The articles at the center of this issue of MLQ, Wang Ning’s “French Theories in China and the Chinese Theoretical (Re)construction,” Zhang Jiang’s “On Imposed Interpretation and Chinese Construction of Literary Theory,” and Zhu Liyuan’s “Hillis Miller on the End of Literature,” address the interchange between Chinese and Western literary theories. What transpires from these essays is that all Western theories, when “traveling” to China, assume “Chinese characteristics,” reflecting changing historical and ideological conditions but also the vector of influence running predominantly from Western theories to Chinese practice. To different degrees, and with varying urgency, all three Chinese scholars lodge a plea for greater recognition of Chinese theories in the West and for Chinese scholarship to construct a theory of its own, rooted in the Chinese tradition. By way of a new translation, with commentary, by Zhang Longxi of a celebrated 1980s article by Qian Zhongshu, the present essay argues that examples of a fruitful use of both Western and Chinese theory and literature already exist and may further put into practice what Wang, Zhang, and Zhu so forcefully call for.

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