Fruitful Sites: Garden Culture in Ming Dynasty China (Softcover). Craig Clunas.

Fruitful Sites: Garden Culture in Ming Dynasty China (Softcover)

Duke University Press. 6 x 9", 240 pp., 48 illustrations, 18 in color, bibliography, paper, Durham, 1996. (o.p.; sl crease to front cover corners, text near fine, Joe Earle's collector seal upper corner of first page). Item #880
ISBN: 0822317958

As the first account in English to be wholly based on contemporary Chinese sources, this innovative, beautifully illustrated book grounds firmly in the social and cultural history of the day, the practices of garden-making in Ming dynasty China (1368-1644).

By examining the gardens of the city of Suzhou from a number of different angles, Craig Clunas provides a rich picture of a complex cultural phenomenon - one that was crucial importance to the self-fashioning of the Ming elite. Drawing on a wide range of recent work in cultural theory, the author provides for the first time a historical and materialist account of Chinese garden culture, and replaces broad generalizations and orientalist fantasy with a convincing picture of the garden's role in social life.

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