Parallelism and Antithesis : Structural Principles in the Mind and in Literature from a Chinese Perspective

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-284
Journal / PublicationEuropean Review
Issue number2
Online published2 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


Roman Jakobson famously defined poetry as pivoting on the metaphorical axis with parallelism as a major feature, and James Kugel argues that parallelism is the defining feature of biblical poetry. The parallel structure-including its variations of symmetry and antithesis - is crucial for classical Chinese poetry. In drawing on both Chinese and Western critical views on the symmetrical structure of parallelism and antithesis, this paper will explore the relationship between the cognitive and linguistic correlation in the formation of parallel structure in literary language, particularly poetry, and argue for the basis of parallelism as deeply embedded in the mind and manifested in literary expressions.