In the conclusion of his extensive and wide-ranging monograph on the literary and cultural-political legacy of the Chinese intellectual Guo Moruo 郭沫若 (1892–1978), Pu Wang discusses a peculiar short story that Guo wrote in 1925. Titled “Marx Enters the Temple of Confucius” (Makesi jin wenmiao 馬克斯進文廟), the story is set in modern Shanghai, where Marx and Confucius—with the help of an interpreter—discuss the compatibility and comparability of Marxism and Confucianism. This historical fantasy, which Wang describes as a “rhetorical performance of transcultural anachronism” (282), perfectly epitomizes Guo's literary and cultural project throughout much of China's revolutionary twentieth century as characterized in Pu Wang's monumental study. Not only does Wang identify the narrator of the short story as the true “interpreter” behind the ahistorical encounter between Confucius and Marx in China, he further contends that Guo's entire cultural-political endeavors stretching from the heyday of the New Culture Movement of the 1920s...
The Translatability of Revolution: Guo Moruo and Twentieth-Century Chinese Culture
FREDERIK H. GREEN is associate professor of Chinese at San Francisco State University. He received his PhD in Chinese literature from Yale. He has published widely on the literature and culture of nineteenth- and twentieth-century China, Sino-Japanese relations, and contemporary Chinese cinema and art. His book Bird Talk and Other Stories by Xu Xu: Modern Tales of a Chinese Romantic is forthcoming in 2020.
Frederik H. Green; The Translatability of Revolution: Guo Moruo and Twentieth-Century Chinese Culture. Prism 1 March 2020; 17 (1): 207–211. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/25783491-8163912
Download citation file: