Xiaoqiao Ling, "Feeling the Past in Seventeenth-Century China" (Harvard Asia Center, 2019)
As much of the world’s population is currently discovering, living through a historical cataclysm is a more common fact of human existence than one might think. Perhaps one reason why this is easily forgotten is the fact that it is hard to make the empathetic leap between oneself and other people from other times and cultures.
For this and many other reasons, Xiaoqiao Ling’s Feeling the Past in Seventeenth-Century China (Harvard University Asia Center) offers readers a richly revealing window into sensory worlds at a particularly cataclysmic time, showing how Chinese literati dealt with the traumatic transition from the Ming to the Qing dynasty, and the Manchu conquest of the Han world which brought this about.
Exploring writing in numerous genres from plays to memoirs and erotic novels, and translating extensively from these captivating works, Ling demonstrates the striking level of embodied intimacy that these men professed as they wrestled with commitments to community, family and selfhood in their own era of political and social upheaval.
Xiaoqiao Ling is Associate Professor of Chinese at Arizona State University.
Ed Pulford is a Lecturer in Chinese Studies at the University of Manchester. His research focuses on friendships and histories between the Chinese, Korean and Russian worlds, and northeast Asian indigenous groups.
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