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  2. JSTOR: Access Check
  3. The Man Awakened from Dreams: One Man’s Life in a North China Village, 1857-1942
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Access Check

Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. The Man Awakened from Dreams: In this beautifully crafted study of one emblematic life, Harrison addresses large themes in Chinese history while conveying with great immediacy the textures and rhythms of everyday life in the countryside in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries.

Liu Dapeng was a provincial degree-holder who never held government office. Through the story of his family, the au In this beautifully crafted study of one emblematic life, Harrison addresses large themes in Chinese history while conveying with great immediacy the textures and rhythms of everyday life in the countryside in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries.

Through the story of his family, the author illustrates the decline of the countryside in relation to the cities as a result of modernization and the transformation of Confucian ideology as a result of these changes. Based on nearly volumes of Liu's diary and other writings, the book illustrates what it was like to study in an academy and to be a schoolteacher, the pressures of changing family relationships, the daily grind of work in industry and agriculture, people's experience with government, and life under the Japanese occupation.

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Dec 08, Jessica Zu rated it it was amazing Shelves: Totally loving this story Jul 17, ByeBry rated it it was amazing. This book has shown its viewers the struggles of Liu Dapeng in keeping his dream in becoming a government official for China, which the systems are transitioning into a more modern country. Even though this book showcases the struggles of the protagonist, but there is a lot of historic details that describe the emotional impact of the modernization of China. Overall this book is quite insightful because the readers are being taken in a journey in understanding how history and cultures are going This book has shown its viewers the struggles of Liu Dapeng in keeping his dream in becoming a government official for China, which the systems are transitioning into a more modern country.

Overall this book is quite insightful because the readers are being taken in a journey in understanding how history and cultures are going to be shaped.

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Oct 08, Toni rated it it was ok. I read this for class. But a lot of it was boring. And it wouldnt be somethinf that I would ahve picked up on my own. Dec 17, Emma Sharp rated it it was amazing. A fabulous and moving story of one mans struggle to adapt in a new world following the end of dynastic rule in China in Sep 27, Joshua Marney rated it it was amazing. A poignant micro-historical work about the life of a minor Chinese literati as he lived through the decline of traditional China.

Nov 15, M rated it it was amazing. He looked on with dismay from his northern village at the imperial examination system's discontinuation in , the Qing dynasty's overthrow in , and the national disorder that reigned until when the Japanese invaded and the real killing began. Liu is not so much the center of the story as he is one little man hidden somewhere in an enormous painting.

The Man Awakened from Dreams: One Man’s Life in a North China Village, 1857-1942

The real subject of the painting is the strain placed on a traditional society as it is subjected to the weight of the modern world. She discusses the Qing Empire, the banking system, the Silk Road, industrialization; she discusses filial piety, local land tenure and water rights, folk religion, and the rise of opium. As his world goes to pieces, Liu retreats to his farm where he lives out his days tilling the land like the supposed Confucian hermits of antiquity. At the time of his death, his village hideaway was a long day's journey away from the provincial capital city, Taiyuan; today, the village has itself been incorporated as a suburb into the expanding city.

This book fills in the history of those neighborhoods. The Man Awakened from Dreams: Stanford University Press, In a North China village Liu Dapeng recorded in his diary another true story of modern Chinese history. Through an examination of Liu's life and thought, Henrietta Harrison shows "how social structures and ideologies interacted in practice" and how such interactions were reflected in the details of everyday life in a Shanxi village.

Born in , Liu Dapeng was brought up in a farmer-merchant family and, following the Confucian tradition, trained for the civil service examination. Starting his diary in , Liu recorded the changes and continuities in his life, family, village, and country in an era replete with momentous events [End Page ] and ideas. In The Man Awakened from Dreams , Harrison analyzes Liu's writings, and in particular his diary, while exploring the intersections where old and new norms encountered each other in the intellectual, moral, political, and economic spheres during the transitional period from the late Qing to the early Republic of China.

This book will be a welcome tool for courses on modern China and a thought-provoking source for researchers interested in the last generation of nonelite Confucian scholars, or in the local history of areas outside the major urban centers during the transition from the Qing to the Republic.

Additional Information

The book covers several large topics in modern China studies, such as Confucianism in modern China, family structure, village organization, commerce, and industrialization in the rural areas. Studying these large topics through an investigation of one man and his village, Harrison integrates her analysis of changes in elite structures and their consequences for rural life.

This approach has allowed the creation of an impressive picture of how an individual and a community interacted with each other in the specific setting of Shanxi. Harrison starts the book with a brief "fieldwork" narrative that depicts the setting, where she visited Liu's children and where Liu Dapeng once lived. Harrison positions herself as a historian in the field who lets her voice be heard throughout the book and who challenges the conventional assumption that historians should maintain "neutrality" and "objectivity" regarding their research subject.

Whether or not the author brings sufficient ethnographic perspective to this study, the beginning "fieldwork" narrative coordinates well with the author's emphasis on experiential history in her explanation of her methodology. Following the preface is a brief discussion of the connection between Liu Dapeng's writing and his perception and practice of Confucian ideas, as well as the connection between Liu's life and Harrison's study of modern China. Here Harrison poses several thought-provoking questions concerning the psychological and historical function of diary writing.