Frankenstein vs. dracula: Romanticisms and the ideologies of poetry in contemporary China

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


We have never stopped resurrecting and reanimating the monsters of Romanticism - even contemporary Chinese poetry’s interrelationship with world literature can be divided into terms set by Frankenstein’s monster and Dracula. Looking at a recent debate between poets Xi Chuan and Wang Ao, I examine the assumptions behind their disagreement and conclude that the latter represents the vampiric while the former represents the Frankensteinian. In other words, where Wang Ao wants poetry that sucks the blood of Romantic ideology, Xi Chuan is interested in creating what I call a Frankensteinian hybrid, to both absorb what he sees as the best of that ideology even as he combats it at its worst. Arguing for the ethics of hybridity, this chapter attempts to move the question of the definition of Chinese literary modernity toward a consideration of how Chinese literature should respond to modernity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationReading China against the Grain
Subtitle of host publicationImagining Communities
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781000216516
ISBN (Print)9780367406653
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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