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The Great Wall

A Cultural History
Rojas, Carlos, 1970- (Book - 2010)
The Great Wall
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Harvard University Press

Carlos Rojas presents a sweeping survey of the historical and political significance of one of the world’s most recognizable monuments. Although the splendor of the Great Wall has become virtually synonymous with its vast size, the structure’s conceptual coherence is actually grounded on the tenuous and ephemeral stories we tell about it. These stories give life to the Wall and help secure its hold on our collective imagination, while at the same time permitting it to constantly reinvent itself in accordance with the needs of each new era.

Through an examination of allusions to the Wall in an eclectic array of texts—ranging from official dynastic histories, elite poetry, and popular folktales, to contemporary tourist testimonials, children’s songs, and avant-garde performance art—this study maps out a provocative new framework for understanding the structure’s function and significance.

This volume approaches the Wall through the stories we tell and contends that it is precisely in this cultural history that we may find the Wall’s true meaning, together with the secret of its greatness.



Blackwell Publishing
Carlos Rojas presents a sweeping survey of the historical and political significance of one of the world's most recognizable monuments. Although the splendor of the Great Wall has become virtually synonymous with its vast size, the structure's conceptual coherence is actually grounded on the tenuous and ephemeral stories we tell about it. These stories give life to the Wall and help secure its hold on our collective imagination, while at the same time permitting it to constantly reinvent itself in accordance with the needs of each new era.

Through an examination of allusions to the Wall in an eclectic array of textsùranging from official dynastic histories, elite poetry, and popular folktales to contemporary tourist testimonials, children's songs, and avant-garde performance artùthis study maps out a provocative new framework for understanding the structure's function and significance.

This volume approaches the Wall through the stories we tell and contends that it is precisely in this cultural history that we may find the Wall's true meaning, together with the secret of its greatness.

Authors: Rojas, Carlos, 1970-
Statement of Responsibility: Carlos Rojas
Title: The Great Wall
a cultural history
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, c2010
Characteristics: xv, 213 p. : ill., maps ; 22 cm.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references and index
Contents: Prologue : on origins
A unity of gaps
Aspirations of immortality
Between history and legend
A garden of forking paths
Another brick in the wall
A very queer thing
Epilogue : return to origins
Subject Headings: China Civilization Great Wall of China (China) History
LCCN: 2010024946
ISBN: 0674047877
9780674047877
Research Call Number: JFD 11-2632
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Rojas, Carlos, 1970-
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