Touches of History represents a groundbreaking attempt to return to a study of "May Fourth" that is solidly grounded in historical fact. Favouring smaller stories over grand narratives, concentrating on unknown, marginal materials rather than familiar key documents, and highlighting "May Fourth"'s indebtedness to the cultural debates of the preceding late Qing period, Chen Pingyuan reconstructs part of the actual historical scenery, demonstrating the great variety of ideas expressed during those tumultuous decades.
Chen Pingyuan is Professor in the Chinese Department of Peking University. He is one of China's leading figures in the study of modern Chinese literature and culture. He has published extensively on a wide range of early modern, modern and contemporary topics, covering not only literary history but also increasingly intellectual history. His main works include The Transformation of the Narrative Mode of Chinese Fiction (1988) and The Establishment of the Modern Chinese Academy (2000).
Michel Hockx is Professor of Chinese at SOAS, University of London. He has published extensively on modern Chinese poetry and on the sociology of modern Chinese literature.