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Contemporary Chinese Aesthetics

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Edited By Zhu Liyuan and Gene Blocker

This book is a collection of translations of recent work by contemporary Chinese aestheticians. Because of the relative isolation of China until recently, little is known of this rich and ongoing aesthetics tradition in China. Although some of the articles are concerned with the traditional ancient Chinese theories of art and beauty, many are inspired by Western aesthetics, including Marxism, and all are involved in cross-cultural comparisons of Chinese and Western aesthetic traditions.

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The Dearth and Death of Tragedy: Zhu Guangqian 25

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The Dearth and Death of Tragedy Zhu Guangqian Nietzsche has given us a passionate and enchanting picture of the Birth of Tragedy. A book on the Dearth and Death of Tragedy is yet to be written. It is a less pleasant task but nevertheless worth attempting. Tragedy, both the word and the thing, is Greek in origin. It is a genre of literature almost unknown to other great races of the world; neither the Chinese, nor the Hindus, nor the Hebrews possess a single specimen of tragedy in the strictest sense of the word. The same thing may be said of the Romans. It is highly questionable whether modem European Tragedy could have arisen if the Greeks had not written and handed down a venerable literary tradition. If we examine the reasons why Tragedy flourished only in Greece and not in other parts of the world, we shall fmd support for the view that the idea of Fate is essential both to the creation and to the appreciation of Tragedy. M. Camboulin in his Essai sur la fatalite dans le theatre grec has vigorously attacked the generally accepted view that the feeling of fatalism is prominent in Greek tragedies. According to him, it is not Fate, but Justice, that is the guiding principle of Aeschylus and his illustrious successors. He stigmatizes fatalism as something essentially oriental and refuses to believe that the brave Europeans have ever been infected with it. Prof. Dixon also talks of the "the tired races of...

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