The Question of Hu

by Jonathan D. Spence | History |
ISBN: 0679725806 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wanderingstar8 of London, Greater London United Kingdom on 3/27/2009
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wanderingstar8 from London, Greater London United Kingdom on Friday, March 27, 2009
This was a short history (novella-length) of John Hu, a Chinese Christian brought to France in the early eighteenth century as assistant to a Jesuit priest returning from China. It's a classic culture-clash story - the trip doesn't go according to either man's expectations, and when Hu becomes too difficult to handle the Jesuit has him packed off to a lunatic asylum (where, of course, he can't communicate with anyone).

I'm a big Jonathan Spence fan, and I also really like microhistories, but I found this disappointing. Spence tells the story very sparely, leaving us to read between the lines. That allows us to take away a story of misunderstanding and betrayal - but his decision not to give us any analysis or context makes it hard to make any sense of the story on any other level.

I hope others will enjoy it!

Journal Entry 2 by LastEdition on Thursday, April 02, 2009
Received through BookMooch.

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