Members’ Publications: Frank Kraushaar

Fern von Geschichte und verheißungsvollen Tagen. Neoklassizistische Cyberlyrik im ChinaNetz und die Schreibweise des Lizilizilizi (2000-2020)

(Distant From History and Auspicious Days. Neoclassicist Cyberpoetry in the ChinaNet and the Poetic Diction of Lizilizilizi (2000-2020))

As a first attempt to explore in greater detail the contemporary phenomena of “modern verse in old style” 舊體新詩 published and read online, this book-essay contributes to a shift of perception in the studies of modern Chinese literature postulated by individual scholars and manifested collectively “not only to set right the misconception of the deterministic view regarding the development of the Chinese literary tradition, but also to affirm its vitality, continuity, and power of rebirth. (“Frankfurt Consensus”,2015)

In the first two parts of the book, the phenomena is approached from various angles: 1. biased perception and representation (via translation) of modern and classical Chinese poetry in the West, 2. transition from “old style poetry” to “new old style poetry” in China, distinction between “classicist” and “neoclassicist” diction, 3. translatability of the classicist and neoclassicist idiom, 3. the poet Zeng Shaoli, alias Lizilizilizi (b. 1964) and the contemporary classicist versus neoclassicist poetry scene.

Part 3 focusses on pointed criticism of Lizi’s poetic diction (ecriture). “Thingness” (Dinglichkeit) and “Fuzzyness” (Unschärfe) are chosen as critical terms to describe Lizi’s poetic realism and its amalgamation in classical prosody as well as his often provocative use of vernacular idioms, topolect (ganyu), politically “sensitive” ideas and topics thinly veiled behind the stage-prop of classicist performance.

Part 4 offers a broader thematic specter of Lizi’s poetic oeuvre, highlighting in paragraphs 1. incidental character of online poetry (Seuchensquenz / “pandemic sequenz”), 2. philosophical and religious reflection (Existenz und Transzendenz / “existence and transcendence”) and 3. social and cultural transformation (Dörfer und Metropolen / “villages and metropoles”).

Translation, in this book, does not function as a mere auxiliary but as an integral part of the critical approach, which is verified by regular recourse to findings of poetic qualities between the translatable and the untranslatable.