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Sun Yat-sen (review)

Sun Yat-sen (review) Marie-Claire Bergére. Sun Yat-sen. Translated by Janet Lloyd. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1998. viii, 480 pp. Hardcover $49.50, ISBN 0­ 8047­3170­5. Among Chinese communities worldwide, perhaps no modern figure is more universally admired than Sun Yat-sen. Already the subject of a voluminous literature (much of it hagiographic) from outside the People's Republic of China, Sun's life has produced an outpouring of writing on the Chinese mainland since 1978. Yet, as this torrent of Chinese scholarship has appeared, Marie-Claire Bergére tells us, serious study of Sun among Western scholars has almost vanished. Perhaps the diminished interest in biography and narrative history in general among Western scholars has led us away from study of the enigmatic Sun. Bergére suggests another factor for this disjuncture: Sun was clearly a product of the "Western impact" on China. Marginalized in late-Qing Confucian society, Sun represented the Cantonese, Western-oriented, fringe--the intermediary between China and the West. Drawing on the imagery of the famous TV series He shang (River elegy), Bergére identifies Sun with the modern "blue," ocean, current, in contradistinction to the "yellow" of the conservative interior of China. Reviews 383 Indeed, such an identification sparked the renewed interest in Sun in the era http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png China Review International University of Hawai'I Press

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University of Hawai'I Press
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Copyright by University of Hawaii Press
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1527-9367
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Abstract

Marie-Claire Bergére. Sun Yat-sen. Translated by Janet Lloyd. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1998. viii, 480 pp. Hardcover $49.50, ISBN 0­ 8047­3170­5. Among Chinese communities worldwide, perhaps no modern figure is more universally admired than Sun Yat-sen. Already the subject of a voluminous literature (much of it hagiographic) from outside the People's Republic of China, Sun's life has produced an outpouring of writing on the Chinese mainland since 1978. Yet, as this torrent of Chinese scholarship has appeared, Marie-Claire Bergére tells us, serious study of Sun among Western scholars has almost vanished. Perhaps the diminished interest in biography and narrative history in general among Western scholars has led us away from study of the enigmatic Sun. Bergére suggests another factor for this disjuncture: Sun was clearly a product of the "Western impact" on China. Marginalized in late-Qing Confucian society, Sun represented the Cantonese, Western-oriented, fringe--the intermediary between China and the West. Drawing on the imagery of the famous TV series He shang (River elegy), Bergére identifies Sun with the modern "blue," ocean, current, in contradistinction to the "yellow" of the conservative interior of China. Reviews 383 Indeed, such an identification sparked the renewed interest in Sun in the era

Journal

China Review InternationalUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Sep 1, 1999

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