China's Second World of Poetry: The Sichuan Avant-Garde, 1982-1992

by Michael Martin Day


The Digital Archive for Chinese Studies is pleased to announce its publication of Michael Martin Day's China's Second World of Poetry: The Sichuan Avant-Garde, 1982-1992.

As an online archive of websites that are relevant to Chinese Studies, DACHS has as its aim the stable preservation and easy accessibility of such sites. From its beginnings in 2001, DACHS has believed in the importance of adding contextual information to the downloaded resources per se. This information is ideally provided by an emergent network of those who work on and with the Chinese Internet in a broad Chinese Studies framework, and who are actively or passively part of the online discourse DACHS tries to preserve.

When Michael Day began work on a poetry section in the DACHS Leiden division, his work fit this philosophy perfectly. He has since identified a series of valuable online resources to be archived, and provided commentaries that will help other researchers place them in their contemporary contexts. Dr Day's e-book - full-text and searchable, online or offline - expands such contextualization to earlier times. Mainland Chinese poetry discourse on today's WWW is in many ways a continuation of printed predecessors from the 1970s onward, as regards authors, publishers and publications alike. Many appear in this book.

China's Second World of Poetry remedies a deficiency in scholarship to date. In post-Mao China, types of poetry variously dubbed underground, unofficial, experimental, avant-garde, non-mainstream and so on have outshined texts produced by a state-sanctioned politico-cultural establishment that continues to pay lip service to maoist literary doctrine. For the 1980s and the early 1990s, most foreign-language scholarship has Beijing - and exile poetry scenes - as its focus, failing to do justice to other localities inside China, but outside the capital. Foremost among them is Sichuan Province, whose turbulent tradition is a core constituent of Chinese poetry from the 1980s, the 1990s and beyond. As for critical and commentarial discourse in Chinese, China's Second World of Poetry is a timely complement to a series of recent memoirs and scholarly monographs on mainland-Chinese underground and avant-garde scenes in various places throughout the country. An ambitious, analytical survey, Dr Day's monograph is a milestone in the study of Chinese poetry and avant-garde culture.

Read online

To read China's Second World of Poetry online, click on the button below. A new full-screen window will open. Use the Table of Contents to navigate, or click on prev / next to browse. Note that the reading pane merely serves to improve the on-screen readability of the e-book; it does not include functionalities such as full-text search. To search the e-book, open the PDF-version below.

Download & print

To open China's Second World of Poetry as a PDF-file, click on the image below. Type Ctrl-F to activate a search function inside the document. To download the e-book to your local computer, right-click on the image, choose 'Save target as...' and select a destination. China's Second World of Poetry may be freely distributed and printed. Libraries are encouraged to produce print copies for their collections, and to make China's Second World of Poetry available through their catalogues. Please refer to this website (DACHS Leiden) for the original publication.

Click to open, or right-click to download.(2.29 MB)

Hanno Lecher, Remy Cristini and Maghiel van Crevel
4 October 2005

Related material

In addition to the e-book itself, Dr Day has contributed related material to DACHS that could be seen as "appendices" to his e-book. These separate contributions are listed below. All material is freely accessible and introduced by Dr Day.