Any final thoughts about Professor Wang’s lectures?

Please feel free to make any comments, especially on the last lecture, here below.  And thanks for joining us for one the most successful Mandel lecture series we’ve enjoyed!

2 Replies to “Any final thoughts about Professor Wang’s lectures?”

  1. I am really appreciated for Professor Wang’s works and lectures, and through his final lecture, I also learned a lot. He talked about the small talk (for example: the unofficial history and fiction) versus the big talk, which is correlated with Chinese Dream in current society. The big talk he referred also reminds me of Xi Jinping’s “Tell the Good China Story”, which is also a big talk. Except from this part, I’m also interested with the topic about Crisis Consciousness that people should take precaution of future, and the topic about Dark Consciousness, which is indicated an attention to the inherent dark side of humanity and the dark forces deeply rooted in the human society. I think those two similar topics help Chinese people to pay close attention on current ongoing political and economical situations in China. According to his explanation, I also understood that Lu Xun depicts the most precarious terms between Chinese Panglossianism and dark consciousness. In his “An Ode to Night”:”Being in the darkness oneself, and seeing all the darkness”, it’s significant and impressing for me to learn that people should talk about Darkness within the Darkness, not just Light in the Darkness.

  2. In David Wang’s talk regarding why fiction matters in contemporary China, “The Dark Night gives black eyes I use them to seek light”, Wang describes the differences between “small talk” and “big talk”. Small talk is defined as unofficial history, fiction, a feeling of being granted into historical content and the process of manifestation. Whereas “big talk” is defined as grand discourse, master narrative, and intellectual domains. The Chinese try to have the “concrete” and “abstract” link together, to create “big talk” in Chinese fiction. The authors Qichao and Xujiping both show how big talk is creating the literature of persuasion. Big talk is created to inscribe the past and present of China. Additionally, big talk is used in describing “Dark consciousness”, which is defined by Cheng as “attention to and critical reflection on the inherent dark side of humanity as well as the dark forces deeply rooted in the human society”. In this example, dark consciousness explores the dark forces that turn Chinese consciousness to alert people of the unthinkable of civilization. Wang described darkness as “an invisible light traveling toward us, often we get lose in the process of watching and perceiving light and darkness”. This concept is why fiction matters in China, because fiction describes the “beam of darkness” and allows for readers to see through darkness. For example, the author Chiron, wrote about trouble in discovering a whole in the human body in order to show the limitations of humans and the body. Another example is Chi Zijan, who describes the loss of her husband. In both of these examples, the author discusses dark conditions and how it is necessary to find light and feel empowered to get past the suffering. Wang also discussed the power of fiction, narrative and how it can be a form of transmigration and transillumination in China.

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