The lure of China:writers from Marco Polo to J.G. Ballard

點閱:4

作者:by Frances Wood

出版年:c2009

出版社:Joint Publishing (H.K.) Co. Ltd.

ISBN:978-962-04-2739-8 ; 962-04-2739-4

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For over 2,000 years, the West has been fascinated by China. From vague Roman tales of silent silk merchants to eyewitness accounts of war by Martha Gellhorn and Christopher Isherwood, stories of China have attracted readers. Medieval travellers like Marco Polo combined fact and fiction, creating a romantic picture of an exotic land by interspersing brief descriptions of Chinese cities with lurid accounts of islands peopled by monsters. Jesuit observers and European diplomatic missions sought to correct the more fantastic ideas of China with firsthand descriptions.

Explorers like Sven Hedin and Sir Aurel Stein were drawn to the Silk Road and its buried treasures, while French writers like Paul Claudel and André Malraux filtered China through their own preoccupations. Romantic novelists like Ann Bridge and Vicki Baum achieved fame with fiction set in Peking and Shanghai. Somerset Maugham’s more cynical views were reflected in a series of Chinese vignettes, while hardened journalists like Peter Fleming flocked to China, where aesthetes like Harold Acton, Osbert Sitwell and Denton Welch listened to the whistling of flocks of pigeons and collected curios.

So many visitors wrote accounts of what they saw that ‘it was as if China made writers of them all,’ observes Frances Wood, for whose remarkably extensive selections from the vast library of fiction, memoir and travelogue this book can be thoroughly relished. Illustrated with photographs and printed images from collections in Europe, America and China, her book shows how the people, cities, food, language, flora, art, architecture and wars of China have appeared to Western writers and appealed to their imaginations across eight centuries.

Frances Wood studied Chinese at the Universities of Cambridge, Peaking and London. She is a Curator of the Chinese collections in the British Library. She has travelled widely in China and written extensively on many aspects of Chinese culture. Her books include: Chinese Illustration (1986), A Companion to China (1989), The Blue Guide to China (1990, 2002), Did Marco Polo Go to China? (1996), No Dogs and Not Many Chinese: Treaty Port Life in China 1841-1943 (1998), Hand Grenade Practice in Peking: My Part in Cultural Revolution (2000), The Silk Road (2002), The Forbidden City (2005) and The First Emperor (2007).

  • 1 INTRODUCTION(第7頁)
  • 2 MARCO POLO AND THE MISSIONARIES(第13頁)
  • 3 FABULOUS CATHAY AND THE AGE OF DISCOVERY(第33頁)
  • 4 JESUIT CHINA(第41頁)
  • 5 NIEUHOFF’S ACCOUNT(第57頁)
  • 6 DANIEL DEFOE ON CHINA(第69頁)
  • 7 LORD MACARTNEY(第77頁)
  • 8 DIPLOMATIC CHINA(第95頁)
  • 9 MALRAUX IN THE CHINESE REVOLUTION(第115頁)
  • 10 SOMERSET MAUGHAM ON CHINA(第125頁)
  • 11 STELLA BENSON(第135頁)
  • 12 ANN BRIDGE(第145頁)
  • 13 TRAVELLERS(第159頁)
  • 14 OLD ETONIANS IN CHINA(第177頁)
  • 15 BLOOMSBURY IN CHINA(第197頁)
  • 16 PIONEERING JOURNALISTS(第211頁)
  • 17 WARTIME VISITORS(第225頁)
  • 18 COLLECTING CHINA(第245頁)
  • 19 SHANGHAI(第259頁)
  • 20 CHILDHOOD IN CHINA(第271頁)
  • ILLUSTRATION ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS(第284頁)
  • INDEX(第286頁)
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