Detour and Access: Strategies of Meaning in China and Greece

Detour and Access: Strategies of Meaning in China and Greece

by Fran?ois Jullien
     
 

ISBN-10: 1890951110

ISBN-13: 9781890951115

Pub. Date: 03/01/2004

Publisher: Zone Books

In what way do we benefit from speaking of things indirectly? How does such a distancing allow us better to discover — and describe — people and objects? How does distancing produce an effect? What can we gain from approaching the world obliquely? In other words, how does detour grant access? Thus begins Francois Jullien's investigation into the strategy,

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Overview

In what way do we benefit from speaking of things indirectly? How does such a distancing allow us better to discover — and describe — people and objects? How does distancing produce an effect? What can we gain from approaching the world obliquely? In other words, how does detour grant access? Thus begins Francois Jullien's investigation into the strategy, subtlety, and production of meaning in ancient and modern Chinese aesthetic and political texts and events. Moving between the rhetorical traditions of ancient Greece and China, Jullien does not attempt a simple comparison of the two civilizations. Instead, he uses the perspective provided by each to gain access into a culture considered by many Westerners to be strange — "It's all Chinese to me" — and whose strangeness has been eclipsed through the assumption of its familiarity. He also uses the comparison to shed light on the role of Greek thinking in Western civilization.Jullien rereads the major texts of Chinese thought — The Book of Songs, Confucius's Analects, and the work of Mencius and Lao-Tse. He addresses the question of oblique, indirect, and allusive meaning in order to explore how the techniques of detour provide access to subtler meanings than are attainable through direct approaches. Indirect speech, Jullien concludes, yields a complex mode of indication, open to multiple perspectives and variations, infinitely adaptable to particular situations and contexts.

Concentrating on that which is not said, or which is spoken only through other means, Jullien traces the benefits and costs of this rhetorical strategy in which absolute truth is absent.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781890951115
Publisher:
Zone Books
Publication date:
03/01/2004
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
424
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.25(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

Preface7
Reader's Guide11
I"He's Chinese," "It's All Chinese to Me"15
IIFrontal Versus Oblique Attack35
IIIUnder the Cover of the Image: Insinuated Criticism55
IVQuotations as Proxy: The Power to Unsettle75
VInsinuating and Avoiding to Say, or How to Read Between the Lines93
VIThe Impossibility of Dissidence (The Ideology of Indirection)117
VIIBetween Emotion and Landscape: The World Is Not an Object of Representation141
VIIIBeyond the Landscape: The Figurative Meaning Is Not Symbolic165
IXFrom the Master to the Disciple: The Proposition Is Only an Indication195
XThere Is No Plane of Essences, or Why Detour Is Access223
XIAdvancing Toward Maturation: The Leap of Realization249
XIIThe Great Image Has No Shape, or How to Indicate the Ineffable275
XIII"Net" and "Fish," or How to Gain Access to Nature305
XIVThe Clouds and the Moon333
XVThe Allusive Distance355
Conclusion: Detour or Split?371
Notes381
Glossary of Chinese Expressions415

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