Rethinking the Sinosphere: Poetics, Aesthetics, and Identity Formation

by Nanxiu Qian, Richard J. Smith, and Bowei Zhang


"Rethinking the Sinosphere signifies a landmark in the study of cultural interaction in East Asia in two senses. First, it tells the story that literary Sinitic has served as the platform of personal and historical connections in East Asia. Through several case studies, the book affirms that the Chinese characters are the common dominator of the Sinosphere. Secondly, it is a well-knitted tapestry in which the personal, historical, poetic and aesthetic dimensions of cultural interaction in East Asia interweave with one another. This book is a most important source for anyone interested in East Asian studies." —Chun-chieh Huang, Distinguished Chair Professor, National Taiwan University

Rethinking the Sinosphere is pioneering research. This book is an excellent and inspiring contribution to the understudied topic of East Asian literature and culture in historical perspective, overcoming the positioning of China at the center of the region. Rejecting the anachronistic center-periphery and nation-state division perspectives, the authors provide ample data for their position and offer a view of writings in literary Sinitic as ‘universal markers of civilization not necessarily particular to China.’ Using a variety of approaches and material, the individual chapters examine the travel of texts and ideas and about their transformation across the space of East Asia, including their local identities and regional commonalities. In addition to its obvious appeal to scholars, this book should be well used by students of the different languages and traditions of East Asia in the study of the Sinosphere.” —Olga Lomová, Professor of Sinology, Charles University

"This volume provides an extremely valuable and multifaceted contribution to our understanding of premodern and even early modern China and its neighbors in their shared regional East Asian context. While the primary audiences doubtlessly are scholars and students of East Asian languages and cultural history, I imagine that the literate public might benefit from reading this as well." —Jeffrey L. Richey, Professor and Chair, Department Asian Studies, Berea College


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