the answer by bei dao analysis

Pertti Seppälän kääntämänä teoksessa Maailman runosydän (1998), toim. Never. Zhao Zhenkai, whom we know as Bei Dao, was working as an electrician outside of the capital at the time, and this incident spurred him to write the poem which, for better or worse, is his most frequently reprinted work in the Chinese-speaking world, "Huida" ("The Answer" or "An Answer"). Why do a thousand sails contest the Dead Sea? By Haun Saussy Last Friday, we were privileged to host a visit by one of China’s foremost contemporary poets, Bei Dao, Professor of Humanities in the Centre for East Asian Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

6'Jintian' Editorial Board, "Zhi duzhe" (To the reader), Jintian 1 (December 1978), pp.

CALENDAR ||

Bei Dao spent the spring and summer of 1989 in Europe and there had the news of the bloody repression of the student movement.

By Bei Dao. 81-83. A 1988 anthology of contemporary verse, packaged with interpretative commentaries, processed the poems into the themes and language one might find in an editorial for the People's Daily. For a number of years, too, Bei Dao had a paying job as editor of an Esperanto-language journal. See how the gilded sky is covered. 6'Jintian' Editorial Board, "Zhi duzhe" (To the reader), Jintian 1 (December 1978), pp. Blaming everything that has gone wrong in China on the Gang of Four and cheerleading for the immortal Chinese nation just happen to be two of the devices used by the official media since 1980 to silence criticism of present policies and intimidate anyone who dares to think of a different social order.

Ithaca, NY: China-Japan Program, Cornell University, 1984. Shabbiness brands the passage of the shabby And loftiness marks the death of the lofty. Wei Jingsheng’s group and the circle around Today shared at least one prominent member as well—the poet Mang Ke. 13, Rue du Bonheur, translation by Chantal Chen-Andro. 'Icy peaks' symbolically indicates the feudal fascist dictatorship of the Gang of Four and their cold crueltyÉ. 8On Bei Dao's early reading of translated literature, see his "From The Founding of Today to Today: A Reminiscence," translated by Perry Link, at http://prelectur/lecturers/dao/index.html. As Ouyang Jianghe observes in her introduction to the Taiwan edition of Landscape Over Zero, American readers have a bad habit of seeing politics everywhere in Bei Dao’s work, of reading it exclusively as a cleverly coded statement about opposition and reform in China. 'Look at the gold-plated sky / Filled with the drifting rippled reflections of the dead': these surrealistic lines depict the bloody landscape of the fascist dictatorship of the Gang of FourÉ. LECTURERS || My translation. Democracy Wall was painted over and not allowed to resume; those who had advocated dismantling the one-party system, like Wei Jingsheng, were arrested as traitors in foreign employ and put through broadly publicized show trials; Today magazine was closed down and its back stocks confiscated. 6'Jintian' Editorial Board, "Zhi duzhe" (To the reader), Jintian 1 (December 1978), pp. 3Bei Dao, "Huida," Jintian 1 (December 1978), pp. Bei Dao. Hannu Tarmio ja Janne Tarmio. Attempting to return to visit his family in 1994, he was detained at the airport, questioned for hours about his links to Today and overseas democratic movements, and finally sent back to the United States. This poem is a challenge issued to a corrupt society. I find the standard version by Bonnie MacDougall (Bei Dao, The August Sleepwalker [London: Anvil Press, 1988], p. 33) imprecise on some small points. The commentator assigned to explicate "An Answer" could do no better than this: By 1978, however, a feeling of interregnum was in the air.

The speaker’s refusal to "believe" takes on cosmological dimensions, as even the sky stands revealed as an artificial, "gold-plated," ultimate limit.

Over the next two years, in keeping with the back-and-forth of internal party conflicts, the official press successively condemned Mao’s policies, rehabilitated people who had been sent to labor camps for "rightist deviation" and "revisionism," and encouraged people to voice their discontents by putting up wall posters in public places. "I’m no hero," says the speaker of this poem, "Xuan gao" or "Proclamation"; "In a time without heroes / I just wanted to be a human being. 127-136. Our art must reflect these profoundly inscribed characteristics. 35-36. 7For a fairly typical discussion see Zhu Xianshu, "Yige teshu de wenxue xianxiang." In English he is represented by numerous collections of poetry, fiction, and essays, including The Rose of... With the drifting twisted shadows of the dead. 8On Bei Dao's early reading of translated literature, see his "From The Founding of Today to Today: A Reminiscence," translated by Perry Link, at http://prelectur/lecturers/dao/index.html. 1 It is probably impossible to achieve a totally controlled society; "totalitarianism" served both its proponents and its antagonists as an enabling myth. 36-37. Our students enjoyed the experience and found that poetry could cover many unexpected topics, including homework (Homework! 'Look at the gold-plated sky / Filled with the drifting rippled reflections of the dead': these surrealistic lines depict the bloody landscape of the fascist dictatorship of the Gang of FourÉ. Reality only exists in the present, therefore there's no past or future. trans. Knowing that if he did return home he would almost surely face imprisonment, he chose to stay abroad. Almost immediately after the death of Mao Zedong in 1976, his designated successor, Hua Guofeng, arrested Mao’s widow and some of her close associates. After a year in England, followed by a tour in the United States, Bei Dao returned to China in the late 1988. In the later 1980s, Bei Dao sympathized with and participated in various groups attempting to reframe the discourse about civil rights—circulating petitions in favor of freeing Wei Jingsheng, for example, in a prelude to the mass demonstrations of April and June 1989. Zhang's snubbing of the menglong movement as "aestheticized political dissidence" (134) assumes that it could somehow move directly into "meaningful social, political praxis" (to be defined) without constructing the appropriate institutions, among which new models of selfhood, of memory and of art might well be counted. Bei Dao.

Debasement is the password of the base Nobility the epitaph of the noble.

Deng had used popular unrest to dislodge his opponents, but had no intention of letting it go on once he was in the commanding role. Top of Page || Home Page || Stanford University Libraries || Stanford University. 81-83.

Bei Dao shi xuan (1986, The August Sleepwalker), a collection of poems written between 1970 and 1886, was received with enthusiam, but the work was soon banned by the authorities. HUMANITIES AT STANFORD

7For a fairly typical discussion see Zhu Xianshu, "Yige teshu de wenxue xianxiang." For an account of the "Misty Poetry debates," see Jiang Zhenchang, "Zhongguo dalu de menglong shi" (Mainland Chinese Misty Poetry," Dangqian dalu wenxue (Taipei: Wenxun chubanshe, 1988), pp. Debasement is the password of the base,Nobility the epitaph of the noble.See how the gilded sky is coveredWith the drifting twisted shadows of the dead. SYMPOSIA || 5See Zhu Xianshu, "Yige teshu de wenxue xianxiang: tan bufen qingnian shiren de chuangzuo" (An unusual literary phenomenon: on the creations of certain young poets, Baihua zhou, 1983, number 6, pp. 7For a fairly typical discussion see Zhu Xianshu, "Yige teshu de wenxue xianxiang."

For an account of the "Misty Poetry debates," see Jiang Zhenchang, "Zhongguo dalu de menglong shi" (Mainland Chinese Misty Poetry," Dangqian dalu wenxue (Taipei: Wenxun chubanshe, 1988), pp. 'Icy peaks' symbolically indicates the feudal fascist dictatorship of the Gang of Four and their cold crueltyÉ. Top of Page || Home Page || Stanford University Libraries || Stanford University, 4See for example Zhang Xudong: "As the menglong poets evolved at the end of the Cultural Revolution to demand a poetic revolution, they sought what can be termed a political breathing space as well as a social self-assertion handled aestheticallyÉ NowÉ it is easier to confront this ideological valorization and aesthetic investmentÉ Under the specific social, political, and intellectual circumstances during the early 1980s, the ideology of the poetic language was to be conceived and received as ideal in both political and aesthetic termsÉ Whereas in previous stages of Chinese modernism [Western high modernism] stood by as a useful but alien systemÉ in the case of Misty poetry it is the symbolic space in which a collective selfhood is to be constituted in linguistic termsÉ With secularization gaining ground on all fronts [by the middle 1980s], the self-definition of the menglong movement was completed not so much by the poetic working out of its experience in the immediate social sphere, but rather by aesthetic transcendence of it through the construction of 'inner life' as a self-serving institutionÉ. The early 1980s saw a controversy about the new poetry, which frustrated readers’ expectations that poetry should be memorable, easy to understand, and regular in form.7 The public discussions of Misty Poetry coincided with, and were among the occasions for, the 1983-84 official campaign to stamp out "spiritual pollution" in the form of imported ideas.

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