Since the implement of reform and opening-up policy 40 years ago, Chinese researchers on foreign literatures have introduced and absorbed Western literary theories, critical approaches and research viewpoints abundantly, and have witnessed a rapid development in the Chinese foreign literature criticism, which makes possible the formation and enhancement of Chinese critical position, modes and theories in this field. The development trends of Chinese literary criticism in the New Era will be examined from three perspectives, namely, positions, orientations and methodologies. In terms of critical position, Chinese criticism is in a new stage of “adhering to ourselves and benefitting for our own use”, which means that our criticism will follow the principles of “Chinese thinking oriented” and “dialogue-innovation”. The former refers to an adherence to Chinese xiang (image) thinking pattern, which is characterized by an integral, correlative, complementary and dynamic thinking based on the unity of nature and human beings and that of subject and object. The latter indicates an effort to unify China and the West, to be more specific, to blend Chinese holistic vision with Western rational analysis, and to fuse perception of soul with an analysis of things in order to interconnect aesthetic comprehension with rational cognition. In terms of the critical orientation, firstly we need to recognize that the difference between Western dominant epistemological criticism and Chinese dominant aesthetic criticism is that the former regards critical object as a “thing” to be analyzed rationally so as to deduce and verify general truth, in other words, it begins with a theoretical hypothesis, and its rational analysis leads to an ultimate verification or amendment of the hypothesis, the latter considers critical object as “soul” to be comprehended by the critic so that he may experience communication, resonance and insight in the literary work, in other words, it starts from the intersection of life perception between the critic and the literary works, and the critic’s holistic vision of the work leads to the disclosure of the life insight and artistic beauty. Secondly, we shall grasp the sameness and the differences between Western marginalized aesthetic criticism and Chinese dominant aesthetic criticism. The sameness is that both of them define criticism as an aesthetic experience. And the difference is that Western aesthetic criticism emphasizes inner life exploration by means of imagination, judgement and learning, while Chinese aesthetic criticism stresses the disclosure of both life insight and artistic form, which has established writing categories as Shensi (spirit and imagination), Xujing (emptiness and serenity), Miaowu (transcendental epiphany), Xushi (fiction and truth), formal categories as Qingzhi (emotion and thought), Wenzhi (expression and quality), Yixiang (significance and image), Yijing (sublime state of mind), Xingshen (form and spirit), and critical categories as Zhiyin (resonance and appreciation), Meichou (beauty and ugliness), Quwei (taste and interest), etc. In the new era, facing theory-oriented Western criticism and its constant construction and deconstruction trends, Chinese foreign literary criticism may advance Chinese aesthetic-oriented criticism through following Chinese poetic principles, such as “the precondition of understanding is knowing the world and the people”, “to perceive meaning through emotion and thought” and “Theory of Six Perspectives”. In terms of critical methodology, a thorough examination of the Western ingrained “definition-analysis” critical model reveals its method as follows: to take certain influential and generally accepted theory as reference, to regard conceptual definition as presupposed hypothesis, and to extract abstract concept through analyzing the text. Chinese foreign literary criticism follows the “holistic approach” of Chinese poetics, which comprehends literary works intuitively from subjective perspectives, and to seize the insight into the spirit of life based on the unification of the thing and the self. The current creative literary theories in China are mostly based on Chinese holistic approaches as follows: the modernization of Chinese poetics, the breakthrough of Western theories by means of Sino-Western theoretical dialogues, and extensive cosmopolitan, comparative and transnational critical approaches.
高奋. 论新时代中国外国文学批评的立场、导向和方法[J]. 浙江大学学报(人文社会科学版), 2019, 5(2): 177-.
Gao Fen. On Critical Position, Orientation and Methodology of Chinese Foreign Literature Criticism in the New Era. JOURNAL OF ZHEJIANG UNIVERSITY, 2019, 5(2): 177-.