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How to Read Chinese Poetry: A Guided Anthology : Reviewer's Truncated Second Thoughts

How to Read Chinese Poetry: A Guided Anthology : Reviewer's Truncated Second Thoughts 58 ChinaReviewInternational:Vol.17,No.1,2010 willaidstudentsinreadingpoemsaloud")orcommitting"asimpleEnglisherror"inpronoun reference(p.23). Isitpossibleatallthatanyintelligentreadercouldmistake"They"asreferringto"Chinese characters"ratherthan"romanizations"?Evenintheunlikelyeventthatareaderisdistractedby theendoftheprecedingsentence,suchadistractionwillbeimmediatelycorrectedbythe ensuingdiscussiononancientandmedievalpronunciation.Toensurethemisreadingof"They" desiredbyhim,however,McCrawleftoutthisdiscussiononpronunciation. 1)ApologiesforhavingmangledProf.Samei'sname! 2)Respondentsattackedmyreview--correctly--foritsbluntstyle.Reviewer regretssomecurmudgeonlyword-choices! 3)Thanks,Prof.Lin,forcorrectingacitation. 4)Problematic"rebuttals"demanddiscussion.Prof.Cai'spreface--recall-- madegrandclaimsforwhatincludingSinographswoulddoforundergraduates. Wequestionedthat;herebuts:"McCrawobviouslyconsiderstheinclusionofthe Chinesetextunnecessary."Hisrebuttalremindedmeoftheguywhocomplained tohistailoraboutabutton,anepaulet.Tailor:"you'reagainstcoats!"Withtailors andSinologists,onewatchesone'stone--orwearstheconsequences.Restoring luciditywilltakespace.Let'spursuejustoneloosethread,involvingSinographs. Sometimes,Prof.Caiseemedtoconfuse"characters"withwords.Hetriedtocite ChaoYuenRentosupportacontentionthat,sincetraditionalChinesecritics didn'tuse"words,"weshouldn'teither.1Well,traditionalChinesecriticswrotewith brushesmadefromrabbit's-hair;theyofferedthebriefestandmostunsystematic ofobservations,whichtheirintendedaudiencesapparentlyunderstood;andthey obeyedimperialtaboos.Needwe?Prof.Cai'scontinuedinsistenceonthequasimagicalpowerof"characters"hasunfortunaterepercussions.Oneexamplemust suffice:myreviewtookhimtotaskformisusingNorthropFrye'sdistinctions amongthreekindsofrhythm.Rebutting,Prof.CaiditchesFryeforadistinction between"character-based"and"sense-based"rhythm.Changingtermsdoesclarify that(Frye's)metricalrhythmcandivergefrom"semanticrhythm";here,Prof.Cai hasimprovedonhispreviousconfusingusages.Butwestillbalkat"characterbasedrhythm"forprosodicfeatures.Whathappenswhenwetrytoapplythisto hisbeloved"folksongs"and"oral-formulaic"poetry?Didfolksongsacquire "character-basedrhythm"onlyaftersomeonewrotethemdown?Didtheirsingers needliteratitoinformthemhowmanycharacterstosingbeforepausing,to completealine??Anotherreasonwhymodernlinguisticusageslike"syllable"and "word"oftenworkbetterthan"character." © 2011 by University of Hawai`i Press Responses&Replies 59 4a)Duetoeditorialerrorandmiscommunication,myresponsehasgotten truncated.Nochancetoilluminemisunderstandingsabout"Anachronism: Zhuangzi,Dreams,`Reality'"(Prof.Lian),"SinographsandLanguageChange,"and "ArgumentfromLess-than-silence:SingingQuatrains"(Prof.Egan).CRIwon't allowreferencetoonlineforumsandenjoinsmefromonlinediscussion.Readers maycontactme,samizdat-style,forfullerresponse. DavidMcCraw NOTE 1. ButChao'shumorousapologeticsoughtonlytoexplainindigenoususetoskeptical linguists,nottoadvocateitsadoptionininterlingualcontexts.Prof.CaialsotriestoclaimBaxter/ Sagartinsupport,butitwouldastonisheveryoneifhecouldhaveproducedacitation.Even linguistsmightadmireProf.Cai'ssemi-magnificentobsession,ifonlyiconolatrydidnotmislead youngreaders. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png China Review International University of Hawai'I Press

How to Read Chinese Poetry: A Guided Anthology : Reviewer's Truncated Second Thoughts

China Review International , Volume 17 (1) – Mar 1, 2010

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Abstract

58 ChinaReviewInternational:Vol.17,No.1,2010 willaidstudentsinreadingpoemsaloud")orcommitting"asimpleEnglisherror"inpronoun reference(p.23). Isitpossibleatallthatanyintelligentreadercouldmistake"They"asreferringto"Chinese characters"ratherthan"romanizations"?Evenintheunlikelyeventthatareaderisdistractedby theendoftheprecedingsentence,suchadistractionwillbeimmediatelycorrectedbythe ensuingdiscussiononancientandmedievalpronunciation.Toensurethemisreadingof"They" desiredbyhim,however,McCrawleftoutthisdiscussiononpronunciation. 1)ApologiesforhavingmangledProf.Samei'sname! 2)Respondentsattackedmyreview--correctly--foritsbluntstyle.Reviewer regretssomecurmudgeonlyword-choices! 3)Thanks,Prof.Lin,forcorrectingacitation. 4)Problematic"rebuttals"demanddiscussion.Prof.Cai'spreface--recall-- madegrandclaimsforwhatincludingSinographswoulddoforundergraduates. Wequestionedthat;herebuts:"McCrawobviouslyconsiderstheinclusionofthe Chinesetextunnecessary."Hisrebuttalremindedmeoftheguywhocomplained tohistailoraboutabutton,anepaulet.Tailor:"you'reagainstcoats!"Withtailors andSinologists,onewatchesone'stone--orwearstheconsequences.Restoring luciditywilltakespace.Let'spursuejustoneloosethread,involvingSinographs. Sometimes,Prof.Caiseemedtoconfuse"characters"withwords.Hetriedtocite ChaoYuenRentosupportacontentionthat,sincetraditionalChinesecritics didn'tuse"words,"weshouldn'teither.1Well,traditionalChinesecriticswrotewith brushesmadefromrabbit's-hair;theyofferedthebriefestandmostunsystematic ofobservations,whichtheirintendedaudiencesapparentlyunderstood;andthey obeyedimperialtaboos.Needwe?Prof.Cai'scontinuedinsistenceonthequasimagicalpowerof"characters"hasunfortunaterepercussions.Oneexamplemust suffice:myreviewtookhimtotaskformisusingNorthropFrye'sdistinctions amongthreekindsofrhythm.Rebutting,Prof.CaiditchesFryeforadistinction between"character-based"and"sense-based"rhythm.Changingtermsdoesclarify that(Frye's)metricalrhythmcandivergefrom"semanticrhythm";here,Prof.Cai hasimprovedonhispreviousconfusingusages.Butwestillbalkat"characterbasedrhythm"forprosodicfeatures.Whathappenswhenwetrytoapplythisto hisbeloved"folksongs"and"oral-formulaic"poetry?Didfolksongsacquire "character-basedrhythm"onlyaftersomeonewrotethemdown?Didtheirsingers needliteratitoinformthemhowmanycharacterstosingbeforepausing,to completealine??Anotherreasonwhymodernlinguisticusageslike"syllable"and "word"oftenworkbetterthan"character." © 2011 by University of Hawai`i Press Responses&Replies 59 4a)Duetoeditorialerrorandmiscommunication,myresponsehasgotten truncated.Nochancetoilluminemisunderstandingsabout"Anachronism: Zhuangzi,Dreams,`Reality'"(Prof.Lian),"SinographsandLanguageChange,"and "ArgumentfromLess-than-silence:SingingQuatrains"(Prof.Egan).CRIwon't allowreferencetoonlineforumsandenjoinsmefromonlinediscussion.Readers maycontactme,samizdat-style,forfullerresponse. DavidMcCraw NOTE 1. ButChao'shumorousapologeticsoughtonlytoexplainindigenoususetoskeptical linguists,nottoadvocateitsadoptionininterlingualcontexts.Prof.CaialsotriestoclaimBaxter/ Sagartinsupport,butitwouldastonisheveryoneifhecouldhaveproducedacitation.Even linguistsmightadmireProf.Cai'ssemi-magnificentobsession,ifonlyiconolatrydidnotmislead youngreaders.

Journal

China Review InternationalUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Mar 1, 2010

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