The Sublime Figure of History: Aesthetics and Politics in Twentieth-Century China

By Ban Wang | Go to book overview

Notes

For complete author names, titles, and publication data for the works cited here in short form, see the Bibliography, pp. 293-303.


Introduction
1.
Weiskel, p. 3.
2.
Kristeva, La révolution, p. 58.
3.
White, pp. 81-100.
4.
Benjamin ( Origin, p. 166): "Whereas in the symbol destruction is idealized and the transfigured face of nature is fleetingly revealed in the light of redemption, in allegory the observer is confronted with the facies hippocratica of history as a petrified, primordial landscape. Everything about history that, from the very beginning, has been untimely, sorrowful, unsuccessful, is expressed in a face -- or rather in a death's head. And although such a thing lacks all 'symbolic' freedom of expression, all classical proportion, all humanity -- nevertheless, this is the form in which man's subjection to nature is most obvious and it significantly gives rise not only to the enigmatic question of the nature of human existence as such, but also of the biographical historicity of the individual. This is the heart of allegorical way of seeing. . . . The greater the significance, the greater the subjection to death, because death digs most deeply the jagged line of demarcation between physical nature and significance." Benjamin links history to a modern concept of allegory, which insists on the gap between representation and historical materials. See also Benjamin, "Theses on the Philosophy of History" and The Story-Teller, in idem, Illuminations, pp. 253-64, 83-109.
5.
Meng, Lishi, p. 26.
7.
Jameson, The Political, p. 35.
8.
Fo, pp. 363-82.

-271-

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The Sublime Figure of History: Aesthetics and Politics in Twentieth-Century China
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Contents *
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - Sublimation Unto Death: the Aesthetic Search for Meaning in Cultural Crisis 17
  • 2 - Writing China: the Imaginary Body and Allegorical Wilderness 55
  • The Sublime and Gender 101
  • 4 - Desire and Pleasure in Revolutionary Cinema 123
  • 5 - The Sublime Subject of Practice 155
  • 6 - The Cultural Revolution: a Terrible Beauty is Born 194
  • Conclusion 263
  • Reference Matter 269
  • Notes 271
  • Character List 287
  • Bibliography 293
  • Index 305
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