How to Construct the Public Interpretation Theory and China’s Contemporary Interpretation Study
Created On : 2017-10-18    Views : 288


On October 15, the “Public Interpretation Theory” academic seminar, sponsored by Shanghai Academy and China Literature Criticism Society, and co-sponsored by the University of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the Contemporary Chinese Literature Theory Research Center of CASS, was held at Shanghai Academy. The meeting centered on the academic view of “public interpretation theory” and gave analysis from multiple perspectives, in a bid to provide an important path and a methodological framework for the formation of China’s contemporary interpretation study. Zhang Jiang, Vice President of CASS and member of the Party group, chaired the meeting.

The “public interpretation theory” is another academy theory proposed by Zhang Jiang following the “compulsory interpretation theory”. Compared with the reflection and critical research of the “compulsory interpretation theory” on contemporary Western literature theories, the “public interpretation theory” has notable significance in the construction of theoretical and ideological frameworks. It shifts the attention from criticizing Western compulsory interpretation theories, to reconstructing Chinese literature criticism theories and establishing the public interpretation theory, and shows the efforts and charm of Chinese scholars in founding contemporary Chinese interpretation study.

In his speech, Zhang Jiang said, it’s the responsibility of Chinese literature theoretical researchers to move forward China’s contemporary interpretation study, propose the concepts and core scope of interpretation, and particularly establish and interpret the theoretical experience and logic with Chinese theories amid the general keynote of anti-rationalism, anti-fundamentalism and anti-logocentrism in mainstream Western interpretation study in the 20th century, as well as the non-rational, non-empirical, and non-definite theoretical discourse.

Attendees held in-depth discussion and exchanges about the “public interpretation theory” from multiple perspectives. Professor Li Qingchun from Beijing Normal University said, interpretation is a public behavior, and the effectiveness of interpretation is based on the public character of interpretation. As the cultural field or social community that the public character of interpretation relies on is a form of historical existence, any interpretation activity is conducted amid concrete historical contexts. That’s why the public character of literature interpretation is naturally diversified and has important influence on literature activities. According to Professor Zeng Jun from Shanghai University, “public interpretation” equals the “public character of interpretation”, and defines the fundamental attribute of literature interpretation. On the contrary, “individual interpretation” means interpretation of the individual character. It’s the difference between the public character and individual character of literature interpretation that leads to the divergence in literature interpretation theories. Professor Duan Jifang from South China Normal University said, viewing the public interpretation theory from three perspectives, i.e. western interpretation traditions, development of contemporary interpretation study in China and establishment of China’s contemporary literature interpretation theories, helps further discover and expand the theoretical inspiration of the public interoperation theory. China’s contemporary interpretation study can further draw on the public interpretation theory in terms of the ethics, values and legality of criticism, so as to improve the ability of comprehending cultural reality with theories. After explaining his understanding of the public interpretation theory, Professor Wang Que from Northeast Normal University said, there are some problems worth considering about both the compulsory interpretation theory and the public interpretation theory, such as what is the missing part about the interpretation of literature from the perspective of epistemology, how to view the legal discrimination against literature, how to present the peculiarity of literature as a form of language art, and whether different or common views are welcomed in the discourse community. Besides, attendees also carried out lively discussion about issues like “compulsory interpretation, public interpretation and proper interpretation”, “the theoretical values and effectiveness of public interpretation” and “public interpretation: the foundation for all the interpretation”.

More than 20 experts and scholars from Shanghai University, Southern University of Science and Technology, Beijing Normal University, Northeast Normal University, Northwest University, South China Normal University, Shandong Normal University, Heilongjiang University, Zhejiang Normal University, Shanghai Normal University, Shenzhen University and Henan University, as well as the Literature Research Institute of Hunan Academy of Social Science, Fudan University Journal, the Journal of Northwest University, and the Seeking Truth magazine were invited to the meeting. Zhang Zhengwen, Secretary of the Party Committee and Vice Executive President of the University of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and Wen Xueguo, Executive Vice President of Shanghai Academy, were present at the meeting.


(Article and photo by Xie Nini)