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Ontological interpretation to build Chinese literary theory

The first high-level symposium jointly organized by Social Sciences in China Press (SSCP) and the China Literature Criticism Society themed “Modern Chinese Literary Theory: Reflection and Reconstruction” was held in Beijing from September 12 to 14. Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) vice president Zhang Jiang delivered the keynote speech. CASS secretary-general and SSCP editor-in-chief Gao Xiang also spoke at the event.


Zhang said “forced interpretation” has become the crucial crux of modern Western literary theory. The term refers to the phenomenon of interpreting a text based on the reader’s subjective presumption rather than logic or cognitive rules.

By contrast, Zhang said that “ontological interpretation” places the text at the core and relies on literature practices. Ontological interpretation is set to be the starting point for building the discourse system for modern Chinese literary theory.