Jess Nevins (ratmmjess) wrote,
Jess Nevins

  • Mood:
  • Music:

Next up on my Interlibrary Loan request list:

(not really, since there's no English translation, but if there were....)

"In the wake of Quell the Bandits and its mixture of modern and traditional, scientific and fantastic, came such works as Nian dajiangjun pingxizhuan (General Nian's conquest of the West, 1899), a novel about the military crackdown launched by Nian Gengyao (?-1726), a famous general of the Qianlong period, on the Tibetan rebellion. In the novel, Nan Guotai, allegedly the son of Jesuit missionary and military technologist Nan Huairen (Ferdinand Verbiest, 1623-88), plays a role quite like that of Baiwaerhan [in Quell the Bandits]. His inventions, such as the shengtian qiu (aerial balloon) and dixing chuan (underground ship), became the latest secret weapons. But can a Western inventor really outdo traditional Chinese supernatural powers? There are episodes in which Chinese tampons, called yanzhi jin (rouge garments), are called on to absorb the electricity of a dianqi bian (electronic whip); a young Daoist hero travels to Sweden to learn the latest military technology from his foreign master; and the Pope of Rome and the Master of the Snowy Mountain engage in a fatal combat."

(needless to say, in the end good old-fashioned Chinese pluck, sticktoitiveness, and mó shù triumph over the big-nose ocean ghosts)

From David Der-Wei Wang's Fin-de-Siècle Splendor: Repressed Modernities of Late Qing Fiction, 1849-1911.


"Prushevsky! Will the successes of higher science be capable of resurrecting the rotting corpses of men?"
"No," Prushevsky said.
"You're lying," Zhachev objected..."Marxism can do anything. Why do you think Lenin lies in Moscow perfectly intact? He is waiting for science, he wants to rise from the dead."

And, from what I'm reading, A.P. Platonov's Kotlovan (1929/1930) goes on from there toward even more delightful ideas.

(Zombie Lenin threatening the West...thanks to Science!)

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.