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A Taste for ChinaEnglish Subjectivity and the Prehistory of Orientalism$
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Eugenia Zuroski Jenkins

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199950980

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199950980.001.0001

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Disenchanting ChinaOrientalism and the English Novel

Disenchanting ChinaOrientalism and the English Novel

(p.188) 6 Disenchanting ChinaOrientalism and the English Novel
A Taste for China

Eugenia Zuroski Jenkins

Oxford University Press

In the late eighteenth century, the “realistic novel” claims to represent English life more accurately than other forms of fiction. It makes this claim by systematically disavowing the enthrallment with Chinese objects that characterize “oriental” fiction and earlier versions of English culture. By “disenchanting” things Chinese, the novels of Jane Austen introduce a model of subjectivity organized around the policing of subject-object relations, the orientalist distinction between East and West, and the progression from childhood to maturity.

Keywords:   The Female Quixote, Jane Austen, Chinoiserie, Disenchantment, Novel, Realism, Orientalism, Childhood, Developmental subjectivity

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