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The Chan's great continent : China in western minds

Author: Jonathan D Spence
Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton, ©1998.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"Jonathan Spence, our foremost historian of Chinese politics and culture, tells us in his new book how the West has understood China over seven centuries. Ranging from Marco Polo's own depiction of China and the mighty Khan, Kublai, in the 1270s to the China sightings of three twentieth-century writers of acknowledged genius - Kafka, Borges, and Calvino - Spence explores Western thought on China through a remarkable  Read more...
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Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Jonathan D Spence
ISBN: 0393027473 9780393027471
OCLC Number: 38257716
Description: xviii, 279 p. ; 25 cm.
Contents: TABLE OF CONTENTS --
The worlds of Marco Polo --
The Catholic century --
The realist voyages --
Deliberate fictions --
Matters of enlightenment --
Women observers --
China at home --
The French exotic --
An American exotic? --
Radical visions --
Mystiques of power --
Genius at play.
Responsibility: Jonathan D. Spence.

Abstract:

"Jonathan Spence, our foremost historian of Chinese politics and culture, tells us in his new book how the West has understood China over seven centuries. Ranging from Marco Polo's own depiction of China and the mighty Khan, Kublai, in the 1270s to the China sightings of three twentieth-century writers of acknowledged genius - Kafka, Borges, and Calvino - Spence explores Western thought on China through a remarkable array of expression." "Peopling Spence's account are Iberian adventurers, the great Jesuit missionaries, Enlightenment synthesizers including Voltaire and Montesquieu, spinners of the dreamy cult of Chinoiserie, American observers such as Bret Harte, Mark Twain, Ezra Pound, and Eugene O'Neill, and diplomats from Britain's Lord Macartney to Henry Kissinger. Their visions are alternately coarse and subtle, generous and vicious, sober and exotic. Taken together they tell us as much about the self-image of the West as about China."--Jacket.

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schema:reviewBody""Jonathan Spence, our foremost historian of Chinese politics and culture, tells us in his new book how the West has understood China over seven centuries. Ranging from Marco Polo's own depiction of China and the mighty Khan, Kublai, in the 1270s to the China sightings of three twentieth-century writers of acknowledged genius - Kafka, Borges, and Calvino - Spence explores Western thought on China through a remarkable array of expression." "Peopling Spence's account are Iberian adventurers, the great Jesuit missionaries, Enlightenment synthesizers including Voltaire and Montesquieu, spinners of the dreamy cult of Chinoiserie, American observers such as Bret Harte, Mark Twain, Ezra Pound, and Eugene O'Neill, and diplomats from Britain's Lord Macartney to Henry Kissinger. Their visions are alternately coarse and subtle, generous and vicious, sober and exotic. Taken together they tell us as much about the self-image of the West as about China."--Jacket."
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