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Ghosts in the City: Mourning and Melancholia in Zhu Tianxin's The Old Capital

Ghosts in the City: Mourning and Melancholia in Zhu Tianxin's The Old Capital Jen-yi Hsu Paris changes... But in sadness like mine nothing stirs--new buildings, old neighborhoods turn to allegory, and memories weigh more than stone. --Charles Baudelaire, "Le Cygne" Haunting belongs to the structure of every hegemony. --Derrida, Specters of Marx Today, it seems to be out of fashion to talk about history and memory when the dominant discourse has already acknowledged the prevalence of the postmodern and the triumph of global capitalism. In response to the devolution of the Soviet Union and the defeat of communism, Francis Fukuyama proposes that the liberal democracy operating a capitalist system is the end point of human history and mankind.1 Accordingly, we have all happily reached the Promised Land where pluralistic democracies and market capitalism reign supreme, where the past human yearnings for freedom and emancipation have all been fulfilled and thereby questions of politics and revolutions now turn out to be redundant, where the pure presence of the global market system liberates human beings from previous errors and mistakes, including the burden of history, memory, and responsibility. Is this all true? Different from the positive tone he displays in former writing (notably The Postmodern Condition) concerning the postmodern's possibility of debunking the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Comparative Literature Studies Penn State University Press

Ghosts in the City: Mourning and Melancholia in Zhu Tianxin's The Old Capital

Comparative Literature Studies , Volume 41 (4)

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Publisher
Penn State University Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2004 by The Pennsylvania State University.
ISSN
1528-4212
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Abstract

Jen-yi Hsu Paris changes... But in sadness like mine nothing stirs--new buildings, old neighborhoods turn to allegory, and memories weigh more than stone. --Charles Baudelaire, "Le Cygne" Haunting belongs to the structure of every hegemony. --Derrida, Specters of Marx Today, it seems to be out of fashion to talk about history and memory when the dominant discourse has already acknowledged the prevalence of the postmodern and the triumph of global capitalism. In response to the devolution of the Soviet Union and the defeat of communism, Francis Fukuyama proposes that the liberal democracy operating a capitalist system is the end point of human history and mankind.1 Accordingly, we have all happily reached the Promised Land where pluralistic democracies and market capitalism reign supreme, where the past human yearnings for freedom and emancipation have all been fulfilled and thereby questions of politics and revolutions now turn out to be redundant, where the pure presence of the global market system liberates human beings from previous errors and mistakes, including the burden of history, memory, and responsibility. Is this all true? Different from the positive tone he displays in former writing (notably The Postmodern Condition) concerning the postmodern's possibility of debunking the

Journal

Comparative Literature StudiesPenn State University Press

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