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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.165) 5 Technographies
Beyond Sinology

David Der-wei Wang

Columbia University Press

The digital revolution of the past decades has spawned anxious reflections on the status of language, media, and, ultimately, human existence. For the Chinese language and its script, attitudes towards the digital revolution are divided into two camps. On the one hand, critics have prematurely started to bemoan the demise of the Chinese writing system and thus, by extension, of Chinese culture. On the other, the digital turn confirms for some that the sinograph has become the medium of choice, now more than ever, because of its alleged suitability for and compatibility with digital media. This chapter addresses sinographic reactions to the challenges of the digital turn. It analyzes artistic or pragmatic ways in which the Chinese script is brought closer to digital principles or to its visual output interfaces, while at the same time being invested with a nostalgic and material power in excess of, or even resistant to, the digital media revolution.

Keywords:   Chinese script, Chinese writing, Chinese pseudographic art, poetry, Internet, experimental poetry, digital media

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