By Cynthia Brokaw, Christopher A Reed
The 13 essays during this quantity narrate and study the reciprocal affects of technological, highbrow, and sociopolitical alterations at the constitution of contemporary China's booklet (and print) exchange; extra in particular, they deal with the increase of recent genres of print, adjustments in writing practices, the dissemination of principles and texts (both paper and electronic), the association of information, and the connection among the kingdom and print tradition. The essays variety chronologically from the past due eighteenth century to the current, an over two-century transition interval that enables authors to attract comparisons among the principally woodblock print tradition of the eighteenth and 19th centuries; the mechanized publishing of the late-nineteenth, 20th, and twenty-first centuries; and the worldwide web tradition of this present day.
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Additional resources for From Woodblocks to the Internet: Chinese Publishing and Print Culture in Transition, Circa 1800 to 2008
92 In one academic article I saw in Shanghai in the early 1990s, it was necessary to explain to readers that pre-1949 newspapers were supported by their advertising. 93 Barmé, Shades of Mao, 28. 94 Volland, “The Control of the Media,” 234. 34 christopher a. reed control, is commercialization, not government per se. To her, commerce and “government online” efforts mean that communications technology and the Chinese government have grown more tightly together than ever before in history. In this evolving situation, China’s Internet publishers themselves remind us that, even as the technology of textual production has changed over the past two centuries, printers, publishers, authors, and audiences have frequently been confronted by similar concatenations of issues.
And what happened to the public sphere under the impact of the millions of potential new readers being introduced into it by an expansion of the educational system after the fall of the Qing? Kiely and Culp both give us a sense of this important new realm beyond Shanghai, but still within the Jiangnan region. Kiely describes the revitalization of Buddhist publishing in Jiangnan partly through its adaptation of modern business methods that originated in the treaty ports; and Culp, through his discussion of educational circles in Wuxi, Shaoxing, Ningbo, and Changshu, shows how a public sphere in which readers were also writers and even publishers developed in smaller towns in the same metropolitan region.
84 However, just as in the Gutenberg era, only a relatively small, albeit ever-growing portion of China’s total population had access to the sort of texts that matter in the postmodern era. Nonetheless, that readership is larger than the reading public of any single Western nation, and to the extent that politics and public 83 Xue Mili was later exposed as the creation of several male Chinese writers working in an assembly-line format. 84 Reuters, “China Overtakes US as Top Internet Market,” 9.
From Woodblocks to the Internet: Chinese Publishing and Print Culture in Transition, Circa 1800 to 2008 by Cynthia Brokaw, Christopher A Reed