For many modernist writers, museum exhibitions of art and artifacts from ancient China provide a touchstone for the conceptual and linguistic innovations of the twentieth century. However, even critics who explore the influence of these exhibitions on modern literature, such as Zhaoming Qian, understand the museum’s effect in terms of how it shapes literary motifs, rather than considering the impact of broader curatorial principles that present China as an aestheticized emblem largely disengaged from the realities of its modern counterpart. This study considers how the museum informs modern literature’s fantasy of China as curated in the Little Magazines. First tracing the reception of Chinese antiquity through the institutional frame of the modern museum, I then proceed through an analysis of how the poetry and prose of the little magazines mirrors exhibitionary principles.


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pp. 124-142
Launched on MUSE
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