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 concerning the rhetorical and ancient underpinnings of those dichotomies? In a typical Strangeness, Jacob Edmond exemplifies a brand new, multilingual and multilateral method of literary and cultural reports. He starts 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 chain of encounters formed through monetary 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 In those encounters, Edmond tracks a shared crisis with strangeness by which poets contested outdated binary oppositions as they reemerged in new, post-Cold battle varieties.
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Additional resources for A Common Strangeness: Contemporary Poetry, Cross-Cultural Encounter, Comparative Literature (Verbal Arts: Studies in Poetics)
98 Because, like Woolf, Yang deploys the liar’s paradox, his text transfers agency to the reader who is attentive to language—and especially to its spatial and temporal dimensions, which shift uneasily between the words on the page and the scenes they describe. The reader’s tracing of the page embodies the exile’s movement along a dotted line, enacting this transfer in a moment of touch. This touch in turn figures the problem and possibility of connection across the disparate spaces and times that exile, reader, and comparatist confront.
The ambivalent figure of the flâneur as poet and sun also relates to a battle between reality and language that is enacted most strikingly in the pun on “vers” (at once “verse,” “worms,” 22 Yang Lian and the Flâneur in Exile and “toward”), whose prepositional meaning allegorizes the signifying function of the sign—the movement between verse and worms. ”37 Benjamin further complicates the flickering double movements of the walker in “Le soleil” by reading him as a flâneur under erasure. ”38 Echoing Baudelaire’s description of Constantin Guys, the painter of modern life who “stabs away with his pencil, his pen, his brush,” “parrying his own blows,” the protagonist’s stabbing pen implicitly marks the shift from vision to language and touch.
Photo by Joanna Forsberg. time: “Time passes day by day,” but “nothing happens. 101 The tension between the passing of time and a pervasive sense of stasis is underscored through a play on words that is central to “Eclipse”: rizi 日子 means both “time” and “day” and contains the character for “sun,” ri 日. Because this character also appears in the title “Rishi” 日蚀 (“[Solar] Eclipse”), which is followed immediately by the line I have just quoted, the “eclipse” signifies not only the darkness resulting from the superimposition of the moon on the sun but also the erasure produced both by overloading a single sign, such as ri, with multiple meanings and by the spatial and temporal movements that the walker performs in his daily strolls through the city-text.