By Ofer Gal, Yi Zheng

ISBN-10: 940077382X

ISBN-13: 9789400773820

ISBN-10: 9400773838

ISBN-13: 9789400773837

This quantity contains stories of the early sleek drama of movement and transformation of information. it's designated in taking its international nature as basic and comprises stories of the topic of movement and information in China, Europe and the Pacific from the sixteenth to the 18th century.

People residing round the flip of the 17th century have been experiencing movement in methods past the snatch of somebody lower than a century prior. items and folks have been crossing lands and oceans to distances by no means expected and in scales hardly ever possible via their fresh predecessors. The earth itself has been set in movement and the heavens have been populated through an entire new array of relocating gadgets: comets, moons, solar spots. Even the movement of terrestrial objects—so shut handy and possible obvious—was being completely reshaped. within the centuries to stick to, this incessant, world-changing movement may rework the construction, interpretation and dissemination of information and the existence and reviews of the folk generating it: savants, artisans, pilots, creditors.

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Extra info for Motion and Knowledge in the Changing Early Modern World: Orbits, Routes and Vessels

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Xu Hongzu, nom de plume Xiake, was born in Jiangyin county of Southern Zhidi (today’s Jiangshu province) in the 14th year of Wanli, Ming dynasty (1587), and died in the 14th year of Chongzhen (1641). As pointed out by most Xu studies, the 50-some-year period of Xu’s life coincides with the dynasty’s gradual downfall. But few have associated his lifetime with the 100 years from the mid sixteenth to the seventeenth centuries, which is the time of great epistemological shifts and cultural transformations in China in correlation with unprecedented economical and social cultural changes in the wider world (Elman 2005).

38 Y. Zheng philosophical school, which was known for its this-worldly and plebian tendencies, who had also apparently journeyed there (Jiang 1994, 62). Nor is it that uncommon for Xu, the descendent of an once illustrious gentry-scholar-official lineage, to abandon traditional paths to public recognition—that is, trying harder to pass the official examination to become a state official—in order to make himself the fourth great Chinese explorer. That alternative status or career possibilities for literati by then were becoming less rare can be seen not only in Yuan Hongdao’s group portrait of dedicated pursuers of alternative fame and interest, but also in Xu’s own family history.

Drawing on these (few) works on Xu as a traveler and travel writer, and on travel writing in Ming in general, this study will first reconsider the significance of Xiake Youji as part of the Ming travel genre in the context of the transformations of Ming social, economic and literati culture. In particular it will study Xu’s travel notes in conjunction with the increasing importance of spatial movement and changing forms of knowledge, as well as the role of the literati-knower at the time. It will explore the intellectual historical implications of Xu’s persona, then examine the collected notes as a vanguard of Late Ming transformations of the literati genre.

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Motion and Knowledge in the Changing Early Modern World: Orbits, Routes and Vessels by Ofer Gal, Yi Zheng


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