舒斯特曼的新实用主义美学下的《草叶集》解读

日期:2020-05-27 作者: 硕博论文网 编辑:vicky 点击次数:126
论文价格:0 论文编号: sb2020052413085831206 论文字数:43655 所属栏目:英语论文
论文地区: 论文语种:其他 论文用途:其他
本文是一篇英语论文,回顾《草叶集》的历史,人们不禁感叹这首诗是如何被今天的艺术圈所珍视的。过去人们常常责怪它。然而,它终于经受了多年的考验,掌握了今天应有的东西。
本文是一篇英语论文,回顾《草叶集》的历史,人们不禁感叹这首诗是如何被今天的艺术圈所珍视的。过去人们常常责怪它。然而,它终于经受了多年的考验,掌握了今天应有的东西。其实,《草叶集》的成功与实用主义美学精神有着密切的关系。惠特曼通过对《草叶集》的创作,坚持探索实用主义元素。假设惠特曼对实用主义元素的追求受到著名实用主义者杜威的影响。惠特曼是杜威的密友,他深受杜威实用主义美学的影响(加里森,“沃尔特惠特曼,约翰杜威和原始艺术传播”137)。然而,读者发现惠特曼绝不仅仅是杜威的追随者或支持者。他丰富和发展了杜威创立的实用主义美学,正如舒斯特曼所做的那样。因此,本论文的目的在于揭示《草叶集》中真实存在的、对惠特曼的创作实践具有指导意义的实用主义美学元素。

Chapter One INTRODUCTION

1.1 An Introduction to Whitman and Leaves of Grass
Walt  Whitman  was  born  in  Long  Island.  His  ancestors  were  English  and  Dutch farmers. His father lived in the age of first revolution. Bored of seeing the cruelty of war, his  family  hankered  for  a  democratic  and  stable  future.  In  1819,  Walt  Whitman  was born  and  his  family  left  for  Brooklyn.  His  father  expected  to  build  frame  houses  to make  a  fortune  but  the  expectations  backfired.  The  poverty  of  the  family  forced  little Walt to work in a young age. Whitman successively undertook several jobs, such as an apprentice in a printer house, a rural teacher. Although he received no training or formal education, He kept learning by  himself.  Later, he became  a journalist in Kansas Press and  wrote  the  famous  Specimens  Day  enlightened  by  his  experience  here.  Apart  from this,he also worked as a nurse during the American Civil War, which was reflected in the Leaves of Grass. In 1855, Whitman published his masterpiece Leaves of Grass with his own money and lost his job in the Department of interior.  In 1873, Walt Whitman suffered  from  a  paralytic  stroke  and  was  induced  to  his  brother  George  Washington Whitman’s home. In 1891, he finished a final edition (which has been called “deathbed edition”) of Leaves of Grass. In 1892, Whitman died.  
Leaves of Grass, as Whitman’s masterpiece, was first published in 1855 and later gradually  revised  until  Whitman’s  death.  This  work  includes  many  critical  issues  in contemporary  America,involving  democracy  and  freedom,  individualism,  Patriotism and  the  relationship  between  human  community  and  nature  and  so  on.  Whitman’s pioneering use of free verse in this work, also drew many later writers to imitate.
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1.2 Literature  Review  about  Whitman  and  Leaves  of Grass
1.2.1 Studies at home
Whitman is known as the father of American poems. His free verse poems break the forms of traditional English poetry. Meanwhile, Whitman has been considered as a moralist and his thoughts can enlighten us to deal with social problems. Therefore, there are so many people digging into the sea of Whitman’s poems. So far, Chinese scholars have done many studies on Leaves of Grass.
Firstly, the topic of equality in the Leaves of Grass has drawn scholars’ attentions in the poems. Leaves of Grass contains abundant elements of democracy and freedom. And  since  equality  is  the  important  part  of  democracy,  Leaves  of  Grass  indirectly condemns  the  white  domination  and  shows  strong  empathy  towards  the  black  society and  expects  people  to  communicate  with  mutual  respects,  which,  to  a  large  extent, reveals the element of equality. Deng Yin (1999) proposed that democracy and freedom were the basis of Leaves of Grass and she found that when people prepare to deal with natural  problems,  nature  should  be  given  equal  attentions  just  like  people.  Chen Yongzhi (2003) reckoned that Leaves of Grass shared the similar opinions of pantheism with Goddess written by Guo moruo. They doubted about the inequality inside morality  and law and both of them expected the equality will finally come to the world.
Secondly,  scholars  also  do  some  researches  on  the  images  of  Leaves  of  Grass, such as “Grass”, “Sea” and “I”. Zhu Chunlin (2005) focused on the image of “Grass” and found that “Grass” had at least four meanings. Detailly speaking, “Grass” can refer to a strong power over evilness; or indicate a developing American society. At the same time,  it  also  can  be  used  to  praise  numerous  American  people  devoting  themselves  to the construction of America; it can reflect Whitman’s hope towards American society as  well.  Wang  Xia  (2008)  furthered into the research of “I” in  the  Leaves  of  Grass, proposing  the  following  three  questions:  what  is  people;  who  I  am;  what’s  the relationship between infinity and finiteness.
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Chapter Two WHITMAN’S PURSUIT OF AESTHETIC EXPERIENCE EXPRESSED IN LEAVES OF GRASS

2.1 Whitman’s  Challenge  to  Barriers  of  Aesthetic Experience in Leaves of Grass
Aesthetic  experience  is  considered  as  the  core  of  our  compositions  and  an  active role  in  rethinking  and  reshaping  art  (“Pragmatist  Aesthetics”  45).  In  the  traditional system of aesthetics, the autonomy and autocracy of aesthetic education have a strong impact on literature creation. However, they gradually become the fetters to search for abundant  aesthetic  experience.  Therefore,  Whitman  tries  to  break  the  fetters  of autonomy and protest against the aesthetic education. 
2.1.1 Whitman’s breakthrough of autonomy
Autonomy has long been considered as the basis of art and as well as the standard of fine art, since it uses its sole gauge to normalize the forms of literature productions and allocations.  However,  such  kind  of  normalization  also  can  be  considered  as  a  fetter restricting writer’s creation of poetic forms in the content and form.
As  for  the  content,  autonomy  fixes  the  meanings  of  words  inside  the  books  and refuses to change in terms of the alteration of different people’s emotional feelings and life  experience.  Then,  when  it  comes  to  the  form,  especially  in  the  area  of  poetry, autonomy  only  encourages  poets  to  imitate  those  previous  great  bards,  for  instance, Shakespeare,  Wordsworth,  Byron  and  so  on.  Both  restrictions  of  content  and  form strongly forbid people from pursuing aesthetic experience. 
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2.2 Whitman’s Exploration of the Meaning of Aesthetic Experience in Leaves of Grass
Whitman  believes  that  aesthetic  experience  entails  the  fundamental  role  in  artistic creation;  moreover,  people  also  still  need  to  keep  the  distance  between  aesthetic experience  and  their  life  experience.  Dramatization  is  good  form  to  utilize  aesthetic experience and keep the relative distance with aesthetic experience.
2.2.1 Aesthetic  experience  entailing  the  fundamental  role  in artistic creation
Aesthetic  experience  is  a  deep  and  natural  human  need  and  Whitman  is  just  a great user of aesthetic experience. Through his  use of aesthetic experience,  which he finds that on the one hand, aesthetic experience can provide profound resources for his writings.  To  take  Leaves  of  Grass  as  an  example,  it  has  been  produced  like  a  dairy. And  in  this  work,  Whitman  records  nearly  everything  he  has  heard  with  his sophisticated considerations. On the other hand, Whitman’s personal attitude can be proved  and  refined  through  the  evidence  of  aesthetic  experience.  Whitman  has perfectly  shown  that  aesthetic  experience  actually  provides  him  with  many  resources through his description in the Song of Joys:
The inspiration of this section comes from Whitman’s experience of going onto the ship.  The  core  word  “joys”  largely  owes  to  the  natural  human  needs  from  the passengers. A Song of Joys can obviously manifests the aesthetic experience. Whitman first  organizes  many  episodes  of  motions.  By  means  of  accumulating  these  life experiences, Whitman composes a beautiful poem for the expression of joys through the scenes  of  “dancing,  clapping  hands  and  other  motions”.  These  motions  come  from people’s natural feelings but the poet is still eager for the best guidance of “the noblest and  most  intense  joys  of  contemplations”. The integration of these motions can help Whitman convey  great satisfaction and vigor to  people,  and further put forward that  a good  scholar  should  pursue  a  memorable  and  ultimate  satisfying  episodes  of  living ( Frank, “Aesthetic Democracy: Walt Whitman and the Poetry of the People” 411).
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Chapter Three WHITMAN’S COMPREHENSION OF SOMAESTHETICS SHOWN IN THE LEAVES OF GRASS ...............33
3.1  Whitman’s Exploration of the Perceptive Function in   Leaves of Grass ........ 33
3.1.1  Whitman’s analysis of body’s gestures ............................... 34
3.1.2  Whitman’s perception of the body taste .............................. 35
Chapter Four WHITMAN’S DIRECT DEFENSE OF POPULAR ART BY HIS WRITING PRACTICE OF LEAVES OF GRASS .............47 4.1  Whitman’s Absorption of Sources from Popular Art in Leaves of Grass ......... 47
4.1.1  Whitman drawing sources from the civilian topics ................................... 48
4.1.2  Whitman obtaining sources from the political topics ................................ 50
Chapter Five CONCLUSION ................................. 65
5.1  Academic Discoveries .................................... 65
5.2  Limitations of Thesis ................................. 67

Chapter Four WHITMAN’S DIRECT DEFENSE OF POPULAR ART BY HIS WRITING PRACTICE OF LEAVES OF GRASS

4.1   Whitman’s Absorption of Sources from Popular Art in Leaves of Grass
Popular art inclines to the ordinary people and thus it is generally called “mass art”. Therefore, it is sensitive about civilian topics taking place in the community of ordinary people.  Meanwhile,  it  is  also  obsessive  with  political  topics.  Unlike  high  art  based  on the  classic  works,  popular  art  underlines  the  function  of  local  cultural  environment. Leaves of Grass is just a popular work for American society and it draws sources from popular art. Firstly, Whitman focuses on the civilian topics in Leaves of Grass; secondly, Whitman  bluntly  discusses  about  the  political  topics  in  Leaves  of  Grass;  last  but  not least, Whitman also cares about the local culture problems in Leaves of Grass.
4.1.1 Whitman drawing sources from the civilian topics
It  is  intrinsically  right  for  Whitman  to  borrow  sources  from  popular  art.  Such action provides part of the thick sense of interconnectedness which enriches a cultural tradition (“Pragmatist Aesthetics” 175). For popular art, it is apt to choose topic quite close to civilian people’s lives. And such topic is so close civilian people’s lives that can cause  strong  empathy  among  civilian.  Coincidentally,  Whitman  also  discovers  the potential  of  civilian  topics  in  the  literature  composition.  As  a  result,  he  intentionally utilizes  them  in  his  poem.  In  Whitman’s  age,  there  are  two  big  events  enormously changing  civilian  lives.  In  the  economic  sphere,  Industrial  Revolution  turns  into  an overwhelming wave promoting America to achieve economic prosperity; in the military sphere,  the  launch of Civil War constantly impinges on American people’s lives and causes  the  turmoil  in  their  normal  lives.  Anyway,  both  of  them  have  changed  civilian lives  but  these  events  have  been  given  little  attention  by  many  poets.  Nevertheless, Whitman intends to unveil these neglected topics by means of his poems. 
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Chapter Five CONCLUSION

5.1 Academic Discoveries
When  looking  back  the  history  of  Leaves  of  Grass, people can’t help exclaiming how the poem has been long cherished by today’s circle of art. It used to be blamed in the past. However, it finally goes through the test of years and grasps what it deserves today.  Actually,  the  success  of  Leaves  of  Grass  has  close  relationship  with  Pragmatist Aesthetic  spirit.  Whitman  has  persisted  in  the  exploration  of  pragmatist  elements through  his  composition  of  Leaves  of  Grass. It is assumed that Whitman’s pursuit of Pragmatist elements are affected by the famous pragmatist—John Dewey. Whitman is a close friend with Dewey and he is deeply affected by Dewey’s Pragmatist Aesthetics (Garrison, “Walt Whitman, John Dewey and Primordial Artistic Communication” 137). However, readers find that Whitman is never merely the follower or supporter of Dewey. He  enriches  and  develops  Pragmatist  Aesthetics  founded  by  Dewey  just  like  what Richard  Shusterman  does.  Therefore,  the  purpose  of  the  thesis  is  to  discover  the Pragmatist  Aesthetics  elements  which  have  genuinely  existed  in  the  Leaves  of  Grass and functioned as an instructive thought for Walt Whitman’s writing practice.  
Generally  speaking,  Whitman  in  his  Leaves  of  Grass  has  discussed  about Pragmatist  Aesthetics  in  depth,  circling  around  the  key  points  of  aesthetic  experience, Somaesthetics and popular art. 
First of all, Leaves of Grass has persisted in the search of aesthetic experience. As is known to us, Whitman has always positioned himself as an American poet and he is eager  to  create  a  brand-new  standard  for  American  poems.  Therefore,  he  innovatively manages to borrow the standard of aesthetic experience from the pragmatist Aesthetics to  test  his  poems.  And  according  to  his  consideration,  the  major  concern  about  his composition  is  the  fulfillment  of  aesthetic  experience.  Whitman  takes  aesthetic experience  as  the  gauge  of  his  composition,  which  can  best  liberate  Whitman’s expressions  from  traditional  works.  In  order  to  fulfill  the  expression  of  aesthetic experience,  Whitman  attempts  to  balance  life  experiences  with  the  poet’s  attitudes which is the core of the fulfillment of aesthetic experience. And at last, by means of the form  of  dramas,  Whitman  succeeds  in  fulfilling  aesthetic  experience.  Besides,  in response to the interpretation of aesthetic experience in the poems, Whitman follows the three  principles  of  multiple  interpretation  (proposed  by  Richard  Shusterman) —pluralistic, open and innovative principles. Anyway, Whitman fulfillment of aesthetic experience is a meaningful attempt for compositional innovation. 
reference(omitted)


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