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10. Temporality of Knowledge and History Writing in Early Twentieth-Century China. Liu Yizheng and A History of Chinese Culture

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Chapter Summary

The significance of Liang's "New Historiography", went beyond promoting the writing of national history. More importantly, Liu Yizheng's short stay at the bureau marked the inception of his lifelong involvement with history writing. The book was largely based on A General History of China, written by Naka Michiyo. A History of Chinese Culture was one of the first works in Chinese that recounted the entire national history. The main text of the book consists of seventy-five chapters: each focuses on one cultural topic in history. In the chapter devoted to the ritual institution of the Zhou dynasty, Liu explained his decision to exclude from his narrative any information about sacrificial rites. Liu remained silent about the religious references in the passage, and made no comments about how the religious and political were intertwined in ancient times. Bringing the past into the present meant writing over the past's self-knowledge.

Keywords: Chinese culture; history writing; Liu Yizheng; Zhou dynasty



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