Monkey and the Inkpot Natural History and Its Transformations in Early Modern China

ISBN-10: 0674035291

ISBN-13: 9780674035294

Edition: 2009

List price: $50.00
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Description:

This is the story of a Chinese doctor, his book, and the creatures that danced within its pages. The Monkey and the Inkpot introduces natural history in sixteenth-century China through the iconic Bencao gangmu (Systematic materia medica) of Li Shizhen (15181593).The encyclopedic Bencao gangmu is widely lauded as a classic embodiment of pre-modern Chinese medical thought. In the first book-length study in English of Lirsquo;s text, Carla Nappi reveals a ldquo;cabinet of curiositiesrdquo; of gems, beasts, and oddities whose author was devoted to using natural history to guide the application of natural and artificial objects as medical drugs. Nappi examines the making of facts and weighing of evidence in a massive collection where tales of wildmen and dragons were recorded alongside recipes for ginseng and peonies.Nappi challenges the idea of a monolithic tradition of Chinese herbal medicine by showing the importance of debate and disagreement in early modern scholarly and medical culture. The Monkey and the Inkpot also illuminates the modern fate of a book that continues to shape alternative healing practices, global pharmaceutical markets, and Chinese culture.
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Book details

List price: $50.00
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 10/15/2009
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 250
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.100

List of Illustrations
Ex-Voto
Note on Conversions
Prologue: A Curious Instinct, A Taste for Ink
Conception: Birth of a Naturalist
Generation: Anatomy of a Naturalist
Interlude
Here Be Dragons: A Reader's Guide to the Bencao gangmu
Transformation: Elements of Change
Transformation: Sprouts of Change
Transformation: Bodies of Change
Transformation: Creatures of Change
Conclusion. Rot and Rebirth: The Afterlife and Reincarnation of a Naturalist
Li Shizhen, Lidai zhujia bencao [Bencao worksthrough the ages]
Contents of the Bencao gangmu [Systematicmateria medica]
Notes
Glossary of Chinese Characters
Index
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