Chinese Encyclopaedias of New Global Knowledge (1870-1930): by Rudolf G. Wagner (auth.), Milena Doleželová-Velingerová,

By Rudolf G. Wagner (auth.), Milena Doleželová-Velingerová, Rudolf G Wagner (eds.)

This is a suite of pioneering reports on chinese language encyclopaedias of recent wisdom (1870-1930). At a transitional time while sleek wisdom used to be wanted but few sleek colleges have been to be had, those works have been an important assets of knowledge for a complete iteration.

This quantity investigates lots of those encyclopaedias, that have been by no means reprinted and are infrequently identified even to experts, for the 1st time. The participants to this assortment all concentrate on the interval in query and feature labored jointly for a couple of years. The ensuing experiences convey that those encyclopaedias open a different window onto the migration and ordering platforms of data throughout cultural and linguistic borders.

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He not only compiled Explanations of Japanese Legal Terms, Riben fagui jiezi 日本法規解字, with his son-in-law Dong Hongwei 董鴻禕, who was actively See Cai Shaoqing’s 蔡少卿preface to Xue Fucheng riji 薛福成日記 [Xue Fucheng’s diary], Jiangsu daxue xuebao 7, no. 2 (March 2005): 14–15. 23 Zou Tao 鄒弢, Wanguo jin zheng kaolu¨e 萬國近政考略 (Shanghai: San Lu jielu, 1901). 24 Ding Fenglin丁鳳麟, Xue Fucheng pingzhuan 薛福成評傳 [A critical biography of Xue Fucheng] (Nanjing: Nanjing daxue, 1998), 207. , Zhejiang daxue, 2005). 26 Qiu Wei, “Wuxing Qian shi,” 37–38.

These works come with an implicit as well as explicit critique of traditional dictionary and encyclopaedia practices as being chaotic, fuzzy and not fit for bringing China into the modern world. This critique can be ascribed to a better understanding of the 22 M. G. Wagner concept of ‘evolution’ which, as expressly spelled out by Darwin, can also be applied to the social environment. In his preface, Huang proceeds from his understanding of biological evolution to then observe the possibility of evolution in the cultural realm, including encyclopaedia, and their potential for contributing to social evolution.

The same is true of the uneasy interaction between the Chinese encyclopaedias for everyday use from the Ming 24 M. G. Wagner and the new works. The impact that the Qing government’s “New Governance” or “Reform of Governance” measures since 1901 had on creating the environment, the demand, and the market for such works is still little understood and might end up supporting a revision of the widely shared assessment that the Qing court was on the way out after 1898. The same is true for the interaction between the very independent publishing hub in Shanghai and the political powers of Qing and Republican China.

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