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By Andrea Bachner

New communique and data applied sciences supply distinctive demanding situations and percentages for the chinese language script, which, in contrast to alphabetic or different phonetic scripts, is determined by a number of signifying rules. In fresh many years, this multiplicity has generated a wealthy corpus of mirrored image and experimentation in literature, movie, visible and function paintings, and layout and structure, inside of either China and varied components of the West.

Approaching this background from a number of substitute theoretical views, past Sinology displays at the chinese language script to pinpoint the a number of connections among languages, scripts, and medial expressions and cultural and nationwide identities. via a fancy examine of intercultural representations, exchanges, and tensions, the textual content makes a speciality of the concrete "scripting" of id and alterity, advancing a brand new knowing of the hyperlinks among id and medium and a critique of articulations that depend on unmarried, monolithic, and univocal definitions of writing.

Chinese writing--with its heritage of divergent readings in chinese language and non-Chinese contexts, with its present reinvention within the age of latest media and globalization--can educate us how one can learn and build mediality and cultural identification in interculturally accountable methods and likewise the best way to scrutinize, critique, and but get pleasure from and revel in the strong multi-medial creativity embodied in writing.

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17 A possible reason for an outcome that disappointed many supporters of the script reform movement can be located in the divergent objectives of the reform movement, indeed of the national idea, itself: popularization and unification. 19 Whereas classical Chinese presupposes—but does not linguistically impose—a standardized pronunciation, applying the phonetic principle to create a new Chinese script might radically challenge the idea of “Chinese” as one national language. 20 Where, according to many critics, the language reform had stopped short of complete success, from a different angle it had actually accomplished its aims.

To ensure a smoother reading process for an audience in an English-speaking publishing context, as well as to limit the book’s word count, I had to omit most original versions of quotations not in English, though I still provide references for the original passages. Where appropriate and important, I include key terms in the original. ABOUT IMAGES Pragmatic considerations have made it necessary to limit illustrations to a minimum. However, I generally provide references (often to websites) for images not reproduced in this book, though mentioned in my text.

Chapter 2, “Iconographies,” 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.

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