Changes in Modern Chinese Writers’ Connoisseurship

Social Sciences in China (Chinese Edition)

No.12, 2019


Changes in Modern Chinese Writers’ Connoisseurship



Yang Zi


As collectors, modern Chinese writers engaged in a kind of conscious cultural behavior involving continuation and transformation of the individual’s sense of the oneness of all things and dialectical thinking about the importation of foreign civilization. Under the influence of the scientific spirit and materialist thought of the New Culture Movement, they reconstructed the lineage of connoisseurship through renewal of historical artifacts and drew on foreign imports to reconstruct cultural patterns. In doing so, they assigned value to the items before them, establishing a new logic for collection and gradually achieving the modern transformation of traditional Chinese connoisseurship. Modern writers’ appreciation, expression and dissemination of the physical qualities of artifacts and their character as items for collection have made important contributions to the development of modern literature and culture in China. Interpretation of the meaning of modern writers’ connoisseurship can break through anthropocentric literary limitations, unearth the ultimate laws inherent in artifacts, and deepen the theory of materiality in literary and cultural history.