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Aesthetics And Desire In Yang Mo'S Song Of Youth

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Chapter Summary

A novel such as Song of Youth offers an intelligent, passionate young woman whose love of country is as strong as her philosophical commitment to the truth embodied in the law of the negation. We have few problems accounting for the theme of nationalism in such novels, but tend to regard explicit mention of the latter theoretical convictions as at best ideological window dressing to fluff up the overall socialist character of the novel. This chapter proposes a reading of the novel Song of Youth that is based on the conjecture that the novel really does concern itself with what it claims are issues of philosophical and aesthetic substance. It examines one crucial feature of the novel, namely its preoccupation with a political philosophy of aesthetics. The chapter begin with an analysis of what amounts to, crucially, Lin Daojing's first actual social exchange as narrated in the novel.

Keywords: aesthetics; desire; Lin Daojing; political philosophy of aesthetics; Song of Youth; Yang Mo



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