The Great Wall: a cultural history [NOOK Book]

Overview

In this book, Carlos Rojas challenges two of the dominant contemporary visions of the Great Wall of China. In one view the Wall is popularly imagined as a two thousand year old national icon. However another recent theory posits that the Wall was not built until around the seventeenth century, and that the current fascination with the Wall is of even more recent provenance. Rojas rejects both of these theories as inaccurate. Instead, he argues that the Wall’s identity lies precisely in the productive tension ...
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The Great Wall: a cultural history

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Overview

In this book, Carlos Rojas challenges two of the dominant contemporary visions of the Great Wall of China. In one view the Wall is popularly imagined as a two thousand year old national icon. However another recent theory posits that the Wall was not built until around the seventeenth century, and that the current fascination with the Wall is of even more recent provenance. Rojas rejects both of these theories as inaccurate. Instead, he argues that the Wall’s identity lies precisely in the productive tension between its underlying historical continuity and its continual process of transformation and reinvention. In addition, he posits that in order to appreciate the Wall’s historical significance it is necessary to move beyond a focus on the monument’s strictly material status and instead attend to the ways in which it has been discussed and represented, in other words, to see it as a cultural object.
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Editorial Reviews

Times Literary Supplement
[Rojas] covers much ground, from the Qin Dynasty (c. 200 BC) to postmodern art, and demonstrates just how powerful the idea of the Wall has become in modern China.
— Kate Merkel-Hess
PopMatters
Carlos Rojas's deceptively compact cultural study suggests convincingly that the search for meaning in the Wall lies neither with the iconic imagery nor the literal structure itself, but somewhere in the gaps between, where imagination can run rampant--and frequently has. As it turns out, investigating the many and varied symbolic uses of a wall--the tensions between the need to protect and imprision, to guard against and to tear down, to blazon forth and to shut out-- provides a very simple and natural key to opening up the Chinese culture as a whole.
— Kerrie Mills
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674058804
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 232
  • File size: 384 KB

Meet the Author

Carlos Rojas is Assistant Professor of Chinese Cultural Studies at Duke University.

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