The Nakedness of Hope: Solastalgia and Soliphilia in the Writings of Yu Yue, Zhang Binglin, and Liang Shuming

  • Stephen Roddy
Part of the Chinese Literature and Culture in the World book series (CLCW)


This chapter applies Glenn Albrecht’s notions of solastalgia and soliphilia, which he coined to describe the psychosocial impacts of environmental degradation, to an analysis of three eminent figures in early-modern Chinese thought: Yu Yue (1821–1907), Zhang Binglin (1868–1936), and Liang Shuming (1893–1988). It argues that all three of these staunch defenders of the traditional Confucian moral order shared a profound pessimism toward the social and environmental consequences of industrialization. Each articulates a prescient critique of the destructiveness they observed in Western modernity, as well as various spiritual, moral, and economic remedies to address these ills. While their views were criticized as outdated by many of their contemporaries, we today can learn much from their unflinching recognition of ecocidal dangers evident even a century ago.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen Roddy
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Modern and Classical LanguagesUniversity of San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA

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