Macau: The Imaginary City : Culture and Society, 1557 to the Present

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9780813328362: Macau: The Imaginary City : Culture and Society, 1557 to the Present

This book examines Macau as an enduring but ever-changing threshold between two worlds, the West and China. Founded by the Portuguese in 1557, Macaus geographical uniqueness has made it particularly fascinating, yet the history of Macaus cultural and social history also speaks to larger issues of cross-cultural exchange in world history. The author looks at a series of images of Macaus history and reflects on the character and meaning of the multiple cultural and social influences that met and mingled in Macau. }For many people who have encountered it, Macau makes a deep impression on the imagination, as if the city were not entirely real, or rather, not of the real world. Macau often seems dreamlike, as though it were sustained by the effort of some powerful imagination.In this evocative essay on the cultural and social history of a unique and fragile city, Jonathan Porter examines Macau as an enduring but ever-changing threshold between East and West. Founded by the Portuguese in 1557, Macau emerged as a vibrant commercial and cultural hub in the early seventeenth century. The city then gradually evolved, flourishing first as a Eurasian community in the eighteenth century and then as an increasingly Chinese city in the nineteenth century. Macau became a modern manufacturing center in the late twentieth century and is now destined for reversion to the Peoples Republic of China in 1999.The city was the meeting ground for many cultures, but central to this fascinating story is the encounter between an expansive, seaborne Portugese empire and the introspective, closed world of imperial China. Unlike the other great colonial port cities of Asia, Macau did not provide natural access to the hinterland, and this geographical and historical isolation (there is still no airline or railroad that can take you to Macau) has fostered a unique balance of cultural influences that survives to this day. Poised on the periphery of two worlds, an isolated but global crossroads, Macaus unique cultural and social melange illuminates crucial issues of cross-cultural exchange in world history.Establishing Portugal and China as distinct cultural archetypes, Porter then examines the subsequent encounters of East and West in Macau from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries. Avoiding the traditional linear chronological approach, Porter instead looks at a series of images from the citys history and culture, including its place in the geographical context of the South China coast; the architecture of Macau, which reflects the memories of its historical passages; the variety of people who crossed the threshold of Macau; the material culture of everyday life; and the spiritual topography resulting from the encounters of popular religious movements in Macau.Jonathan Porter concludes his literary journey by reflecting on the character and meaning of the many cultural and social influences that have met and mingled in Macau. His words and photographs eloquently capture the essence of a place that seems too ephemeral to be real, too captivating to be anything but an imaginary city. }

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Jonathan Porter
Editore: Westview Press (1996)
ISBN 10: 0813328365 ISBN 13: 9780813328362
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Descrizione libro Westview Press, 1996. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria DADAX0813328365

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Porter, Jonathan
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Descrizione libro Westview Press, 1996. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. New item. Codice libro della libreria QX-264-56-7951807

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