Nanjing, a city that served as the capital of multiple Chinese dynasties, has experienced repeated cycles of prosperity and conquest. In this talk, Prof. Dr. Yang Zhiyi (J.W. Goethe Universität, Frankfurt a.M.) examines how “meditating on the past” after the Rape of Nanjing became virtually impossible. In particular, the weight of memory at Nanjing was reflected in the classical-style poems by poets in Wang Jingwei’s collaborationist regime, established under the Japanese patronage at Nanjing in 1940. The ways in which Wang and his followers treated this topic become a case study on the complex of cultural memory, political legitimization, and literary representation in occupied China.
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