Ideographic Modernism: China, Writing, Media


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Ideographic Modernism Summary Customer Reviews

It is worth pausing on Segalen because, in marked contrast to his literary idol Paul Claudel featured in Bush's first chapter , whom he met in and who by his own admission barely grasped a word of the language, Segalen showed an abiding interest in the abstract semiotics of classical Chinese calligraphy, and travelled widely amid the comfortless grandeur of the north-western provinces.

Bush's detailed discussion is part of a welcome and overdue reassessment prompted by postcolonial theorists as well as historians of cross-cultural negotiation. Like Yvonne Y. Hsieh in Chinese Moulds, Western Thoughts , Bush demonstrates with emphatic assurance that Segalen's literary encounter with China — converting a tangible actuality into an imaginative conceit that voices his own transplanted identity — is wilfully contradictory.


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I would have liked from Ideographic Modernism more analytical stress at this point on Segalen's China as a highly self-conscious literary tactic that keeps a yearning for transcendental fulfilment and a scathing critique of ethnocentrism in delicate equipoise. This prescient essay calls for an anti-colonial aesthetic, marked by a sophisticated scepticism that debunks the decadent fantasies and egotistical sublime which epitomized the mass of orientalia to which Pierre Loti, Rudyard Kipling, and Claudel variously contributed. I will therefore fashion an equivocal being: neither genie, nor dead, nor living.

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Hear me: If it pleases you yet to suck on life, with its sweet taste and pungent spices; If it pleases you to bat your eyelids, draw breath into your chest and shiver beneath your skin, hear me: Become my Vampire, friend, and night after night, without disturbance or haste, gorge yourself on the hot liquor of my heart. Yao in Sinographies , Bush reveals that Segalen's China, like the various conceits of this geopolitical site canvassed elsewhere in Ideographic Modernism , is not something thought about but something thought through and with.

Highly recommended. Under the header JavaScript select the following radio button: Allow all sites to run JavaScript recommended. Prices and offers may vary in store. Kobo ebook. Ideographic Modernism offers a critical account of the ideograph Chinese writing as imagined in the West as a modernist invention. Through analyses of works by Claudel, Pound, Kafka, Benjamin, Segalen, and Valery, among others, Christopher Bush traces the interweaving of Western modernity'sethnographic and technological imaginaries, in which the cultural effects of technological media assumed "Chinese" forms, even as traditional representations of "the Orient" lived on in modernist-era responses to media.

The book also makes a methodological argument, demonstrating new ways ofrecovering the generally overlooked presence of China in the text of Western modernism. About The Author.

Ideographic Modernism : China, Writing, Media

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Hours of Play:. On another level, the book makes a methodological argument, demonstrating new ways of recovering the generally overlooked presence of China in the text of Western modernism.

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