科幻小说叙事传统的创新,现正致力于寻求中国与拉美科幻之间的微妙连接。学术兴趣包括:科幻文学与电视剧、科学哲学、科技文化、跨文化翻译、表演研究。 Yilun Fan is a PhD student in the Department of Comparative Literature at University of California, Riverside. She earned her B.A with first class honors (2013) and MPhil (2015) in Cultural Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Her MPhil thesis explores how Han Song reinvents the narrative tradition of Chinese science fiction through the theoretical perspective of translingual practice. Her current project focuses on the parallels between Chinese and Latin American science fiction. Research interests: science fiction literature and television, philosophy of science, Technoculture Studies, cross-culture translation and performance studies.

现实和幻想的复调——拉美科幻初探

Posted by | academic-information | Tuesday 10 May 2016 4:01 am

原文发表于《科幻世界》2016年第5期,本文修订时有增补。

现实和幻想的复调

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——拉美科幻初探

五年前我在加州大学圣巴巴拉分校(简称UCSB)交换的时候,除了旁听各种与科幻有关的课程,还在墨西哥室友的帮助下热火朝天地学习西班牙语。一次偶然的机会,我读到了李广益老师发表在《科幻世界》上的伊顿科幻大会手记[1],他与拉切尔·海伍德·费雷拉教授(Rachel Haywood Ferreira)关于中国和拉美科幻相似起源的讨论让我眼前一亮,便找来了费雷拉教授当年刚出的新书《拉美科幻文学史》(The Emergence of Latin American Science Fiction)[2]研读。这是第一部专攻拉美科幻的英文专著,在科幻研究界引起了相当大的关注。费雷拉将1920年以前的拉美科幻小说置于时代脉络中考察,视其为社会现实的反映,认为这些文本不仅凸显了当时拉美知识分子对于现代时空观、达尔文主义,以及科学技术的反思,而且体现了国族身份认同和现代化进程之间的张力。这本著作给我带来了迄今为止最奇妙的一次学术阅读体验:字里行间明明是发生在南半球那个魔幻大陆的故事,却让我看到了许多中国科幻的影子——那么远,那么近,一道连接着两个大陆的任意门仿佛正等待着被打开。 提起拉美文学,中国读者最熟悉的一定是写《百年孤独》的马尔克斯,阿根廷作家博尔赫斯和智利桂冠诗人聂鲁达,这片诞生了“魔幻现实主义”的神奇土地,会孕育出怎样的科幻小说呢?回答这个问题之前,不妨先回顾下拉美的历史与现实。拉丁美洲(Latin America)通常是指美国以南的以罗曼语族语言作为官方语言或者主要语言的地区,在地理上包括了中美洲和南美洲。因为罗曼语族衍生于拉丁语,拉丁美洲由而得名。而在十六世纪以前,印第安语才是这片土地的母语。在长达三个世纪的殖民统治下,西班牙语和葡萄牙语逐渐取代印第安语成为普遍使用的正式语言。如今,除巴西以葡语为官方语言外,其他国家都通行西语。被殖民的历史和后殖民的现实,是贯穿拉美科幻发展的主轴,而语言,既给拉美科幻染上了独特的风味,也在客观上令其直至晚近才进入学界视野。   第一本英文的拉美科幻选集《拉美宇宙:西班牙及拉美科幻选集》(Cosmos Latinos: An Anthology of Science Fiction From Latin American and Spain)于2003年才问世,收录了1862年以来十多个拉美国家的接近三十篇科幻小说,极具代表性,希望不久的将来也能有中译版问世。 拉美科幻的起源可以追溯到18世纪,当时的一些作品已经初具现代意义上科幻小说的雏形。根据学界比较认可的说法,最早的“原型科幻小说”是1775年墨西哥人马努尔·安东尼奥·德·里瓦斯(Manual Antonio de cialis for sale online Rivas )创作的《朔望》(Syzygies)[3] 。小说以同年天文学年鉴的序言形式写就,讲述了法国人来到月球与当地文明接触的故事,探讨了包括基督教创世神话在内的地球文明始源问题,无论语言和主题都深受当时欧洲科幻小说的影响,例如培根的《新亚特兰蒂斯》(New Atlantis,1629)和开普勒的《梦》(Somnium,1634)。不少拉美学者认为,这不仅是墨西哥文学史上的第一篇科幻小说,也很可能是整个美洲大陆最早的科幻小说。 阿根廷人爱德华多·拉迪斯劳·洪堡(Eduardo Ladislao Holmberg)于1875年创作的《尼克-纳科先生的奇妙之旅》(El Maravilloso Viaje del viagra migraine Sr. Nic-Nac)是第一篇真正意义上的现代科幻小说,他本人亦被认为是拉美第一位科幻作家。洪堡本身是一位生物学家,足迹遍布阿根廷各大生态区,对当地植物学和动物学的发展做出了杰出的贡献。19世纪至20世纪中叶,拉美地区的科幻创作大多以单篇散篇的形式出现,并未形成固定的作者群,不少主流作家都乐于尝试,但大多将之视为针砭时弊、抒发政治抱负和批判伪科学的有力手段。 阿根廷毫无疑问是这一时期科幻创作最为活跃的国家,博尔赫斯和比奥伊·卡萨雷斯(Bioy Casares)就贡献了不少脍炙人口的名作。卡萨雷斯创作于1940年的中篇小说《莫雷尔的发明》(La Invención de Morel)是公认的拉美科幻经典,斩获大奖无数。为逃避警察追捕,主人公来到了一个与世隔绝的荒岛,在此他爱上了一个名叫福斯蒂妮的女子,却发现后者只是由莫雷尔的发明所“制造”的全息影像,为了追随爱情,他最终决定把自己也变成影像。小说最后给出了一个开放的结局,“我”的肉体已消亡,而灵魂还在未知的空间游荡,恳请读者带“我”进入福斯蒂妮的世界。也许在今天看来,真实与虚拟已经是老掉牙的科幻小说主题,然而在那个时代,卡萨雷斯的这一设想毫无疑问是开创性的。1990年作者被授予西班牙语文学最高奖——塞万提斯奖,评审对于该书的评价是“通过完美的叙事结构,将现实与幻想天衣无缝地融合在一起”。中译本已由人民文学出版社引进,有兴趣的读者可以一看。 20世纪1960年代,拉美文学大爆炸,随着幻想文学和魔幻现实主义的盛行,科幻小说也迎来了第一个黄金时期,阿根廷、巴西、智利、墨西哥和古巴涌现了许多具有代表性的科幻作家。除了延续之前的社会批判功能,科幻小说无论在主题还是表达方式上都更加多样化。例如巴斯克[4]裔阿根廷女作家马格达莱纳·莫伍翰·奥塔尼奥(Magdalena Mouján Otaño)的短篇小说《我们和我们自己》(Gu Ta Gutarrak,1968)就巧妙地设计了一个时间旅行悖论揭露巴斯克人的神秘起源,讽刺了当时弗朗哥独裁统治下盛行的种族一元论。1969年,国际科幻小说研讨会和国际电影节在巴西首都里约热内卢召开,这是第一次全世界范围内科幻作家和从业者聚首的盛会,阿瑟·克拉克、罗伯特·海因莱因等众多国际知名科幻作家的出席引发一场全民科幻热潮,对拉美科幻的发展起了极其重要的推动作用。然而进入70年代中期,拉美地区出现大规模的政治动荡和经济危机,出版业保守之风大行。出于政治和市场的双重考虑,书店只卖成名作家的经典著作和翻译引进的畅销小说,深受欢迎的阿根廷科幻作家艾克特·奥斯特希尔德(Héctor Osterheald)甚至因政治原因而“被失踪”,至今依然下落不明。即便如此,本土科幻创作并未因此止步,而是在夹缝中艰难图存,这一时期出现了不少具有代表性的短篇小说选集,增强了各国科幻界的交流。 差不多又过了十年,到1980年代中期,整个拉美社会时局逐渐缓和,科幻小说才迎来了第二个春天。以墨西哥、阿根廷和巴西为首,各国都出现了固定的科幻小说作者群和粉丝,题材也日渐多元化,菲利普·迪克成为许多拉美作家争相效仿的对象,赛博朋克亦大受欢迎。进入90年代,互联网的兴起不仅为科幻作者提供了更多元的发表平台,也方便了粉丝的互动。目前比较活跃的拉美科幻组织有墨西哥科幻奇幻协会(简称AMCyF)、阿根廷科幻奇幻俱乐部(CACyF)、委内瑞拉的乌比克科幻奇幻协会(UBIK)和智利奇幻科幻社(Sochif)。 在1992年出版的第二版 《科幻小说百科全书》中,墨西哥评论家毛里西奥-何塞·施瓦茨(Mauricio-José Schwarz)和巴西评论家布劳略·塔瓦雷斯(Bráulio Tavarse)这样评价拉美科幻:“尽管现代拉丁美洲的科幻小说深受美、英科幻小说的影响,但印第安人及殖民统治时期魔幻传统的影响也是存在的,而且有些明显烙有主动与英语国家的科幻传统分道扬镳的印记。”当代拉美科幻的一大特色就是浓厚的本土意识,不仅频繁使用本土地名人名和俚语,更善于从当地文化和历史中汲取灵感,表达对大企业、消费文化,帝国主义的批判,亦透露着对当代国际关系的思考。在体裁上,“软科幻”可谓拉美科幻的主流,许多作品都融合了恐怖和奇幻元素,以都市为背景,主人公是具有反叛精神的边缘青年。由于漫画在拉美的风靡,不少超级英雄故事都以漫画书的形式出版,尤其在墨西哥,这类轻松易懂又价格低廉的小说十分受欢迎。 对于性别议题的关注自第一个黄金时代起其就渗入了科幻作家的创作。虽然人数不多,女作家一直是推动拉美科幻发展不可忽视的力量。她们活跃于粉丝俱乐部,科幻大会,也创办同人杂志,担任各类竞赛评审。来自阿根廷的安赫莉卡·格罗迪斯彻(Angélica Gorodischer)是当代最杰出的拉美科幻作家之一,她以短篇见长,探讨两性之间,当权者与被统治者之间的权力关系,对奇幻、恐怖、侦探等其他类型也游刃有余。厄休拉•勒古恩就对格罗迪斯彻大为激赏,将其代表作《卡尔帕帝国》(Kalpa Imperial,1983)翻译成了英文,这部短篇小说选集以惊人的想象力虚构了一个名叫“卡尔帕”的帝国的历史,在英文界亦大受好评。 在加州大学河滨分校(简称UCR)的第二个学期,我修读了西班牙语研究系开设的拉美科幻课,从教材到授课全部用西班牙语,对我来说是一个很大的挑战。教授亚历山大·佛纳萨利(Alessandro Fornazzari)来自智利,四十多位学生都是母语为西班牙语的拉美裔,我的亚洲面孔和口音常常引来好奇的目光。学期开始前,我原本以为这门课会首先按部就班地梳理拉美科幻历史,然后再辅以科幻理论研习具体文本。然而出乎我的意料,从第一节课开始,佛纳萨利教授就单刀直入小说诗歌文学各类文本,既不追溯历史,更不引用任何英文学界的经典理论,贯穿整个学期的,反而是法国学者茨维坦·托多洛夫(Tzvetan Todorov)谈论幻想文学的《幻想文学导论》(The rx care pharmacy Fantastic)。 托多洛夫认为,文学类型的特征不仅在作品本身,而是在阅读中寻找:我们的世界中发生了无法用自然法则解释的事,是将之归于幻觉在作祟?还是有另一套法则支配着这个世界?正是读者的这种犹豫(hesitation)定义了“幻想文学”。在我看来,托多洛夫所谓的幻想文学,其实更接近通常意义上的“奇幻”,因为在科幻小说的世界中,一切总能用科学来解释。随着课程的深入,我的疑惑也越来越深:三个科学家造出了拉美版的“弗兰肯斯坦”,这是科幻无疑;某民科用射线把电影中的女子变成真人,最后却被吸得滴血不剩,前半部分也符合,然而,魔法师在梦中创造了幻影男孩,却发现自己也是他人梦中的幻影,这是科幻吗?老兵通过梦境重回当年战场,英勇地死去,这也是科幻吗?男子盯着水族馆中的墨西哥钝口螈(Axolotl),最后发现难分彼此,这还是科幻吗?带着这些问题,我特地跑去办公室请教佛纳萨利教授如何看待科幻和奇幻的区别,没想到教授狡黠地一笑,说我的问题正中下怀,这门课正想激发我们反思科幻的定义。

墨西哥钝口螈,俗称“六角恐龙”,是墨西哥的特有种,因其独特的外貌及幼态延续而著名。即使在性成熟后也不会经历适应陆地的变态,仍保持它的水栖幼体型态(相当于青蛙的蝌蚪时期)。其名Axolotl源自阿兹特克神话中的闪电与死亡之神Xolotl。

otc viagra “造人”、“时间旅行”、“真实与虚拟”,这些都是科幻小说中常见的主题,然而没有科学和技术的参与,就不能算科幻小说了吗?佛纳萨利教授的反问让我恍然有所悟,科幻号称一种思维方式,而当我们判断一篇小说是否属于科幻时,标准却往往是形而下的:无论“软”还是“硬”都必须对科学和技术有所触及。问题是:如果出离具体的科学和技术,直接在形而上的层面讨论“时空观”和“宇宙观”,还能算“科幻”吗? free sample pack of viagra 拉美科幻这门课对我最大的冲击,就是对“科幻”这一类型的定义。美国科幻作家及学者詹姆斯·冈恩在《时光永驻:非英语国家科幻小说》一书中认为,拉美对科幻小说、幻想小说(及文学本身)的主要贡献在其“魔幻现实主义”创作手法。这一观点代表了英文学界对于拉美科幻的主流意见。与魔幻现实主义的关系,是谈论拉美科幻时无法回避的问题,而对于拉美学者而言,将拉美科幻视为魔幻现实主义的附庸或衍生是十分局限的,当然,客观原因是翻译成英文的拉美科幻作品还是凤毛麟角,若不精通西语或葡语,难免管中窥豹。在拉美学者看来,拉美科幻并不应该与魔幻现实主义混为一谈,因为自从片土地诞生起,科幻就秉承了本土幻想文学的传统:科幻在拉美就是这样。 一直以来,科幻都被视为北美和欧洲工业文化的产物,通行学界的科幻理论出自欧美学者,对“科幻”的定义,自然也是参照欧美科幻发展史而写就。亚洲、非洲、拉美等地区的科幻,似乎展现了这一文类从起源地“传播”到世界各地被 “本土化”的过程。而费雷拉教授在其著作中,主张把科幻视为一种全球文类,拉美科幻并不只是贡献了一种多样性,而是从一开始就“共同参与”了这一文类的构建。这也让我反思对于中国科幻的定位,90年代后“去科普化”成为众望所归,“科幻终于走上了这一文类发展的正途”。然而“正”“歧”是以什么为标准呢?是否中国科幻与科普的勾连,就如拉美科幻和本土幻想文学的联结一样,恰恰是最应被肯定、最独特之处呢?也许我们太执着于“科幻应该是这样”的问题,却忽略了“科幻可以是怎样”。    


[1] rxonlinepharmacy-avoided.com 《科幻属于世界 ——2011年伊顿科幻大会手记》,发表于《科幻世界》2011年第四期。
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[2] 该书的中文版已由百花文艺出版社翻译引进,将于今年出版。
[3] 西语原文标题有超过60个单词,根据西语学界的惯例在此缩写为Syzygies。
[4]巴斯克人(Basque),西南欧民族,主要分布在西班牙比利牛斯山脉西段和比斯开湾南岸,其余分布在法国及拉丁美洲各国。巴斯克人是欧洲最古老的民族,然而无论其长相还是语言都迥异于任何欧洲民族,甚至血型都十分特别。关于这个巴斯克人的来历一直是未解之谜。

The Identity Vacillation of a Technological Elite: The Tension between Poetry and Technology in Liu Cixin’s “The Poetry Cloud” (Shi yun)

Posted by | academic-information | Saturday 9 January 2016 2:07 pm

The article was published in Frontiers of Literary Studies in China vol. 9, no.3 (September 2015). Abstract This paper explores Chinese science fiction writer Liu Cixin’s 刘慈欣novelette “The Poetry Cloud” (Shi yun, 1997) by contextualizing it within the debate between scientism and humanism in 1990s China, an event that has been downplayed in its significance in shaping Liu’s ideas. The first section of this article will investigate how the narrative framework of science fiction represents and refreshes the symbolic meaning of poetry in the abovementioned context. Secondly, by analyzing the three main characters, Yiyi, Big-tooth, and Li Bai, with a focus on their perceptions of poetry, the next section will discuss the different opinions they represent with regard to the debate. Finally, by studying Liu’s work in the context of Martin Heidegger’s reflections upon technology, the last section examines his solution to the tension between scientism and humanism in the programming of a poetry cloud that marries poetic imagination with technological means. This essay argues that the story demonstrates how Liu, a technological elite, vacillates between technological determinism and humanism, and tries to provide a possible solution to their inherent contradictions. Keywords Liu Cixin, identity, poetry, technology, humanism, scientism   Introduction This essay attempts an original investigation of Chinese science fiction writer Liu Cixin’s novelette “The Poetry Cloud” (Shi yun, 1997)[1] by examining this work in relation to the debate between scientism and humanism in 1990s China. This debate is embodied in the narrative tension between technology and poetry in Liu’s novelette, but critical opinion has tended to marginalize the importance of this work in his reconsideration of the prevailing thought of scientism in general and technological determinism in particular. The following discussions will start with exploring the symbolic meanings of poetry in the abovementioned context, trying to discover how the narrative framework of science fiction represents and refreshes its traditional culture implications. By studying the three main characters, Yiyi, Big-tooth, and Li Bai, with a focus on their perceptions of poetry, the next section will move on to the different opinions they represent with regard to the debate. The last section examines Liu’s solution to the tension between scientism and humanism by analyzing this work in the context of Martin Heidegger’s reflections upon technology. The main argument of this essay holds that this novelette demonstrates how Liu, a technological elite, vacillates between technological determinism and humanism, and tries to provide a possible solution to their inherent contradictions. As a product of poetic imagination and technological means, the sublime poetry cloud signifies the reconciliation between poetry and technology, and, as envisioned on a larger scale, between humanity and the universe. Although “The Poetry Cloud” is highly acclaimed among readers, only Song Mingwei and David Wang Der-wei have begun to discuss it in an academic setting, and neither of them has contextualized this work within the debate between scientism and humanism in 1990s China. In existing scholarship, “The Poetry Cloud” has never been studied and analyzed in depth, and this essay is the first academic paper that deals with this novelette. “The Poetry Cloud”: Tension between Poetry and Technology A senior engineer by day, science fiction writer by night, Liu Cixin (23 June, 1963) is the best-known author of the genre in China, which has developed rapidly in recent years.[2] “The Poetry Cloud” (1997) is the first part of Liu’s Great Art Trilogy (Da yishu sanbuqu).[3] This story fabricates a future dystopia where the whole human race has become the source of food for alien dinosaurs. When a poet named Yiyi is sent to a god-like alien creature as a gift by the dinosaur ambassador Big-tooth, he declares that classical Chinese poetry is the only thing created by humanity that cannot be surpassed by technology. In order to demonstrate the omnipotence of technology and to fulfill his own curiosity of this artistic form, the alien creature incarnates himself in Li Bai and decides to write the best poem by programming a poetry cloud to encompass all possible poetic creations. However, when all poems are stored in the sublime nebula, he cannot identify which one is a true masterpiece. Luckily, the whole human race is able to return to earth due to the ultimate poetry composition. Since the late Qing dynasty, Chinese science fiction writers have rarely questioned the revolutionary power of technology. From the nineteenth century to the present day, science fiction has consistently proved to be an ideal vehicle for registering tensions related to the definition of national identity and the modernization process.[4] As in other peripheral areas—such as Mexico, Argentina, and Brazil—the emergence of science fiction in China was incorporated into the narrative construction of the nation state in the nineteenth century. Threatened by Western imperialists who were armed with modern science and technology, Chinese intellectuals introduced science fiction mainly as a tool to prompt people’s interest in science and technology through its utopian narrative that projects the political vision of China’s reform onto an independent, idealized, and technologically more advanced world.[5] No matter how science fiction waxed and waned depending on China’s political vicissitudes, the renovation of the nation through technological innovation has remained a recurring theme in this genre. Nevertheless, as exemplified in novelist Liu Cixin’s “The Poetry Cloud,” searching among traditional Chinese culture for transcendence became a common theme in China’s science fiction in the 1990s. As Ruth Hayhoe points out, during the whole twentieth century, there was a struggle in China to achieve the economic and social benefits of Western science and technology, while still asserting Chinese patterns of culture and knowledge in order to maintain Chinese identity.[6]Classical poetry, for example, is a symbol of Chinese culture and an aesthetic practice of local knowledge that expresses the intellectual and spiritual pursuits of Chinese tradition. In terms of the criteria of modern rationality, however, poetry lacks the productive value of Western science and technology. Yet, when incorporated in Liu’s narrative, poetry somehow surpasses technology and leads to the liberation of humans in an unexpected way. Such appropriation of classical Chinese culture can be commonly found among the works written in the 1990s—such as Liu Xingshi’s “The Legend of Wuzhong Mountain” (Wuzhongshan Chuanqi, 1992) and Wang Jinkang’s “The Balance of Life and Death” (Shengsi Pingheng, 1997). This theme of focusing on classical Chinese culture in the genre of science fiction raises an interesting question: Why, after informacion cialis espanol several decades of relying on Western science and technology for material progress, did many Chinese writers almost simultaneously look back at their traditional culture? An does cialis raise blood sugar examination of the debate between scientism and humanism in China during the 1990s will help us understand Liu’s narrative manipulation of “The Poetry Cloud.” Poetry: The Debate during the 1990s in China Since the launch of the reform and openness policy in 1978, the strong belief in the power of science and technology has significantly facilitated the development of “technological determinism” in modern China—a particular form of scientism. It assumes that the advance of modern technology—especially productive technology—is the fundamental drive for the development of history, which includes changes in social structure as well as cultural values. In the “The Poetry Cloud,” technology is worshipped for its magic or even divine power, as the fictional Li Bai indicates: Did you see that? This is technology, the kind of power that enabled our race to rise from slugs in the muddy ocean beds to gods. Technology is the real god. We worship Him with our whole body and soul.[7] However, the triumph of technological determinism over humanism faced a dire challenge during the 1990s. Along with the introduction of new sociological and philosophical theories concerning science and technology—especially the post-modern discourse—the legitimacy of “technological determinism” was undermined. From the “searching for roots” movement (xungen) to the “Chinese culture fever” and the “national studies fever,” the rethinking of the value of Chinese traditional culture resulted in a dispute between the humanists—who supported the deconstruction of science—and the scientists—who worried that an anti-science attitude in contemporary China would cause the nation to risk forfeiting its rational spirit.[8] The core issue in the reevaluation of Chinese culture has been the debate about how to seek a balance among different values—Chinese and Western, traditional and modern. As often as not, poetry serves to symbolize the resurgence of traditional cultural values and to challenge the dominance of technological determinism. In Liu’s narrative, “poetry” does not refer to the entirety of this literary form—which includes the poetic writing of all styles and languages—instead, “poetry” refers only to classical Chinese poetry. In other words, Liu reduces all of the possible signifies of the signifier poetry into the sole form of “traditional Chinese poetry,” with the extolment of its unique aesthetic running through his narrative: Yiyi: Because it [poem] is an art that can only be expressed in classical Chinese. Even when translated into another human language, it still loses the better part of its meaning and beauty, and it is transformed into something quite different. [9] Li Bai: Most [art forms] are complicated and obscure. But this, with so few symbols, making up such tiny matrixes yet expressing such complex layers and subdivisions of feelings, all composed under such strict, almost brutal, restrictions of style, meter and rhyme is, I admit, something I have never seen before…[10] By highlighting its distinct style, rhyme, and meter from the perspectives of both the professional scholar and the layperson—to wit, the alien creature “Li Bai”—Liu reaffirms classical Chinese poetry as “an unsurpassable art form” on account of its untranslatability and inimitability—it can only be created and fully understood by those who understand classical Chinese and share the same cultural background as “us.” From the late Qing dynasty, it has been a long-lasting challenge for Chinese intellectuals to address the problem of national identity by fairly justifying traditional Chinese culture under the impact of Western cultural values. At the beginning, the growth of national awareness by connecting “nation” with “culture” was rooted in a resistance to Western knowledge systems—which were generally known as “sciences” (kexue). A sense of cultural superiority was based on a faith in the uniqueness of Chinese culture, and was presented as a rejection of the unqualified Western audience who were not part of “us.” At that time, early Chinese science fiction already manifested a cultural hybridity in the combination of a translated modernity and a self-conscious yearning for the rejuvenation of the Chinese tradition,[11] and this trend of thought gained ascendancy once again in the 1990s. During the “searching for roots” movement, many “indigenous” art forms—such as Go (weiqi) and Chinese Opera—were frequently incorporated into literary gel viagra forms to represent traditional humanistic cultural values—that is, the roots of being Chinese. Undoubtedly, classical Chinese poetry is one of China’s most remarkable cultural symbols. In traditional Chinese culture, poetry, held in extremely high regard, provides a format and a forum for the expression of deep emotion and spiritual aspiration, offering the audience a rare vantage point for insight into the inner life of Chinese writers over the span of more than two millennia.[12] In “The Poetry Cloud,” classical Chinese poetry not only belongs to Chinese intellectuals, but it also stands as “the essence of the inner world of the human soul” that deserves to be “transmitted to other parts of the universe.”[13] From this arises the inner conflict of Liu’s attitude towards poetry—how can something untranslatable be transmitted? According to Tang Yijie, the debate between humanists and scientists involves one important issue: that is, “How to establish new Chinese culture that accommodates current global development?”[14] This question resonates in Liu’s work, as it is considered from generic cialis online a cosmological perspective. Science fiction is able to reinvigorate traditional Chinese culture in a way that realistic fiction is unable. In this alternative narrative world, the laudation of classical Chinese poetry goes beyond the widely acknowledged aesthetic domain that was affirmed during the 1990s. Liu actually sets the ability to “grasp the essence of classical Chinese poetry” as the underlying criterion to distinguish “real human” from “non-human,” as illustrated in the following table: The most interesting example is the God-like creature. To experience poetry creation, he physically clones Li Bai, which leads him to gradually comprehend the essence of poetry. It is worth pointing out that this criterion has nothing to do with the biological definition of human beings. To put it another way, “humanity” is not defined by “genes,” but by the ability to understand “poetry.” Under this criterion, whereas domesticated humans are “non-human,” the God-like creature incarnated in the fictional Li-Bai finally becomes “human” through his effort to understand poetry. In this regard, Liu counters prevailing scientism and technological determinism with a trace of sarcasm—that is, by deliberately placing an understanding of classical Chinese poetry above that of the scientific understanding and technological cialis for daily use dosage development. Taking the aforesaid criterion of distinguishing between “human” and “non-human” as a point of departure, the following sections will analyze what position the three characters (Yiyi, Big-tooth, and Li Bai) represent in the debate between technological determinism and humanism. Yiyi: The Humanistic “Self” The hero Yiyi is a poet who teaches classical literature to the humans kept in breeding farms. These domesticated humans have some knowledge of classical is cialis the same as viagra Chinese poetry because dinosaur breeders try to “improve the quality of their meat” by making them learn poetry. Nonetheless, Yiyi appreciates this form of art spontaneously and takes pride in being a poet: Big-tooth: I’ve noticed that you think yourself noble and pure, and others to be beneath your notice. Very interesting feelings for a little fowl from a feed-lot. Yiyi: Thus the way with all poets. Yiyi straightened himself in the [Big-tooth’s] pocket, proudly holding his head high.[15] Clearly, Yiyi is a real human by Liu’s definition. He, as an aloof poet indulging in classical Chinese poetry, values it as the product of the human mind. Indeed, Yiyi’s ancestors were also poets—those who were not involved in the Earth Defense War because they did not care about anything other than their inner world. Thus Yiyi has inherited their spiritual legacy—the “tradition” of being a poet. Meanwhile, Yiyi neither worships the power of technology, nor does he believe that technological development is the most important pursuit. In his view, poetry has nothing to do with “technology,” in that technology is “anti-poetic”: Yiyi: Nature, in the eyes of Li Bai, is the girl you see at the riverside. The same nature, in a pair of technologically-oriented eyes, is the bloody components lined up in an orderly fashion on a white cloth. In other words, technology is anti-poetic.[16] Yiyi represents the humanists who propose rediscovering the advantage of traditional Chinese culture—especially Confucian humanists who notably rely on sense perception for their understanding of the world. What they call sense perception is similar to what is termed “epistemology” in Western philosophy. According to Confucian humanist Li Zehou, the most essential contrast between the Western and the Chinese structure of human intellect is “Western empiricism versus the Chinese dialectic”:[17] In the Chinese tradition, mainstream thinking is characterized by understanding through the senses so as to reach a state of the unity of nature and man… Real creative thinking is obtained neither from inductions nor from deductions of some common laws. It is a kind of free imagination and mastery directly through the sense.[18] Similarly, Yiyi proposes that one understand the world not from a pair of technologically-oriented eyes, but from a poetic sense embodied by the ancient poet Li Bai. In his view, the scalpel of technology can only dismember a pretty girl into “bloody components,” but the essence of her beauty can be grasped by perceiving her with imagination and sense perception. Confucian humanists are also noted for their ethical purism. In “The Poetry Cloud,” as Big-tooth points out, Yiyi always consider himself “pure and noble”—a characteristic which distinguishes him from other human “bugs.” Yiyi’s strict self-discipline is manifested in his weathered appearance as opposed to the fine-looking face of domesticated humans, who are carefully raised by the dinosaurs. What makes Yiyi distinctive is not merely his appearance but his mental independence. He “lives in his own inner world, and does not care for the changes happening around him.”[19] The external environment does not affect his spiritual aspiration, which enables him to think critically of technology, instead of being subjected to it. To sum up, like the Confucian humanists, Yiyi believes that the supreme spiritual state of humanity is in the form of aesthetics, and that relying on technology causes humans to risk losing such spirituality. In this story, the magnificent power of technology to “change” the color of the sun might be a metaphor for technology’s all-pervasive presence in people’s lives during the 1990s. Although remarkable innovations greatly advanced the progress of modernity, their growing interference with the human body and mind nevertheless undermines the definition of “human.” In China during the 1990s, this process was exacerbated by the ever-accelerating market economy that further subjected individuals to the alienating force of technology. Confronted with the oppression of an “ethic” derived from the “tool,” Confucian humanists treated traditional cultural values as an ideal weapon against the invasion of technology in the spiritual sphere of humanity. For Yiyi, teaching poetry to domesticated humans is a way to retain his human dignity. Big-Tooth: The Technological “Other” In contrast to Yiyi, Big-tooth firmly believes in the productive force of technology. As the ambassador of the Devourer Empire, Big-tooth sends Yiyi as a gift to the alien creator, so that their society may benefit from his technology, bringing a great leap to their civilization: Big-tooth: If we could but master one-hundredth of that super technology, the Devourer Empire would have a bright future.[20] While presuming that the alien creator will appreciate classical Chinese poetry, Big-tooth himself regards it as “a boring and useless actress in viagra commercial learning,” despite its ability to improve the quality of human meat. Ironically, although Big-tooth disparages the poet as “a most useless kind of bug,” he is not able to understand their useless creations. Big-tooth’s interpretation of classical Chinese poetry is rather idiosyncratic, for example: Behind a mountain the day fades, The Yellow River unites with the Ocean. Scenes a thousand miles away, One may survey from a higher floor.[21] Big-tooth: It means a star has fallen behind a mountain on a planet, and a river called the Yellow River flows toward an ocean. You see both river and Ocean are formed by compounds of one oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms. And if someone wants to see further away, he should climb higher.[22] By satirizing Big-tooth, Liu humorously and hyperbolically mocks the technological determinists’ ignorance of traditional culture. Poetry is a non-rational linguistic system that is logically and naturally prior to rationality, and “it offers an experience of another kind of order, a system that operates independently of the production of the meaningful discourse that it enables.”[23] Clearly, poetic language cannot be interpreted according to scientific rules—such as those of chemistry—as it works with a kind of logic that is devoid of discursive logic. To understand this poem, one needs imagination and cultural empathy, and Big-tooth’s overdependence on scientific rationality serves to merely expose a blind spot inherent to scientism: the ignorance of its own limitation. In addition, Big-tooth also exemplifies the barbaric “evil technologists” whose origin can be traced back to Westerners during the late Qing period. According to the prequel, “Human and the Devourer”(Ren he tunshizhe, 2000)[24], alien dinosaurs are the descendants of the earthly dinosaurs. One hundred million years ago, their exhaustion of natural resources resulted in fatal catastrophes on earth, which forced them to expand civilization by means of interstellar colonization. Not unlike the predatory and expansionist dinosaur civilization in Liu’s work, the new state capitalists of the eighteenth century also began overseas colonization owning to an urgent need for resources—leading to the exploitation of colonies without mercy. Moreover, the barbarism of dinosaurs is not only embodied in their primitive appearance—as indicated by the name “Big-tooth”—but also manifested in their inability to gasp the meaning of classical Chinese poetry, as mentioned above. In pre-modern China, the binary opposition between “Chinese” and “barbarian” was deeply rooted in the consciousness of Chinese intellectuals. The superiority of traditional Chinese culture was constructed upon the comparison between the civilized self and the barbarian other—China always imagined itself as the political and cultural center of the civilized world. Even the Manchu government’s proposal to “learn the advanced technology of barbarians in order to defeat them” still implied that China was the center, despite the superficial progress of Western civilization in terms of technological development. Wang Hui points out that the “obtrusion” of the West in the nineteenth century was an intense traumatic experience for China—since then, Chinese intellectuals have exerted their utmost efforts to either overcome or integrate the systems of the modern world.[25] Although Western colonial powers failed in their attempts to conquer the whole China, their violent and aggressive image has become a ghost in the discourse of science and technology that has haunted the narrative of modernity for Chinese intellectuals. Seen in this light, the colonial empire of dinosaurs in Liu’s “The Poetry Cloud” seems to indicate that colonialism is a rapacious occidental other that—despite being technologically advanced—fails to transcend their barbarian essence. Another noteworthy trait of the dinosaur is “eating humans.” best cure for cialis headache As Fredric Jameson noted in his “Third World Literature in the Era of Multinational Capitalism,” the implications of the verb “to eat” in Lu Xun’s Diary of a Madman (1918) are the dramatization of an essential social nightmare—that is to say, under the acquiesce and protection of the most “traditional” mechanism of Chinese culture, the “compatriots” have to relentlessly “eat” each other in order to survive the turmoil of the late Qing dynasty.[26] Nevertheless, in Liu’s narrative, that which “eats” humans is not traditional social customs, but the dinosaurs that represent colonial and technological power. While Lu Xun’s attitude toward the Chinese people is to be “sympathetic with their sufferings, and infuriated at their indifference,” Liu laments the depravity of the whole human race, one that has been tamed in the technological conservatory built by dinosaurs: On the way back to Earth, most of the humans were quite depressed, though for an entirely different reason from Yiyi’s. Once back on Earth, they would have to open up the land and cultivate their own food. For people who had been farm-raised and were viagra legal thailand thus weak-limbed, and could not tell one grain from another, this was indeed a nightmare.[27] It is quite ironic that, for the humans who have been accustomed to being kept in cages, the real nightmare is not “being eaten,” but being “free.” Criticizing the technological alienation of humanity has been one of most enduring themes in the genre of science fiction. In Aldous Huxley’s novel, Brave New World, the profound combination of reproductive technology, sleep-learning, and psychological manipulation creates a utopia-like dystopia, where the mission of human life is to seek carnal ecstasy instead of freedom. Likewise, in “The Poetry Cloud,” advanced technology enables dinosaurs to build a perfect conservatory for humans: On the distant grassland, the dance was over, and the jolly people started their sumptuous dinner. A group of young girls ran towards the riverbank, playing in the shallow water at the shore … composing an intoxicating image in the twilight.[28] With a pleasant living environment and abundant and delicious food, the cage seems to be a utopia for humans. Even acknowledging that their ultimate fate is to be eaten, the humans—blithe and carefree—still persist in a general myopia, without any will to resist or revolt. Lu Xun attributes the mass paralysis of the “house of iron” to the most traditional mechanisms of Chinese culture. By contrast, in Liu’s novelette, that which turns humans into the living dead is not traditional Chinese culture, but the technology used by the dinosaurs to build a conservatory for human survival—but only for survival. Liu is anxious to remind the technological determinists of the taming effects of technology: that which has been eaten is not just the bodies of the humans, but the dignity and the essence of humanity. Li Bai: The Technological Elite in Between In Chinese culture, the historical Li Bai (701–62)—who lived during the Tang dynasty, when Chinese poetry was flourishing—has been deemed a genius who cultivated traditional poetic forms to new heights. However, in “The Poetry Cloud,” the debut of the fictional Li Bai is marked by what Darko Suvin has called “estrangement”:[29] This is the creator of the new World, the great Li Bai.[30] How can a poet create a world as God did? The answer is by technology: They’ve mastered unimaginable technologies, and exist in the form of pure energy. They can jump from one end of the Milky Way to the other in a flash. That makes them gods enough.[31] In the story, the fictional Li Bai is an alien creature who has mastered super technology and worships it cialis for daily use review “with his whole body and soul,” just as Big-tooth does.[32] Proclaiming himself to be “a collector and researcher of the art of the universe,” he is just as fascinated by classical Chinese poetry as Yiyi. In Metamorphoses of Science Fiction, Darko Suvin regards estrangement as “a cognitive and creative attitude,” which enables science fiction to use imagination as a means of understanding the tendencies latent in reality.[33] Contextualizing this fictional Li Bai against the backdrop of a heated debate between Chinese scientism and humanism in the 1990s, let us further examine the inner conflict of the technological elites that have been caught in the middle. The paradoxical attitude of Li Bai toward technology and poetry epitomizes Liu’s continuous vacillation between his standing as a technological elite and as a fiction writer. During his famous dialogue with Jiang Xiaoyuan—a historian of science from Shanghai Jiaotong University—Liu said “as a fanatic advocator of technology, I personally believe that technology can solve all problems.”[34] This belief has also been demonstrated in the grandly majestic scenery of technology described in his works, such as the Big Art Trilogy. Like the fictional Li Bai, both the low-temperature artist[35] from “The Ocean of Dream” (1997) and the universe musician from “Ode to Joy” (1997) possess unimaginable super technology. In fact, it has been acknowledged that the most striking feature of Liu’s work is to combine abstract fantasy with concrete reality, thereby highlighting the beauty and significance of science and technology. According to Song, Liu tends to highlight the ideal of a “scientific utopia,” based on a profound faith in the power of science and technology. Liu’s master plot is man’s encounter with the unknown dimensions http://cheapcialisdosage-norx.com/ of universe, a place that remains largely alien to human understanding. Populated by grandiose superhuman, trans-human, or post-human figures or visions, Liu Cixin’s fictional world is fiercely lofty, sublime, and awe-inspiring.[36] However, as mentioned previously, technological determinism was subjected to critical examination by the humanists of the 1990s, despite the numerous achievements of science and technology in China at this time. Liu’s vacillation might not be a unique case—the tension between scientism and humanism has been an obsessing and recurring question. During the new cultural movement of the mid 1910s to 1920s, science and technology provided the purpose of the revolution proposed by Chinese intellectuals as well as an ideal objective—that is, an alternative pragmatic worldview. After the Cultural Revolution, “technoscience” began to embody the social rhetoric of enlightenment and served as a prerequisite for democracy. Under such circumstances, scientific and technological intellectuals were extolled as cultural heroes under the banner of patriotism.[37] Nevertheless, when being exposed to the trend of “Chinese culture fever” and “national studies fever,” they were forced to reevaluate and reflect upon their faith in science and technology, which, according to the humanists, hindered the development of Chinese culture. Li Bai and Yiyi’s debate over whether technology can surpass art is a metaphor for the situation that the aforementioned scientific and technological intellectuals were facing: Li Bai: This is technology, the kind of power that enabled our race to rise from slugs in the muddy ocean beds to gods. Technology is the real God. We worship Him with our whole body and soul. Yiyi: But even gods cannot surpass that kind of art! We too have gods, imaginary gods, and we worship them too; but we do not believe that they can create the kind of poetry written by Li Bai or Du Fu.[38] At first glance, Liu just weighs Chinese poetry against technology. But at the crux of the dilemma is the underlying tension between instrumental rationality and value rationality, which are represented by technology and poetry, respectively. Max Weber has argued that the fundamental tension between being “scientific” and “humanistic” is the dichotomy between “instrumental rationality” and “value rationality.”[39]For instrumentally buy generic viagra online rational actors who are utilitarian and even ruthlessly systematic, technology is the instrument to achieve their objectives. On the contrary, value-rational action, according to Weber, is defined by the conviction of actors that a binding or exigent cialis online pharmacy value can be ascribed to the act as a “conscious belief in the unconditional intrinsic value—interpreted in ethical, aesthetic, religious, or other terms—of a specific act that is purely an act and independent of the outcome.”[40] In “The Poetry Cloud,” classical Chinese cheapcialisdosage-norx.com poetry symbolizes the value rationality that challenges the instrumental rationality of technology. The debate between Li Bai and Yiyi seems to hint at the ultimate success of poetry. At the end of the story, when humans are emancipated from their technological conservatory, Yiyi displays full confidence in the future of humans on Earth. No matter how much hardship lay ahead, human beings will be their own masters again.[41] According to the humanists, the awakening of humanity will be realized through a freedom from the overreliance on technology. However, does this imply that Liu has accepted the arguments of humanists? To understand Liu’s solution to this inner vacillation, it is necessary to return to the original question raised by Big-tooth that facilitates this debate: Is the essence and nature of intelligent life really unreachable by technology? The Poetry Cloud: The Double “Revealing” of the Truth In “The Poetry Cloud,” the fictional Li Bai’s programming of a poetry cloud to encompass all possible poetic creations begins to answer the aforesaid question. As suggested by Song, the ultimate poetry cloud symbolizes the possibility of the eventual success of technology. The last part of the story—a utopian description of two Chinese poets’ happy life after the total extinction of the solar system—is best read as a simulacrum—a visual reality fabricated by the technologized mimesis of the poetic vision.[42] In my view, Song emphasizes the physical life of the two poets, but neglects the mental impact that the poetry cloud actually brings to Yiyi and Li Bai. The programming of the poetry cloud is a “Hobson’s choice” for Li Bai. At first, the fictional Li Bai mimics the behaviors of the historical Li Bai in order to experience the creation of real poetry, but fails because he is not able to appreciate the true beauty of nature as a result of his mental reliance on technology. As Yiyi points out: Yiyi: Technology has clouded your eyes, concealing the beauty of nature from you, so the first thing you should do is to forget all about your super technology.[43] In his “Question Concerning Technology,” Martin Heidegger discriminates between “technology” and “the essence of technology,” arguing that the current concept of technology refers to http://bestotc-viagraonline.com/ a division between technological means and human activities—that is, “the instrumental and anthropological definition of technology.” These should be understood in contrast to the essence of technology, which refers to “a mode of revealing”—that is, “technology comes to presence in the realm where ‘revealing’ and ‘unconcealment’ take place.”[44] In “The Poetry Cloud,” technology as an instrument or a means to instrumental rationality ironically conceals the beauty of nature from “Li Bai.” It is only through “the eyes of [the historical] Li Bai” that the fictional Li Bai starts to “embrace nature.” In other words, poetic imagination reveals to Li Bai the beauty of nature. According to Heidegger, the “revealing power” of “the essence of technology” proceeds according

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to a fixed script: The revealing that rules throughout modern technology has the character of a setting-upon, in the sense of a challenging-forth. Such challenging happens in that the energy concealed in nature is unlocked, what is unlocked is transformed, what is transformed is stored up, what is stored up is in truth distributed, and what is distributed is switched about anew. Unlocking, transforming, storing, distributing, and switching about are ways of revealing.[45] In the eyes of those whose perception of the world is influenced by instrumental rationality, such as Big-tooth, the essence of technology reveals only the utility of natural things, and therefore deprives nature of its beauty. On the contrary, for those who follow value rationality, like Yiyi, to grasp the beauty of nature is beyond the revealing power of the essence of technology. Whereas Heidegger contrasts poetry and technology as two kinds of revealing power in his essays collected in Poetry, Language, Thought, Liu tends to reconcile the tension between them. The poetry cloud demonstrates that technology can reveal both the utility and beauty of nature: Li Bai transforms energy concealed in nature into poems—providing enough energy for the ultimate poetry program means exhausting the mass of the whole solar system—and stores them in a quantum computer. These poems are then distributed as the poetry cloud that, ultimately, renews Yiyi’s concept of beauty: Yiyi: It’sreally amazing! Even I have begun to admire technology. Li Bai: I see the limits of technology when applied to art… I’m a loser, oh…[46] The sublime scenery of the poetry cloud overwhelms Yiyi. The presence of the poetry cloud changes both Yiyi’s and Li Bai’s attitudes towards poetry and technology. The poetry cloud is nothing more than a “simulacrum,” but it is also similar to the Monolith—a machine that uplifts intelligent beings in a fascinating way—featured in 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke, Liu’s favorite science fiction writer. With Li Bai realizing the irreplaceability of poetic imagination and Yiyi starting to admire technology, they are gradually moving toward each other, and the tension between poetry and technology is reconciled. It can be concluded that, in Liu’s view, poetic imagination and technology are both methods for revealing the beauty of nature but work in different ways and, in order to reveal the truth, they need to rely on each other. Interestingly, Taoism deeply influenced the historical figure Li Bai, and Taoist thought is also reflected in the work of Heidegger. The work of both Li Bai and Heidegger tends to show that the granting of art can save us from the challenge of technology.[47] The ethics of Confucianism and the cosmic awareness and free spirit of Taoism came to comprise the personality of the historical Li Bai. During the 1990s, Confucianism—the most widely practiced indigenous Chinese form of humanism—was viewed as the counterpart to scientism, while Taoism was given much less attention. Heidegger argues that people should overcome the danger of modern scientific techniques and return to their genuine home. Maybe in Liu’s unconsciousness, it should be Taoism—the local humanism which searches for “the union of man and nature”—rather than Confucianism that brings humanity back to its “poetic dwelling” in an era invaded by technology. Conclusion According to David Wang, the tension beneath the wonderful narration in Liu Cixin’s novels comes from the absolute fantasy of popular scientific knowledge and the expectations of humanity’s imagination.[48] Although this tension is subtly relieved in “The Poetry Cloud,” it still remains a fundamental impetus for Liu in the creation of his majestic narrative worlds. We sometimes encounter characters that share the same features as Yiyi, Big-tooth, and Li Bai, as they are somehow criticized as stereotypes. Since the introduction of science fiction to China, the writers of this genre have often been intimately involved in the process of choosing the ideal future course of the nation from two paths: To be scientific and as technologically advanced as the West, or to follow the wisdom of Chinese culture? The puzzle has haunted this genre’s participation in the narrative construction of the nation’s modernization, registering a lady from the viagra commercial unique footnote in each historical process. Yet, research on Chinese science fiction has for many years focused on the early texts in the late Qing dynasty, while the implications of recent works have, by comparison, been disregarded. Our analysis of Liu’s work reminds one of the heated debate between scientism and humanism during the 1990s, and the distinction between the two vanishes into the melting point of postmodernism. When “post-humans” can exist in a state beyond human, being really human comes with a sense of poetic nostalgia. Acknowledgement: Special thanks to Kuan-yen Liu, who gave me insightful advice in the process of writing. I would also like to thank Alexander Jahn and Johannes Lange for their support and encouragement. Lastly, I am grateful to Dr. Li Guangyi for his efforts on putting together a wonderful workshop on “Chinese Science Fiction: A New Start.” References Blasing, Mutlu Konuk. Lyric Poetry: The Pain and the Pleasure of Words. New Haven, CT: Princeton University Press, 2009. Cai Zong-qi, ed. How to Read Chinese Poetry: A Guided Anthology. New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 2008. Chan Wing-Cheuk. “Phenomenology of Technology: East and West.” Journal of Chinese Philosophy (2003): 1–18. Dai Jinghua. Yinxing shuxie: 90 niandai Zhongguo wenhua yanjiu [Invisible writing: Chinese Cultural Studies in the 1990s]. Nanjing: Jiangsu renmin chubanshe, 1999. Ferreira, Rachel Haywood. The Emergence of Latin American Science Fiction. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2011. Hayhoe, Ruth. China’s Universities, 1895–1995: A Century of Cultural Conflict. New York, NY: Garland, 1996. Heidegger, Martin. “The Question http://cialisgeneric-toped.com/ Concerning Technology.” In Basic Writings: From Being and Time (1927) to the Task of Thinking (1964), translated and edited by David Farrell Krell. New York, NY: Harper Collins, 1993. Hua Shiping. Scientism and Humanism: Two Cultures in Post-Mao China, 1978–1989. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1995. Jameson, Fredric. “Third-World Literature in the Era of Multinational Capitalism.” Social Text 15 (1986): 65–88. Li Zehou. Zou wo ziji de lu [To be true to myself]. Beijing: Sanlian shudian chuban gongsi, 1989. Liu Cixin and Jiang Xiaoyuan. “Weishenme renlei hai zhide zhengjiu?” [Why humans still deserve salvation]. 28 October, 2007. http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_485f2bc801000aw6.html. Date accessed 1 August, 2015. Liu Cixin. “Ren he tunshizhe” [Human and the devourer]. In Daishang Ta de Yanjing [Bring Her Eyes]. Shanghai: Shanghai kexue puji chubanshe, 2004. ———. “The Poetry Cloud,” translated by Chi-yin Ip and Cheuk Wong. Renditions, vols. 77–78. Hong Kong: The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2011. Ma Hongming. The Images of Science through Cultural Lenses: A Chinese Study on the Nature of Science. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers, 2012. Song Mingwei, ed. Renditions, vols. 77–78. Hong Kong: The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2011. Suvin, Darko. Metamorphoses of Science Fiction: On the Poetics and History of a Literary Genre. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1979. Tang Yijie. “Luelun bainian lai Zhongguo wenhua shang de Zhongxi gujing zhizheng” [On the debates about “Chinese, Western, Traditional, and Modern” in the past one hundred years]. Chinese Culture Research 2 (2001): 12–16. Wang, Der-wei David. “Utopia, Dystopia, Heterotopias: From Lu Xun to Liu Cixin.” World Chinese-Language Science Fiction Research Workshop. 1 February, 2012. http://www.chinesescifi.org/475.html. Date accessed 1 August, 2015. Wang Hui. “Renwen huayu yu Zhongguo de xiandaixing wenti” [Humanistic discourse and the problem of Chinese modernity]. In Shenfen rentong yu gonggong wenhua: Xianggang wenhua yanjiu lunwenji [Cultural identity and public culture: Essays on Hong Kong Cultural Studies], edited by Chiu-hung Cheung, 368–84. Hong Kong: Oxford University Press, 1997. Weber, Max. Economy and Society, edited by Guenther Roth and Claus Wittich. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1978. ———. The Theory of Social and Economic Organization. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1974.


[1] This novelette first appeared in the March 2003 issue of Science Fiction World magazine, but Liu Cixin actually wrote it in 1997.
[2] Liu Cixin started to write science fiction in the mid-1980s and became a full-fledged writer in the mid-1990s after developing his writing style for more than ten years. His multiple award-winning novel, The Three-Body Problem (San Ti) is the first hard science fiction novel from the People’s Republic of China that has been translated and published in the U.S.
[3] The other two novelettes of this series are “The Ocean of Dream” (Meng zhi hai, 1997) and “Ode to Joy” (Huanle song, 1997).
[4] Rachel Haywood Ferreira, The Emergence of Latin American Science Fiction, 3.
[5] Song Mingwei, “Preface,” 7.
[6] Ruth Hayhoe, China’s Universities, 1895–1995: A Century of Cultural Conflict, 29.
[7] Liu Cixin, “The Poetry Cloud,” 95.
[8] Ma Hongming, The Images of Science through Cultural Lenses: A Chinese Study on the Nature of Science, 33.
[9] Liu Cixin, “The Poetry Cloud,” 92.
[10]Liu Cixin, “The Poetry Cloud,” 93.
[11] Song Mingwei, “Preface,” 7.
[12] Cai Zong-qi, ed., How to Read Chinese Poetry: A Guided Anthology, xxi–1.
[13] Liu Cixin, “The Poetry Cloud,” 94.
[14] Tang Yijie. “Luelun bainianlai Zhongguo wenhua shang de Zhongxigujing zhizheng,” 14–16.
[15] Liu Cixin, “The Poetry Cloud,” 89.
[16] Liu Cixin, “The Poetry Cloud,” 102.
[17] Hua Shiping, Scientism and Humanism: Two Cultures in Post-Mao China, 1978–1989, 113.
[18] Li Zehou, Zou wo ziji de lu, 218–19.
[19] Liu Cixin, “The Poetry Cloud,” 89.
[20] Liu Cixin, “The Poetry Cloud,” 89.
[21] This is a Tang-era poem called “Climbing White Stork Tower” (Deng Guanque lou) that has been attributed to Wang Zhihuan (688–742): 白日依山盡,黃河入海流。欲窮千里目,更上一層樓。
[22] Liu Cixin, “The Poetry Cloud,” 92. Emphasis added.
[23] Mutlu Konuk Blasing, Lyric Poetry: The Pain and the Pleasure of Words, 2.
[24] This novelette first appeared with the name “The Devourer” (Tunshizhe) in the November 2002 issue of Science Fiction World magazine, but Liu Cixin actually wrote it in 2000.
[25] Wang Hui, “Renwen huayu yu Zhongguo de xiandaixing wenti,” 371.
[26] Fredric Jameson, “Third-World Literature in the Era of Multinational Capitalism,” 72.
[27] Liu Cixin, “The Poetry Cloud,” 109.
[28] Liu Cixin, “The Poetry Cloud,” 101–2.
100 ml viagra [29] Darko Suvin, Metamorphoses of Science Fiction: on the Poetics and History of a Literary Genre, 7–8.
[30] Liu Cixin, “The Poetry Cloud,” 88.
[31] Ibid., 89.
[32] Ibid., 95.
[33] Darko Suvin, Metamorphoses of Science Fiction: on the Poetics and History of a Literary Genre, 7–8.
[34] Liu Cixin and Jiang Xiaoyuan, “Weishenme renlei hai zhide zhengjiu?”
[35] Low-temperature artist is an alien artist who creates works of art with ice and snow extracted from oceans.
[36] Song Mingwei, “Preface,” 11.
[37] Dai Jinghua, Yinxing shuxie: 90 niandai Zhongguo wenhua yanjiu, 47–48.
[38] Liu Cixin, “The Poetry Cloud,” 95.
[39] Max Weber, Economy and Society, 87–157.
[40] Max Weber, The Theory of Social and Economic Organization, 24–25.
[41] Liu Cixin, “The Poetry Cloud,” 109.
[42] Song Mingwei, “Preface,” 11.
[43] Liu Cixin, “The Poetry Cloud,” 102.
[44] Martin Heidegger, “The Question Concerning Technology,” 319.
[45] Ibid., 322.
[46] Liu Cixin, “The Poetry Cloud,” 112–13.
[47] Chan Wing-Cheuk, “Phenomenology of Technology: East and West,” 11.
[48] Der-wei David Wang, “Utopia, Dystopia, Heterotopias: From Lu Xun to Liu Cixin.”