240 pages | 2 B/W Illus.
This unusual and interesting book is a fascinating account of the world of Chinese writing. It examines Chinese space and the political and social use of writing as propaganda, a publicity booster and as a ladder for social climbing.
'This is a very good book. Yen is both insightful in her analysis of the sources and implications of the aura of Chinese writing and careful in her discussions of how people think about characters.' - China Journal
Acknowledgements Introduction: The Abode of Calligraphic Inscriptions 1. Dances with Power: Public Calligraphy and its Social Effects 2. Becoming a Person Through Wen 3. Handwriting and Personhood 4. Body-Person Engineering: Brush Techniques and Calligraphic Composition 5. Brush Work: Alternative Bodybuilding 6. Ideograms and Knowledge 7. Characters Reloaded Bibliography Glossary
Asia today is one of the most dynamic regions of the world. The previously predominant image of ‘timeless peasants’ has given way to the image of fast-paced business people, mass consumerism and high-rise urban conglomerations. Yet much discourse remains entrenched in the polarities of East versus West’, ‘Tradition versus Change’. This series hopes to provide a forum for anthropological studies which break with such polarities. It will publish titles dealing with cosmopolitanism, cultural identity, representations, arts and performance. The complexities of urban Asia, its elites, its political rituals, and its families will also be explored.