German Colonial Fiction on China: the Boxer Uprising of 1900

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Journal Article
German Life and Letters, 2006, 59 (1), pp. 78 - 100
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This essay examines popular fiction from the years 1900-1902 that either bears directly on the Boxer Uprising or takes advantage of the vogue generated by the intense public interest in it. It focuses on the composition of the image of China that emerges from these texts, and, more importantly, on the conceptual structures underlying it. In this way it may serve as a testing ground for some aspects of Edward Said's theory of Orientalism and more recent modifications of it by scholars such as Russell A. Berman and Robert J.C. Young. The results of the analysis shed light on the contrasting roles of knowledge and ideology in German colonial fiction, thus offering a critical approach to some generalisations now current on the topic of German colonialism.
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