Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Tales of Futures PastAnticipation and the Ends of Literature in Contemporary China$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Paola Iovene

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780804789370

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804789370.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM STANFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.stanford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Stanford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in SSO for personal use.date: 20 February 2020

Futures en Abyme

Futures en Abyme

Poetry in Strange Loops

(p.107) 4 Futures en Abyme
Tales of Futures Past

Paola Iovene

Stanford University Press

The chapter examines the complex temporal structures in works from the 1980s to the early 1990s inspired by the late Tang poet Li Shangyin. It details the reception of Li Shangyin’s poetry and its influence, and then analyses its place in the works of contemporary novelists Wang Meng and Ge Fei. Ge Fei’s “Brocade Zither” (1993) is characterized by a recursive structure that recalls the figure of the “strange loop” discussed in Hofstadter’s Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid (1979; Chinese translation, 1984). The chapter focuses on fictional depictions of scenes of reading and writing, arguing that their mode of anticipation reflects an anxiety of loss of cultural identity and of life itself. Ge Fei has been appreciated for his modernist preoccupation with the elusive nature of memory. However, his writing is equally concerned with the states of apprehension that shape how characters act.

Keywords:   Li Shangyin, Wang Meng, Ge Fei, Chinese classical poetry, menglong shi, “misty poetry,” post-Mao literature

Stanford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.