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

By Kang Liu

Although chinese language Marxism—primarily represented by way of Maoism—is in general visible through Western intellectuals as monolithic, Liu Kang argues that its practices and tasks are as diversified as these in Western Marxism, really within the sector of aesthetics. during this comparative learn of eu and chinese language Marxist traditions, Liu unearths the level to which chinese language Marxists comprise rules approximately aesthetics and tradition of their theories and practices. In doing so, he constructs a unconditionally new knowing of chinese language Marxism.
Far from being secondary concerns in chinese language Marxism, aesthetics and tradition are in reality vital issues. during this appreciate, such Marxists are just like their Western opposite numbers, even though Europeans have had little figuring out of the chinese language adventure. Liu strains the family tree of aesthetic discourse in either glossy China and the West because the period of classical German idea, exhibiting the place conceptual alterations 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 range of Marxist positions inside 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 concerning the issues of modernity.
Forcefully argued and theoretically refined, this publication will entice scholars and students of latest Marxism, cultural reviews, aesthetics, and smooth chinese language tradition, politics, and ideology.

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Extra resources for Aesthetics and Marxism: Chinese Aesthetic Marxists and Their Western Contemporaries (Post-Contemporary Interventions)

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The purported ‘‘crisis of mimesis’’ was, in hindsight, a cultural constituent of the experience of modernity. ’’ But the role of art was largely misunderstood by modernists, who transmuted art into an organic, self-referential construct. It was valorized as an ontological being, as a pure innovation of the imagination of the individual artist, divorced from social and historical contexts. By so doing, the modernist artifact—or the ‘‘well-wrought urn,’’ to borrow John Keats’s celebrated metaphor—became locked up in an aporia, turning itself into a reified and alienated object in the very moment of its own creation.

Such a vision looks like an appearance of Heideggerian authentic being, through the wholesale immolation and abnegation of worldly desires, achievable by an unobtrusive Taoist-Buddhist poesis incarnated by the novel itself. The second characteristic of Wang’s modernism was his adamant insistence on the autonomy and separation of art and scholarship. This was posed against Western-inspired reformist or revolutionary ideologies that aesthetics, modernity, and alternative modernity 21 favored scientific reason.

By the same token, the Chinese aesthetic discourse, especially Marxist aesthetics, unravels both the limits and promises of an aesthetic critique of modernity. 22 At the turn of the century, however, late Qing reform14 aesthetics and marxism ist intellectuals such as Liang Qichao had already advocated the notion of beauty as key to China’s rejuvenation and passage into modernity. Liang Qichao’s notion of beauty is important not only because of his status within modern Chinese thought, but also because, as a transitional figure, Liang’s aesthetic ideas embody both radical, revolutionary utopianism and cultural, political conservatism.

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