Entry updated 4 January 2021. Tagged: Author.
(1873-1929) Chinese historian, author and politician intimately involved with the reform movement of China's late imperial era. A proponent of constitutional monarchy rather than outright revolution, he was inspired by the work of Edward Bellamy and the Japanese author Tetchō Suehiro to frame his ideas in Xin Zhongguo Weilai ji ["An Account of New China's Future"] (1902 Xin Xiaoshuo) framed as a history lecture delivered by a descendant of the philosopher Confucius in the year 1962.
The novel was planned as the first part of a trilogy, to be followed by a "New Account of Old China", imagining the fate of a China that did not reform, and a "Peach Blossom Spring", imagining the effects of a future generation of students returning to fix their country with knowledge acquired overseas. In fact Liang made it no further than the fifth chapter of his original, which peters out in the middle of a flashback that begins to explain how China would achieve its democratization and modernization. However, the novel would inspire several other authors of speculative fiction, including Lu Shi'e and Biheguan Zhuren. [JonC]
see also: Kang Youwei.
born Xinhui, Guangdong, China: 22 March 1873
died Peiping [Beijing], China, 19 January 1929
- Xin Zhongguo Weilai ji ["An Account of New China's Future"] Wan Qing jindai zhenxi ben xiaoshuo ["Rare novels of the late-Qing era"] Volume 5 (Shenyang, China: Chunfeng Wenyi Chubanshe, 1997) edited by Zhong Wencheng and Li Qinxue [hb/]
about the author
- David Der-wei Wang. Fin-de-siecle Splendor: Repressed Modernities of Late Qing fiction, 1849-1911 (Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1997) [nonfiction: hb/]
- Lorenzo Andolfatto. Hundred Days Literature: Chinese Utopian Fiction at the End of Empire, 1902-1910 (Leiden, Netherlands: Brill, 2019) [nonfiction: hb/]
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