Reflections from 一 to 龠

Chinese Punctuation Marks (新式标点符号) A New Pathway

Chinese Punctuation Marks (新式标点符号) A New Pathway

The past four years has involved something of a transformative process for me, moving from the “dissertation mindset” of my past (in grad school and with the first book) to the “second book mindset” of the present. At least in terms of how I’ve experienced this transition, my thinking has gone from delimitation to expansion, boundary-formation to inclusion, from saying “no” to unknown and unpredictable digressions, to saying “yes.” As part of my work on Chinese typewriting, I let myself say yes to a whole series of digressions that, after a somewhat circuitous and uncertain opening, ultimately brought me back to one or more of the themes I had encountered already – so not a “fork” in the road so much as an intersecting path that, after a few hours (or days, or weeks) of pursuing it blindly, returned me to the same vista or lake I had encountered before, but now from a strikingly new perspective. One of my more recent “productive digressions” has involved delving into the world of Chinese punctuation reform, beginning in the 1910s and extending into the 1950s – the so-called 新式标点符号 (Xinshi biaodian fuhao).

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>