Comparative Poetics in Chinese: Problems and Prospects

Xiaolu Wang and Yan Liu in their article “Comparative Poetics in Chinese”, point out two major problems in studying comparative literature. They are: the issue of translation of Western theories and the approaching foreign scholarship with narrow minded nationalism. The first problem related to the issue of translation is that not many Chinese scholars are able to read Western theories in the original language. As translation often regarded as a form of recreation, research based on translation will naturally lead to misunderstandings and misuse of western theories in the Chinese context. Second problem with study of comparative literature is discipline’s nation based orientation or even “narrow minded nationalism”. It’s because… Read More

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Doubt and Fear: Emotions versus Conditions

Fear is an emotion whereas doubt is a condition. Some kind of physical, social, cultural, political and psychological fear is very natural since human beings are “social animals” and their mind is shaped accordingly. In one hand, fear and doubt can be source of strength, on the other hand, they can be source of tragedy. However, if one can keenly observe and analyze their causes and solutions, then strength and healing arise out of tragedy and loss. Similarly, the source of doubt and fear is different according to person. In ‘Communist’, Richard Ford presents characters with full of doubt and fear. First, the narrator Les is full of doubt about… Read More

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How Human Relationship is Portrayed in Short Stories

Human relationship is the human’s capacity to make human contacts. Moreover, it’s about how we treat with people and how we connect our needs with relationships. The concept of love and its various dimensions are also come under human relationships. Love comes in many shapes and sizes. For example, a parent may be a child’s first love. After this family members, neighbors and different other environmental and cultural aspects can be the symbol of love. However, defining human relationships is very complex phenomena since the value of relationships is perceived in various way. Love is the central entity that develops, bounds and strengthen individual and social relationship. However, the concept… Read More

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Scholasticism

Scholasticism is the dominant western Christian theological and philosophical school of the Middle Ages. Merriam Webster Dictionary defines Scholasticism as “a philosophical movement dominant in western Christian civilization from the 9th until the 17th century and combining religious dogma with the mystical and intuitional tradition of patristic philosophy especially of St. Augustine and later with Aristotelianism.” According to Dictionary of Philosophy, “it is the university philosophy; academic philosophy: philosophy of the kind cultivated in the schools i.e. the medieval Christian universities (Mautner, 558).” The Middle Ages is marked by the influence of Christianity and many of the philosophers of the period were greatly concerned with proving the existence of God and reconciling Christianity with… Read More

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Beauty of Brilliant Blunders

Brilliant Blunders! Sounds funny? Recently I read an article in Project Syndicate written about brilliant blunders. In this article (the one you are reading) I am going to recapitulate the article titled “Brilliant Blunders” by Mario Livio, who has also written a book on the same topic. The writer argues that mistakes are essential for scientific progress. Moreover, “discovering what does not work is vital to learning what does.” The article starts with the statement of Thomas Alva Edison, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” This statement sums up a fundamental truth about scientific inquiry: “the progress in science is a complex, zigzag path, involving many false starts.”… Read More

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The Haunted House

The main gate of the building is carelessly filled with scattered books and documents. The stairway is dark. The windows and doors on the both sides are worn out, damaged and rugged. Most of the rooms are empty. The rooms are full of scattered documents, rugged furniture. Dead silence. Spider’s waves can be seen everywhere. The spiral shaped downstairs, which cannot be used without light, goes towards ground floor from the above storey. There is an unused library, an old kitchen including mountain of damaged tables, chairs and cupboards. A bad smell! There is the sound of water drops as if water has been leaked somewhere in the building. Many… Read More

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Benefits of Cultural Literacy

In “Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know (1987)”, Hirsch (1928) introduced the concept of cultural literacy “referring to the ability to understand and participate fluently in a given culture.” Dictionary.com defines cultural literacy as “the knowledge of history, contributions, and perspectives of different cultural groups, including one’s own group, necessary for understanding of reading, writing, and other media.” To be culturally literate is to understand the history and concepts that underline a culture, and to be able to converse fluently in the allusions and informal content of that culture. Cultural literacy is not only an academic topic rather it is related with our daily lives. Let us see how cultural literacy is… Read More

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