This paper aims to explore the forms of the representation of the body in Guo Moruo’s (1892-1978) The Goddesses (Nüshen, 1921), and to identify their conceptual sources in a comparative perspective, in order to highlight the significance of such a representation in the aesthetics of Guo’s early poetry. Many of the poems contained in The Goddesses celebrate nature, physicality, and the communion between man and the universe, while being constantly permeated with an allegorical idea of rebirth. In this aesthetic universe, the discourse of the body occupies a prominent position. The origins of such modes of corporal representation can be traced back to the many-sided literary, philosophical, and even scientific sources that the poet absorbed and subsequently developed in his own writing, tapping into both the classical Chinese tradition and imported models. Moving from the existing research on the corporal representations in Guo Moruo’s poetics and on their sources, and through a close reading of The Goddesses, I intend to provide a detailed account of the several forms and levels of body discourse in Guo’s early poetry. I will specifically focus on the bodily description of death and resurrection, the role of corporal discourse within the overarching theme of pantheism, anthropomorphism and zoomorphism in the depiction of the inanimate world, and the allegorical use of technical-scientific language (drawn from anatomy, biology, physics, and mechanics) in the representation of the body. The intra- and interliterary sources of inspiration shaping Guo’s modes of corporal representation will be pointed out, with a special emphasis on the role played by Tagore, Whitman, the Judaeo-Greco-Roman tradition, and the literary avant-garde of the early 20th century. Finally, the stylistic and ideological implications of such stylemes will be highlighted, in order to identify their significance against the background of Guo’s broader artistic and conceptual landscape.

'I Sing the Body Electric'. Corporal Representations in Guo Moruo’s 'The Goddesses'

MAGAGNIN, P.
2022-01-01

Abstract

This paper aims to explore the forms of the representation of the body in Guo Moruo’s (1892-1978) The Goddesses (Nüshen, 1921), and to identify their conceptual sources in a comparative perspective, in order to highlight the significance of such a representation in the aesthetics of Guo’s early poetry. Many of the poems contained in The Goddesses celebrate nature, physicality, and the communion between man and the universe, while being constantly permeated with an allegorical idea of rebirth. In this aesthetic universe, the discourse of the body occupies a prominent position. The origins of such modes of corporal representation can be traced back to the many-sided literary, philosophical, and even scientific sources that the poet absorbed and subsequently developed in his own writing, tapping into both the classical Chinese tradition and imported models. Moving from the existing research on the corporal representations in Guo Moruo’s poetics and on their sources, and through a close reading of The Goddesses, I intend to provide a detailed account of the several forms and levels of body discourse in Guo’s early poetry. I will specifically focus on the bodily description of death and resurrection, the role of corporal discourse within the overarching theme of pantheism, anthropomorphism and zoomorphism in the depiction of the inanimate world, and the allegorical use of technical-scientific language (drawn from anatomy, biology, physics, and mechanics) in the representation of the body. The intra- and interliterary sources of inspiration shaping Guo’s modes of corporal representation will be pointed out, with a special emphasis on the role played by Tagore, Whitman, the Judaeo-Greco-Roman tradition, and the literary avant-garde of the early 20th century. Finally, the stylistic and ideological implications of such stylemes will be highlighted, in order to identify their significance against the background of Guo’s broader artistic and conceptual landscape.
Le corps dans les littératures modernes d'Asie orientale : discours, représentation, intermédialité
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/3700492
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