David Der-Wei Wang (Harvard)
The talk introduces the lyrical in epic time as an exemplary case of modern Chinese literary thought. While the lyrical may seem like an unusual form for representing China’s social and political crises in the twentieth century, the talk contends that the trauma of national cataclysm and mass movement intensifed Chinese lyricism in extraordinary ways. It describes the engagements undertaken by two intellectuals, Shen Congwen (1902-1988) and Feng Zhi (1905-1993), through the 1949 crisis, and ponders the consequences they brought about. The talk takes issue with the conventional wisdom that associates lyricism merely with sentimentalized subjectivity and rhapsodic artifice, arguing instead that lyrical provocations can serve as a critical index to the structure of feeling of modern China. As such, the lyrical in epic time constitutes a significant part of modern lyrical discourse which includes articulations from Heidegger to Benjamin, Adorno, Brooks and de Man.
David Der-wei Wang is Edward C. Hernderson Professor of Chinese and Comparative Literature at Harvard University. His works include The Monster That Is History: History, Violence, and Ficitonal Writing in Twentieth-Century China; Fin-de-siècle Splendor: Repressed Modernity in Late Qing Fiction, 1849-1911; Fictional Realism in Twentieth-Century China; The Lyrical in Epic Time: Chinese Intellectuals and Artists Through the 1949 Crisis; and Harvard New Literary History of Modern China (edited).
13.11.2017 | 18:00
Neubau "Holzlaube", Room 2.2058