Paper Republic: Chinese Literature Matters

象 (lit. The Elephant)

Novella by Chen Cun.

This short novel by one of China's best modern writers is a compelling exploration of the human psyche.

Tormented by memories of his former lover and the sudden appearance of the beautiful and enigmatic Lin Yi, the author embarks on a stunning narrative journey: a voyeuristic quest across the African wilderness through the eyes of an elephant. Tracking his character's development from birth to adulthood against his own emotional maturation, the writer becomes a victim to his own imagination as he struggles to deal with the intellectual and physical challenges of growing old.

Set simultaneously in Shanghai and Africa, the writer's relationship with his literary creations challenges our conventional understanding of composition, truth and characterization while exposing the psychosomatic consequences of unobstructed imagination.


The Elephant

Translated by Yawtsong Lee


The Elephant Better Link Press, Shanghai Press and Publishing Development Company Dec. 2010 Mainland China