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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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Unorthodox Prose Poetry

Unorthodox Prose Poetry

Ouyang Jianghe and Xi Chuan


(p.133) Chapter Five Unorthodox Prose Poetry
Recite and Refuse

Nick Admussen

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter follows contemporary poets whose work exists in formal or generic relationship to prose poetry, but who reject or elude categorization as prose poets. The chapter looks first at the poem “Hanging Coffin” by Ouyang Jianghe, which uses monumentality, rather than prose poetry’s traditional brevity, to engage with culture and history on a grand scale. The end of the chapter reads Bourdieu to track the way in which the avant-garde prose poet Xi Chuan fights against the identification of his work with the settled, more categorically cohesive genre as practiced by orthodox poets. In doing so, he returns to a core distinction between prose poetry and other literary forms and practices: instead of belonging to a fixed genre with a list of desiderata and taboos, Xi Chuan’s works of prose are acts that intervene in and shape the practice of prose.

Keywords:   Ouyang Jianghe, Hanging Coffin, unorthodox, avant-garde, Xi Chuan, prose, genre, Bourdieu

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