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Detour and Access: Strategies of Meaning in China and Greece (Zone Books) Hardcover – Bargain Price, August 28, 2000

ISBN-10: 1890951102

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, August 28, 2000
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Product Details

  • Series: Zone Books
  • Hardcover: 424 pages
  • Publisher: Zone Books (August 28, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1890951102
  • ASIN: B008SLQE2Q
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,004,705 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French

About the Author

François Jullien is Professor at the Université Paris VII-Denis Diderot and director at the Institut de la Pensée Contemporaine. He is the author of Detour and Access: Strategies of Meaning in China and Greece, The Propensity of Things: Toward a History of Efficacy in China, and In Praise of Blandness: Proceeding from Chinese Thought and Aesthetics all published by Zone Books.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Saul Boulschett on January 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jullien is a rare scholar. He has succeeded in presenting things Chinese to be interesting in a way that Western sensibility can (finally) understand. Equipped with vast erudition in both traditions, Jullien sets out to question for the Western mind the significance, ramifications, and benefit of going about doing and saying things in an oblique way.
He traces the canonical texts --Lao tse's Taotejing, Lun Yu, Zhuangtse, etc-- in which this sort of sensibility and praxis took on literary form. But as the topic is not a matter of philology but sensibility, he also draws large examples of the oblique as practiced in modern China under Mao.
The author writes that he was drawn initially to Chinese studies because, for him, China represented the ultimate Other--not as theory, not as deconstruction, not as rhetoric, but as STRUCTURE. His aim in this study undertaken here is to understand the Chinese way of getting a loose grip on things so as to better "control" them -- which in "Chinese" terms would mean, letting 'them' come naturally, ineluctably into the field of one's (secret) intentions, rather than forcing them to obey one's will.
Jullien points out the difficulty involved in grasping this "Chinese" phenomenon lies in the very way in which the Western languages operate. The West's habit is to tackle whatever straight on. Arguments lead to counter-arguments, and the whole agonistic process is hinged on both sides keeping a tight grip of the objective involved in the argumentation. Gong-ans (Koans) from Ch'an (Zen) Buddhism will give you some idea of asking/answering in manner that is utterly different from the Western.
Jullien shows how the tradition of logical argumentation in the West is directly related to that of warfare, and the rise of democracy among the Greek city-states.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bruce_in_LA on August 22, 2009
Format: Paperback
Good book, agree with prior reviewer. Also, prominently cited in the current global politics book "Age of the Unthinkable" by Joshua Cooper Ramos (Kissinger Institute). He argues the US tendency to tackle global political issues smack-head-on is counterproductive, and it is better to "shape the mileu" from many directions.
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