李教授用德语习语“Ich bin ein Kaiser von China”（“我是个中国皇帝”）引出中国封建帝王在德国文化以及德国文学中形象的话题。他指出，德国文学中的中国帝王形象不仅是对他者的艺术化想象和戏说，也对自身、即欧洲和德国社会起着反思和对照的作用。比如哲学家莱布尼茨将中国帝王及其背后的社会制度宣传为当时欧洲皇权统治的正面模板，这里的中国帝王可谓是“勤政爱民”的典范。也有海涅、卡夫卡等作家在作品中抽象化和文学化中国帝王形象，选取特定元素来影射当下时局、政局。当然也有反面例子，那就是德国作家比尔鲍姆根据《东周列国志》中著名的“烽火戏诸侯”故事改编成的小说《美丽的褒家姑娘》。小说中描绘了一位沉醉于爱情的帝王，他为得美人一笑，荒废朝政。
Young and Talented! Between the Chinese Emperor and German Poets
- An academic lecture by Prof. Shuangzhi Li in Freiburg
At 2rd May greeted the Confucius Institute Freiburg another academic and entertaining lecture by the young talented Professor Shuangzhi Li from Fudan University. His theme is “the Chinese Emperor and German Poets”.
Professor Li began with the German slang “Ich bin ein Kaiser von China” which raises the question of the image of Chinese emperor in German culture and literature. He pointed out that the Chinese emperor in German literature serves not merely as an exotic imagination of the others, but also as a critical reflection upon the society in Europe. A prominent example is the philosopher in Enlightenment Leibniz who took the Chinese Emperor and the ruling system behind as a role model for the European kingdoms. Further, Heine and Kafka also made pointed allusions by the image of Chinese Emperors in their texts to the emperors then. There are of course also negative examples. The writer Bierbaum’s novel “the beautiful young lady of Pao” is based on a well known Chinese story in “Chronicles of the Eastern Zhou Kingdoms”. He portrayed the Emperor as a “men in love” who prefered the smile of his beautiful lover rather than to govern the country.
In the discussion with the audience Professor Li indicated that stereotypical image in the literature should not be simplified as a repetition of the cultural stereotype in the real world, but an aesthetic transformation of it.
This lecture, as the chef of the Confucius Institute Freiburg Prof Zhihong Yin comments, showed us that the literature is very interesting and the study of it can also be entertaining.