We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact [email protected] org. Pacific Affairs, University of British Columbia is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Pacific Affairs. http://www. jstor. org 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 awry,itssubstancelargelyholds. The Changs have exploredthe richculturalworldof thisera more intenthanpreviousauthors, and enthusiasts theseventeenth of will sively century as benefit greatly theyrange over thislandscape withtheirbook in hand.