By Kang Liu

Even though chinese language Marxism—primarily represented by means of Maoism—is mostly obvious by way of Western intellectuals as monolithic, Liu Kang argues that its practices and tasks are as different as these in Western Marxism, fairly within the sector of aesthetics. during this comparative learn of ecu and chinese language Marxist traditions, Liu finds the level to which chinese language Marxists contain principles 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 concerns in chinese language Marxism, aesthetics and tradition are in reality important issues. during this recognize, such Marxists are just like their Western opposite numbers, even though Europeans have had little knowing of the chinese language adventure. Liu strains the family tree of aesthetic discourse in either smooth China and the West because the period of classical German suggestion, displaying the place conceptual alterations 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 optimistic imaginative and prescient for a postrevolutionary society and feature affected a large box of concerns related to the issues of modernity.Forcefully argued and theoretically subtle, this ebook will attract scholars and students of up to date Marxism, cultural stories, aesthetics, and smooth chinese language tradition, politics, and beliefs.

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

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Ethics and morality, in contrast, are susceptible to concrete historical changes, and vary from culture to culture. 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.

The successes and failures of this Chinese alternative need to be assessed. It should not, however, be merely measured by Western modernity as a universal model. The Chinese attempt should be seen as an ipso facto alternative to Western capitalist modernity before it is labeled a failure or success. To judge it one must judge modernity as a whole, as a global experience or condition of existence that must include alternatives and challenges across the world. The concept of modernity itself has to be problematized and redefined in the first place.

The second characteristic of Wang’s modernism was his adamant insistence on the autonomy and separation of art and scholarship. This was posed against Western-inspired reformist or revolutionary ideologies that aesthetics, modernity, and alternative modernity 21 favored scientific reason. In addition, it was opposed to Chinese utilitarian tradition, which privileged politics and morality over ‘‘pure truth,’’ or metaphysics, and aesthetics. Unlike most modern Chinese intellectuals who were preoccupied with China’s compelling social problems, and looked invariably to Western scientific reason and social ideologies as cures, Wang remained inordinately critical of such enthusiasm for Western ideas.

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