Lena Rydholm - Professor of Chinese, Uppsala University
What is the role of Chinese theories of fiction in a globalized world? Is there something wrong with Western paradigms unable to fully accommodate Chinese literary experience? Can Chinese theories of fiction offer researchers in the West a deeper understanding of the “true” nature of fiction, and thereby put into question Eurocentric viewpoints and paradigms and contribute to the creation of more “objective” transcultural theories of fiction? I will try to answer these questions through discussing Chinese theories of fiction, in ancient and modern times, in the context of influential theories of fiction in the West: Gregory Currie’s The Nature of Fiction, Kendall Walton’s Mimesis and Make-Believe, and, in addition, to Gu Ming Dong’s Chinese Theories of Fiction: A Non-Western Narrative System. As I will show, there are certain obstacles to the creation of “truly” transcultural theories of fiction, besides the normative impact of Western theories, problems connected to the ideological foundation of theories of fiction in general and to the very “nature” of fiction itself.