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Title: Writing China from the rest of the west: travels and transculturation in 1920s Spain
Author: Prado Fonts, Carles  
Others: Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC)
Keywords: China
Vicente Blasco Ibáñez
Federico García Sanchiz
Issue Date: Apr-2018
Publisher: Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies
Citation: Prado-Fonts, C. (2018). Writing China from the rest of the west: travels and transculturation in 1920s Spain. Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies, 19(2), 175-189. doi: 10.1080/14636204.2018.1453110
Project identifier: info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/HAR2012-34823
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Abstract: Scholarship on the representation of China in the West generally assumes a direct interaction characterized by a colonial dynamics. This article shows what happens when a third agent - neither colonizer nor colonized - enters the picture and looks at two responses from Spanish texts written during the 1920s: whereas Vicente Blasco Ibáñez's China chapters in his well-known La vuelta al mundo de un novelista [1924] dissolve the Spanish position into the voice of the colonizer, Federico García Sanchiz's La ciudad milagrosa [1926] uses an external perspective to articulate a more critical view of the Western presence in Shanghai that is nevertheless subjected to a formal style that homogenizes the narrative. I argue that both works have trouble offering a coherent representation of China that is driven by their Spanish positionality. This proves not only the ambivalence of (Spanish) representations of China in the twentieth century but also the strength of the discourse generated by colonial powers, which ends up expanding its actual scope: here, domination was not only exerted in China, but also, discursively, within the West itself. This ultimately shows that we must not completely denationalize the study of cross-cultural representations.
Language: English
ISSN: 1463-6204MIAR
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