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date: 26 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Participants in the May Fourth New Culture movement, such as Lu Xun, frequently invoked the concept of voice as a remedy for what they perceived as the “voiceless” China of the past with its superannuated script, language, and culture. This chapter complicates their invocation of “voice” by analyzing the political importance and concrete practices of voicing and recitation in Chinese poetic discourses of the 1930s. The different emphases on recitation proposed by the Poetry Reading Society and the China Poetry Society throw light on the agonistic relationship between voice and writing in the literary discourses of the first decades of the twentieth century. Furthermore, recitation and voicing played a key role in the ideal of language education proposed by Zhu Ziqing and others that shaped the modern voice in the literary history of China in the context of national-language education.

Keywords: Poetry Reading Society, China Poetry Society, recited poetry, language education

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