International Journal of Literary Culture / Internationale Zeitschrift für literarische Kultur
Ed. by Biti, Vladimir / Liska, Vivian
CiteScore 2018: 0.12
SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.122
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.329
A comparative reading of Goethe’s Werther (1774) and Yu Dafu’s Sinking (1921) reveals how modern Chinese literary discourse emerged from an at once invigorating and torturous encounter with modern European literature in the May Fourth period. Reading European literature, as the case of Yu Dafu indicates, is a communicative process that involves complex negotiations on perceptual, libidinal, institutional and other levels. Any act of writing oriented towards a European model necessarily inscribes within itself all the tensions, conflicts, and negotiations attendant upon the reading of European texts. Modern Chinese writing that seeks to model itself on a European literary form is never a copy of this form, but always a protocol of reading it.