By Jacob Edmond
Why is our international nonetheless understood via binary oppositions-East and West, neighborhood and worldwide, universal and strange-that should have crumbled with the Berlin Wall? What may well literary responses to the occasions that ushered in our period of globalization let us know in regards to the rhetorical and ancient underpinnings of those dichotomies? In a standard Strangeness, Jacob Edmond exemplifies a brand new, multilingual and multilateral method of literary and cultural reviews. He starts with the doorway of China into multinational capitalism and the looks of the Parisian flaneur within the writings of a chinese language poet exiled in Auckland, New Zealand. relocating between poetic examples in Russian, chinese language, and English, he then strains a sequence of encounters formed via monetary and geopolitical occasions from the Cultural Revolution, perestroika, and the June four bloodbath to the cave in of the Soviet Union, September eleven, and the invasion of Iraq. In those encounters, Edmond tracks a shared main issue with strangeness during which poets contested outdated binary oppositions as they reemerged in new, post-Cold conflict kinds.
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Additional resources for A Common Strangeness: Contemporary Poetry, Cross-Cultural Encounter, Comparative Literature (Verbal Arts: Studies in Poetics)
The volcano stands for the primal forces that might at any minute burst forth to shatter the city’s rational order and illusion of progress. 81 He at once emphasizes the volcano’s ancient subterranean power and echoes Benjamin’s description of the walker’s descent into the city’s hidden past: “The street conducts the flâneur into a vanished time. For him, every street is precipitous. Never mind that the light is broken, you can feel your way, feel it through the soles of your feet, but you cannot speak it.
All in all, isn’t time, shut up in lines of words, just one day? Don’t five years (days on the road) or five thousand years (days in the crude symbols on an earthenware jar) all take place in just one day? 90 The comparative force of these lines equates the temporal and linguistic entrapment of tradition with the temporal, geographical, and linguistic entrapment of exile. The lines also describe a more generalized effect of modern temporality whereby the apparent escape from tradition, here through exile and travel, ironically only reinforces the experience of entrapment and repetition beneath what appears to be new.
92 Rather, Yang’s city-text is strange, literally and metaphorically shrouded in darkness, and devoid of the crowds typically associated with the flâneur. 93 In “Ghost Speech/ Lies,” the city-text is wholly illegible: 从一个路口到另一个路口，那些同样读不懂的街名，与你有什么关系？从一 只手到另一只手，你读一部上千页的书，与把仅有的一页翻动上千次，有什 么区别？流亡者，无非沿着一条足迹的虚线，在每一个点上一动不动。…… 活埋进每天重复的日子，像你的诗，一个关于真实的谎言。从什么时候起， 辞像陈年的漆皮一样，酥了，碎了，掉下来。你不说，才听清那个恐怖的声 音——又过了一天！ From one intersection to the next, what have all those incomprehensible street names got to do with you?
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