Modernity, Translated Literature and the Formation of Modern Chinese Literary Tradition

"In the current age of globalization, discussing the issue of modernity from a cross-cultural and theoretical perspective has become one of the most cutting edge theoretical topics among today’s Chinese scholars of literary and cultural studies. For many of those involved in the debate on postmodernism with regard to the Chinese practice were not fully prepared to participate in the debate in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It is therefore not surprising that modernity in the Chinese context is almost a 'translated' one, the one which has not yet been fully accomplished before postmodernism came. But since many of the scholars of postmodernism are from literary studies, it is quite natural for them to reflect on the issue of modernity after the decline of literary postmodernism in the Western context. We should, therefore, recognize the fact that like postmodernism or postmodernity, modernity is first of all an academic term coming from the West covering different disciplines and research areas. It is necessary to have a retrospect on its origin and development in the Western context before dealing with its evolution and practice in China, which has certainly contributed a great deal to the formation of modern Chinese literary tradition."

by Wang Ning.

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