Gu Jin Bei Lu
Victor Segalen has come to be widely recognized in recent years as one of the luminaries of French modernism. Trained as a surgeon and Chinese interpreter, he wrote prolifically in a variety of genres. With this highly original collection of prose poems in French and Chinese, Segalen invented a new genre—the "stèle-poem"—in imitation of the tall stone tablets with formal inscriptions that he saw in China. His wry persona declaims these inscriptions like an emperor struggling to command his personal empire, drawing from a vast range of Chinese texts to explore themes of friendship, love, desire, gender roles, violence, exoticism, otherness, and selfhood. The result is a linguistically and culturally hybrid modernist poetics that is often ironic and at times haunting. Segalen's bilingual masterwork is presented here fully translated, in the most extensively annotated critical edition ever produced. It includes unpublished manuscript material, newly identified sources, commentaries on the Chinese, and a facsimile of the original edition as printed in Beijing in 1914. Volume 2 of this work is available online at www.wesleyan.edu/wespress/segalen2 and www.steles.org.
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aesthetic allegory allusions ancient anecdote Annales appears Bien Book of Odes Book of Rites Bouillier calligraphy calque characters China Chinese text Ciel Classic of History classical Claudel collection commentary context Couvreur's d'une Daoist Demon deux difference drafted note reads Dragon dynasty edition Eloge emperor Empire epigraph epigraph drawn etre exoticism extant manuscript draft famous follows French title friendship GLOSSES graph Haun Saussy Havret hommes hymn idea imperial inscription jade language lexical notes literary manuscript draft Segalen meaning milieu Ming modern n'est nese Nestorian Stele original Petillon phrase pierre poem poetic praise Prince Qin Shihuang qu'il readers regne Reign Mark Sage second manuscript draft Sega Segalen copied Segalen wrote Segalen's drafted note Segalen's manuscript Self-Emperor Shao Yong Shu Ling sous Steles Facing story tablet Tang dynasty tion tout translation Victor Segalen voici Wieger's word writing Yuan Zhu Xi