Poundian and Chinese aesthetics of dynamic force : a re-discovery of Fenollosa and Pound's theory of Chinese written character

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

Abstract

This study of the Fenollosa-Pound essay aims to re-discover their theory of the Chinese written character through a comparison of the Poundian and Chinese aesthetics of dynamic force. First, I will show that Fenollosa and Pound’s central concern is not pictorial quality but dynamic force in Chinese characters, and consider how ancient Chinese script demonstrates the kind of dynamic force they envisioned in Chinese characters. Second, I will discuss how the evolution of Chinese calligraphic styles and theories bears out Fenollosa and Pound’s argument about the ability of the Chinese written character to preserve and develop its incipient dynamic force. Third, I will examine how Pound sought to validate his own theory of kinetic Imagery with his discovery of the dynamic force in Chinese characters. Fourth, I will explore the fundamental difference between the Poundian and Chinese aesthetics of dynamic force in the larger context of Western and Chinese cosmologies. Fifth, I will show how Fenollosa and Pound were keenly aware of this fundamental difference and how they consciously re-interpreted the dynamic force in Chinese characters within the paradigm of metaphor for the re-invention of Western poetics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-187
Number of pages18
JournalComparative Literature Studies
Volume30
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1993
Externally publishedYes

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aesthetics
Force Dynamics
Rediscovery
Chinese Aesthetics
invention
Chinese Characters
metaphor
paradigm
ability
Fundamental

Cite this

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title = "Poundian and Chinese aesthetics of dynamic force : a re-discovery of Fenollosa and Pound's theory of Chinese written character",
abstract = "This study of the Fenollosa-Pound essay aims to re-discover their theory of the Chinese written character through a comparison of the Poundian and Chinese aesthetics of dynamic force. First, I will show that Fenollosa and Pound’s central concern is not pictorial quality but dynamic force in Chinese characters, and consider how ancient Chinese script demonstrates the kind of dynamic force they envisioned in Chinese characters. Second, I will discuss how the evolution of Chinese calligraphic styles and theories bears out Fenollosa and Pound’s argument about the ability of the Chinese written character to preserve and develop its incipient dynamic force. Third, I will examine how Pound sought to validate his own theory of kinetic Imagery with his discovery of the dynamic force in Chinese characters. Fourth, I will explore the fundamental difference between the Poundian and Chinese aesthetics of dynamic force in the larger context of Western and Chinese cosmologies. Fifth, I will show how Fenollosa and Pound were keenly aware of this fundamental difference and how they consciously re-interpreted the dynamic force in Chinese characters within the paradigm of metaphor for the re-invention of Western poetics.",
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Poundian and Chinese aesthetics of dynamic force : a re-discovery of Fenollosa and Pound's theory of Chinese written character. / CAI, Zongqi.

In: Comparative Literature Studies, Vol. 30, No. 2, 01.01.1993, p. 170-187.

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

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