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|Other Titles: ||Clear a Theoretical Ground for Modern Chinese Poetry: Re-readings of the Etymological Roots of Shih|
|Authors: ||黃麗明;Lai-ming Wong|
This paper sets out to investigate a corpus of writings that have contributed to the theoretical configuration of modern Chinese poetry. These writings include the works of poet-critics such as Lu Hsun, Chu Tzu-ch'ing, Wen I-to and Hu Shih of the May Fourth period. In view of the common literary practice of legitimizing a poetics of the times by connecting it with the traditional "shih-yen-chih" tenet, this discussion takes the etymological roots of the seminal word "shih"he origin from which "shih-yen-chih" has been derived--as the point of departure. In the selected writings, the formidable poetic tenet is re-read with different strategies, including some adapted from English Romanticism. These innovative readings of the etymological roots of shih: yen H [speech/word], chih it [foot, to go/to stop] and ssu xF [hand, to hold], have resulted in an approach to poetry that not only liberates modern poetry from the conventional constraints, but also establishes a Chinese lyric tradition both distinct from and related to poetic traditions in the west. These attempts at founding a new kind of poetry that is both "modern" and "Chinese," taken as negotiations with the origin, have interestingly foreshadowed a decon-structive tendency prevalent in contemporary discourse. In literary history, the aspiration towards novelty, realized in a process of subversion, conversion and invention, has been the most vigorous impetus for generic transformation. Through a critical examination of the interactions between tradition and innovation at the theoretical level, this paper aims at uncovering the path of the conceptual formation of modern Chinese poetry in the twentieth century.
Key Words: shih [poetry], etymological roots, shih-yen-chih [poetry
verbalizes intent], romanticism, lyric tradition, deconstruction.
The Tsing Hua Journal of Chinese Studies, New Series Vol. 30 No. 4 (December 2000), pp. 541-560
|Appears in Collections:||[01 清華學報] 新30卷第4期|
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