The Encounter between Cambridge Literary Criticism and China

Sha Ha


The purpose of the present paper is to study the impact of Cambridge Literary Criticism (CLC) on Chinese scholars, since the visit to Peking’s Tsinghua University by Prof. Igor Armstrong Richards, the initiator of CLC, in 1929, until present times. That first encounter signed the beginning of a fruitful intercultural communication activity between the two countries, which lasted for a decennial. Those contacts between the British literary world, imbued with the scientific spirit that was the basis of ‘Cambridge Criticism’, was very stimulating for the Chinese academic world, of that was being born. Unfortunately, those contacts were forcefully interrupted in 1939, in the raging of the anti-Japanese war. They resumed, with fruitful results, toward the end of last millennium, when the Chinese government issued a “Program for Education’s Reform and Development in China”. In present times the new movement of ‘Ethical Literary Criticism’ is developing in China by initiative of Prof. Nie Zhenzhao, from Peking’s ‘Central China Normal University’, who took inspiration from the works of the Cambridge literary critic Frank Raymond Leavis.


Scientific Revolution, Modernism, Cambridge Literary Criticism, Chinese Ethical Literary Criticism

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