Published: May 25 2023
Size: 6 x 9
Pages: 248
Illustrations: 12 b&w halftones
HARDCOVER: 978-1-64336-380-6
EBOOK: 978-1-64336-381-3

Literary Studies
East-West Encounters in Literature and Cultural Studies
World Literature
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From Chinese Cosmology to English Romanticism

The Intricate Journey of a Monistic Idea

Yu Liu





A culturally sensitive and rewarding new understanding of the cross-cultural interaction between China and Europe

In this important new work author Yu Liu argues that, confined by a narrow English and European conceptual framework, scholars have so far obscured the radical innovation and revolutionary implication of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth's monistic philosophy. Liu's innovative intellectual history traces the organic westward movement of the Chinese concept of tianren heyi, or humanity's unity with heaven. This monistic idea enters the European imaginary through Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci's understanding of Chinese culture, travels through Spinoza's identification of God with nature, becomes ingrained in eighteenth-century English thought via the langscaping theory and practice of William Kent and Horace Walpole, and emerges in the poetry and thought of Coleridge and Wordsworth. In addition to presenting a significantly different reading of the two English poets, Liu contributes to scholarship about English literary history, history of European philosophy and religion, English garden history, and cross-cultural interactions between China and Europe in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries.

Dr. Yu Liu is a professor of English at Niagara County Community College in New York State. In addition to over thirty-five essays in peer-reviewed journals of literature, history, and philosophy, he is the author of Poetics and Politics: The Revolutions of Wordsworth (1999), Seeds of a Different Eden: Chinese Gardening Ideas and a New English Aesthetic Ideal (2008), and Harmonious Disagreement: Matteo Ricci and His Closest Chinese Friends (2015). For his research, he has received the support of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowship (2006-2007), a Fulbright fellowship at City University of Hong Kong (2012-2013), a Karlgren-Eisenstadt Residential Fellowship at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (spring of 2018), and numerous short-term library research fellowships in the United States and Great Britain.

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