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The Author: Yuan-Jung Cheng (also Yen-Jiang Chen in Chinese) holds a B.A. in English from National Taiwan University, and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Washington in Seattle. She is Associate Professor of English at National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan. Her publications include articles on Keats and Lessing and other creative works.
Yuan-Jung Cheng is the best of guides out of the obscurity of literary madness to the lucidity of a poetics of madness. 'Heralds of the Postmodern' leads a reader on a journey through the dark side of literary production worthy of Conrad himself. What begins in 'chaos and confusion' ends in clarity that incidentally helps to explain the pschomachea of three epochs: fin de siecle imperialism, combat fatigue between two wars, and the prolonged stress of a cold war: Conrad, Woolf, Lessing. I can think of no other text that does all this and does it with such stunning economy. (Joseph Butwin, Department of English, University of Washington)