On the morning of November 19, 2020, professor Wu Xiaodong from The Department of Chinese Language and Literature of Peking University gave an academic lecture entitled "Chinese Humanist: New Exploration of Qian Zhongshu" at the invitation of the State Key Discipline of Chinese Modern and Contemporary Literature of our college. The lecture was hosted by Professor Tan Guilin, head of Modern and Contemporary Chinese Literature, and listened to online by teachers and graduate students majoring in the same subject.
Wu Xiaodong is a professor of Chinese literature at Peking University, a distinguished professor of humanities at Peking University. He has written the Sun and Suffering, Symbolism and Modern Chinese Literature, Water World, From Kafka to Mr Kundera—the Novels and Novelists in the 20th Century, the Lamp of the Poetic of the Literature, the Poetry of the Twentieth Century, the Fate of Literariness, the Scenery of Shanghai in the 1930s Literature, Marker of the Dream, the Sorrow, the Ruins, So Happy, So Sad.
In the lecture, Professor Wu put forward his question in the prospective of Chinese Humanist, a judgement by the American Sinologist Ted Huters, that since Qian Zhongshu, in Weicheng’s preface in 1946, actually intended to reduce humans to animals, which is against the western humanism’s ideological trend from the understanding of human, why should we treat him as a humanist from China? Therefore, it is in this judgment and doubt that Professor Wu's following narration develops while his argumentation and annotation work. Despite a lack of obvious mention of battle field or major historical events, ubiquitous war, ways into the novel’s narrative process, the topic of space and the characters' daily life situations by means of analogy and metaphor, forming a total war context, which constitutes the core of metaphor rhetoric as a satire of war discourse form. So to speak, Professor Wu’s salvage for Qian Zhongshu as a humanist, actually reveals how the Chinese writers explore new form of novel in their own way, thus forming a human crisis of Qian Zhongshu's unique narration way, which is special experience contributed by Chinese writers hardened by war to the ideological trend of humanism in the first half of the 20th century, providing novel horizons and degrees for our understanding the living and writing of intellectuals in wartime.
At last, the lecture was successfully concluded in Professor Tan Guilin's wonderful summary.