Summoning, Socialism, Prose
The afterword argues that it is the way that prose poetry makes prose visible that gives it such power and promise in contemporary China, as well as abroad. Recitation summons the voices of others into the present, and into the present speaker: when prose poetry recites prose assumed to contain and deliver truths, those claims are brought into a kind of laboratory in which they can be tested and transformed. This is especially crucial in contemporary China, where the power of the tradition of socialism floats in an uneasy vacuum. The afterword looks at writing by Xi Chuan and Mao Zedong in order to ask what it actually means to “make it new” in China, and how prose poetry authors confront and answer questions about how we speak the truth.
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