The introduction reads a poem by Chen Dongdong in order to think through the libidinal and ethical motivations for genre study. It balances the urge to intervene, categorize, and create against the responsibility to artists, editors, and readers, ultimately finding that this conflict is best engaged using methodologies from translation, specifically Yan Fu’s concepts of fidelity, fluency, and elegance. This justifies the translation practice of the rest of the book, as well as the book’s mix of literary analysis, sociology, and history. The introduction ends with a brief summary of chapters one through five.
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