Dandan Chen


The concept of “world literature,” initiated by Goethe has become a reality. What follows naturally is the concept of “world literary theory” and related concepts such as “world poetics” and “global aesthetics.” However, up to the present, there has little substantial research growing out of the fusion of Eastern and Western theory and aesthetics. Mingdong Gu's recent book Fusion of Critical Horizons in Chinese and Western Language, Poetics, Aesthetics is a remarkable contribution. The book centers on the fundamentals of literature and art and covers almost all the major issues in related fields. It argues that world literature inevitably leads to world literary theory, and it presents concrete examples of how Chinese language and aesthetics can be fused with the Western counterparts so as to explore cross-cultural aesthetics. The book will be illuminating to scholars in such fields as world literature, comparative poetics, and literary theories. Through a critical review of the book, this article examines the achievements and weaknesses of Gu's book, reflects on its insights and possibilities for improvement, and explores approaches to move from world literature to world literary theory.


world literature, comparative poetics, world literary theory, global aesthetics, fusion of critical horizons

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