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A Taste for China – English Subjectivity and the Prehistory of Orientalism - Oxford Scholarship Online
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A Taste for China: English Subjectivity and the Prehistory of Orientalism

Eugenia Zuroski Jenkins


A Taste for China offers an account of how literature of the long eighteenth century generated a model of English selfhood dependent on figures of China. It shows how various genres of writing in this period call upon “things Chinese” to define the tasteful English subject of modernity. Chinoiserie is no mere exotic curiosity in this culture, but a potent, multivalent sign of England’s participation in a cosmopolitan world order. By the end of the eighteenth century, not only are English homes filled with it, but so too are English selves. Literature’s gradual insistence that th ... More

Keywords: Literature, England/English, China/Chinese, Chinoiserie, Orientalism, Cosmopolitanism, Subjectivity, Taste, Consumerism, Things

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9780199950980
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199950980.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Eugenia Zuroski Jenkins, author
McMaster University