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The Chan's Great Continent, China in Western Minds
ISBN 0393027473 / 9780393027471 / 0-393-02747-3
Publisher W. W. Norton & Company
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Distinguished Yale historian Jonathan D. Spence examines the influence that China has long exercised on the Western imagination. Drawing on literary, historical, and travel writing from the 14th century to the present, he shows how the fabulations of medieval writers such as Marco Polo gave way to more factually minded reports from business travelers and diplomats. This then turned again to the exoticism of poets such as Ezra Pound and Charles Baudelaire, and in our time, returned to the realism of writers such as Pearl S. Buck and Edgar Snow. Spence's tour of these various ways of perceiving China yields a vigorous and interesting book that is of a piece with his many other studies of Chinese history. --Gregory MacNamee [via]