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The Imported Culture: Who is the Dummy?

Considering ‘Agency’ in the Circulation of Chinese Books in Europe During the XVII-XVIII Centuries

Arianna Magnani    Università Ca' Foscari Venezia, Italia    

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abstract

Between the 17th and 18th century the European ‘Republic of Letters’ was characterised by a great interest in the ‘Other’ and the fascination with different, ‘exotic’ cultures. In this cultural environment, the Jesuit missionaries in China acted as a ‘bridge’ between the two continents exchanging information and books from each side. This paper discusses the use of the concept of ‘agency’ as applied to Chinese books, analysing how they were subjected to actions and, in turn, were capable of action, in this specific European context. The aim of this paper is to reflect how the agency of these texts conflicts and coincides with the agency of other actors connected with this trans-cultural process.

Published
Dec. 6, 2018
Accepted
Oct. 4, 2018
Submitted
July 6, 2018
Language
EN

Keywords: JesuitsRepublic of LettersImported CultureChinese Book CollectionsCross-cultural transfer

Copyright: © 2018 Arianna Magnani. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.