Zhuangzi and Modern Chinese Literature

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9780190238155: Zhuangzi and Modern Chinese Literature
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This is a powerful account of how the ruin and resurrection of Zhuangzi in modern China's literary history correspond to the rise and fall of modern Chinese individuality. Liu Jianmei highlights two central philosophical themes of Zhuangzi: the absolute spiritual freedom as presented in the chapter of "Free and Easy Wandering" and the rejection of absolute and fixed views on right and wrong as seen in the chapter of "On the Equality of Things." She argues the twentieth century reinterpretation and appropriation of these two important philosophical themes best testify to the dilemma and inner-struggle of modern Chinese intellectuals. In the cultural environment in which Chinese writers and scholars were working, the pursuit of individual freedom as well as the more tolerant and multifaceted cultural mentality has constantly been downplayed, suppressed, or criticized.

By addressing a large number of modern Chinese writers, including Guo Moruo, Hu Shi, Lu Xun, Zhou Zuoren, Lin Yutang, Fei Ming, Liu Xiaofeng, Wang Zengqi, Han Shaogong, Ah Cheng, Yan Lianke, and Gao Xingjian, the author provides an insightful and engaging study of how they have embraced, rejected, and returned to ancient thought and how the spirit of Zhuangzi has illuminated their writing and thinking through the turbulent eras of modern China. This book not only explores modern Chinese writers' complicated relationship with "tradition," but also sheds light on if the freedom of independence, non-participation, and roaming and the more encompassing cultural space inspired by Zhuangzi's spirit were allowed to exist in the modern Chinese literary context. Involving the interplay between philosophy, literature, and history, Liu delineates a neglected literary tradition influenced by Zhuangzi and Daoism and traces its struggles to survive in modern and contemporary Chinese culture.

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About the Author:


Liu Jianmei is Associate Professor of Chinese Literature at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Review:


"[Liu] presents a rigorous and insightful investigation of a certain Daoist philosophical heritage that has played no small part in modern Chinese intellectual and literary life...The result is a study that offers an intriguing view of not only the various treatments of Zhuangzi over the past century, but also of the ways in which ideas from Zhuangzi have become relevant for different writers at different times....Liu's study is a pleasure to read, and her methodology allows for a series of succinct and effective investigations that invite a broad range of historical, literary, and intellectual insights...the work is undoubtedly a significant contribution to our understanding of a number of prominent literary and intellectual figures in terms of their encounters with Zhuangzi, and will greatly enhance our understanding of Zhuangzi in the modern world." --Todd William Foley, Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, Reviews


"Zhuangzi and Modern Chinese Literature is an impressive and ambitious work that investigates as well as situates Zhuangzi's thought within the formation of Chinese literary modernity." -- Modern Chinese Literature and Culture


"Liu's scholarship demonstrates the kind of erudition and precision that are needed in research that encompasses both modern and traditional literary discourses....an invaluable source for any study of modern Chinese literature..." -Carlos Yu-Kai Lin, University of Pennsylvania


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Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2016. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. This is a powerful account of how the ruin and resurrection of Zhuangzi in modern China s literary history correspond to the rise and fall of modern Chinese individuality. Liu Jianmei highlights two central philosophical themes of Zhuangzi: the absolute spiritual freedom as presented in the chapter of Free and Easy Wandering and the rejection of absolute and fixed views on right and wrong as seen in the chapter of On the Equality of Things. She argues the twentieth century reinterpretation and appropriation of these two important philosophical themes best testify to the dilemma and inner-struggle of modern Chinese intellectuals. In the cultural environment in which Chinese writers and scholars were working, the pursuit of individual freedom as well as the more tolerant and multifaceted cultural mentality has constantly been downplayed, suppressed, or criticized. By addressing a large number of modern Chinese writers, including Guo Moruo, Hu Shi, Lu Xun, Zhou Zuoren, Lin Yutang, Fei Ming, Liu Xiaofeng, Wang Zengqi, Han Shaogong, Ah Cheng, Yan Lianke, and Gao Xingjian, the author provides an insightful and engaging study of how they have embraced, rejected, and returned to ancient thought and how the spirit of Zhuangzi has illuminated their writing and thinking through the turbulent eras of modern China. This book not only explores modern Chinese writers complicated relationship with tradition, but also sheds light on if the freedom of independence, non-participation, and roaming and the more encompassing cultural space inspired by Zhuangzi s spirit were allowed to exist in the modern Chinese literary context. Involving the interplay between philosophy, literature, and history, Liu delineates a neglected literary tradition influenced by Zhuangzi and Daoism and traces its struggles to survive in modern and contemporary Chinese culture. Seller Inventory # AAS9780190238155

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Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2016. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. This is a powerful account of how the ruin and resurrection of Zhuangzi in modern China s literary history correspond to the rise and fall of modern Chinese individuality. Liu Jianmei highlights two central philosophical themes of Zhuangzi: the absolute spiritual freedom as presented in the chapter of Free and Easy Wandering and the rejection of absolute and fixed views on right and wrong as seen in the chapter of On the Equality of Things. She argues the twentieth century reinterpretation and appropriation of these two important philosophical themes best testify to the dilemma and inner-struggle of modern Chinese intellectuals. In the cultural environment in which Chinese writers and scholars were working, the pursuit of individual freedom as well as the more tolerant and multifaceted cultural mentality has constantly been downplayed, suppressed, or criticized. By addressing a large number of modern Chinese writers, including Guo Moruo, Hu Shi, Lu Xun, Zhou Zuoren, Lin Yutang, Fei Ming, Liu Xiaofeng, Wang Zengqi, Han Shaogong, Ah Cheng, Yan Lianke, and Gao Xingjian, the author provides an insightful and engaging study of how they have embraced, rejected, and returned to ancient thought and how the spirit of Zhuangzi has illuminated their writing and thinking through the turbulent eras of modern China. This book not only explores modern Chinese writers complicated relationship with tradition, but also sheds light on if the freedom of independence, non-participation, and roaming and the more encompassing cultural space inspired by Zhuangzi s spirit were allowed to exist in the modern Chinese literary context. Involving the interplay between philosophy, literature, and history, Liu delineates a neglected literary tradition influenced by Zhuangzi and Daoism and traces its struggles to survive in modern and contemporary Chinese culture. Seller Inventory # AAS9780190238155

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