Discovered Other, Recovered Self

Layers of Representation in an Early Travelogue on the West (Xihai jiyou cao, 1849)

in Journeys
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The long and complex history of China’s discovery of the West is marked by a high resistance of the ‘public mind’ against the penetration not only of ideas from the West, but also of ideas and news about the West.1 At least since the first Jesuits came to the Chinese court, a good deal of information about the West has been made available, but within the broad and tightly knit network of information channels, it seems to have been digested into virtual obliteration.