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11 From Poetic Revolution to Nation-(Re)building: Vicissitudes of Modernity in Modern Chinese Poetry

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Chapter Summary

The paradoxical status of poetry in the May Fourth movement not only established the path of modern poetry in the Chinese context but also signals an interesting continuity in the role of poetry in modern times that originated during the Modernist revolution in the West, continued through the May Fourth vernacular movement, and endured all the way to the Nativist movement in Taiwan in the 1970s. This continuity, however, underwent surprising transformations that corroborated the discourse of multiple or alternative modernities. The idea of alternative or multiple modernities immediately calls attention to the conspicuous phenomenon of translation in the period under discussion, not only because in periods of "extensive cultural trans-orientation" translation naturally plays a high-profile role, but also, and more fundamentally, because culture as a whole is actually a constant process of translation.

Keywords: May Fourth movement; modern Chinese poetry; poetic revolution; Taiwan



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