Advertisement

On William Empson’s Romantic Legacy in China

Chapter
Part of the Asia-Pacific and Literature in English book series (APLE)

Abstract

This essay explores William Empson’s pedagogical role in wartime China in the 1930s, contextualizing it in the nationalistic discourse of the wartime university and the turbulent political history of modern Chinese poetry. Jin shows how Empson’s modernist course at Lianda, the refugee university, inspired a local wartime poetics that at once rejected literary Romanticism while retaining a romantic quality of nationalistic passion. The article then explores the romanticized poetic celebration of Empson himself as a scholar-hero whose role merged with the salvationist and humanist missions of the university. Such evocation of Empson as part of Lianda’s heroic and humanist legacy took on further symbolic significance in the post-Mao 1970s, and still serves as an eloquent illustration of Romanticism’s varying forms of transmission in an Asian context.

Keywords

Lord Byron William Empson John Keats Guo Moruo Modernism Mu Dan National Southwestern Associated University (LiandaPedagogy Romanticism Xu Zhimo China Politics 

Bibliography

  1. Barnstone, Tony. “Introduction: Chinese Poetry Through the Looking Glass.” In Out of the Howling Storm: The New Chinese Poetry. Ed. Tony Barnstone. Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press, 1993: 1–38.Google Scholar
  2. Bei Dao. “Huida” [“Answer”]. In Out of the Howling Storm: The New Chinese Poetry. Ed. Tony Barnstone. Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press, 1993: 45.Google Scholar
  3. Byron, George Gordon. Tanghuang [Don Juan]. Trans. Zha Liangzheng. Beijing: Renminwenxue, 1980.Google Scholar
  4. Chan, Sylvia. “The Image of a ‘Capitalist Roader’—Some Dissident Short Stories in the Hundred Flowers Period.” The Australian Journal of Chinese Affairs 2 (1979): 77–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cheng, Guangwei, et al. Zhonggo xiandai wenxue shi [History of Modern Chinese Literature]. Taipei: Showwe, 2010.Google Scholar
  6. Du, Yunxie. “Qiu” [“Autumn”]. In Bayeji [Eight Leaves Collection]. Hong Kong: Sanlian, 1984: 38.Google Scholar
  7. Du, Yunxie. “Wo he yingguoshi” [“English poetry and I”]. In Jiuye shiren pinglun ziliao xuan [Essays on Nine Leaves Poets]. Ed. Wang Shengsi. Shanghai: Huadongshifan, 1996: 403–10.Google Scholar
  8. Empson, Jacob. Hetta and William: A Memoir of a Bohemian Marriage. Bloomington: Authorhouse, 2012.Google Scholar
  9. Empson, William. Collected Poems. London: Chatto and Windus, 1962.Google Scholar
  10. FitzGerald, Carolyn. Fragmenting Modernisms: Chinese Wartime Literature, Art, and Film 1937–49. Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2013.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Haffenden, John. William Empson: Volume I: Among the Mandarins. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.Google Scholar
  12. Haffenden, John. William Empson: Volume II: Against the Christians. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006.Google Scholar
  13. Israel, John. Lianda: A Chinese University in War and Revolution. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1998.Google Scholar
  14. Keats, John. “To Autumn.” In John Keats: The Major Works. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001: 324.Google Scholar
  15. Lan, Dizhi. “Lun sishi niandai de xiandaishi pai” [“On the school of modernist poetry in the 1940s”]. In Jiuye shiren pinglun ziliao xuan [Essays on Nine Leaves Poets]. Ed. Wang Shengsi. Shanghai: Huadong shifan, 1996: 96–115.Google Scholar
  16. Lee, Leo Ou-fan. The Romantic Generation of Modern Chinese Writers. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1973.Google Scholar
  17. ———. “Beyond Realism: Thoughts on Modernist Experiments in Contemporary Chinese Writing” In Worlds Apart: Recent Chinese Writing and Its Audiences. Ed. Howard Goldblatt. New York: M. E. Sharpe, Inc., 1990: 64–77.Google Scholar
  18. Leung, Ping-Kwan. “Literary Modernity in Chinese Poetry.” Lyrics from Shelters: Modern Chinese Poetry 1930–1950. Trans. Wai–Lim Yip. New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1992: 43–68.Google Scholar
  19. Li, Funing. “Waiguoyu wenxue xi” [“Foreign Languages Department”]. Guoli xinan lianhe daxue xiaoshi [Annals of National Southwest Associated University]. Beijing: Peking University Press, 1996: 126–47.Google Scholar
  20. McDougall, Bonnie S., and Kam Louie. The Literature of China in the Twentieth Century. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 1997.Google Scholar
  21. Mu Dan. “Qiu” [“Autumn”]. Trans. Pang Bingjun. Renditions 22 (1984): 268.Google Scholar
  22. ———. “Zanmei” [“Praise”]. In Mudan shiji [Collected Poems of Mu Dan]. Beijing: Renmiwenxue, 2001: 42–4.Google Scholar
  23. ———. “Wuyue” [“May”]. In Fragmenting Modernisms: Chinese Wartime Literature, Art and Film, 1937–49. Ed. Carolyn Fitzgerald. Leiden: Brill Publishing, 2013: 70.Google Scholar
  24. Mu Dan, et al. Jiuye ji [A Collection of Nine Leaves]. Jiangsu: Renmin, 1981.Google Scholar
  25. Qi, Shouhua. Western Literature in China and the Translation of a Nation. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Ricks, Christopher. “Empson’s Poetry.” In William Empson: The Man and His Work. Ed. Roman Gill. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1974: 145–207.Google Scholar
  27. Shu Ting. “Luoye” [“Falling Leaves”]. In Out of the Howling Storm: The New Chinese Poetry. Ed. Tony Barnstone. Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press, 1993: 65.Google Scholar
  28. Tagore, Rabindranath. The Crescent Moon. London and New York: Macmillan, 1913.Google Scholar
  29. Tang, Di. “Mudan lun” [“On Mu Dan”]. In Jiuye shiren pinglun ziliao xuan [Essays on Nine Leaves Poets]. Ed. Wang Shengsi. Shanghai: Huadong shifan, 1996: 337–54.Google Scholar
  30. Wang, Ao. “Guanyu shigeshi zhongde wenti yu zhuyi” [“On Issues and—Isms in Poetic History”]. Xinshi Pinglun [Criticism on New Poetry] 2, 2008.Google Scholar
  31. Wang, Shengsi, ed. Jiuye shiren pinglun ziliao xuan [Essays on Nine Leaves Poets]. Shanghai: Huadongshifan, 1996.Google Scholar
  32. Wang, Zuoliang. A Sense of Beginning: Studies in Literature and Translation. Beijing: Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press, 1991.Google Scholar
  33. ———. Degrees of Affinity: Studies in Comparative Literature. Beijing: Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press, 1985.Google Scholar
  34. ———. Xinzhi wencai [Thoughts and Words]. Beijing: Peking University Press, 2007.Google Scholar
  35. ———. Yingguo langmanzhuyi de xingqi [History of English Romantic Poetry]. Yingguo Wenxue Lunwen Ji [Essays on English Literature]. Beijing: Foreign Literature Press, 1980: 57–129.Google Scholar
  36. ———. Yingguo shishi [History of English Poetry]. Nanjing: Yilin, 1993.Google Scholar
  37. ———. Zhonglou ji [Zhonglou Collection]. Liaoning: Liaoning jiaoyu, 1995.Google Scholar
  38. Xi Chuan. “Shiren guannian yu shige guannian de lishixing luocha” [“The Mismatch Between the Idea of Poet and the Idea of Poetry”]. In Xichuan shiwen lu [Xi Chuan’s Poetry and Prose]. 6 April 2011. Sina Blog. http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_73c81c630100qcop.html. Accessed 29 Nov 2016.
  39. Xu, Zhimo. “Zaibie kangqiao” [“A Second Farewell to Cambridge”]. Xuzhimo shige quanji [The Collected Poems of Xu Zhimo]. Beijing: Xianzhuangshuju, 2003: 217–218.Google Scholar
  40. Yip, Wai-Lim. “Introductory Essays.” In Lyrics from Shelters: Modern Chinese Poetry 1930–1950. Trans. Wai–Lim Yip. New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1992: 1–42.Google Scholar
  41. Zhang, Ming. “Lingren qimen de ‘menglong’” [“Annoying Obscurity”]. In Menglongshi lunzheng ji [Arguments on Obscure Poetry]. Ed. Yao Jiahua. Beijing: Xueyuan, 1989: 28–34.Google Scholar
  42. Zhao, Ruihong. Liluan xian’ge yi jiuyou [Wartime songs]. Shanghai: Wenhui, 2000.Google Scholar
  43. Zhang, Tongdao, and Du Yunxie, eds. Xi’nan lianda xiandaishi chao [A Collection of Lianda’s Modernist Poems]. Beijing: Zhongguo wenxue, 1997.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lu Jin
    • 1
  1. 1.The Chinese University of Hong KongHong Kong SARChina

Personalised recommendations