Living an Emperor’s Life, Dying a Nobel Death. Li Hongwei’s Novel “The King and Lyric Poetry” as a Journey Through the History of Chinese Poetry
Słowa kluczowe“The King and Lyric Poetry”, contemporary Chinese poetry, poetry discourse, the post-70 generation, dialectics
The present paper discusses Li Hongwei’s novel The King and Lyric Poetry (2017). The novel tells the story of the suicide of the last Nobel Prize laureate in the future history of literature, Chinese poet Yuwen Wanghu. Following the detective thread of the book, the essay reconstructs utopian and dystopian semi-virtual landscapes of the mid-21st century China which feed into two different models of lyricism: the poet as a knight errant who seeks inspiration far from modern civilization and the poet as a lonely warrior against (technological) tyranny. In the final scene, the two landscapes blur and the antithetical forces that infuse them: lyricism (Yuwen) and power/knowledge (the King) merge into what may be seen as their dialectical synthesis to be fulfilled by the novel’s third protagonist – Yuwen’s young friend, Li Pulei. Mobilizing various contexts, including the suicides of famous mainland-Chinese poets, important poetry polemics, and intertexts ranging from classical Chinese literary theory through to Truman Show and Matrix, I argue that the novel mirrors the development of poetry discourse in the PRC with its various myths, conflicts, complexes, and ambitions. I also show how this discourse, shaped for a long time largely by the so-called Third Generation poets born in the 1950s and 1960s, translates into the situation of the poets who belong to a younger generation (“post-70”) represented by Li Hongwei among others, and what (self-)expectations, challenges, and limitations they face in their writing.
Adorno, Theodor W. 1991. “On Lyric Poetry and Society”. In: Rolf Tiedemann (ed.). Notes on Literature. Vol. 1. Translated by Sherry W. Nicholsen. New York: Columbia University Press.
Asimov, Isaac 1972. The Gods Themselves . London: Gollancz.
Benjamin, Walter 1973. Charles Baudelaire: A Lyric Poet in the Era of High Capitalism. Translated by Harry Zohn. London: Verso.
Chen Zhongyi 2008. “Zai jiaolü he chengsi Zhong lizu – 70hou, 80hou shige” [Setting Foot Amongst Anxiety and Inheritance: The Poetry of the “Post-70” and “Post-80” Generations]. Literature & Arts Forum 12: 48–54.
Daruvala, Susan. 2000. Zhou Zuoren and Alternative Chinese Response to Modernity. Cambridge MA– London: Harvard University Press.
Gu, Ming D. 2005. “Mimetic Theory in Chinese Literary Thought”. New Literary History: Critical and Historical Essays 3(36) (Summer): 403–424.
He Guangshun 2017. “Meijie ronghe zhong 70hou shiren de lishi jiaolü”. Journal of Chinese Literary and Art Criticism 10 (25): 39–47.
Hockx, Michel 2015. Internet Literature in China. New York: Columbia University Press.
Hong Zhigang, Zhenfeng Wang 2018. Shui zai jiechi women de linghun – lun “Guowang yu shuqingshi”. Modern Chinese Literature Studies 8: 44–57.
Huo Junming 2011. “Shichanghua shidai de guangchang shixue – xin shiji yulai 70hou shige de jingshen zouxiang”. Literture and Arts 2 (19 October): 1–3.
Inwood, Heather 2014. Verse Going Viral: China’s New Media Scenes. Seattle and London: University of Washington Press.
Krenz, Joanna 2020. “Ice Cream in the Cathedral: The Literary Failures and Social Success of Chinese Robot Poet Xiao Bing”. Asiatische Studien – Études Asiatiques 74(3): 547–581.
Krenz, Joanna 2021. “Do China’s Robots Dream the China Dream? Chinese Artificial Intelligence Poetry Between Aesthetics and Politics”. In: Andrea Riemenschnitter et al. (eds.). Residual Futures (forthcoming).
Kurzweil, Ray 2005. The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology . London: Penguin Books.
Legge, James 1971. The Shoo King or the Book of Historical Documents: The Chinese Classics . Vol. 3. Taipei: Weixin.
Leung, Laifong 2016. Contemporary Chinese Fiction Writers: Biography, Bibliography, and Critical Assessment. New York: Routledge.
Li, Dian 2019: “The Classical Echo in Chinese Poetic Modernism”. In: Paul Manfredi, Christopher Lupke (eds.). Chinese Poetic Modernisms. Leiden and Boston: Brill.
Li Hongwei 2017. Guowang yu shuqingshi [The King and Lyric Poetry ]. Beijing: Zhongxin chubanshe.
Li Hongwei 2018. “Xiansheng, qing zhan qilai zai si yici”. Xingcunzhe shikan 1. http://www.survivorspoetry.net/artmz_txtasp?id=541 [17.09.2019].
Li Hongwei, Shu Jinyu 2017. “»Guowang yu shuqingshi« Li Hongwei: Wo shi ziji wei ‘xianshi zuojia’”. Duban dushu. https://book.douban.com/review/8557998/ [19.09.2019].
Liu, James J.Y. 1975. Chinese Theories of Literature. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Lovell, Julia 2006. The Politics of Cultural Capital: China’s Quest for Nobel Prize in Literature. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.
Lu Yan 2018. “Guowang yu shuqingshi”: Renlei yuyan yu shuqing qishi. Mingzuo xinshang 32: 140–143.
Miłosz, Czesław 2005. New and Collected Poems 1931–2001. London: Penguin Books.
Owen, Stephen 1992. Readings in Chinese Literary Thought. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Shanghai Zuojia Wang 2017. “Wenxue duitan: xiaoshuo puji weilai”. http://www.shzuojia.cn/plus/view.php?aid=2268 [17.09.2019].
Sohu 2017. Li Hongwei: Liang zhong yishi de jiuchan – “Guowang« yu »shuqingshi”. http://www.sohu.com/a/166059910_99936888 [17.09.2019].
Sun, Cecile Ch. 2006. “Mimesis and Xing: Two Modes of Viewing Reality Comparing English and Chinese Poetry”. Comparative Literature Studies 3 (43): 326–354.
Van Crevel, Maghiel 2001. Yu Jian “File 0”: Translator’s Introduction. Renditions (Autumn 2001): 19–23.
Van Crevel, Maghiel 2008. Chinese Poetry in Times of Mind, Mayhem and Money. Leiden: Brill.
Van Crevel, Maghiel 2017. “Walk on the Wild Side: Snapshots of the Chinese Poetry Scene”. MCLC Resource Center. https://u.osu.edu/mclc/online-series/walk-on-the-wild-side/ [17.09.2019]
Wang, Der-wei (David) 2004. The Monster That Is History: History, Violence, and Fictional Writing in Twentieth-Century China. Berkeley–Los Angeles–London: University of California Press.
Wang, Der-wei (David) 2015. The Lyrical in Epic Time: Modern Chinese Intellectuals and Artists Through the 1949 Crisis . New York: Columbia University Press.
Wang, Der-wei 2018. Shuqing chuantong yu guojia xiandaixing: zai Beida batangke. Beijing: Shenghuo-dushu-xinzhi sanlian shudian chubanshe.
Williams, Nicholas M. 2019. Sublimating Sorrow: How to Embrace Contradiction in Translating the „Li Sao”. In: Maghiel van Crevel, Lucas Klein (eds.). Chinese Poetry and Translation: Rights and Wrongs. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.
Xinhua 2017. „Guowang yu shuqingshi”. Xinhuanet (19 June). http://www.xinhuanet.com//book/2017-06/19/c_129636051.htm [17.09.2019].
Yeh, Michelle 1995. “Death of the Poet: Poetry and Society in Contemporary China and Taiwan”. In: Sung-sheng Y. Chang, Michelle Yeh (eds.). Literature East & West (special issue: Contemporary Chinese Literature: Crossing the Boundaries, a special issue): 43–62.
Yu Jian 2004. Jujue Yinyu. Kunming: Yunnan renmin chubanshe.
Yue Wen 2017. Bukesiyi de Shijian de secai: Li Hongwei “Guowang yu shuqingshi”. Shanghai wenhua 9: 4–13.
Zhang Hui 2012. Wusheng wuguangji. Hangzhou: Zhejiang daxue chubanshe.
Zhang Qinghua, Meng Fanhua 2016. „Disandai yihou lishi ruhe yanxu – guanyu 70hou shige yige culüe saomiao”. Wenyi zhengming 5: 21–25.
Zhuangzi 2013. The Complete Work of Zhuangzi. Translated by Burton Watson. New York: Columbia University Press.
Liczba wyświetleń i pobrań: 83
Liczba cytowań: 0