Synopses & Reviews
Duo Duo began to write poetry in the early 1970s when the Cultural Revolution was still in full swing. He was obliged to write clandestinely, never imagining he would have readers. He continued to write throughout the 1980s, publishing in samizdat publications, and then more openly as the authorities relaxed their grip. Duo Duo left China for a reading tour of England June 4th 1989, the morning after the Tiananmen massacre that he had witnessed.
Duo Duo’s poetic vision embraces a historical and political vision that is much more diverse, more global than that circumscribed by the confines of the last third of China’s twentieth century. The context of China, Duo Duo’s lived experience, is necessarily present in the poet’s imaginary, but it is diffused in a world-view that embraces all of modern humanity’s dilemmas, our increasing separation from nature, and our alienation from one another. The exile, like the hybrid and other "in between" subjects, writes of China with the benefit of critical distance, but also writes with an exceptional perspective of wherever he finds himself.
Before leaving China, Duo Duo worked as a journalist. His writing has been widely translated and published throughout the world, including two small selections of his work—in English—published in the UK and Canada. Generally associated with the other menglong (ambiguist) poets, such as Bei Dao and Yang Lian. Duo Duo currently lives and teaches in the Netherlands.
Gregory Lee currently lives in France and teaches at l’Université Jean Moulin Lyon III. He has also taught at the Universities of Cambridge, London, Chicago and Hong Kong. His translations of Duo Duo and other Chinese poets have appeared in numerous publications, including Fissures: Chinese Writing Today (Zephyr Press), and Abandoned Wine (Wellsweep Press).
Fissures: Chinese Writing Today
TP $14.95, 0-939010-59-3 • CUSA
Poetry in which the societal is entwined with the individual, the Chinese enmeshed in the global.
Poetry. Asian Studies. "Duo Duo's poems in English rivet us with their obsidian sharp images and their evocative connotations"--Forrest Gander. "A major presence in Chinese poetry since his days with the `Obscure' poets of the 1970s; a dissident whose crime was writing the poems he wanted to write...a former opera singer who compresses the grand passions into single lines...a Beijing poet whose images seem to come from some remote and rural village; a political poet who makes no statements; a realist poet in an alternate universe. Duo Duo is one of the mountains in the topographical map of contemporary world poetry, and it's nearly scandalous that this excellent selection and translation by his long-time collaborator, Gregory Lee, is his first American Book"--Eliot Weinberger.