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张在新

John Zaixin Zhang

 
 
 

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Goebel on Orientalist Discourse  

2009-02-26 20:44:38|  分类: 后殖民理论 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Goebel, Rolf J. “Constructing Chinese History: Kafka’s and Dittmar’s Orientalist Discourse.” PMLA 108.1 (1993): 59-71.

p. 60

-- “It is doubtful whether the Chinese have such a thing as an indigenous, autonomous self-conception, independent of and untainted by various Western influences, interpretations, and Stereotypes, despite the country’s traditional self-mythification as the culturally dominant and self-sufficient Middle Kingdom. Especially since the nineteenth century, Sander Gilman argues, the Chinese have imitated, assimilated, and modified the supposedly superior models of Western science, medicine, and aesthetics to such an extent that it is difficult to distinguish clearly between the network of Western views of the nation and an authentically Chinese civilization and self understanding.”

-- “The European Enlightenment generally idealized Chinese as a country founded on superior principles of rational statecraft and ethics (Rose, Zhang). But eventually as Adrian Hsia has shown, the K’ang-shi emperor’s stand against the zealous missionary policies of the Catholic church in his country, the opposition of writers like Herder and Goethe to the chinoiserie of the rococo movement and to the Enlightenment’s adoration of social Confucianism, and Chinese resistance to the aggressive mercantilism of the West combined to alienate Europe from China and to reverse the nation’s positive image.”

p. 61

--For Hegel, the oriental history is “merely the repetition of the same majestic decline.”

p. 64

About Dittmar – “To the extent that China is denied its own history, it is also deprived of its own political voice. Dittmar’s rhetoric of colonialist didactics casts the country as a politically immature pupil incapable of making autonomous decisions, except for the resolution to learn the ‘lesson’ of the German cultural pedagogue. Here, too, Dittmar’s Eurocentric textualization of China finds a precursor in traditional orientalist discourse. For Herder, the authoritarian and ritualistic structure of China’s moral code, its emphasis on strict obedience to paternal power, has kept the people in a state of … ‘infantile imprisonment of human reason, strength, and sentiment,’ which … ‘was bound to have a weakening influence on the entire edifice of the state’” (11). [Julius Dittmar (1912) and Johann Gottfried Herder (1787)]

p. 66

--Schlegel - the Great Wall is ‘the one great fact of Chinese history.’ ‘Actually there is no Chinese history otherwise, precisely because everything about the China condition is entirely stationary.’

--the Great Wall is a symbol of unsuccessful polices of seclusion from foreign cultural influence - Kafka’s story “Constructing the Great Wall of China” confirms Schlegel’s notion that “the wall symbolizes China’s immobile society and history.”

pp. 68-9

--In suggesting that China’s history is cyclical and re[69]petitive -  “It implies that we Western observers can only comprehend the social, political, and human ramifications of contemporary events like the massacre in Tian-anmen Square if we recognize that ideological assumptions, conceptual categories, and rhetorical figures underlying our views are both limited and made possible and interpretable by earlier Occidental perceptions of the Orient.”

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