Zhongshu Qian Fortress Besieged

ISBN 13: 9780141187860

Fortress Besieged

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9780141187860: Fortress Besieged

The greatest Chinese novel of the twentieth century, Fortress Besieged is a classic of world literature, a masterpiece of parodic fiction that plays with Western literary traditions, philosophy, and middle-class Chinese society in the Republican era.

Set on the eve of the Sino-Japanese War, our hapless hero Fang Hung-chien (á la Emma Bovary), with no particular goal in life and with a bogus degree from a fake American university in hand, returns home to Shanghai. On the French liner home, he meets two Chinese beauties, Miss Su and Miss Pao. Qian writes, "With Miss Pao it wasn't a matter of heart or soul. She hadn't any change of heart, since she didn't have a heart." In a sort of painful comedy, Fang obtains a teaching post at a newly established university where the effete pseudo-intellectuals he encounters in academia become the butt of Qian's merciless satire. Soon Fang is trapped into a marriage of Nabokovian proportions of distress and absurdity. Recalling Fielding's Tom Jones in its farcical litany of misadventures and Flaubert's "style indirect libre," Fortress Besieged is its own unique feast of delights.

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About the Author:

Qian Zhongshu (Ch'ien Chung-shu, 1910-1998) was born into a literary family in Wuxi, Jiangsu province. Possibly the last in a line of Chinese thinkers that began with Confucius, he spent two years at Oxford, majoring in English and learning Latin and modern European languages. During the Cultural Revolution he was sent to a re-education camp with his wife, Yang Jiang. By 1974 he was presumed dead, but he later reappeared at a sinological conference in Italy. Qian wrote some of the most important texts on classical Chinese poetry and literature, essays, short stories, a second incomplete novel that was lost in the mail, and edited various groundbreaking anthologies.

Jonathan D. Spence is Sterling Professor of History at Yale University, where he has taught for thirty years. He has been awarded MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellowships, and the Los Angeles Times Book Award. The Search for Modern China won the Lionel Gelber Award and the Kiriyama Book Prize.

Review:

An insightful and entertaining work...gains resonance from its large and momentous backdrop of China in transition. (The New York Review of Books, Pankaj Mishra)

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Qian Zhongshu
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Set on the eve of the Sino-Japanese war, Fortress Besieged recounts the exuberant misadventures of the hapless hero Fang Hung-chien, who after aimlessly studying in Europe at his family s expense returns to Shanghai armed with a bogus degree from a fake university. On the liner back, Fang s life becomes deeply entangled with those of two Chinese beauties - while when he does finally make it home, he obtains a teaching post at a newly established university, encounters effete pseudo-intellectuals, and falls into a marriage of disastrous proportions. A glorious tale of love, marriage, war, calamity, disillusionment and hope, this is one of the greatest Chinese novels: combining Eastern philosophy, Western traditions, adventure, tragicomedy and satire to create a unique feast of delights. Bookseller Inventory # ASF9780141187860

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Set on the eve of the Sino-Japanese war, Fortress Besieged recounts the exuberant misadventures of the hapless hero Fang Hung-chien, who after aimlessly studying in Europe at his family s expense returns to Shanghai armed with a bogus degree from a fake university. On the liner back, Fang s life becomes deeply entangled with those of two Chinese beauties - while when he does finally make it home, he obtains a teaching post at a newly established university, encounters effete pseudo-intellectuals, and falls into a marriage of disastrous proportions. A glorious tale of love, marriage, war, calamity, disillusionment and hope, this is one of the greatest Chinese novels: combining Eastern philosophy, Western traditions, adventure, tragicomedy and satire to create a unique feast of delights. Bookseller Inventory # AAW9780141187860

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Book Description 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. Set on the eve of the Sino-Japanese war, Fortress Besieged recounts the exuberant misadventures of the hapless hero Fang Hung-chien, who after aimlessly studying in Europe at .Shipping may be from our Sydney, NSW warehouse or from our UK or US warehouse, depending on stock availability. 448 pages. 0.326. Bookseller Inventory # 9780141187860

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