Brushes with Power: Modern Politics and Chinese Art of Calligraphy. by Richard Curt Kraus

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Brushes With Power: Modern Politics and Chinese Art of Calligraphy. by Richard Curt Kraus Review by: Kian-Chow kwok Pacific Affairs, Vol. 66, No. 1 (Spring, 1993), pp. 105-106 Published by: Pacific Affairs, University of British Columbia Stable URL: . Accessed: 26/04/2012 10:10 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact

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Book Reviews The authors explainthatLi Yii's reputation suffered because hisunconventional lifestyle opinionsexcitedmoralistic and condemnations from later Whilethisis undoubtedly Confucians. to true,they the neglect mention contempt with which moreindependent mindslikeYuan Mei viewedhim.Yuan regardedLi's writing food,forexample, as "profoundly on artificial," his overrefinement strict and rulessuggesting poseur a ratherthana man who genuinely graspedhissubject(seeJonathan Roundabout Spence, Chinese [New York: Norton, 1992], pp. 181-82). WhetherLi's departures from of convention deservetheepithet "modern," as theChangs insist,is open to question.A tendency inflate to significance,to claim too much - applyingtermslike "transformation"and ''scientific revolution"to theseventeenth century lendsthebook a touch ofthehard sell. The authors have servedLi better portraying him might by as a peacock ratherthan a phoenix, and his age as a gardenratherthan a heaven. But ifthe tone ofthebook goes...
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