Ethical Selection and Brain Text: The Development of Ethical Literary Criticism

DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.13185/KK2021.003721
Published Date: Aug 31, 2021

Abstract

This essay examines the discursive emergence of ethical literary criticism—a new wave of theory and practice of literary criticism that has developed in the West even as it has also historically thrived in China. It begins with the revival of ethical criticism in the West when American ethical criticism blossomed and advanced new conceptions of reading. The paper then turns “eastward” to China and discusses the historical context in which ethical literary criticism emerged in the country. It surveys the history of importation of Western theories and the resulting inundation of the “theoretical complex” since China’s opening up to the outside world. Finally, the essay focuses on the theoretical elaboration of Nie Zhenzhao to whom is owed the current emergence of ethical literary criticism in China as well as the attention of literary critics and scholars in the West. The paper argues that ethical literary criticism which has grown into a critical movement in China follows this trajectory: from its origins in Ancient Greece, it develops into a trend in the West, and finally gives shape to Nie Zhenzhao’s critical theory, China’s most prominent contribution to the scholarship in the field of ethical literary criticism.

Keywords

brain text, ethical criticism, ethical literary criticism, ethical selection

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Kritika Kultura
Department of English
School of Humanities
Ateneo de Manila University

The Philippine Commission on Higher Education (CHED) declares Kritika Kultura as a CHED-recognized journal under the Journal Challenge Category of its Journal Incentive Program.

International Board of Editors

Jan Baetens
Professor
Faculty of Arts
Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven (Belgium)

Joel David
Professor of Cultural Studies
Inha University (South Korea)

Michael Denning
Professor of American Studies and English
Department of English
Yale University (US)

Faruk
Faculty of Cultural Sciences
Universitas Gadjah Mada (Indonesia)

Regenia Gagnier
Professor of English
University of Exeter (UK)

Leela Gandhi
John Hawkes Professor of the Humanities and English
Brown University (US)

Inderpal Grewal
Professor of Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies
Professor of South Asian Studies, Ethnicity, Race and Migration Studies
Yale University (US)

Peter Horn
Professor Emeritus and Honorary Lifetime Fellow
University of Cape Town (South Africa)
Honorary Professor and Research Associate in German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

Anette Horn
Professor of German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

David Lloyd
Distinguished Professor of English
University of California, Riverside (US)

Bienvenido Lumbera
National Artist for Literature
Professor Emeritus
University of the Philippines

Rajeev S. Patke
Director of the Division of Humanities
Professor of Humanities
Yale NUS College (Singapore)

Vicente L. Rafael
Giovanni and Amne Costigan Endowed Professor of History
University of Washington (US)

Vaidehi Ramanathan
Department of Linguistics
University of California, Davis (US)

Temario Rivera
Professorial Lecturer
Department of Political Science
University of the Philippines

E. San Juan, Jr.
Philippines Studies Center (US)

Neferti X.M. Tadiar
Professor of Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
Barnard College (US)
Director of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race
Columbia University (US)

Antony Tatlow
Honorary Professor of Drama
Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)