Aesthetics and Marxism: Chinese Aesthetic Marxists and Their by Kang Liu

By Kang Liu

Although chinese language Marxism—primarily represented via Maoism—is normally noticeable via Western intellectuals as monolithic, Liu Kang argues that its practices and initiatives are as assorted as these in Western Marxism, rather within the sector of aesthetics. during this comparative research of ecu and chinese language Marxist traditions, Liu finds the level to which chinese language Marxists comprise rules approximately aesthetics and tradition of their theories and practices. In doing so, he constructs a totally new figuring out of chinese language Marxism.
Far from being secondary issues in chinese language Marxism, aesthetics and tradition are in truth critical matters. during this recognize, such Marxists are just like their Western opposite numbers, even though Europeans have had little knowing of the chinese language event. Liu strains the family tree of aesthetic discourse in either smooth China and the West because the period of classical German notion, exhibiting the place conceptual changes and divergences have happened within the traditions. He examines the paintings of Mao Zedong, Lu Xun, Li Zehou, Qu Qiubai, and others in China, and from the West he discusses Kant, Schiller, Schopenhauer, and Marxist theorists together with Horkheimer, Adorno, Benjamin, and Marcuse. whereas stressing the range of Marxist positions inside China in addition to within the West, Liu explains how rules of tradition and aesthetics have provided a positive imaginative and prescient for a postrevolutionary society and feature affected a large box of concerns concerning the issues of modernity.
Forcefully argued and theoretically subtle, this ebook will entice scholars and students of up to date Marxism, cultural reviews, aesthetics, and glossy chinese language tradition, politics, and ideology.

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Extra info for Aesthetics and Marxism: Chinese Aesthetic Marxists and Their Western Contemporaries (Post-Contemporary Interventions)

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Instead, it refers to a kind of intuitive revelation about the essence of life, embodied by Schopenhauerian and Taoist-Buddhist aesthetics. In this respect, Wang’s notion is akin to that of Liang Qichao, taking truth to be the pure creation of mind, rather than to that of Kant, who tried to reconcile a priori, transcendental rationality with empirical knowledge. What Wang wrote about truth is revealing, telling us as much as about his modernist aesthetics as his conservative politics: The aim of philosophy and art is truth.

All the eternal solutions that religion promises can no longer resolve conflicts between different cultural, moral, and ethical systems and values in modern times. Religion can retain its effectivity only in the realm of emotion. But its inability to unite all diverse cultures and values also weakens its emotive and affective efficacy. Aesthetic experience, Cai maintained, works precisely in the realm of emotion. Therefore, the role of religion in modern times should be replaced by that of aesthetics.

Poststructuralists and postmodernists in the West, in comparison, have by and large remained silent or ambivalent about the encounter between Maoism and French radical theories. The Western Left has evidently been puzzled by events in post-Mao China, where Mao’s revolutionary legacy has been almost totally denounced. Ironically, while the political interventionist stance is being increasingly asserted in contemporary cultural criticism in the West (mainly in English-speaking countries), ideologies of (capitalist) modernity and modernization, ranging from Daniel Bell’s ‘‘end of ideology’’ brand of liberalism to the so-called ‘‘neo-Confucian revival,’’ have recently gained considerable currency in China.

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