The British Image in Karl Gützlaff’s Novels Shifei lüelun and Dayingguo tongzhi*
This chapter explores how Karl F. A. Gützlaff, a leading Protestant missionary to China in the early nineteenth century, consciously created an idealistic image of Great Britain in his novels Shifei lüelun (1835) and Dayingguo tongzhi (1834). Through intentional reinterpretations of two sharply different cultures, Gützlaff challenged the Sinocentric world order on the one hand and presented Britain as the “Supreme Nation” on the other. Moreover, the author reveals that Gützlaff’s narrative of the model image of Britain involved conscious appropriation of certain popular Chinese terms and thinking. The Anglo-Chinese intercourse therefore exhibited a complex destruction–reconstruction process, in which the two-way flow of words and ideas gave shape to one imagined in-between reality.
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