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Thursday, February 23, 2023, at 4:00pm – 5:30pm EST

The Taste of Water in the Story of the Stone

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A lecture by Wai-yee Li

1879 Professor of Chinese Literature, Harvard University

The taste of water is an important component of tea connoisseurship, and discussions of the taste of water are especially prevalent in Ming and Qing writings on tea. Using an exchange on the taste of water in the eighteenth- century masterpiece The Story of the Stone as a starting point, the lecture will explore the genealogy of taste metaphors in the Chinese tradition. While vision claims a preeminent place in the Greek tradition and truth is understood in terms of hearing in the Jewish tradition, metaphors of taste play a major role in Chinese thought. Is the promise of taste metaphors fulfilled in scenes about taste or about other senses? What does the representation of taste and other senses in The Story of the Stone tell us about desire, enlightenment, and the boundaries of the self?

Emory University
Psychology and Interdisciplinary Sciences (PAIS) Building, Suite 270
36 Eagle Row
Atlanta, Georgia 30322