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Chinese Modernity, Irish Modernism: Ireland in Guo Moruo's Literary Imaginary, and the Representation of China by W B Yeats

Abstract : Ireland was a central interest of intellectuals of the late nineteenth and of early twentieth centuries in the emerging Chinese nation-state. Ireland’s people and intellectuals were perceived as having suffered under, and stood up to, the same British imperialism that had wreaked havoc in what is now China in the nineteenth-century Opium Wars. Tthe imagining and making of the nation-state in both Ireland and China were almost chronologically parallel and in China as in Ireland owed as much to literary and linguistic creativity as it did to past mythology. The Chinese interest in Yeats also dates from the pioneering efforts of writers in the new Chinese language and literature of the early twentieth century. Even before Yeats won the Nobel prize, he was introduced to the Chinese public, by the main literary magazine of the day, The Short Story Magazine. In 1923, the same publication would also translate and publish his Preface to Gitanjali. Yeats, however, seemed disinterested in the Chinese social reality, and China for him remained bound up with an Orientalist, exoticized vision of the East similar to that he had demonstrated in his earlier appraisal of Tagore. Thus, Yeats in a very real way exhibited the stereotypical interest of the Anglophone bourgeois world for all that was ancient in the East as evidenced by his celebrated poem, “Lapis Lazuli”.
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Submitted on : Monday, January 27, 2020 - 9:36:07 AM
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Gregory B. Lee. Chinese Modernity, Irish Modernism: Ireland in Guo Moruo's Literary Imaginary, and the Representation of China by W B Yeats. Réception internationale de la littérature irlandaise, Jeanne-Marie Carton-Charron, IETT, Nov 2019, Lyon, France. ⟨halshs-02397562⟩

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