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2023, Volume 6,  Issue 4

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Intercultural Interaction: Research Methods of Overseas Sinology(Chinese Studies)
ZHANG Xiping
2023, 6(4): 7-20. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20236401
As an intercultural academic system, the study of overseas Sinology is an important issue, and there are many disputes in the academia. This paper suggests that there are three approaches for studying Sinology overseas: studies of Chinese learning, research of academic history, and comparative literature research. The first approach emphasizes the content of research by overseas sinologists and whether the knowledge they provide is correct. This is from the perspective of Chinese culture. The second approach focuses on the historical development of Sinology and regards it as an academic system, emphasizing the inheritance and the interface of knowledge. This is from the perspective of Orientalist academic history. The third path pays attention to the variability of overseas Sinology as part and parcel of a Western knowledge system, as how the expression and viewpoints are influenced by national culture. This is from the standpoint of comparative culture. The “Intercultural Interaction” model for the investigation of overseas Sinology expands the scope of global history from the focus on economic interactions and the spread of disease to “spiritual world interactions” and “intercultural interactions.” The existence of overseas Sinology profoundly reveals the universality of Chinese culture and its interaction with Western and other cultures. Such interaction is not a mere diffusion of knowledge, but a journey of Chinese culture, as the wisdom of the East, into the development of Western or other cultures. By this token, the study of overseas Sinology is not merely carried out within the scope of Oriental Studies, but moves into research on ideological and cultural history of the targeted countries, thereby disclosing the significance of Chinese culture and civilization worldwide. This is the most profound interaction between Chinese culture and the West and the rest in the spiritual world.
On the Cosmopolitan Cultural Character of Kaifeng in Northern Song Dynasty
ZHANG Tongsheng
2023, 6(4): 21-38. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20236402
This paper adopts ethical literary criticism to examine the urban cultural character of Bianjing, namely, the City of Kaifeng in the Northern Song Dynasty, and finds that the urban cultural character of the city depends on the ethical identity of its residents. Government armed forces had been garrisoned in Kaifeng since mid-Tang. The garrison in the past dynasties included Xianbei, Shatuo, Sogdian, Turkic people and their descendants. The Northern Song Dynasty had hundreds of thousands of troops stationed in its capital Kaifeng. A majority of the imperial court's revenue had been used to raise soldiers, so they enjoyed considerable financial prosperity. Armies are pure consumers, and their spending helped in fueling a boom in consumer and service economy in Kaifeng. These garrisoned troops, ranging from generals to ordinary soldiers, were mostly engaged in business transaction or service labor, thus promoting the development of Kaifeng's commercial economy. Since Emperor Xiaowen of Northern Wei moved the capital city to Luoyang, the Xianbei ethnic group, especially the nobles, migrated south, and there were many Xianbei people and their descendants making a living in the Central Plains. When it came to the late Tang Dynasty and the Five Dynasties, warlords during this period such as Li Keyong, Li Cunxu, Shi Jingtang, Liu Zhiyuan, Liu Chong all belonged to the Shatuo race. The royal family of the Song Dynasty has been suspected to be the Shatuo people as well. The Shatuo tribe comprised Sogdians, Turks, Uyghurs and other ethnic groups. Followers of Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism and Judaism etc. also lived in the Bianjing City. There were also Han people, Sogdians, Turks, Uyghurs, Khitans, Jurchens, Koreans, Arabs, Tanguts, Vietnameses, Cambodians, etc. in the capital. Their cultural contact, fusion and integration between various ethnic groups and races shaped the cosmopolitan cultural character of Kaifeng. The commercial activities and traditional customs of Sogdian and their descendants who were gifted businessmen constituted the typical commercial background of Kaifeng City.
A Qualitative Description of Recorded Demonstration Narrative, and Narrative Frameworks and Narrative Subjects of Demonstration Narrative: A Conversation with Mr. Zhao Yiheng
FU Feixiong, CHEN Ling
2023, 6(4): 39-53. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20236403
Western film narratology has a tradition of categorizing the recorded demonstration narration(such as that in films, television, etc.) as demonstration narrative related to theatrical performance, rather than as recorded demonstration narrative or what combines certain characteristics of both. This understanding can be attributed to a failure to notice the limitation of Husserl's perception theory that it is unable to effectively distinguish illusion from perception. In fact, many basic characteristics of live narrative demonstration such as live theatre performance are absent in recorded demonstration narration; that the latter tends to proceed through the process of media recording cannot be ignored. Such negligence will result in the difficulty to accurately and effectively distinguish a myriad of narrative types. Undoubtedly, the recorded demonstration narrative has a dual nature, namely, it combines some characteristics of both on-site demonstration narrative and documentary storytelling. Furthermore, academic discussions on the separation framework and narrative subject of the demonstration narrative usually follow the theoretical framework of classical narratology, which is limited by a logocentric vision that hinders scholars engaged in discussion from completely returning to the genre itself. The creative mechanisms, fields of occurrence, symbolic media and existing forms of demonstration narrative are far more complex than those of the novel. The narrative framework of a demonstration narrative straddles two fields: one separates the inside from the outside of the narrated text, the other emulates the daily creation and living experience of the multitudinous narrative subjects to be found outside the narrated text but participate in the construction of the narrative——the demarcation itself is abstract. Meanwhile, the roles of the subnarrators such as the originator(or illocutionary source) and the performer are always relative and variable, and even some originators and performers are interchangeable. The performers fall into a category of narrators who directly tell the story with symbols such as body, posture, behavioral action, and so forth, while voice-overs are narrators in the sense of fictional narrative.
Feminist Orientalism: Tracing the Tradition of Feminist Orientalism in the Anglo-American Discourse on Civilization
2023, 6(4): 54-67. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20236404
There is a long-standing tradition of feminist orientalism in the Anglo-American civilization and this tradition is manifested in various phenomena of cultural politics. There are two kinds of references regarding the term of “feminist orientalism.” Its basic meaning refers to the orientalism practiced by women in the Anglo-American society, including their consumption, imagination, and even creation of “the orient”in order to empower themselves in the struggle for equality against white men. The other reference of this term is the orientalism of the West operated through female discourse, women's problems and feminist agendas. The feminist orientalism in the second sense, which is imposed on the oriental society by the capitalist imperialism, is characterized by the convergence of three elements—the East, the West and women—into a binary structure consisting of the lower East and the higher West. In the meantime, this binary structure appeals to human emotions, especially when people lack in sufficient information about the East. Feminist orientalism had served the imperialist cause in history. A tradition of feminist orientalism can be identified in Anglo-American history: firstly, it was the Asian commodities and the oriental arts, represented by chinaware and chinoiserie, that provided white women with cultural space of their own and potential opportunities for liberation, thus contributing to the construction of their subjectivity; secondly, white women travel writers, represented by Lady Montagu, unveiled the East through their “imperial eyes,” which differed from those of white men, and therefore, feminist orientalism was no longer just domestic, but became transnational and imperial; thirdly, female religion workers of the colonial period developed and reinforced this tradition, and by rendering the East inferior to the West, this tradition joined the discourse of the Western cultural imperialism. It is important for us to trace the source of this tradition in the light of historical experience over the past century in order to demystify orientalism and construct a new intercultural discourse for the new era.
How Is It Possible to Translate a Religious Classic into Another Religious Tradition: On Timothy Richard’s Translation of the Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana Doctrine
WU Hanlai
2023, 6(4): 68-82. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20236405
A missionary and politician active in late Qing China, Timothy Richard translated the Buddhist classic Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana Buddhism into English. However, his translation had a strong Christian flavor, which aroused protests from the Chinese Buddhist community. This article seeks to explore how knowledge and faith are intertwined in Timothy Richard's translation, as well as the trans-religious issues underlying the aforesaid phenomenon. In order to explore this issue in depth, it is necessary to sort out the historical and social background of Richard's English translation of Awakening of Faith in the first place: British scholars' collective understanding of Buddhism at that time, the sources of the translator's knowledge about Buddhism, his acquaintance and cooperation with Yang Wenhui, and reader response to his translation. Next, focusing on two key concepts in Awakening of Faith, “zhenru”(tathatā) and “xin”(citta), we will find that by introducing Platonic philosophy and the Christian idea of “Incarnation,” Richard successfully completed the theological construction of Christian principles in his translation of Awakening of Faith, even if the cost is that the eventual translation deviates from the original Buddhist thought. Finally, it is arguable that the foundation of Richard's religious faith and knowledge lies between Protestant Liberalism and Euro-Orientalism, both of which are literally British society's response to the spiritual crisis of the Victorian era. As a matter of fact, Richard's religious beliefs limited the production of knowledge in his translation. The results of this discourse practice and his original intention to preach the gospel in China both derive from his Christian beliefs, while the distortion of Buddhist knowledge reveals the problematic of power relations in the process of cultural syncretism.
Constructing General Poetics: Interdisciplinary Studies of Literature Based on Bakhtin’s Philosophy of Dialogism
JI Mingju
2023, 6(4): 83-96. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20236406
In the face of the “exhaustion” of literary theory today, both domestic and global academes have shown increasing interests in the interdisciplinary studies of literature. Current research, however, is mostly limited to the study of the internal relationship of a single subject interface of literary research, the study of inter-text internal relations of literary research, interdisciplinary research on external relations, and cross-disciplinary literary research etc. Bakhtin's philosophy of dialogism derives from behavioral aesthetics that advocates an intersubjectivity of the “I and the Other,” which centers on “aesthetic events” in the context of art and life, art and responsibility, art and discourse genre, and art and culture. Bakhtin believes that art and life are fundamentally different, but response to dialogue(inter-subjective responsibility) bridges the two. Therefore, studies of literature and art should become an interdisciplinary platform to discard “material aesthetics” and explore the new meaning of “aesthetic event” simultaneously. Interdisciplinary studies of literature are precisely dynamic and comprehensive studies that combine “micro-dialogue” and “macro-dialogue,” synchronicity(the study of genre poetics) and historicity(the study of historical poetics), among which the investigation of the cultural boundary of artistic arena is tellingly suitable for the study of cultural poetics. So, the future construction of literary theory should be a systematic and holistic poetics that grasps artistic polyphony and “heteroglossia” (“bilingualism”), the layout and pattern of literary forms(genre-events), the evolution of literary forms(the history of genre development), and the examination of the cultural boundaries in literature and art. An interdisciplinary poetic study ought to integrate three dimensions of artistic and literary studies: theoretical(genre) poetics, historical poetics, and cultural poetics. From an interdisciplinary vision of the humanities studies, Bakhtin's theory of a construction of the poetic whole and his holistic research methodology have opened up the humanistic interdisciplinary channels of philosophy, aesthetics, literary and cultural studies, and constitute a significant theoretical revelation to the interdisciplinary study of art and literature.
Intertextuality as a Paradigm for Chinese Huaben Anthology: Interpretation Based on Rainier Lanselle’s Translation of The Spectacles in Ancient and Modern Time
LYU Ruyu
2023, 6(4): 97-107. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20236407
In his introduction to the French translation of The Spectacles in Ancient and Modern Time, Rainier Lanselle, French sinologist and translator, pays immense attention to the textual identity of the work as an anthology of huaben, and proposes the concept of “Chinese intertextuality” in order to systematise the intrinsic characteristics of this ancient Chinese anthology. On the one hand, Lanselle, through the vision provided by the theory of intertextuality, demonstrates the vertical intertextual characteristics of the anthology, presenting the relationship between texts included in the anthology and their superiors on various levels, and thus explores the significance generated by this relationship. On the other hand, Lanselle reveals the horizontal intertextual relationship between the texts in the anthology, analyzing them in detail and highlighting the interconnections between the texts within the anthology by means of translation. With his translation of The Spectacles in Ancient and Modern Time, Rainier Lanselle completed a profound study of ancient Chinese literature in the context of Western languages and Western theories, providing a new dimension for the study of ancient literature; moreover, in the process of elaborating the intertextual characteristics of the anthology, Lanselle also demonstrates the possibility of enriching and extending the theory of intertextuality with Chinese texts.
William Jones in English National Philology during the Age of Enlightenment
LI Juan
2023, 6(4): 108-126. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20236408
William Jones was an outstanding representative of Oriental Studies in 18th-century Britain, but his contributions and significance in the field of English national philology have long been overlooked. Jones was trained in classical Latin linguistics from childhood, but made outstanding contributions to non-classical languages, which reflects a tendency to seek academic self-orientation in Britain to escape the shadow of continental learning in the 18th century. The Enlightenment Movement promoted the development of English national philology, giving rise to a “public philology” in Britain, which combined the mundane with the intellectual and created British modernity as public socializing and publishing flourished. The prosperity of English philology brought forth a “philological living” for British people and promoted the dissemination of Enlightenment thought. William Jones witnessed the maturing of Enlightenment thought in Britain, and his philological practice was imbued with the cognition and practice in the Age of the Enlightenment. Dr. Johnson's Literary Club is a pioneer of English literary practice in this period, representing the forefront of British thought and knowledge at that time. A former President of the Club, Jones promoted the development of “public philology” in Britain. In his national philology, the rules of Enlightenment thought were more in line with the classical spirit. The epic “Britain Discovered” has a conspicuous classical taste both in material selection and in meaning. Meanwhile, influenced by British empiricism, Jones downplayed the educational function of art and appreciated an expression of the strong emotions of mankind in literature. Besides, the allure of the East inspired him to find the romantic sentiments lacking in the classics, contributing to his achievements in Oriental philology. Arguably, Jones achieved a balance between the rules of reason(the classical) and the irrationality of emotion(the romantic).
Former Left-Wing Writers under Colonial Rule: Guding and Yamada Seizaburo
MEI Ding'e
2023, 6(4): 127-143. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20236409
Guding, a former member of the Northern Branch of the Chinese Left League, translated Japanese literary works, including novels centered on the theme of proletarian internationalism. Confronted with the active promotion of a colonial construct of an imagined community by Japanese colonialists, Guding resisted colonial symbolic violence, defending the subjectivity of being “Chinese.” He rejected the concept of colonial literature, steadfastly focused on portraying the darker facets of society and aspects of resistance, criticized war reportage within Japanese literary circles, and opposed Japanese readers' expectations of novelty-seeking. He valued international solidarity with former Japanese leftists and upheld the subjectivity of Chinese culture. On a separate front, Yamada Seizaburo, who had been released on parole, came to “Manchuria” in search of a “new life.” Along his way from the Manchurian Pioneer Group to “Xinjing,” he could not shake off the psychological shadows of “thought turning,” nor could he get rid of the fate of being tracked and “observed” as a thought criminal. Nevertheless, he befriended “Manchu” writers like Guding and received encouragement from them. In return, Yamada Seizaburo not only empathetically understood the literature and situation of the “Manchu” writers but also openly criticized the Japanese in newspapers. That being said, Yamada also expressed praise and hope for “national unity,” which poses ambiguity as to whether this notion stemmed from the spirit of internationalism or criticism of colonial invasion. Regrettably, Yamada Seizaburo would soon assume the chairmanship of the art association under the wartime regime. He participated in wartime art promotion and organizational activities with Guding, seemingly having forgotten their initial intentions and tacit agreement. While Guding had to make compromises, he also endeavored to safeguard Chinese culture. In 1944, Guding upheld the colonial slogan “Refining Thoughts,” urging young people to redefine technology and prepare for the technical management of Northeast China after war. Beyond resistance, evasion, and cooperation, Guding's activities made possible a fourth possibility in the face of colonial rule.
Collections on Monk Jianzhen’s Voyage to Japan and the Transmission of Hainan’s Cultural Heritage
LI Jieling
2023, 6(4): 144-155. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20236410
Due to a storm at sea, Jianzhen ended up in Hainan during his fifth eastward voyage to Japan. This experience and the local customs in Hainan are recorded in Time for Buddhism: The Nara Period published by Kodansha. There is an aricle in Monbu Kagakushō's history textbook for elementary students titled “Ganjin Richo,” which also accounts for Jianzhen's experience in Hainan. In the history of literary creation in Japan, Jianzhen's voyage to Japan and his sojourn in Hainan were significant writing materials. For example, Inoue Yasushi's historical novel Tenpyō no iraka has repeatedly put down Jianzhen's life and influence in Hainan. Among the items that Jianzhen carried on his second eastward journey were mats woven from the five-colored rattans grown in Wenchang, Hainan, suggesting that rattan handicrafts from Hainan had already been quite famous in the Tang Dynasty, and had been spread to Jiangsu and Zhejiang. Tōseiden Emaki passed down from the Kamakura Period has preserved the scene of Jianzhen being welcomed by Feng Chongzhai, which demonstrates that Hainan was an instrumental foreign trade zone during the Tang Dynasty. In the mid-8th century, a transportation network connecting Guizhou, Guangzhou, Jiaozhou, Tanzhou, Hongzhou, and many other cities came into shape in Southern China, by means of which Lingnan commodities and culture were continuously transported overseas by ship. Hainan is on this trade line. During his stay in Hainan, Jianzhen acquired a lot of valuable spices. In addition to the five-colored rattan utensils, spices were valued local specialties in Hainan as well. Jianzhen biographies written by Si Tuo and Oumi Mifune, which are preserved in Japan, enjoy the highest the credibility and thus are the main sources of information related to biographies of Jianzhen. By counting on these documents, this article submits that records on Jianzhen's voyage to Japan not only testify that local spices from Hainan were transmitted to Japan as concomitant with the transmission of Buddhism, but also confirm that Hainan was already a vital port for international trade in the Tang Dynasty.
The Poetics of Perceiving Things: The Birth of a New Category of Poetics
XU Zhihong
2023, 6(4): 156-176. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20236411
In Chinese and Western intellectual histories, there are numerous poetic theories about how poets compose poetry through the perception of things. Despite that these poetics tellingly belong to the same category, they have neither been named nor theoretically recapitulated. In an attempt to fill this gap, this paper calls it the poetics of perceiving things(ganwu shixue 感物诗学) and defines it as a poetic category that explores the process of poets creating poetry by/after perceiving things, which tends to consist of two parts: the subject and the object. To determine the scope of the poetics of perceiving things, it is necessary to understand the variables that lead to the differences within this category of poetics and where its boundaries lie. To this end, this paper compares Rilke's poetics of Dinggedichte, Liu Xie's poetics of the intermingling of mind and things, and Wang Guowei's poetics of “the realm with me”(youwozhijing 有我之境) and “the realm without me”(wuwozhijing 无我之境) from two perspectives: the object and the subject. The article demonstrates that in terms of the object, Rilke attaches great importance to the elimination of the contingency of objects, keeping only necessary properties, thereby revealing the essence of the object and highlighting its being; Liu Xie and Wang Guowei, however, do not bother with this kind of demarcation. The contingency of objects figures prominently in Liu Xie's poetics, while Wang Guowei's poetic “realm with me” even intentionally imposes the poet's subjectivity on the object to foreground the latter's contingency; Wang would not eliminate the contingency of objects even when it comes to his more objective idea of the “realm without me.” In terms of the subject, Rilke's Dinggedichte can be deemed as the poetics of the eyes, while Liu Xie's and Wang Guowei's poetics take the heart as the fundamental sensory organ. The different conceptions of subject and object in light of the four types of poetics point to different degrees of subjectivity and objectivity, and thus to different status of subject and object presence: Rilke's Dinggedichte emphasizes the essence of the object, and uses a more objective organ, the eyes, to perceive things. So Rilke's poetics is an extremely objective poetics of perceiving things. In Rilke's Dinggedichte, the subjects are mostly absent; Wang Guowei's “realm without me” is objective, but the “I” is still present and therefore less objective than in Rilke's Dinggedichte; according to this poetic theory, the object is present in the poems. Liu Xie accentuates the need for both the presence of subjectivity and that of objectivity in poetry, so as a poetics of perceiving things, it is overall eclectic but pro-subjective. On another front, Wang Guowei's “realm with me” focuses on the presence of the subject, and is therefore an extremely subjective poetics of perceiving things. The poetics of perceiving things where the subject is present is more subjective, while the poetics of perceiving things where the object is present is more objective. Based on these results, this essay establishes a poetic axis of perceiving things, which visualizes the internal differences and the category scope of the poetic system in a concrete way, and thus officially identifies and establishes the principles of the poetics of perceiving things.
Book Reviews
CHEN Rongnyu, A Study on Intercultural Adaptations and Chinese Opera Performances of Ancient Greek Tragedies
ZHENG Fangfei
2023, 6(4): 179-183. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20236412
Introducing Contemporary Chinese Drama to the West:An Interview with Professor Claire Conceison
CUI Xiaoyue, KANG Kaili
2023, 6(4): 184-188. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20236413
LI Yongping, Wilt L. Idema, Rostislav Berezkin. Introduction to Collections and Researches on Overseas Chinese Baojuan
FAN Xiawei
2023, 6(4): 189-192. doi: 10.19857/j.cnki.ICL.20236414