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Britain's Chinese EyeLiterature, Empire, and Aesthetics in Nineteenth-Century Britain$
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Elizabeth Hope Chang

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780804759458

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804759458.001.0001

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(p.179) Conclusion
Britain's Chinese Eye
Stanford University Press

This chapter presents some final thoughts from the author. This book has followed both British celebrations and repudiations of China's familiar exotic in nineteenth century, arguing that such receptions mattered greatly in the history of British visuality. They mattered as opposing examples that helped define by antithesis the capacities of the British visual and narrative real—definitions which have been the subject of this book. The receptions continued to matter, albeit largely implicitly, when the revolutions of modernism revised visual realism and claimed supposedly foreign and antithetical aesthetic terms as their own founding conditions. A sense that the Chinese somehow see differently, and that certain differences in visual representation can therefore be identified specifically as Chinese, makes unspoken substance for current rhetorical formations which describe relative differences between China and the West in essentialized terms.

Keywords:   China, Britain, nineteenth century, British vision, visual representation

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