By Jacob Edmond
Why is our global nonetheless understood via binary oppositions-East and West, neighborhood and worldwide, universal and strange-that should have crumbled with the Berlin Wall? What may literary responses to the occasions that ushered in our period of globalization let us know concerning the rhetorical and old underpinnings of those dichotomies? In a standard Strangeness, Jacob Edmond exemplifies a brand new, multilingual and multilateral method of literary and cultural reviews. He starts with the doorway of China into multinational capitalism and the looks of the Parisian flaneur within the writings of a chinese language poet exiled in Auckland, New Zealand. relocating between poetic examples in Russian, chinese language, and English, he then lines a chain of encounters formed via monetary and geopolitical occasions from the Cultural Revolution, perestroika, and the June four bloodbath to the cave in of the Soviet Union, September eleven, and the invasion of Iraq. In those encounters, Edmond tracks a shared situation with strangeness by which poets contested previous binary oppositions as they reemerged in new, post-Cold struggle types.
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Additional info for A Common Strangeness: Contemporary Poetry, Cross-Cultural Encounter, Comparative Literature (Verbal Arts: Studies in Poetics)
Y a n g l i a n , “Ghost Speech/Lies” How can one acknowledge points of contact among disparate texts, times, places, languages, and cultures without eclipsing their particularity? This problem becomes especially acute in the post-1989 world when the ever-increasing connections produced by globalization result in a plurality of cultural positions whose complex entanglements undermine notions of commensurability and equivalence that derive from comparative literature’s Eurocentric legacy. As a result, the discipline of comparative literature is in danger of becoming caught in a continuous movement of self-referential deconstruction, oscillating between the universal and the particular, between old Eurocentric practices and the possibility of resisting and subverting them.
108 “City of One Person” superimposes Beijing on Auckland. 109 For “as you walk the streets, distances change. you swing each of your two hands in turn. The two days in your two hands swing you about. ” The possibility of connection or touch emerges instead out of the very impossibility of such reconciliation. Temporal, spatial, and textual superimposition produces a moment of erasure that further merges the textual space of the page with the temporal and spatial movements of the walker at the point at which he witnesses the beginning of the eclipse: “You plan out a poem in the graveyard, making the poem itself embody part of the graveyard.
But they suggest in addition that a ghostly speech (guihua) of stones emerges out of the erasures produced by textual, temporal, and spatial conflation and superimposition, a speech accessible only through the sensitive walker’s or reader’s touch: through an embodied reading. Like Baudelaire’s play on the word “vers,” these superimpositions produce the double movement of words toward and beyond their context, and between embodiment and disembodiment. Recalling Baudelaire’s wordplay, the characters form lines of text while their rectangular shapes iconically represent worm-riddled graves.
A Common Strangeness: Contemporary Poetry, Cross-Cultural Encounter, Comparative Literature (Verbal Arts: Studies in Poetics) by Jacob Edmond