China's profound influence on the avant-garde in the 20th century was nowhere more apparent than in the work of Ezra Pound, Bertolt Brecht, and the writers associated with the Parisian literary journal Tel quel. Chinese Dreams explores the complex, intricate relationship between various "Chinas"—as texts—and the nation/culture known simply as "China"—their context—within the work of these writers. Eric Hayot calls into question the very means of representing otherness in the history of the West and ultimately asks if it might be possible to attend to the political meaning of imagining the other, while still enjoying the pleasures and possibilities of such dreaming. The latest edition of this critically acclaimed book includes a new preface by the author.
"Lucid and accessible . . . an important contribution to the field of East-West comparative studies, Asian studies, and modernism."
—Comparative Literature Studies
"Instead of trying to decipher the indecipherable 'China' in Western literary texts and critical discourses, Hayot chose to show us why and how 'China' has remained, and will probably always be, an enchanting, ever-elusive dream. His approach is nuanced and refreshing, his analysis rigorous and illuminating."