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Research Article

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    



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.

Keywords: Jesuits. Chinese Book Collections. Republic of Letters. Cross-cultural transfer. Imported Culture.

Language: en

Submitted: July 6, 2018
Accepted: Oct. 4, 2018
Published: Dec. 6, 2018

permalink: http://doi.org/10.30687/AnnOr/2385-3042/2018/01/026

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License