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Cheng Yu-yu – Revolution in the Nation of Poetry: Physical and Linguistic Perspectives since 1919 (詩國革命的「漢語」脈絡)

November 30, 2020 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Speaker: Cheng Yu-yu, National Taiwan University

This talk will be given in Mandarin.

Once Chinese poetry becomes “modern poetry,” its so-called modernity must be discussed in the context of the modernity of “Chinese language” itself. From the late Qing and early Republican periods on, when confronted with the invasion of such things as new lexicon, new academic disciplines, alphabetic languages, and English grammar, the Chinese language, Chinese characters, and the cultural tradition to which it belongs have never ceased responding to and reflecting upon such foreign forces. In examining this “modernizing” process of Chinese poetry, which progressed from the question of “how to speak to the new world” to that of “how to reestablish a new relationship with the world,” one cannot overlook the new ways of thinking of the Chinese language that emerged from and were constructed by various disciplines, including grammatology, philology, phonology, psychology, and rhetoric studies. And in discussing “modern poetry,” one should not disregard how figures such as Ma Jianzhong, Liu Shipei, Huang Ren, Huang Kan, Tang Yue, Hu Pu’an, Chen Wangdao, and Li Anzhai, as well as Chen Shih-Hsiang and Kao Yu-kung, have consciously sought the basis upon which the Chinese language and Chinese characters depend for their existence and adaption to change. What lie at the very core of this basis are the “speakability” and the “manifestability” of the Chinese language. These concepts were engaged in a tug-of-war with the tumultuous modern vision prevalent since the late Qing, exhibiting a well-matched rivalry that cannot be ignored.


Professor Yu-yu Cheng, Academician of Academia Sinica, the Chair Professor of Chinese literature at National Taiwan University, is devoted to developing pioneering and interdisciplinary interpretations of Chinese classical literature by combining the Eastern and Western humanistic thoughts. She enjoys an international reputation for her contribution to the discourses of space, body, and Chinese lyrical tradition. Cheng has published numerous books, including “Literary Ch’i” in Six Dynasties Literary Theory, The Situation Aesthetics in Six DynastiesGender and Nation: Discourses of Encountering Sorrow in Han and Jin RhapsodiesThe Poet in Text and Landscape: Mutual Definition of Self and LandscapeMetaphor: Crossing Categorical Boundaries in Ancient Chinese Literature, and Gesture and Language: A New Approach to the Revolution of a Poetic Tradition, etc.

Presented via Zoom.
Registration required.
Register at: https://harvard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYkd-GtqDosHtFLLK39YRE6hU_gP7MyM9sX


November 30, 2020
8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Event Category:


Department of East Asian Language and Civilizations
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