Poetry and the Literary Essay in Modern Chinese Literature: Voices from Britain
Talks by Susan Daruvala (Cambridge University) and Michel Hockx (SOAS)
Monday, April 10, 2006
3:00 PM - 5:30 PM
4276 Bunche Hall
The Disputed legacy of Wang Siren (1575-1646) in Republican China
SUSAN DARUVALA (University of Cambridge)
The development of the modern literary essay in the Republican period was accompanied by considerable disagreement about its functions, aesthetics, and origins. Zhou Zuoren's claim that it was a product of the late Ming, though hotly disputed, led to a publishing boom in late Ming xiaopin in the 1930s. By focussing on the person of the late Ming literatus Wang Siren, whose writings provided the title of the journal Wenfan xiaopin, published by Shi Zhecun in 1935, we can see that issues of class, status, and consumption, not just authorial subjectivity, also figured in these debates.
Dr. Susan Daruvala specializes in modern Chinese literature. She has published Zhou Zuoren and an Alternative Chinese Response to Modernity (Harvard 2000) and is currently researching the development of modern Chinese theories of literature.
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Poets in Poems: The Author as a Character in Modern Chinese Poetry
MICHEL HOCKX (SOAS)
The idea that the speaker of a poem should not be identified with the author of a poem is a basic tenet of modern literary theory. It is, however, not an unproblematic suggestion in the context of modern Chinese poetry, which continues to be pervaded both in theory and in practice by traditional notions of the poem as a means of sincere expression of the author's personality. This paper looks at ways in which twentieth-century Chinese poets have encouraged biographical readings of their work and how they employ irony in such a context.
Michel Hockx is Professor of Chinese at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. He studied modern Chinese language and literature at Leiden, Beijing, and Liaoning universities. He has published widely on Chinese literature, especially poetry, of the Republican period and more recently on contemporary web literature. His latest book-length publication is Questions of Style: Literary Societies and Literary Journals in Modern China, 1911-1937 (Leiden: Brill, 2003).
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