Synthetic parallelism : a cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary study

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Journal article

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Tamkang Review: A Quarterly of Comparative Studies between Chinese and Foreign Literature

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synthetic parallelism, xing (hsing), correlative episteme, Foucault, Boodberg, Yeats, Robert Lowth, Jakobson, Jung, Pound


Parallelism which consists in the similar form of construction rather than in content is called by Robert Lowth as synthetic parallelism. It exemplifies correlative episteme which constitutes a universal mode of understanding and poetic expression in ancient folk traditions and which provides modern Western poets, critics, and philosophers with models of non-rational thought for their revolts against the representational episteme. It is a matrix of modern literary criticism in the sense that its multiple dimensions have been used in different ways by philological, Imagist, Romantic, Jungian, and Structuralist critics to vindicate their fundamental arguments on literature and truth. With little mutual encouragement, John F. Davis, Ezra Pound, Roman Jakobson hail xing (hsing), the Chinese synthetic parallelism, as an ideal model of non-representational thinking.

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Cai, Z.-q. (1989). Synthetic parallelism: A cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary study. Tamkang Review: A Quarterly of Comparative Studies between Chinese and Foreign Literature, 20(2), 151-168.