Modernity and Subjectivity from the Past to the Present
Neo-Confucianism has strived to demonstrate that traditional Confucian ideas can be applied to construct a prospective, progressive Chinese modernity. I would like to argue, however, that Confucianism has always and already been the foundational principle throughout the history of the 20th century China by the philosophical and literary practitioners of Chinese modernity. In addition to my re-evaluatin of the ‘tradition of modernity’ in China, I would like to explore the ‘tradition of post-modernity’ in China, especially the traditions of Daoism and Zen Buddhism. At the center of these different traditions is the concept of subjectivity which defines the characteristics of various cultural and literary trends. My paper will then focus on the subjective positions in these traditions and how the roles of lyrical and narrative subject are played in modern and postmodern literature, in order to probe the inner connections between the past and the present.