This chapter develops an alternative to the entrapping oscillation between sameness and difference that bedevils contemporary approaches to comparative literature. It does so by exploring the encounter between a paradigmatic figure of European modernity, the flâneur, and contemporary Chinese poetry. The chapter first establishes how the flâneur emerges from the relationship between Europe and non-Europe and furnishes a comparative approach based not on mimesis and vision but on encounter, touch, and the non-logical constellations of Walter Benjamin’s dialectical image. The chapter identifies the comparative poetics of the flâneur in the encounter between Chinese poet Duoduo 多多 and Charles Baudelaire’s “Le soleil” in the early 1970s. It then explores the elaboration and negation of the figure in 1980s xungen, or “root-seeking,” writing and especially in the poetry and prose written by Yang Lian 杨炼 during his exile in Auckland, New Zealand, after June 4, 1989.
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TagsA Common Strangeness ann vickery Arkadii Dragomoshchenko Brian Reed Charles Bernstein chinese poetry Christopher Bush Cilla McQueen comparative literature conceptual poetry conceptual writing dmitri prigov Fordham University Press Gerald Janecek Gone with the Wind Haun Saussy iteration iterations iterative poetics Jacket2 Jacob Edmond Jonathan Stalling kenneth goldsmith lisa samuels literature long poems Lucas Klein Lyn Hejinian Margaret Mitchell Maria Damon Michele Leggott New Zealand poetry poetry rachel blau duplessis revolution Russian literature russian poetry Stephanie Sandler the book translation US poetry Vanessa Place yang lian Аркадий Драгомощенко Дмитрий Пригов