By Kang Liu

ISBN-10: 0822324482

ISBN-13: 9780822324485

Although chinese language Marxism—primarily represented by way of Maoism—is commonly noticeable through Western intellectuals as monolithic, Liu Kang argues that its practices and tasks are as diversified as these in Western Marxism, rather within the zone of aesthetics. during this comparative research of ecu and chinese language Marxist traditions, Liu finds the level to which chinese language Marxists contain rules approximately aesthetics and tradition of their theories and practices. In doing so, he constructs a totally new figuring out of chinese language Marxism. faraway from being secondary issues in chinese language Marxism, aesthetics and tradition are in reality relevant issues. during this recognize, such Marxists are just like their Western opposite numbers, even if Europeans have had little realizing of the chinese language adventure. Liu lines the family tree of aesthetic discourse in either glossy China and the West because the period of classical German notion, displaying the place conceptual adjustments and divergences have happened within the traditions. He examines the paintings of Mao Zedong, Lu Xun, Li Zehou, Qu Qiubai, and others in China, and from the West he discusses Kant, Schiller, Schopenhauer, and Marxist theorists together with Horkheimer, Adorno, Benjamin, and Marcuse. whereas stressing the variety of Marxist positions inside of China in addition to within the West, Liu explains how principles of tradition and aesthetics have provided a confident imaginative and prescient for a postrevolutionary society and feature affected a large box of matters regarding the issues of modernity. Forcefully argued and theoretically refined, this ebook will attract scholars and students of latest Marxism, cultural stories, aesthetics, and glossy chinese language tradition, politics, and beliefs.

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Extra resources for Aesthetics and Marxism: Chinese Aesthetic Marxists and Their Western Contemporaries

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As a person, he remains a controversial figure. A scholar of formida18 aesthetics and marxism ble erudition in philosophy, aesthetics, history, and literary criticism, Wang was perhaps the first to incorporate modern Western concepts into studies of Chinese literature in sophisticated ways. Fiercely hostile to social reform and revolution, Wang in his later years occupied himself entirely with Confucian classics. Politically speaking, Wang was a staunch conservative. Many years after the Qing Dynasty was overthrown by the 1911 Republican Revolution, he remained till his death a loyalist to the dethroned emperor.

Such a selfabnegating aesthetic state of desire, or attitude of life, seemed to fit Wang perfectly. His intellectual upbringing was deeply ingrained with the sub20 aesthetics and marxism missive and nihilistic strains of Taoism and Chan (Zen) Buddhism. It is little wonder that Wang was enamored with Schopenhauer’s thought. ’’ Wang asked rhetorically, and then answered with absolute assurance: It is nothing but yu [desire]. Desire by its nature is insatiable, which originated in the state of lack.

28 This ‘‘popular image of citizenship,’’ in turn, comes from Liang’s aesthetic ideas. ’’30 It can be said that Liang’s notion of modernity itself rests on a historical understanding of Western culture, in which aesthetics or fine arts are privileged over science: One who only has some rudimentary knowledge of the history of the West would know modern Western culture evolved from the Renaissance. I do not need to repeat the common knowledge that the foundation of modern culture is science.

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Aesthetics and Marxism: Chinese Aesthetic Marxists and Their Western Contemporaries by Kang Liu


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