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Abstract

Contemporary mainland-Chinese poetry displays a great deal of diversity and dynamism. Battlers poetry (dagong shige)—writing by members of the underclass of domestic migrant workers—is a relatively recent arrival. This essay delves into the discourse surrounding battlers poetry and its interactions with other poetry “departments,” particularly that of avant-garde poetry. It does so from the perspective of cultural translation. I argue that this is especially helpful for understanding the dynamics of battlers poetry, and of “poetry” at large as a discursive space in China today. The essay offers a discussion of translated people, texts in transit, commentary as conflict and battlers poetry’s representation outside China. In closing, it asks how this poetry might affect the genre’s habitual conceptualizations.

Language

English

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