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Innovative or Rather Traditional? Confucianising Tragedy in May Fourth China

Letizia Fusini    SOAS, University of London    

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abstract

A key aspect of the May Fourth Movement was the critical discussion of Western tragedy. While the interest in tragedy was sparked by the assumption that China lacked an analogous genre, its interpretation and adaptation to the Chinese context suggests that a traditional ‘indigenous’ filter was applied to define its supposed ‘modernity’. Through cross-comparing Chinese conceptions of beiju 悲剧 in the May Fourth era and traditional Chinese views of bei 悲, this paper will seek to show that the Chinese reception of tragedy was informed by the rejuvenation of traditional ideas rather than the introduction of purely ‘Western’ theories.

Published
Dec. 21, 2020
Accepted
Sept. 7, 2020
Submitted
May 21, 2020
Language
EN
ISBN (PRINT)
978-88-6969-494-3
ISBN (EBOOK)
978-88-6969-465-3

Keywords: Beiju, 悲剧TragedyModernitySadnessMelancholyMay Fourth movement

Copyright: © 2020 Letizia Fusini. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.