“Poets, What Can We Do?”: Pandemic Poetry in China’s Mobilization against COVID-19

Asian Studies

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Title “Poets, What Can We Do?”: Pandemic Poetry in China’s Mobilization against COVID-19
»Pesniki, kaj lahko naredimo?«: Pandemska poezija v času mobilizacije proti COVID-19 na Kitajskem
 
Creator Picerni, Federico
 
Subject contemporary Chinese poetry
pandemic poetry
China Writers Association
grassroots poetry
COVID-19
sodobna kitajska poezija
pandemična poezija
kitajska pisateljska zveza
ljudska poezija
COVID-19
 
Description The present paper investigates poetry written in China on the theme of the COVID-19 pandemic following the outbreak in January 2020, considered both as a social phenomenon and as literary texts. The analysis is primarily interested in considering the impact of the pandemic on poetry’s interaction with social reality. In order to do so, the essay follows two trajectories. Firstly, it explores the public role performed by poets in the nationwide popular mobilization that sustained the party-state’s effort to curb the epidemic, with a strong emphasis on poetry as a social practice, specifically in a time of crisis, as outlined by both the state and the authors themselves. Secondly, a close reading of selected texts shows the heterogeneity of standpoints adopted by poets in their individual understandings of their role during China’s anti-COVID mobilization effort, especially in relation with the “master narrative” advanced by the state. The paper demonstrates that the final configuration of China’s pandemic poetry was made possible by Chinese poetry’s longstanding tradition of social responsibility, and that the transgression of boundaries between the official and unofficial poetry scenes, and “amateur” and “professional” authors, was instrumental to promote poets’ public engagement.
Članek raziskuje poezijo, napisano na Kitajskem na temo pandemije COVID-19, po izbruhu januarja 2020, ki velja tako za družbeni pojav kot za literarna besedila. Analiza se prvenstveno ukvarja s preučevanjem vpliva pandemije na povezavo poezije z družbeno realnostjo. Izvedli smo jo po dveh poteh. Prvič, raziskuje javno vlogo pesnikov pri vsedržavni ljudski mobilizaciji, ki je podprla prizadevanja partije, da bi zajezila epidemijo, z močnim poudarkom na poeziji kot družbeni praksi, zlasti v času krize, kot so jo orisali avtorji in država. Drugič, natančno branje izbranih besedil kaže na heterogenost stališč, ki so jih pesniki prevzeli pri individualnem razumevanju svoje vloge med kitajskimi prizadevanji za mobilizacijo proti COVID-19, zlasti v zvezi z »glavno pripovedjo«, ki jo je predstavila država. Članek dokazuje, da je dokončno oblikovanje kitajske pandemične poezije omogočila dolgoletna tradicija kitajske poezije kot družbene odgovornosti in da je prestop meja med uradnimi in neuradnimi pesniškimi prizori ter »ljubiteljskimi« in »profesionalnimi« avtorji bistveno pripomogel k spodbuditvi javnega udejstvovanja pesnikov.
 
Publisher Znanstvena založba Filozofske fakulte / Ljubljana University Press, Faculty of Arts
 
Date 2022-01-19
 
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article
info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion
 
Format application/pdf
 
Identifier https://revije.ff.uni-lj.si/as/article/view/10197
10.4312/as.2022.10.1.123-153
 
Source Asian Studies; Vol. 10 No. 1 (2022): Special Issue: Crisis as Danger and Hope—Covid-19 in Asia; 123-153
Azijske študije; Letn. 10 Št. 1 (2022): Special Issue: Crisis as Danger and Hope—Covid-19 in Asia; 123-153
2350-4226
2232-5131
10.4312/as.2022.10.1
 
Language eng
 
Relation https://revije.ff.uni-lj.si/as/article/view/10197/10037
 
Rights Copyright (c) 2022 Federico PICERNI
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0
 

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