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China – Empire of the Written Symbol

China – Empire of the Written Symbol

Autore/i: Lindqvist Cecilia

Editore: Harvill – HarperCollins Publishers

foreword by Michael Loewe, author’s preface, translated from the swedish by Joan Tate.

pp. 424, richly illustrated in color and b/n, London

For thousands of years the Chinese have used pictographic and ideographic symbols as the basis of written communication. These symbols have been functional and at the same time immensely artistic. How have they evolved to their present form? That is a whole story in itself, and a fascinating one. In this book Cecilia Lindqvist describes the pictorial origins and development of the Chinese script.
Drawing on archaeology, paleographic research and equally on the evidence of twentieth-century Chinese art and culture, she offers a richly detailed picture of how mental associations are formed with visual images and symbols.

Among the characters discussed are those featuring the human body, wild and domestic animals, chariots and boats, tools, weapons, musical instruments, and many other items.
The copious illustrations closely support the text and help to make a vast and complex subject readily comprehensible to the general reader. China: Empire of the Written Symbol will appeal not only to anyone with an interest in Chinese calligraphy, history and art but also to those fascinated by the whole subject of pictography and imagery.

Chinese calligraphy through the ages
“Brilliantly conceived. Lindqvist’s book will have great appeal to all readers interested in foreign cultures and ancient scripts.” (Bonnie S. McDougall, Professor of Chinese Studies, University of Edinburgh)

“Comments informativer on a large number of topics in Chinese cultural history. Ms Lindqvist’s enthusiasm for her subject will excite students and encòurage them to learn more about the language” (Edward L. Shaughnessy, Associate Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilization, University of Chicago)

Cecilia Lindqvist has lived for considerable periods in China and studied in Peking, 1961-2. She has also lived in Asia, Greece and Latin America. For a long time she has taught Chinese in a secondary school, and presented a series on Chinese language and culture on Swedish television. She is author of a number of books and also a photographer.

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