“Naturalness” in Emily Dickinson’s Poems Through a Contemporary Chinese Lens

Xiaodan WANG


Great literary works withstand the test of varied ages, cultures, and philosophies, displaying their unique charms from multiple perspectives. In recent years, postmodern theories have been applied to the analysis of Emily Dickinson’s poetry. Readers conduct close readings in indefinite ways, without referring to the cultural and historical contexts or information derived from the poet herself. At the same time, critics from all over the world reexamine Dickinson’s poems from the perspectives of diverse cultures, the Chinese culture included. However, Postmodernism and Chinese Daoism, two seemingly unrelated philosophies, could collaborate to demonstrate a different way of interpreting Dickinson’s poems. This paper selects three of Dickinson’s representative poems discussing the issue of “naturalness”, construes the texts respectively from a combined western postmodern and Chinese perspective, and thus offers a different angle to reevaluate Dickinson’s poetry.


Great literary works withstand the test of varied ages, cultures, and philosophies, displaying their unique charms from multiple perspectives. In recent years, postmodern theories have been applied to the analysis of Emily Dickinson’s poetry. Readers cond

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/11379


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