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The Aesthetic Critique Of Modernity In Chinese Marxism, New Criticism, And Adorno

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Chapter Summary

This chapter shows that the conception of art found in the work of Cai Yi in the early 1940s develops out of a critical engagement with a set of concerns about the nature of global capitalist modernity and the beleaguered status of both the aesthetic object and the aesthetic consciousness capable of both creating and recognizing it. It examines Cai Yis work in relationship to the modern conception of literature in China, arguing that his materialist philosophical aesthetics is very much a necessary consequence of the way the specific concept of literature takes shape in modern China. In particular, the chapter examines the way Cai Yis aesthetics participates critically in the same problem of global literary modernity that we find in the gradual formation of North American New Criticism. The chapter also highlights the commonalities between Cai Yi and New Criticism and key points on Adorno and aesthetic universality.

Keywords: Adorno; Cai Yi's aesthetics; Chinese Marxism; critique of modernity; New Criticism



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