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Symbols of Anguish: In Search of Melancholy in China

Helmut Martin (1940-1999) "in memoriam</I>


Wolfgang Kubin

The reception of China in the West is very often dominated by Chinese scholars like Lin Yutang who defined the Chinese people as «joyful beings» and Chinese civilization as a «civilization of joy». Nonetheless, in the history of Chinese thought since ancient times not only the expression of sadness itself but also guidelines to its expression can be found. How are we to understand this? These papers from the Bonn conference «Melancholy and Society in China» explore various aspects of this issue.
Contents: Wolfgang Kubin: Introduction – Monika Motsch: The Disentangling of the Silk-knot: A Chinese-Western «Anatomy of Melancholy» – Karl-Heinz Pohl: Scholars Scorn Each Other, Don’t They? On the Psychology of (Not Only) Chinese Literati – Lutz Bieg: Laughter in China during the Ming and Qing Era: Preliminary Comments on Zhao Nanxing’s Xiao Zan – Cheng Chung-Ying: Morality of Daode and Overcoming of Melancholy in Classical Chinese Philosophy – Barbara Hendrischke: Joy and Sadness in Daoism – Hans-Georg Möller: Lonely Hearts: How Does It Feel to Be Alone in Daoism? – Thomas Zimmer: The Illness without Name: The Problem of Melancholy in the Chinese Novel Xiyouji – Donald Holoch: Melancholy Phoenix: Self Ascending from the Ashes of History (From Shiji to Rulin Waishi) – Wong Kam-Ming: The Allure of Melancholy: The Anxiety of Allusion in Hongloumeng – Hans Kühner: Tears of Strength or Tears of Weakness? Lao Can Youji and the Aporias of Political and Moral Commitment in Late Imperial China – Jon Kowallis: Melancholy in Late Qing and Early Republican Era Verse – Wai-Lim Yip: Condemned to Cultural Displacements: The Case of Modern China – Tao Tao Liu: Exile, Homesickness and Displacement in Modern Chinese Literature – Helmut Martin: «Like a Film Abruptly Torn off»: Tension and Despair in Zhang Ailing’s Writing Experience – Bonnie S. McDougall: Lu Xun Hates China, Lu Xun Hates Lu Xun – Tsau Shu-Ying: «They Learn in Suffering What They Teach in Song»: Lu Xun and Kuriyagawa Hakuson’s Symbols of Anguish.