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Modern Poetry in China: A Visual-Verbal Dynamic By Paul Manfredi

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Modern Poetry in China:
16. Mitchell (1994, 12) provided a wide-ranging list of seminal works in philosophy. He left out what is, in terms of poetry and other arts, arguably the most central figure of sight in modern era, namely Baudelaire’s flaneur in the crowd: “For the perfect flaneur, for the passionate spectator, it is an immense joy to set up house in the heart of the multitude, amid the ebb and flow of movement, in the midst of the fugitive and infinite. To be away from home and yet to feel oneself everywhere at home; to see the world, to be at the center of the world, and yet to remain hidden from the world…The spectator is a prince who everywhere rejoices in his incognito.” See discussion of Baudelaire and modernity in Frisby (1986, 17).
17. In this sense I will be following closely upon analysis done by Mi Jiayan (2004) in his Self-fashioning and Reflexive Modernity in Modern Chinese Poetry, 1919–1949. My approach will be to focus, however, on more literal self-portraiture, both in the poetry and in other visual art contexts.
18. This perspective is drawn from Lucie-Smith’s historical review “The Self-portrait—a background” in Lucie-Smith and Kelley (1987, 8–24).
19. Michelle Yeh (1998, 5–6) argued well that too much energy is wasted on the specious dichotomy of “traditional” and “modern” in the study of modern Chinese poetry.