S. A. Serova. Chinese Theater - An Aesthetic Image of the World

Author: E. Shulunova

In 2005, a book by Russian academic Sinologist S. A. Serova called Chinese Theater - An Aesthetic Image of the World was published in Moscow. The purpose of this study, according to the author, was "to show the relative autonomy of the theater in China as an art form, as well as its place in the overall context of Chinese culture, in the trinity of Sky-Earth-Man, which excludes the opposition between the cultural and the human, and thus to show the phenomenon of theater as an aesthetic image of a unified world" (p. 16). S.A. Serova's monograph is the first study that takes a look at China's theatrical art in the system of a unified world. She designated approaches to this in her previous works, which included an article about the theater for the Encyclopedia of Chinese Spiritual Civilization published by RAS IFES.

The research hypothesis on which S. A. Serova's monograph is based continues the world - modeling conceptions of V. Alexeyev, R. Bart, Yu. Borev, A. Vasliyev, T. Grigoriyeva, V. Malyavin, M. Meterlink, L. Pozdneyeva, and J. Huizinga. What is more, it is relatively new. S. A. Serova suggests a spiritual world-modeling concept as the factor constituting the Chinese theater: "the theater stands before the audience like a mirror of the national culture, like an aesthetic image of the world. It is like a small drop in the flow of water and its integral part, it is an image of its integrity - without this drop, the flow is incomplete" (p. 46). Such a proposition poses several complicated and extensive tasks, the first of which is to justify the thesis that China's theatrical art is a "mirror of the national culture," its "aesthetic image." To do this, the correlation between the theater and the cosmos must be clarified on the basis of the Chinese cultural stereotype of Sky-Earth-Man; the musical nature of the theater defined, ...

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