Discuss how the Reconstruction Era began. What was its promise for African AMERICAN, AND HOW WAS IT BETRAYED? IN WHAT WAYS DID THE END OF Reconstruction lead to the onset of the Jim Crow laws?
source: The West: the geography of hope
a film by steven ives for pbs
Type of assignment: Essay
Modern Chinese literature.
Modern Chinese literacy discourse and the discourse of modernity were not, in other words, empty imitations unaltered from the western cultural-historical context. The discourse of modernity was deployed by Chinese intellectuals in the process of re-invention (Denton, 3).
The construction of Chinese literary modernity as a radical rupture with tradition, a perception that has only recently come critical scrutiny in the Sino logical community, is an inheritance of the polemical iconoclasm of the May Forth generation and the Marxist descendants, who essentialzed and absolutized a complex and multifarious tradition in order to distance themselves from it and more easily reject it (Denton, 3).
The emphasis of the method of deployment was intended to shift the critique of the post-enlightenment European concept of the subject to the site where meaning does not belong to European philosophical traditions alone, even though the concept itself might have originated there. The concept was reinvented in the constant flux of historical practices and not the least of which is the encounter between languages through translation and trans-lingual practice (Denton, 3).
Chinese modernity is much more than its meta-narratives would have us believe. Iconoclasm, or the discourse of liberation from tradition, was the pivot around which a broad complex of sometimes conflicting ideas revolved. Drawing from this and other recent revisionist views of the May Forth, some understanding may then be reached about the complex formation of China’s literary modernity (Denton, 4).
Some of the scholars take the May Forth to be the pivotal period in the formation of Chinese modernity that includes both political events surrounding the incidents and the cultural dimensions. Laying emphasis on the legacy of tradition within Chinese modernity and its cultural differences from the west, there are some risks of absolutizing that difference as an immutable essence. In other words, in the process of crossing over the distinct demarcation line that has conventionally divided tradition and modernity in sinological studies, it is necessary at times to set china off against the west (Denton, 4).
The roots of china’s modern crisis are not a recent thing but it goes back to the eighteenth century when a dramatic rise in population put new pressure on the limited resources of the arable land and they were forced to spread further and as a result they found themselves interacting with the west who took advantage when china suffered an economical blow. The May Forth idealism failed to have a discernible effects on the lives of China’s poverty ridden lower classes and although the May Forth ideas of enlightenment and cultural iconoclasm continued to appeal to some among the intellectual elite and were used by them in their struggle with political authority. Marxism and Maoism gradually came to dominate intellectual circles as the May Forth ideas began to appear weak in the face of horrendous social problems (Denton, 10).
The absence in republican china of the economic conditions of a developed capitalism,
combined with a traditional propensity to emphasize the cultural and intellectual in social transformation. Marxism as it was received in china tended to have a highly voluntarist coloring and in that form seemed to offer a quick fix and solution to china’s predicament. The outcome to this brought about the constriction of the Chinese modernity through an appropriation of western discourses as a lever against tradition, as well as through an intervention of china as a national community where the sense of a shared past that they wanted to so much put behind was a necessary component. The May forth which was the pivotal point during the modernity period, sanctified an imagined west in the values of science, democracy and individualism. The very discourses fueling western imperialism became in china a discourse of resistance. From the perspective of the May fourth generation, this Chinese Occidentalism was a creative discourse of liberation from tradition. It is here that the idea of the west served the function of negotiating between the Chinese past and the future of a modern nation-state (Denton, 11).
The pivotal May Fourth generation, though not without filiations to the previous generation, that consciously initiated the formation of a modern literary critics in china and sought to cut itself off from traditional approaches to literature by seeking literary and critical models from the west. This process began in the late researchers, Qing when Liang Qichao and Wang Guowei became the first to reach out beyond their cultural borders for literary models unknown to their traditions and although they did so from the traditional point of view towards the function of literature. The May Fourth movement endeavored to establish a specialized field for writing on literature based on radically new literary orientations (Denton, 12).
A range of modern Chinese literary critics shared in the view that traditional critism was
subjective, unsystematic, metaphysical and above all unscientific and saw in it a fundamental methodological flaw. The May fourth attitude toward traditional critism and the tradition as a whole tells us more about its anxieties and fears of the past than it does about traditional literary (Denton, 14).
Denton, A.K. Modern Chinese Literary Thought: Writings on Literature, 1893-1945. Stanford University Press, 1996