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Beyond SinologyChinese Writing and the Scripts of Culture$
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Andrea Bachner

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231164528

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231164528.001.0001

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(p.57) 2 Iconographies
Beyond Sinology

David Der-wei Wang

Columbia University Press

This chapter analyzes and complicates the symbolic link between the sinograph and visuality, most (in)famously embodied in the pictographic bias that equates Chinese writing and imagistic mimesis. It first scrutinizes early film and media theories that use ideographic and hieroglyphic writing to envision the new medium of moving pictures, giving rise to a whole tense critical tradition that attempts to keep image and text apart, while incessantly defining one through the other at the same time. It then explores examples of concrete poetry from Brazil, France, and Taiwan to show that the link between writing and visuality is not a simple equation, but rather a complex field in which different ideas about the visual and the graphic as well as different languages, media, and cultures interact.

Keywords:   Chinese script, Chinese writing, visuality imagistic mimesis, poetry, visuality

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