By Jacob Edmond
Why is our global nonetheless understood via binary oppositions-East and West, neighborhood and international, universal and strange-that should have crumbled with the Berlin Wall? What may perhaps literary responses to the occasions that ushered in our period of globalization let us know in regards to the rhetorical and ancient 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 off 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 strains a sequence of encounters formed via financial 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 In those encounters, Edmond tracks a shared main issue with strangeness during which poets contested outdated binary oppositions as they reemerged in new, post-Cold warfare kinds.
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Extra resources for A Common Strangeness: Contemporary Poetry, Cross-Cultural Encounter, Comparative Literature (Verbal Arts: Studies in Poetics)
Through the wordplay on guo, the exile’s experience is also overlaid with a reflection on what Benjamin describes as the transformation of the structure of experience in modernity. ”104 The exile’s sensitivity to his repetitive temporal and spatial movements and to the decrepit, ignored, development-ravaged graveyard marks not only his alienation but also the general alienation of all those people and things (the graveyard, the volcano, the wino, and the tumbledown old house) in Yang’s Auckland that do not conform to narratives of progress.
43 Yet this exile to the countryside is treated metaphorically through the figure of a walker, who moves through streets, taking “an unfamiliar turn / in the side lane leading toward maturity” (陌生的分路 / 在走向成长的那条僻巷 中). Negotiating a flickering path between country darkness and city lights, the walker occupies the city imaginatively, through its lonely lights and the ambiguously located “side lane,” even as he is barred from it physically. His “unfamiliar turn” (becoming a poet) allows him to undercut the official opposition of country to city.
80 The volcano, one of many that dot the Auckland isthmus, provides ancient evidence of hidden 30 Yang Lian and the Flâneur in Exile geological depths (“deep layers of the earth”) that exceed the temporal and spatial boundaries of the city. The volcano stands for the primal forces that might at any minute burst forth to shatter the city’s rational order and illusion of progress. 81 He at once emphasizes the volcano’s ancient subterranean power and echoes Benjamin’s description of the walker’s descent into the city’s hidden past: “The street conducts the flâneur into a vanished time.