Chapter

Prologue: The Story of a Stone

Michael Keevak

in The Story of a Stele

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print February 2008 | ISBN: 9789622098954
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882207608 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5790/hongkong/9789622098954.003.0001
Prologue: The Story of a Stone

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The Story of a Stele is a book about Western perceptions of a Chinese object, but it is not a book of sinology. It is also about Western presumptions and Western self-interest. It is believed that Westerners have yet to come to terms with the fact that during much of (Western) history very little was ever “known” about China. There was never any lack of information from missionaries and travelers and traders. The thesis of this book is that when Westerners discussed the stone they were not really talking about China at all. The author's own study, similarly, is undoubtedly incomplete, inaccurate, and insensitive, but he will allow himself the smallest bit of comfort in the fact that, despite these failings, it has at least been brought to a conclusion.

Keywords: China; Western perceptions; stone; Westerners

Chapter.  1864 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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