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The Story of a SteleChina's Nestorian Monument and Its Reception in the West, 1625-1916$
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Michael Keevak

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9789622098954

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789622098954.001.0001

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Prologue: The Story of a Stone

Prologue: The Story of a Stone

Chapter:
(p.xii) (p.1) Prologue: The Story of a Stone
Source:
The Story of a Stele
Author(s):

Michael Keevak

Publisher:
Hong Kong University Press
DOI:10.5790/hongkong/9789622098954.003.0001

The Story of a Stele is a book about Western perceptions of a Chinese object, but it is not a book of sinology. It is also about Western presumptions and Western self-interest. It is believed that Westerners have yet to come to terms with the fact that during much of (Western) history very little was ever “known” about China. There was never any lack of information from missionaries and travelers and traders. The thesis of this book is that when Westerners discussed the stone they were not really talking about China at all. The author's own study, similarly, is undoubtedly incomplete, inaccurate, and insensitive, but he will allow himself the smallest bit of comfort in the fact that, despite these failings, it has at least been brought to a conclusion.

Keywords:   China, Western perceptions, stone, Westerners

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