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The Survival of Aesthetics under Ideology

Author: BaoZuo
Tutor: ChengGe
School: Northeast Normal University
Course: Literature and Art
Keywords: Great Upsurge in Aesthetics Ideology Humanism and Foreignization the Interpretation Boom of Manuscript Subjectivity
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Type: PhD thesis
Year: 2013
Downloads: 74
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Abstract


The great upsurge in aesthetics from late1970s to the middle of1980s in China hasstudied the problems not only in aesthetics, but also in philosophy and literature, since theconsistent historical consciousness and cultural imagination shared by them are the sourceand origin of the present knowledge presentation. However, the discursive formations of thegreat upsurge in aesthetics are not completely in the same tune. It is this polyphony thatreflects the complicated relation between the great upsurge in aesthetics and ideology.Through analyzing different profiles of great upsurge in aesthetics, the present dissertationaims to sketch their dispersed status in specific historical context and give the representationof the original landscape of the knowledge representation concerning literature andaesthetics in the new period of China.The thesis mainly consists of five chapters. The first chapter examines the start and endtime and the causes of the great upsurge in aesthetics. And then introduces the various socialpractices such as organizing seminar, editing journals, holding workshops to depict theoverall situation of the great upsurge in aesthetics.The second chapter explores the internal relation between the great upsurge in aestheticsand the national ideology through tracking down its knowledge pedigrees. And this internalrelation consists of three aspects: first, Chinese modern aesthetics seeks to establish thehistorical clue of Marxist aesthetics system on the level of non-knowledge power andideology. Second, the aesthetic debate in1950and1960has made the Marxist aesthetics theonly legitimate aesthetic trend, and it has provided the theoretical resources for the greatupsurge in aesthetics in1980. Third, the change of national ideology and social culturalcontext in1980accounts for the influence of the great upsurge.The third chapter focuses on the humanism and the foreignization in the great upsurge ofaesthetics. First, the causes of this debate and the three themes reflected in the discussionhave been analyzed, and then the problems of humanism and foreignization in the politicshave been sorted out. Furthermore, with the introduction to the Colleagues group andanalysis of its representative text, the present author expounds the viewpoints and thoughtsof the representative of Colleagues group and its formation to draw the overall historicallandscape of humanism and foreignization.In the fourth chapter, using the interpretation boom of Economic and PhilosophicalManuscript in1844written by Marx as the theme, the present author discusses the threelegitimate reasons for selecting this manuscript as the theoretical resources: the first reason is the historical consistency between Manuscript and ideology; the second one is the matchbetween the tension of internal discourse of Manuscript and the social cultural context in1980; and the last one is the historical line of the theoretical resources in Manuscript. Andthen, the dissertation makes a brief comment on debate concerning the three propositions“humanized nature”,“law of beauty” and “foreignization and beauty”. Furthermore, two keywords in aesthetic discourse “practice” and “liberty” are discussed. And it concludes that theinterpretation of Manuscript in the field of aesthetics just bushed around the traditionalMarxist theory of literature and art and this interpretation seeks the self-expressing way inthe interaction with ideology.The fifth chapter focuses on the subjectivity in this great upsurge. First, the historicalbackground of subject in1980s has been explored. And then through the analysis of theindividual consciousness manifested in the debate over the misty poetry by the Rising Trend,the present author concludes that the Rising Trend has highlighted the individuality ofliterature and the stance for the individual in this trend is the imagination of Chinese culturalmodernization. Moreover, with the analysis of scholar Liu Zaifu’s heritage andtranscendence of Li Zehou’s subjectivity, the present author expounds that Liu Zaifu hashighlighted the existing significance of subject in the discussion of literary subjectivity,uttered the intense individual sound, and completed the transcendence of the subjectivity in1980and finally broke the meta-discourse of Maxism.In the conclusion section, it is safely concluded that with the influence of ideology, thediscourse itself of the great upsurge in aesthetics has undergone the procedure fromideologicalization to non-ideologicalization. However, this way of identifying the legitimacyis still self-appointed non ideologicalization. The special historical period constitutes thedecisive element for the special cultural attribute. The historical discourse during the periodfrom the late1970s to the middle1980s has enlarged the possibility for reshaping itsdiscourse system and also made the relation with ideology more complicated and unique.

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