Pathology Between China And The West

1873 Words May 6th, 2015 8 Pages
Pathology Between China and the West and the Crisis of the Chinese Identity
So the book I decided to do for my book review is The Afterlife of Images: Translating the Pathological Body Between China and the West. In the introduction of the book the author finds it important to state how she came to the point on writing the book. As the author was working in the National Palace Museum researching representations of pathology in modern art, a colleague pointed out a picture in showed a boy with smallpox. The picture was part of an exhibition at the time called “Comparison of Chinese and World Cultures”. In this exhibit there were two timelines; a Chinese and Western one. The aim of both timelines was to form a visual comparison of the various advancements that the Chinese world and the Western world had accomplished through the course of human history. As it is natural, the goal of the specific small boy picture was to show the importance of China’s invention of the practice of inoculation as a technological achievement in advance of the West. After seeing the image the author went along with researching the history of this image. The reason being is that she found a red seal on the image which identified the image as belonging to the archives of the Bibliothèque Nationale de Paris. While the image was sent in the royal library of France and it was being viewed by the French it came to give a negative impression of the Chinese and their vulnerability to disease. As it…
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