This book examines the unique poetics of Shao Xunmei 邵洵美 (1906-1968), a Chinese poet who has long been marginalized by contemporary criticism. Shao aspires to reach the condition of music in poetry, which bears a resemblance to three Anglophone writers whom he applauds: Algernon Charles Swinburne, Edith Sitwell, and George Augustus Moore. The Condition of Music and Anglophone Influences in the Poetry of Shao Xunmei investigates how these three writers influenced Shao, and how this inspiration helped shape his idea of the condition of music in poetry.
In the scope of world literature, this book aims to fill a small but important puzzle piece in the global network of literary influence. In a world where cultural exchanges have become increasingly frequent and convenient, and at a time when counter-globalization seems to burgeon into a hazardous trend, it is beneficial to look back to the 1920s-1930s, a time that is as equally tumultuous as today, to examine the global influence network that has taken us where we are, and to understand that in the dynamic of literary influence, no single piece of literature can have its significance alone.
This groundbreaking book will benefit the scholarship of Shao and contribute to the relevant research in Chinese studies and word and music studies. Therefore, it will be of great use and interest to researchers of comparative literature, Chinese literature, and world literature, as well as scholars of word and music studies.
This is highly original and worthwhile research. Shao Xunmei is an absolutely fascinating character on the Shanghai literary scene, and there is not much research on him. This book makes a significant contribution in that regard. It is good and solid scholarship.
Dr Christopher Rosenmeier
Asian Studies, School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures
The University of Edinburgh