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Recite and RefuseContemporary Chinese Prose Poetry$
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Nick Admussen

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780824856526

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824856526.001.0001

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What Is a Chinese Prose Poem?

What Is a Chinese Prose Poem?


(p.9) Chapter One What Is a Chinese Prose Poem?
Recite and Refuse

Nick Admussen

University of Hawai'i Press

Chapter one traces a reading process that ends in a metaphoric and hermeneutic definition of prose poetry. Reading Heidegger through Celan, and engaging with western theories of genre, it moves from the much-discussed insufficiency of categorical definitions of the genre to the need to describe prose poetry as the product of particular compositional processes, then determines that we can describe those processes as the condensation of prose writing, the recitation of previous prose art, and the refusal to be identical to previous prose art. These processes are simultaneous, and complexly interrelated; they take place, as Chinese scholars point out, inside poems, and indirectly determine their exteriors. The chapter includes translations of compositions from the 1976 Tiananmen demonstrations, and recent prose poetry by Xi Chuan and others.

Keywords:   genre, theory, Xi Chuan, Tiananmen, 1976, condensation, process, definition, categorization, metaphor

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