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date: 19 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

As the sequel to a translation of a translation, Xu Nianci’s “New Tales of Mr. Braggadocio” is a case study in the linguistic negotiations central to Lydia Liu’s reflections on translation. The story is marked by a double consciousness through which the narrator’s body and soul explore alternate explanations for evolution and scientific knowledge, thus engaging in many of the thematic and historical hallmarks of colonial modernity, situated at the junction of a number of intellectual realms. Thematically and linguistically, the text suggests a number of potential points of resistance to western epistemology, attempting to subsume science under the umbrella of Daoist cosmology. Especially prominent in the story is the degree to which the narrator’s resistance to Western science contrasts with his ready appropriation of the tenets of capitalist accumulation of wealth as his success in perfecting the techniques of “brain electricity” ultimately results in a global economic crisis.

Keywords: colonial modernity, science fiction, social Darwinism, mesmerism

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