The Construction of Space in Early China

The Construction of Space in Early China

3.4 (10 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

This book examines the formation of the Chinese empire through its reorganization and reinterpretation of its basic spatial units: the human body, the household, the city, the region, and the world. The central theme of the book is the way all these forms of ordered space were reshaped by the project of unification and how, at the same time, that unification was constrained and limited by the necessary survival of the units on which it was based. Consequently, as Mark Edward Lewis shows, each level of spatial organization could achieve order and meaning only within an encompassing, superior whole: the body within the household, the household within the lineage and state, the city within the region, and the region within the world empire, while each level still contained within itself the smaller units from which it was formed. The unity that was the empire's highest goal avoided collapse back into the original chaos of nondistinction only by preserving within itself the very divisions on the basis of family or region that it claimed to transcend.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 506 pages
  • 152.4 x 236.2 x 33mm | 748.44g
  • Albany, NY, United States
  • English
  • Annotated
  • Annotated edition
  • Total Illustrations: 0
  • 0791466078
  • 9780791466070

Review quote

"This work is impressively learned and provides a splendid sense of early Chinese political culture and social ecology. Lewis has an admirable ability to create tight, complex, elegant formulations that summarize the evidence efficiently and effectively, an ability to occupy the analytical heights, survey the complex terrain below, and seize on the significance of particular details. The book will serve as an almost encyclopedic reference for early China and its fascinating lore."
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About Mark Edward Lewis

Mark Edward Lewis is Kwoh-ting Li Professor of Chinese Culture at Stanford University and the author of Writing and Authority in Early China, also published by SUNY Press.
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Rating details

10 ratings
3.4 out of 5 stars
5 30% (3)
4 20% (2)
3 30% (3)
2 0% (0)
1 20% (2)
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