2022-12-09 09:59:42

New Perspectives on Contemporary Chinese Poetry

Edited by Christopher Lupke

Contemporary Poets of Mainland China

The second portion of the book focuses on PRC poets and developments related to them in the most recent times in China. Yibing Huang observes in his chapter that Gu Chengrsquo;s position in contemporary Chinese poetry constitutes an ultimate mystery. Despite his early recognition and success, somehow Gu Cheng has never been accepted as a fully mature poet. He was labeled as a “poet of fairy-tales,” which seemed a curse instead of a blessing. While in his early lyric poetry Gu Cheng yearns to “walk over the world,” in his late poetry he longs to return to the “city,”—a “city” to which he was native and a “city” that serves as his last mental refuge. Eventually, this “child” is anything but “innocent” and the “nature” is anything but “natural”; and what was born is neither a poetry of “innocence” nor a poetry of “experience,” but a “ghost” poetry. This transformation or metamorphosis from “willful child” to “wandering ghost” and the return from “nature” to “city” forms the essence of Huangrsquo;s treatment of Gu Chengrsquo;s poetry.

Reading Yan Lirsquo;s recent poetry, including in particular his “Polyhedral Mirror,” Paul Manfredirsquo;s chapter depicts the shifts in Yan Lirsquo;s nature imagery over the past fifteen years. He situates this evolution in terms of Yanrsquo;s own locale, namely residence in major urban centers in the United States, (greater) China, and Australia over the same period of time. He concludes that the increasing consciousness of a degraded natural global environment held by people worldwide is working its way into the otherwise rather unevironmentally conscious world of Yan Lirsquo;s poetic and artistic work.

In his chapter, John Crespi explores the role of memory in contemporary Chinese poetry, focusing on two series of poems, Yu Jianrsquo;s “Two or Three Things from the Past” and Sun Wenborsquo;s “1960s Bicycle.” He asks what characterizes this lyrical turn in the literary memory of the Cultural Revolution. How does the construction of past events and emotions in these poems extend, supplement, or subvert existing narrative accounts? What does the presence of these poems portend for the evolving historical memory of the Cultural Revolution years? What he finds is that memories of the trauma of the Cultural Revolution, for example, are encoded in poetry not as past experiences but as fragments in the present, thus offering an alternative to the conventional memoirs of this period that tend to dominate the attention of foreign audiences.

Dian Lirsquo;s chapter outlines a now infamous debate that occurred around 1999–2002 between “intellectual” poets, who tend to gravitate toward major cities such as Beijing and Shanghai and are associated with major academic centers, on the one hand, and “popular” or minjian poets, as Li prefers to call them, who are more at home in the provinces and have less access to the typical avenues of symbolic capital in China, on the other. His chapter focuses on several of the main players in this heated debate, including Xi Chuan, Wang Jiaxin, Cheng Guangwei, and Zang Di, representing the “intellectuals,” and Yu Jian, Yi Sha, Yang Ke, and Xu Jiang in the “minjian” camp. In the conclusion to his chapter, Li interestingly dwells on the actual issue of naming itself, citing another renowned contemporary Chinese poet, Wang Xiaoni, who argues that poetry is always “antinaming.” In so doing, Li throws open the question of whether such debates as the one he surveys in his article are fruitful ways of attempting to characterize the contemporary poetry scene in China.

“There Are no Camels in the Koran”: What Is Modern about Modern Chinese Poetry?

Michelle Yeh

In 1951, in response to the criticism from fellow Argentines that his work lacked local color, Jorge Luis Borges wrote an essay titled “The Argentine Writer and Tradition.” Referring to the Islamic prophet Mohammed, the writer observed that “in the Arab book par excellence, the Koran, there are no camels,” for “[Mohammed] knew he could be an Arab without camels.” “What is truly native can and often does dispense with local color” (1999: 423).

The issue Borges addressed more than half a century ago sounds all too familiar to students of non-Western literature. In the case of Chinese literature, debates throughout the history of Modern Chinese Poetry have almost always revolved around cultural identity or “Chineseness.” In other genres such as fiction, visual art, and film, we have witnessed a similar tension between being native and being international, between being national and being modern. The crux of the issue is representation. When literature is interpreted primarily, if not exclusively, as an index to, and mapping of, the culture or nation of its origin, it is only logical for readers to measure it by how well it represents; hence, the expectation of “local color,” the demand for “authenticity.”

Since the late nineteenth century, there had been a continuing movement to promote the modern vernacular as the written medium, and progressive newspapers and journals had begun using the vernacular alongside Classical Chinese. What was new about Hu Shirsquo;s Literary Revolution is the constructed binary opposition between Classical and Vernacular Chinese. From a historical point of view, it was obviously a gross exaggeration to call Classical Chinese a “dead” language, but such construction aided Hursquo;s agenda of nationalizing the vernacular and promoting New Poetry. In truth, the language of Modern Poetry is a hybrid or polyglot; it contains Classical Chinese, premodern vernacular, modern vernacular, Japanese and European loan words, neologism, various Chinese regionalisms, translated words and phrases, Europeanized syntax, and modern Western punctuation. Sometimes, even foreign words are directly in





本书的第二部分重点介绍了近代中国的诗人及其相关发展情况。黄一冰在他的文章中指出,顾成在当代中国诗坛的地位堪称是一个终极奥秘。尽管他得到了早期的认可和成功,但顾城似乎从来没有被当做一个完全成熟的诗人而接受。他被标榜为“童话诗人”,似乎是一种诅咒而不是一种祝福。顾城在他早期的抒情诗中,渴望“走遍世界”,在他晚期的诗歌中,他渴望回到“城市” ——一个土生土长的“城市”,也是他最后的精神避难所。最终,这个“小孩子”只不过是“天真无邪的”而“自然”也只是“本能的”,诞生的既不是“天真无邪”的诗歌,也不是“经验”的诗歌,而是“鬼”诗。从“任性的孩子”到“流浪鬼”的转变或变态,以及从“自然”到“城市”的回归,构成了黄所论述的顾城诗歌的本质和精髓。

阅读阎力最近的诗歌,特别是他的“多面镜”,保罗·曼弗雷迪(Paul Manfredi)的文章中描述了过去十五年来阎力自然形象的转变。他把这种演变归咎于阎所在的地域,即在美国主要的城市中心,(大)中国和澳大利亚居住在同一时期。他得出结论认为,世界各地人们对自然环境退化的意识不断提高,正在进入阎力诗意艺术工作的其他非自然环境意识的世界。

在他的文章里,约翰·克雷斯波探讨了在当代中国诗歌中记忆的作用,重点是两个系列的诗,于坚的“过去的两三件事”和孙文波的“六十年代自行车”。他询问什么是文革文学记忆中抒情转向的特征,这些诗歌中过去的事件和情绪的建构如何延伸,补充或颠覆现有的叙事记录? 这些诗的存在对于文革年代的不断变化的历史记忆而言是什么? 他发现的是,例如文革革命的记忆,不是像过去的经历那样以诗歌的形式编码,而是作为现在的片段,从而为这一时期的传统回忆录提供了一种替代方法, 这种方法有利于来主导外国观众的注意。

Dian Li一章概述了1999 - 2002年期间发生的“知性”诗人之间发生的一场臭名昭着的辩论,他们往往倾向于北京,上海等主要城市,并与主要学术中心有关,一方面与“受欢迎”另外,李时代的诗人更喜欢这样一群人,他们在中国国内比较多,在中国的典型的象征性资本途径较少。他的章节重点介绍了这次激烈争论的几个主要参与者,包括代表“知识分子”的西川,王家新,程光伟,邹迪,于坚,易沙,杨克,徐江等在民间阵营的人。引用另一位著名的当代中国诗人王小妮的观点,王小妮认为诗歌永远都是“反对”的,所以在他的这一章的结论中,李有趣地讲述了命名本身的实际问题,他提出了这样的问题:在他的文章中他所辩论的辩论是试图描绘中国当代诗歌场景的富有成效的方法。



1951年,为响应阿根廷同胞的批评,称其工作缺乏本地色彩,豪尔赫·路易斯·博尔赫斯写了一篇题为《阿根廷作家与传统》的文章。提到伊斯兰教先知穆罕默德,作家指出:“在阿拉伯书中,杰出的古兰经,没有骆驼。” 因为“穆罕默德知道他可以是一个没有骆驼的阿拉伯人。” “什么是真正的本地人能够并且经常会放弃一些本地色彩”(1999:423)。

这个半个多世纪以前的博尔赫斯的问题对于非西方文学来说听起来会觉得很熟悉。在中国文学史上,中国现代诗歌史上的辩论几乎总是围绕着文化认同或“中国古代”。在其他流派,如小说、视觉艺术和电影中,我们已经看到了在原生性和国际性、在民族性和现代性之间的一种类似的紧张,问题的症结在于代表性。当文学主要被解读(如果不是排他地),作为其起源的文化或国家的指标和映射,读者通过它所代表的程度来衡量它是合乎逻辑的; 因此,对“当地色彩”的期待,即是对“真实性”的一种要求。

自十九世纪晚期以来,作为书面媒介,推动现代白话文化的持续发展,渐进的报刊与古典汉语一起开始使用白话。胡适文学革命的新特点是古典与白话中国人之间构建的二元对立。从历史的角度来看,把古典中国人称为“死”语言显然是夸张的,但这样的建构帮助了胡适推动本土化和推广新诗的国家化议程。事实上,中国现代诗歌的语言是混合或多元化的; 它包含古典中文、现代白话、日本和欧洲的外来词、新词、各种中国地区主义词、被译过来的单词和短语、欧洲语法和现代西方标点符号等。有时候,即使是外来词也被直接并入一首诗。折中的元素为现代诗人提供了古典诗歌不一定可以获得的新资源,也部分地解释了读者在现代诗歌中遇到的困难。










在诗中使用换行符传达了停止、生理和心理的感觉。每小节中最短的线条中的停顿时间特别明显:被不成比例的大空格区隔开,这些片段表现出孤立感和荒凉感。可以说,中国诗歌第一次,包括空白空间在内的古典诗歌(几乎不存在于古典诗词)中的排版成为一个语义上重要的组成部分。同样,每小节中5-6行的标点语法中出现的似乎多余的逗号会在单词流中产生暂停。1918 - 20年,中国采用现代标点符号(基于西方标点符号)。在这里,我们看到它也可以服务于诗意的目的。除了逗号之外,第七行中表示未完成或无法形容的想法的省略号以及每节最后一行的感叹号十分重要,它们有助于加强这首诗尝试传达的不确定性和沮丧感。最后,所有上述外在形式都会减缓整体的速度,并使作者的心态更贴近自己,慢节奏让读者能够在每节中倒数第二行充分体会“冷静”这个词。如果“冷静”是一个表达平静或组成的常用词,这里构成这个词的两个角色,冷静独立地表现了这样的场景:对于孤独的流浪者,黑暗中的街道都是“冷”和 “安静”的。




许多评论家注意到庄子对蝴蝶形象的暗示。许多人也已经确定了对笛卡尔的参考。最值得注意的是,戴望舒是如何使用笛卡尔的语法,但令我们惊讶的是,从古代的道教文字中插入了同样着名的图像。在原始的庄子寓言中,蝴蝶唤起了存在的无限转变和各种形式(例如“梦想”“现实”,“自我”和“其他”)的互换性。在这里,戴在完全不同的背景下使用超越。结构上,第一行是一个由八个字符组成的完整句子;与介词“是”它是一个静态的指定一个状态的句子。相比之下,这首诗的其他三行也形成一个完整的句子,但是三倍的时间,充满了动作。 “呼唤”,“渗透”,“颤动”这些传递动词不仅是动态的而不是静态的,它们传达主体与句子对象之间的相互作用。从第一行到下一行的过渡,从一个幽默的语法线到一个长时间的动态句子似乎打开了一个内部的视野;我们被蝴蝶带到梦幻般的旅途中。矛盾的是,通常与翅膀蝴蝶相关的美丽的虚弱和无常是相反的。蝴蝶飞过永恒时间的无限空间,响应一朵花的温柔呼唤。没有梦想而没有觉醒的厚厚的云彩,蝴蝶超越了时空。

从历史的角度来看,现代诗歌已经成为中国诗歌的一个新的分支,与古典诗歌的各个门类是平等的关系而不是竞争。古典诗歌,特别是在shi和ci模式,继续在现代延续着写作。近年来,专门用于古典诗歌写作的诗歌协会和期刊在中国大陆纷纷涌现。一些现代诗人和评论家担心这种趋势可能进一步边缘化现代诗歌。 作为现代诗歌的长期关注者,我并不是很同意他们的观点;相反,我赞同八十年前的胡适的这样一个宣言:每一个年龄都有自己的文学。以现代语言和无限形式表达人类丰富经验的无穷无尽的能力,现代诗是我们时代的“活的文学”。



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