2022 Vol. 5, No. 1

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Interpreting “Ultimate Concern” in King Lear
YANG Huilin
2022, 5(1): 7-16. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20225101
Since Paul Tillich proposed the idea of "ultimate concern," it has often been presented as the fundamental ethical ideal. However, Tillich's further discussion is precisely aimed at the myth of "self-righteousness";when Northrop Frye continues this topic, he simply returns to the diametrically opposite "primary concern." Shakespeare's King Lear provides a vivid explanation:the illusion that "I am a man more sinned against than sinning" is in fact the vanity of "self-sanctification" and "self-legalization." The paradox of reason, history, and even belief reconstructs the question of "the Ultimate," for it is highly likely that the pursuit of "the Ultimate" is the root of the absence of "the Ultimate" per se. This paper attempts to reinstate Shakespeare's text to the historical context of "things gone wrong." By re-reading King Lear in light of Tillich's and Frye's discussions, it also provides a literary interpretation of the notion of the "ultimate concern" in King Lear.
Politics of Time as Poetics of Being: A Critical Analysis of Lu Xun's Style
ZHANG Xudong
2022, 5(1): 17-46. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20225102
This article examines the politics of time in Lu Xun's 鲁迅(1881-1936) essays. The author argues that the binary of memory and forgetting provides an entry point into interpreting and reconstructing the temporal configuration pertaining to Lu Xun's concept of being. From this point onwards, as the article seeks to show, the politics of time serves as the narrative and critical energy that propels and inspires Lu Xun's writing, enabling it to engage in a radical nihilism that both refutes and redeems historical time by making it full, more stressful and more productive. The politics of time in Lu Xun is divided into three domains in this analysis. First, the author examines the cosmic politics of time in Lu Xun's appropriation of evolutionary theory via Yan Fu's 严复(1854-1921) translation of Huxley's Evolution and Ethics. In this domain, the key factor is not Lu Xun's second-hand and approximate understanding of Darwin's notion of evolution, but rather his early exposure to Western experimental and mathematical science, his training in geology, mining, engineering, and, eventually, in biology and Western medicine in Japan.This scientific worldview is intertwined with the natural law of evolution as a cosmic order in Lu Xun's literary representation, narrative, and politics, which retain a metaphysical, thus apolitical, ahistorical, and indeed atemporal stance vis-a-vis concrete social politics as something to be negated and superseded in "the chain of evolution" constituted solely by the "intermediate form" or "what is in-between." Based on this atemporal politics of time, Lu Xun develops the second aspect of his politics of time as a necessity, urgency, and primacy of existence, of life blazing its own path no matter what, pu mie 扑灭(wiping out or breaking down) everything and anything in the way. The third and the innermost aspect of Lu Xun's politics of time lies within his essayistic style as a writing of writing, a self-consciousness of the writerly consciousness, which is symbolically made possible by a strategic and deliberate "mixed styles" approach(a central feature of his essay production, as the author argues);and by a secondarily constructed form exemplified by his numerous prefaces and afterwords to his collections of essays. The author points out that it is in these moments that we can identify the "second birth" or "second coming" of Lu Xun's work, that is, after the May-Fourth-era fiction and propaganda pieces under the rubric of Enlightenment.It is through this narrow strait between the first, more "natural" birth of Lu Xun's fiction work and the second, more politicized, self-conscious, mixed, and secondarily constructed style that we can critically locate and analyze Lu Xun's literary production as the true origin of modern Chinese literature, its historicity, aesthetic ambition, and its existential politics, which is ultimately a politics by which to work out the dialectical relationship between the past, present, and future.
The Pathosformel and the Image of the Idea: Toward the Significance of the Romantic Novel in Geistesgeschichte
HU Jihua
2022, 5(1): 47-66. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20225103
The romantic novel is not only a literary genre;it is also a form of passion and an intellectual image. In the early German Romantic era, the novel made the transition from passionate form to ideological imagery, a transition that was essentially a paradigm shift in the history of the spirit. Firstly, the romantic novel was the paradigmatic form of the romantic poem, which was the evolving universe or total poem, and the romantic novel thus became an all-encompassing and never-ending form of passion. Secondly, the romantic novel is a book of romance, created by the author, with the participation of the public and the passionate intervention of the subject, which romanticises the world;at the same time, the novel shares its bloodline with the epic, becoming in its historical connection the "poem of poems" or the "poetry of origins." Thirdly, the romantic novel is a concrete form of the new mythology for romanticism, which tends to metaphorically construct the "sensual religion" and the "rational mythology" as a self-regulating symbolic world, maintaining an aesthetic relationship with the crude, even cruel, "absolutism of reality."
(Trans-) National Contexts: The Russian Poetics of the Chinese Avant-Garde
CHU Jinyi
2022, 5(1): 67-82. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20225104
To what extent is post-socialism a transnational conceptual framework for cultural studies? In historiographies of both China and the Soviet Union, the 1980 s is widely considered as an era of neoliberal reform, opening to the West, and turning away from "socialist cosmopolitanism," the transnational socialist official culture with Russian characteristics bourgeoning in 1950 s which had redefined two distinct national cultural traditions. By focusing on a Chinese avant-garde poet's reading Russian poetry, this article proposes that the aesthetics of reform in post-Maoist China is continuously shaped by the legacy of transnational socialist culture, yet in a more complex and subtle fashion.
The Chinese Question of Parallelism in Comparative Literature
LI Qingben
2022, 5(1): 83-97. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20225105
The Chinese question of comparative literature revolves around the is-sue of "Sino-Western dualism." From the perspective of "China in the world," rather than "the world and China," we need to use the concept and method of cross-cultural interpretation to respond to this question and find the "mean" of binary opposition.First of all, we should break through the stereotype of cultural centralism in influence research, and adhere to a concept of "community of human destiny" that organically combines the differences and convergences of the dual parallel comparison between China and theWest.It should be the academic pursuit of parallel study of comparative literature to seek a common literary character in the particularity of different national cultures around the world, instead of pursuing literariness based only on Western standards.
On Some Encounters with the Soviet Humans: Revolutionary Travel Writing, Modern Chinese Writers, and World Literature
2022, 5(1): 98-110. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20225106
For André Gide, travel writing becomes a textual and cultural-political engagement in encounters with the truly New Humans of a foreign land. As part of a comprehensive study of revolutionary travel literature in twentieth-century Chinese culture, this essay explores such encounters with the Soviet Humans in a series of travel writings by revolutionary Chinese writers and intellectuals, thereby advancing an argument that attempts to situate these encounters in a global genealogy of USSR travelogues in the first half of the twentieth century.
Symphony and the Change of Symbolist Literature's Structural Pattern
LI Guohui
2022, 5(1): 111-122. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20225107
From the Classicist period to the end of the eighteenth century, the rational structural pattern dominated French literature. With the new understanding of the self that Western cultural circles developed, the old rational structural pattern, in the views of many writers, did not correspond to a complex, deep conception of the self. Téodor de Wyzewa, A French symbolist critic, inspired by Richard Wagner's symphonies, decided to turn literature into unconscious music which brought about an irrational structural pattern, and then combine this irrational structural pattern with the rational one. Stéphane Mallarmé and Édouard Dujardin experimented respectively in their poems and novels with this new synthesis. Wyzewa's synthesis not only changed the symbolist structural pattern, but also framed the prototype for modern Western literature.
The Relationship between Natural and Moral Emotion from the Perspective of the Living Nature Tradition: The Xing Zi Ming Chu
LI Zhichun
2022, 5(1): 123-140. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20225108
The interpretation of emotional issues has two research directions, namely "natural emotion" or "moral emotion";the relationship between the two needs to be clarified. The Xing Zi Ming Chu is a useful example to examine from the perspective of the ancient Chinese tradition that living is a nature. Through this analysis, we can see that natural emotions and moral emotions complement each other. On the one hand, natural emotion has its direction and internal regulations, which will have an impact on people's moral achievement. On the other hand, natural emotion is not created out of contents;it takes the "pre-existing" content(biogenetics, ethical life and its spiritual skeleton) as an opportunity and with moral contents forms a cycle of interpretation between individuals and groups, which as a whole has activity and purpose. Traditional literary research of sticking to one side is based on the structure of subject-object dichotomy, which is an external reflection on emotion. This article argues that there should be another way to study emotion that is a holistic and endogenous view of emotional drive.
Translating through Intersemiotic Translation Models: A Case Study of Ang Lee's Vishnu Imagein Life of Pi
ZHANG Haoxuan
2022, 5(1): 141-169. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20225109
Though Roman Jakobson's concept of intersemiotic translation enables film to be discussed through the prism of translation studies, the binary verbumcentred paradigm of verbal to non-verbal transmission often neglects the non-verbal prior materials of film. To remedy this deficiency, these non-verbal materials will be rigorously investigated under the viewpoint of intersemiotic translation models. A multilevel system of intersemiotic translation models is proposed. This system consists of a hierarchy of two levels:culture and semiotics. In this system, each intersemiotic translation model is considered as a result of a cross-level combination that relates to a specific type of media system from a specific cultural system, representing a lens through which a culture is "looked at"(Chow 1995). It is postulated that filmmakers translate by employing intersemiotic translation models, through which they mediate their intersemiotic translations across cultures. This paper interrogates filmmakers' employment of intersemiotic translation models through a case study of Ang Lee's Vishnu image in his film Life of Pi. How Lee manifests such an image through the employment of intersemiotic translation models is discussed and illustrated with reference to the proposed system.
New World Literature and Comparative Literature in the Digital Age: The Neglected “Heise Report” of the 2017 American Comparative Literature Association
QU Huiyu
2022, 5(1): 170-177. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20225110
The American Comparative Literature Association State of the Discipline Report published in 2017 failed to attract the attention of the academic community as much as the previous four reports, with few citations to domestic and foreign academic papers, and even fewer research articles. The broad perspectives, relatively complex topics, and long-flourishing ecological perspective presented in the report fail to provide a clear and visible direction for the future of comparative literature, as the title suggests. However, as a discipline report in the new digital era, the networking way of the contribution, the diversity of presentation modes, the attention to digital humanities, and the discussion of world literature in this report show the transformation of the paradigm of comparative literature research. Its contribution lies in reconceiving comparative literature, achieving a balance between disciplines, conducting dialogue between nationalities, and paying attention to the environment and emerging technologies, which provides an effective reference for the study of comparative literature in the new era.
Book Reviews
Perloff, Marjorie. Infrathin: An Experiment in Micropoetics
2022, 5(1): 181-185. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20225111
LIU Yang. An IntellectualHistory of the Event
FENG Xuefeng
2022, 5(1): 186-189. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20225112
Voci, Paola. China on Video: Small-Screen Realities
HU Tingting
2022, 5(1): 190-192. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20225113
Egan, Ronald. The Burden of Female Talent: The Poet Li Qingzhao and Her History in China. Translated by XIA Lili and ZHAO Huijun
HOU Mengyan
2022, 5(1): 193-196. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20225114