By Jacob Edmond
Why is our global nonetheless understood via binary oppositions-East and West, neighborhood and international, universal and strange-that should have crumbled with the Berlin Wall? What may possibly literary responses to the occasions that ushered in our period of globalization let us know concerning the rhetorical and historic underpinnings of those dichotomies? In a typical Strangeness, Jacob Edmond exemplifies a brand new, multilingual and multilateral method of literary and cultural reviews. He starts off with the doorway of China into multinational capitalism and the looks of the Parisian flaneur within the writings of a chinese language poet exiled in Auckland, New Zealand. relocating between poetic examples in Russian, chinese language, and English, he then lines a sequence of encounters formed by way of fiscal and geopolitical occasions from the Cultural Revolution, perestroika, and the June four bloodbath to the cave in of the Soviet Union, September eleven, and the invasion of Iraq. In those encounters, Edmond tracks a shared predicament with strangeness by which poets contested previous binary oppositions as they reemerged in new, post-Cold struggle types.
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Extra info for A Common Strangeness: Contemporary Poetry, Cross-Cultural Encounter, Comparative Literature (Verbal Arts: Studies in Poetics)
Flâneur Far from being the creation of an isolated European modernity, the figure of the flâneur was from the very beginning intertwined with Europe’s others and inseparable from a global context of imperialism. The flâneur was a product of the nineteenth-century European imperial capital; while he was acutely self-conscious of his place at what he perceived to be the center of modernity, his sense of European particularity was nevertheless also born out of his relation to nonEurope. ”1 As a “displaced native” in a city “filled with foreigners and goods from distant lands,” the latter emerges out of the experience of strangeness induced by the increasingly cosmopolitan nature of the very imperial capital (Paris) celebrated by the original flâneur.
In “Ghost Speech/Lies,” the protagonist attempts to—but cannot—speak his way through the dark. Instead, walking produces a painfully acute awareness and conflation of space, time, and language. 88 In prose pieces such as “Weishenme yiding shi sanwen” 为什么一 定是散文 (“Why There Has to Be Prose”), Yang addresses one of the nemeses with which the flâneur does battle—perpetual recurrence beneath the illusion of novelty: 同样的姿势、脚步，走进这一天，又走出这一天。岁月，压抑在字里行间，是 不是总共只有一天？一天中就发生了五年（道路的日子）、五千年（陶罐上 粗陋符号的日子）？言辞，狂暴地展示着一个被无数街道、城市和国度折 磨的经历，高达彻底的沉寂。 Walk into this day with the same stride and posture as you walk out of it.
As a result, the discipline of comparative literature is in danger of becoming caught in a continuous movement of self-referential deconstruction, oscillating between the universal and the particular, between old Eurocentric practices and the possibility of resisting and subverting them. I propose that the flâneur in exile addresses and offers an alternative to this endless oscillation between sameness and difference. I use the phrase “flâneur in exile” to refer to the encounter between a paradigmatic figure of European modernity, the flâneur, and Chinese poetry, especially the exilic writing of Yang Lian 杨炼, during the period of political and economic change from the 1970s to the early 1990s that gave birth to our current era.