Preface: Imperial Media/Imperial Messages: Modernism and the Myth of China ; Introduction: "no better instrument": The Chinese Written Character as a Medium ; 1. "visible nature": Image, Photography, and the Apparition of China ; 2. "simply the form": Inscription, Phonography, and the Chinese Scene of Writing ; 3. "to imitate the Chinese": Mimesis, Cinema, and Mechanical Reproduction ; 4. "shocks in China": Space, Telegraphy, and the Age of the World Picture ; Works Cited ; Index
Christopher Bush is Associate Professor of French and Program Director of Comparative Literary Studies at Northwestern University.
Taking his cue from Gertrude Stein's quip ('In China there is no need of China because in China china is china'), this remarkable book makes us understand why modernism (and also theory) always need China as 'China'-not the projection of an Orientalist discourse, but a trope of otherness as writing. Bush probes with unrivaled depth and subtlety the paradoxes created by a Chinese 'arche-writing' seen as an active exoticism at the core of two centuries of creative mistranslations. * Jean-Michel Rabate, author of Writing the Image After Roland Barthes *