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Aesthetics and Marxism: Chinese Aesthetic Marxists and Their by Kang Liu

By Kang Liu

Even though chinese language Marxism—primarily represented by means of Maoism—is mostly obvious by way of Western intellectuals as monolithic, Liu Kang argues that its practices and initiatives are as assorted as these in Western Marxism, rather within the quarter of aesthetics. during this comparative learn of ecu and chinese language Marxist traditions, Liu finds the level to which chinese language Marxists comprise rules approximately aesthetics and tradition of their theories and practices. In doing so, he constructs a totally new knowing of chinese language Marxism.Far from being secondary issues in chinese language Marxism, aesthetics and tradition are actually significant matters. during this admire, such Marxists are just like their Western opposite numbers, even though Europeans have had little knowing of the chinese language event. Liu strains the family tree of aesthetic discourse in either smooth China and the West because the period of classical German concept, exhibiting the place conceptual adjustments and divergences have happened within the traditions. He examines the paintings of Mao Zedong, Lu Xun, Li Zehou, Qu Qiubai, and others in China, and from the West he discusses Kant, Schiller, Schopenhauer, and Marxist theorists together with Horkheimer, Adorno, Benjamin, and Marcuse. whereas stressing the range of Marxist positions inside China in addition to within the West, Liu explains how rules of tradition and aesthetics have provided a optimistic imaginative and prescient for a postrevolutionary society and feature affected a large box of matters related to the issues of modernity.Forcefully argued and theoretically refined, this ebook will attract scholars and students of latest Marxism, cultural reviews, aesthetics, and glossy chinese language tradition, politics, and beliefs.

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Extra info for Aesthetics and Marxism: Chinese Aesthetic Marxists and Their Western Contemporaries (Post-Contemporary Interventions)

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In China, such a critique and search for an alternative modernity also involved cultural revolution, and thus, cultural and aesthetic realms were key. ’’ Rather, the preoccupation with cultural and aesthetic issues represents a Chinese attempt to address the problems of modernity, one that bears structural resemblance to the contemporary Western criticism of capitalist modernity. The successes and failures of this Chinese alternative need to be assessed. It should not, however, be merely measured by Western modernity as a universal model.

Ironically, Hu thought the idea was smuggled in by self-styled ‘‘friends of China’’ from the West. ’’ Wholeheartedness was alluded to again by Hu himself in his famous (or infamous) assertion of ‘‘wholesale Westernization,’’ for which he was stigmatized. 67 Indeed, the pro-Western liberalists were not without their serious problems. A major flaw was their disregard of the intense class conflict in China’s process of modernity, significantly enfeebling the liberalist cultural politics, and often exasperating the political stand of liberalists like Hu.

Studies of Liang in the West have paid little attention to his aesthetic ideas, a serious oversight since they lie at the heart of his thinking. 23 He also examines Liang’s shifting positions: from a strong advocate of Western ideas, to a cosmopolitan modernizationist, and finally, to a nationalist and cultural conservative, reaffirming Chinese cultural values. 24 Such a simplistic formulation perhaps tells us not so much about Liang, as about the dualistic mode of thinking to which Levenson unselfconsciously subscribed.

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