2022 Vol. 5, No. 4

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Xia Yu,the Supreme Stylist
Michelle Yeh
2022, 5(4): 7-20. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20225401

This article offers a critical analysis of the poetry of Xia Yu(Hsia Yü夏宇), a leading poet and"fanatic of form"in the Chinese-speaking world. By focusing on the themes, language, and formal innovations of her work to date, the author highlights the unique style and contributions of the poet. Love has been a persistent theme in Xia Yu's poetry. While love may be the oldest theme of poetry, the author asserts that Xia Yu's treatment of the subject was refreshingly unconventional and iconoclastic. Language is another major theme that has emerged in Xia Yu's poetry, for her formal experiments are inseparable from her explorations of the signifying capacity of language and the essence of poetry. On top of that, the poet, whose pleasure in manipulating words is palpable, is not interested only in mastering rhetorical devices, but also in maneuvering her language. It is safe to say that the poet's style is not only embodied in her language and poetics but also in form. Although not all of Xia Yu's formal experiments are equally successful, her effort to make book designs truly an integral part of the reading process is not only admirable but also unprecedented in the history of modern Chinese poetry. Imaginative, obsessive-compulsive, ambitious, and fiercely unconventional and individualistic, the first-person narrator in Xia Yu's poetry extends into the publishing of her books. While self-publishing is not uncommon in the history of modern Chinese poetry, she takes an explicitly anti-commercial, anti-institutional position. Arguably, Xia Yu's bold experiments in form and her creative book designs, on top of her innovative writing style, have rendered her an icon in the Chinese-speaking world with a loyal following, a poet's poet who has exerted a significant influence on younger generations

On the Theme of Poetry and Immortality in the Chinese and English Poetic Traditions
WU Fusheng
2022, 5(4): 21-39. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20225402

The link between poetry and immortality is an important theme in the Chinese and English poetic traditions. It has its root in the ancient belief in Chinese and Western cultures that writing can confer immortality to its author and to its contents. During the early periods, however, this belief was often overshadowed by a stronger desire to achieve immortality through a political/official career. Subsequent poets attempted to cast away this shadow, and in doing so the Chinese and English poets discussed in this essay undertook different paths. The Chinese poets were never able to completely separate poetic composition from a political/official career. Although they repeatedly emphasized that poetic immortality surpasses immortality won through fame, wealth and power, those same forces-fame, wealth and power-often form the context in which they voiced their praise for poetry, as if without this context poetry itself would be deprived of its meaning and value. The English poets, on the other hand, were able to leave these factors behind when celebrating poetic immortality. They transplanted this theme to the area of amorous love, thereby endowing it with a strong sensual and personal dimension. Under their pens, the theme of poetic immortality became a means by which to express their devotion to love, the intensity of which purges other worldly concerns such as fame, wealth and power. However, despite their celebrations, these poets, when down in spirit and fortune, also expressed doubt and even contempt toward poetic composition and its value, thereby complicating their treatment of this important theme in Chinese and English poetry

The Advancement of Interdisciplinary Studies of Literature in China
WANG Dingan
2022, 5(4): 40-54. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20225403

In the face of the opportunities and challenges of the new scientific and technological revolution and industrial transformations, the construction of a"new liberal arts"has been put on the agenda, and the in-depth integration of disciplines has become a top priority. In this trend, the discipline of literature assumes a more important historical mission. Under the newly established"interdisciplinary disciplines, "which is a discipline category, literature participates in discipline training, so the importance of the interdisciplinary study of literature is increasingly highlighted. Therefore, it is of great significance to review the history of interdisciplinary research in Chinese literature. Since the introduction of the modern Western discipline system, interdisciplinary research in Chinese literature began, experienced the interdisciplinary boom of the 1980 s, and was further promoted at the beginning of 21 st century. Taking literature and science, religion, psychology and architecture as examples, many interdisciplinary studies of literature have emerged in the past 40 years. On the whole, the existing interdisciplinary research of literature has two paradigms, "Literature and X"and"Literature X studies. "Along with the promotion of interdisciplinary research, there is anxiety about whether interdisciplinary research is harmful to literary ontology, but there is also the claim"no boundaries in literature and art research. "Facing up to the changes in the way of literature's existence, researchers have the obligation to escape all kinds of limitations in the concept and face literature in the social context. Since a certain discipline is only a part of the whole social system, when we insist on holistic research, it is necessary to consider literature within the social system, rather than ignoring the whole of society by artificially drawing boundaries between the so-called literary and non-literary. In addition to the deepening of research practice, the interdisciplinary study of Chinese literature also needs to think about the timely adjustment of student training mechanisms

Negotiating with the Nation-state,Literature and Scholarship: The Academic History of Comparative Literature Retold
YAO Mengze
2022, 5(4): 55-74. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20225404

Since the 1980 s, Chinese comparatists have constructed a solid narrative of the disciplinary history of comparative literature. Based on a lineage of schools and their methods, it tells a story of a discipline which was born in Europe, grew up in the USA, and at last flourished in China. With its highly organized and systematic features, this narrative is very useful in pedagogy;therefore, it is regarded as part of the basic knowledge of the discipline. However, this narrative is too neat to match the multidimensional histories and practices of comparative literature, hence its usefulness is largely restricted to the vacuum of classrooms and exams. What we really need is a history of various academic problems in association with the larger history, rather than a rigidly defined disciplinary history with a predetermined and teleological narrative. Sprouted in the dual discovery of the nation-state and national literature, comparative literature has always been negotiating with the nation-state, literature and scholarship. In the 19 th and the early 20 th century, the French comparatists built comparative literature on the scientificity of history studies and literary history, giving the discipline characteristics of transnationalism and historiography. In the mid-20 th century, with their heritage of(and breakthrough in) relational and historical studies, American comparatists brought the discipline from a regional and marginal status to the community of literary academics in the West, and gave literature centrality, allowing comparative literature to transcend the nationstate. Since the 1980 s, comparative literature has been largely glocalized and theorized, and turned out to be a compound of variant post-national and hyper-literary academic practices in the humanities. Noticing its endless negotiation with the nation-state, literature and scholarship, we might not only better learn the diverse histories of comparative literature, but also understand the dynamic relationship between comparative literature and the larger history. At last, the studies of the academic history of comparative literature could lead us to the futures of this discipline or nondiscipline

Martin Luther and Western Liberalism
Paulos Huang
2022, 5(4): 77-95. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20225405

Martin Luther(1483-1546) was not merely a religious reformer, but the Chinese academic community has only regarded him as a religious reformer, which is quite a parochial understanding. Luther was also a reformer in social, cultural and especially intellectual history. Of course, he also had an immense influence on politics. There are multiple theories concerning the closing of the Middle Ages and the advent of modern times. The author holds that Luther and his Reformation in 1517 mark the actual commencement of modernity. In order to study the nature of European intellectual history, especially in modern times, this paper focuses on the position and influence of Luther and his religious Reform. In order to explore the relationship between Martin Luther and Western liberalism, after defining concepts such as freedom/liberty and liberalism and their relationship to subjectivity and modernity, I analyze Luther's status and special contributions to the three stages of Western intellectual history;his significance for the Chinese context is also examined. The study of how has Luther been accepted and rejected in Western intellectual history forms the major part of this article. In conclusion, by reflecting contemporary liberalism, the article emphasizes that Martin Luther is crucially important to the study of Western Liberalism

The Unbearable Heaviness of Knowledge: A Study of Novels of Erudition as Encyclopedic Narratives
LI Feng, JIN Wen
2022, 5(4): 96-112. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20225406

Novels of erudition refer to fictional works in China's mid-Qing era which contain a large amount of technical knowledge beyond what may be warranted by the narrative thread and an obvious intention to display the author's scholarly talents. They carry some essential features of encyclopedic narratives in Western literature, especially their epic length and the incorporation of a large amount of knowledge. This essay analyzes the main characteristics of novels of erudition, including their shared grand topics, multi-disciplinary scope, intricate language, mythical structures, and intentional allusions to social reality. It also discusses the novel of erudition's cultural origins and its trajectory through Chinese literary history. The purpose is to shed new light on the genre of erudition novels and to pave the way for exploring the roles of knowledge and argumentation in fictional narratives across Western and Eastern cultures. The paper argues that though it virtually disappeared after the late Qing era, this genre is valuable as a literary experiment to record China'sZeitgeistin the eighteenth century, test the limits of the novel's capacity for knowledge and improve the academic and cultural status of the novel as a genre long despised in imperial China

On Wang Guowei and Christianity from the Perspective of“ the Tao” in“Draft of a Commentary on Politics and Learning”
TAO Feiya
2022, 5(4): 113-125. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20225407

At the end of 1923, Wang Guowei presented"Draft of a Commentary on Politics and Learning"to Puyi, in which he argued that ever since the"three generations"China has only one"Tao":"cultivate yourself, regulate your family, rule your country wisely, and lead the world to peace. "However, after commercialization with Western powers, Western learning and political books had entered China and since then the"Tao"became two. In fact, since the Tang Dynasty, Nestorianism, a sect of Catholicism imported into China, has called itself"Tao. "The term was used intermittently until the end of the Ming Dynasty and the beginning of the Qing Dynasty. Only after Emperor Yongzheng banned Catholicism was it called heresy. However both, Catholicism and Protestantism spread in China after the Opium War were called"Tao"again, which had almost become general knowledge among the intelligentsia in Wang Guowei's era. However, the"Tao"in Wang Guowei's commentary does not include Christianity. In his view, religion originated from the opposition between good and evil in human nature, and there is no divine creation of religion. He questioned whether the Buddha and Jesus themselves were saved. He also believed that the timing of the introduction of Catholicism into China was not right, and it was too different from traditional Chinese culture. Even if it was introduced temporarily, it was difficult to maintain its influence. However, from the perspective of functionalism, he believed that religion was a kind of"art"that offered consolation to people in lower society, and that was all. But such recognition did not prevent him from rejoicing that his children could attend Christian schools, which, like many intellectuals, showed that on the one hand he rejected Christianity as the core value of Western civilization from the level of"Tao. "On the other hand, he did not reject other aspects of Western civilization, such as its advanced educational system

Nabokov’s Crooked Mirror:The Artist’s False Double in Despair
WU Tsaiyi
2022, 5(4): 126-143. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20225408

The article explicates Nabokov's metaphors ofcrooked mirrorsandfalse doublesin his novelDespair, which articulate his aesthetics that art is self-obvious deception. For Nabokov, art is neither superior to nor independent of reality, but is rather its inferior mimic. Thus Nabokov's simulacrum always refers to the revered model:the author himself. Nabokov's aesthetics challenges the readers to have a different attitude toward art:rather than sympathy or appreciation, we should instead cultivate our critical discernment by distinguishing between the simulacrum and the true model. In our age of post-truth, Nabokov's aesthetics provides us an ethical paradigm where reality is concealed but not altogether cancelled, a reality that is rather the prize that the readers are invited to actively seek out

Voice Conceived by a Textualist: Walter J.Ong’s Critique of Jacques Derrida’s Logocentrism
YAO Yunfan
2022, 5(4): 144-157. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20225409

As an American media theorist, Walter J. Ong's comments on Jacques Derrida's"Logocentrism"are too specialized to be noticed by Chinese academia. Although admitting Derrida's attention to voice as a medium for the dissemination of information, Walter Ong still regarded the former's standpoint as a"textualist"and called Derrida's'voice'a fiction of textualism. From the research of Renaissance French Logician Peter Ramus, Walter Ong uncovered the transformation of intellectual history caused by early modern Western media transformations:pre-modern Western logic scholars treated the representation of things as the occurrences and disappearances of events, whereas modern writingprint media led to objective modes of representation. Ong tried to discover a"positive"sound medium. However, his"sound-event"corresponds to the representation of things by oral media, while"word-object"corresponds to the representation of things by written and print media, which is still a rigid dichotomy. This binary opposition cannot prevent Ong from committing the same pitfalls of the textualist standpoint that he criticizes. Walter Ong's descriptions of the evolutionary history from audio-oral media to writing-print media is not a real"pole"study, but a biased mapping onto the"intellectual advances"of the modern Western media revolution, which eventually led to the legitimatizing of the leading role of Western civilization and Puritan-American culture in the contemporary media-shaping process. This ideological premise comes from his mentor Perry Miller, and is influenced by the Cultural Cold War of America and the USSR in the 20 th century. Influenced by this political situation, he had to defend both the privilege of sound and the hegemony of writing at the same time, which made his research on media history finally lead to a self-contradictory conclusion

On Bian Zhilin’s Filtered Acceptance of T.S.Eliot’s Shakespearean Criticism
2022, 5(4): 158-172. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20225410

Adhering to the Marxist view of literature and methodology, Bian Zhilin filtered and accepted T. S. Eliot's Shakespearean criticism. He frequently referred to Eliot's Shakespearean criticism inTowards a New Appraisal of Shakespearean Tragedy. Bian agreed with Eliot's appraisal of Shakespeare's great status in literature, but in the analysis ofHamlet, Bian Zhilin criticized Eliot for paying more attention to art than thought, and insisting on"consistency"standards and the concept of"objective correlative"to judge the failure ofHamlet. Eliot held that Hamlet was dominated by an emotion which was inexpressible. Hamlet's bafflement at the absence of an objective equivalent to his feelings was a prolongation of the bafflement of his creator in the face of his artistic problem. Hamlet was up against the difficulty that his disgust was occasioned by his mother, but that his mother was not an adequate equivalent for it. Bian Zhilin appraised the success ofHamletwith Marxist literature and art that reflected the nature of social philosophy. He held that the core ofHamletwas a reflection of the character and society of the age. In the general evaluation of Shakespeare's plays, Bian Zhilin criticized Eliot's emphasis on"flow"rather than"source. "He denied Eliot's Christian thinking and interpreted Shakespeare's plays with humanism from the perspective of social nature and the relationship between literature and society. Bian and Eliot were different because they lived in different countries having different social and literary climates. Bian Zhilin lived in China in a society where Marxism spread and became the mainstream ideology. He accepted the literary and artistic ideas of Marxism, while Eliot lived in capitalist Britain and upheld the concept of Christian humanism. Bian Zhilin's filtered acceptance reflects the dominant role of social ideology and the independence and activity of Chinese scholars in accepting Western academic thought

Forty Years at a Glance:Li Yongping Interviews Mr. Xiao Bing, Founding President of the Literary Anthropology Association
LI Yongping, XIAO Bing
2022, 5(4): 175-186. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20225411

Since the 1970 s, Mr. Xiao Bing has been teaching for more than 50 years, and has published more than 300 papers and nearly 40 books in total, which has exerted great influence in the academic circle. His representative works include seven issues ofChuci Studies, four issues ofAnthropological Decoding of Chinese Culture, and four issues ofInteresting Anthropological Readings of Chinese Novels. Other publications includeThe Elite of Chinese Culture;The Wind of Nuo Wax;Introduction to Mythology;The Myth of Sifang Wind;Dragon, Phoenix, Tortoise and Lin:An Exploration of China's Four Spiritual Objects;Ancient Chinese Sacred Architecture;The Division of the Universe and the Mysterious Configuration of Ancient China;Chinese Characters and Aesthetics;The Voice of the Xuan Bird:on the History of the Genesis of Art and The Golden Rule of Chinese Political Ethics. In the 1990 s, there was a popular saying in academic circles that"there is no journal that has not published articles by Xiao Bing, ", Mr. Xiao Bing published so many articles that the academic circle even called it"Xiao Bing phenomenon". As the founding president of the Literary Anthropology Association, Mr. Xiao Bing has witnessed the academic course of literary anthropology over the past 40 years. On the basis of reading Mr. Xiao Bing's works, the author took the opportunity to attend the second session 21 books of the"Mythology Library"conference and academic seminar held by Shanghai Jiaotong University in December 2019. In-depth interviews were conducted on Mr. Xiao Bing's academic history, research fields and academic preferences, main academic viewpoints and academic experience, academic contributions and shortcomings. Throughout the interview, Mr. Xiao was passionate, enthusiastic and active in thinking. He not only answered questions comprehensively and clearly, but also pointed out his contributions and shortcomings openly and frankly. He advocated that young scholars should conduct interdisciplinary research, reorganize the traditional liberal arts disciplines and intersect the arts and sciences. That is, they should integrate new technologies into philosophy, literature and language, making greater contributions to the integration of disciplines. At the same time, Mr. Xiao Bing spoke highly of the development of young scholars in literary anthropology and placed more expectations upon it

Book Reviews
ZHU Zhirong. Philosophy of Chinese Art
2022, 5(4): 189-192. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20225412