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Ten Thousand Things

Nurturing Life in Contemporary Beijing

Qicheng Zhang, Judith Farquhar

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Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Pädagogik

Beschreibung

Ten Thousand Things explores the many forms of life, or, in ancient Chinese parlance “the ten thousand things” that life is and is becoming, in contemporary Beijing and beyond. Coauthored by an American anthropologist and a Chinese philosopher, the book examines the myriad ways contemporary residents of Beijing understand and nurture the good life, practice the embodied arts of everyday wellbeing, and in doing so draw on cultural resources ranging from ancient metaphysics to modern media.

Farquhar and Zhang show that there are many activities that nurture life: practicing meditative martial arts among friends in a public park; jogging, swimming, and walking backward; dancing, singing, and keeping pet birds; connoisseurship of tea, wine, and food; and spiritual disciplines ranging from meditation to learning a foreign language. As ancient life-nurturing texts teach, the cultural practices that produce particular forms of life are generative in ten thousand ways: they “give birth to life and transform the transformations.”

This book attends to the patterns of city life, listens to homely advice on how to live, and interprets the great tradition of medicine and metaphysics. In the process, a manifold culture of the urban Chinese everyday emerges. The lives nurtured, gathered, and witnessed here are global and local, embodied and discursive, ecological and cosmic, civic and individual. The elements of any particular life — as long as it lasts, and with some skill and determination — can be gathered, centered, and harmonized with the way things spontaneously go. The result, everyone says, is pleasure.

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The Other Hand, I Love Beijing, Chinese philosophy, Symptom, Health, Disease, Longevity, Oppression, United States, Chinese culture, Liezi, God, Bruno Latour, I Ching, Serve the People, Chinese alchemy, Literature, Beijing, Calligraphy, Hutong, Lecture, Asceticism, Bioethics, Confucius, Houhai, Classic book, Chinese herbology, The Private Life of Chairman Mao, Twenty-Four Hours A Day, Trust Doctor, Yangge, Death, Contemporary society, Tai chi, Moxibustion, Socialism with Chinese characteristics, China proper, Sun Bin, Tuberculosis in China, Acupressure, Traditional Chinese medicine, Grandparent, Arthur Waley, Cultural Revolution, Lifestyle disease, Invented tradition, Work unit, Shuowen Jiezi, Joseph Needham, Junk food, Swinging (sexual practice), Xunzi (book), Religion, Homo sacer, Warring States period, Buddhism, Utilitarianism, The Ten Thousand Things, Qigong, Book, Century of humiliation, Huang-Lao, Shanghan Lun, Maurice Meisner, First Things, Confucianism, Biopower, Traditional medicine, Taoism, Laozi, Mental exercise, Critical friend, Everyday life, Mr., Treating, Existentialism, The Practice of Everyday Life, Classical Chinese, Herbal, Three Represents, Chen Yinke, May Fourth Movement, Lucian Pye, Taijitu, Huangdi Neijing, Science and Civilisation in China, Zhuangzi (book), Tao Te Ching, Modernity, Wang Chong, Ziran, Deng Xiaoping, Yin and yang, Henri Lefebvre, Writing, Walter Benjamin, Lunheng, Huainanzi, Qi, Zhu Hong