Abstract

The authors of the essays on Western theory in China in this issue of MLQ all favor the development of a distinctively Chinese literary theory. Wang Ning focuses on the influence since 1950 of Jean-Paul Sartre, Jacques Derrida, and Alain Badiou. Zhang Jiang more or less totally rejects Western literary-critical theorists as guilty of what he calls “imposed interpretation.” Zhang eschews formulas or models in literary criticism in favor of reading each work as something unique and sui generis. Zhu Liyuan discusses in detail the influence in China of the present author’s “end of literature” essay. “Western Literary Theory in China” ends with a section about something the three Chinese authors do not stress, namely, the major changes in literary theory in every country, including China, brought about willy-nilly by the shift from print media to digital media. What happens to a literary work when it is read online rather than in print?

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