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Transformation of Discourse and the Dialogue of Poetics

Author: HouChuanWen
Tutor: CaoShunQing
School: Sichuan University
Course: Comparative Literature and World Literature
Keywords: Tagore’s poetics comparative poetics transformation of discourse dialogue of poetics
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Type: PhD thesis
Year: 2004
Downloads: 403
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Abstract


Tagore’s poetics came into being at the background of the eastward spreading of western learning in modem history. It spans not only traditional and modem poetics, but also the east and the west. Therefore, it is suitable for study of comparative poetics. This thesis makes an approach to the basic concept, systematic features and its connection with western and eastern poetics, with comparative poetics as a main method, and study of Tagore’s poetics itself and comparative study as its basic train of thought; further discussions like discourse transformation in eastern poetics and the conversation between the poetics of east and west and intercultural study of comparative poetics are also covered in the thesis.The development of Tagore’s poetics covers three important phases. During the first phase (1880-1907), Tagore made deep theoretical thinking on the basis of his rich writing experience. He published several works like Literature and formed his poetic system with subjective characteristics. In the second period (1908-1921), Tagore’s poetics developed from romanticism to mysticism and aestheticism. He not only formed his system of philosophy and poetics, but also sought dialogue and worldwide communication of poetics by visiting foreign countries frequently. He published What is Art and some other representative works in this period. In the third phase (1920s-1941), Tagore fought against the challenge from new literary trend and hold to the fine literary tradition ofenlightenment. He published several works like Sahityer Pathe and The Religion of Man. Both his poetic system and state of mind rose to a much higher level through self-reflection and criticizing modernism.Tagore developed a relatively subjective poetic system after his long time thinking and study. It mainly includes theory of literary expression, which focuses on "personality"; theory of aesthetic feeling in literature, which focuses on "Rasa"; theory of literary aim, which focuses on "ananda"; theory of literary creation, which focuses on "rhythm"; and theory of aesthetic value, which focuses on "harmony".Personality is an important concept of Tagore’s philosophy; the thought of personality is one of the convergent points of his philosophy and poetics. In Tagore’s poetics, personality is the spiritual noumenon of human beings, a product of the surplus emotion of human beings, and a main object of artistic expression. The personality is a counterpart of "atman" in ancient Indian philosophy. It forms an objective relation with the world, and embodies the unity of human and the world, humanity and divinity. Poetics of personality reflects the contradiction of religion and humanism in Tagore’s thought of poetics."Rasa", which has a long history, is an important concept in ancient Indian poetics, and forms a rich and integrated system. Tagore is an inheritor of Indian’s "rasa" poetics. He pursued "rasa" in all his life of creation and his thinking of poetics. He not only succeeded the traditional interpretation of "rasa", for example, thinking that "rasa" reflected the essence of aesthetic judgment in literature, "rasa" emerged from emotion, and it had the feature of integrity and unity, but also added some modern interpretation to it, stressing that "rasa" is an aesthetic relation established between human mind and the external truth, and it was the manifestation of intrinsic strength of mankind, and a unity of objectivity and subjectivity. He believed that "rasa" had the quality of perception, taste, happiness, superiority, expression and non-utility, and it is a unity of beauty and sense of beauty. He also proposed other poetic ideas about "rasa", like "the rasaof personality" and "the rasa of history"."Ananda" is a spiritual state in the traditional Indian religious philosophy. It is a blissful happy state of the unity of Brahman and atman, human and God, and the decease of material and self. Ancient Indian literary theorists introduced it to poetics where it referred to the pleasant feeling of aesthetic judgment. In Tagore ’s opinion, "ananda" i

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