Cloth ISBN: 9780804720748
Digital ISBN: 9780804766616
Winner of the 1996 René Welleck Prize, sponsored by the American Comparative Literature Association.
The Problem of a Chinese Aesthetic calls for and applies a new model of comparative literature - one that, instead of taking for granted the commensurability of traditions and texts, gives incompatibility and contradiction their due. Exposing contemporary literary theory to the risks of ancient Chinese literature (and vice versa), this book considers a linked series of case studies. To what degree does the translation between languages and texts that we call comparative literature depend on allegory or translation within a single text or language? The author offers an important, new perspective on the reading of the Shih-ching or Book of Odes and the question of allegory and metaphor in the Chinese poetic tradition.
"This is a study of The Book of Odes, the Prefaces, and the enormous tradition of Odes scholarship. The display of erudition and interpretive subtlety is remarkable, not least becasue Saussy is able to articulate coherent problems from within what might otherwise seem an unmanageable wealth of details."