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Cosmos and Hearth: A CosmopoliteÕs Viewpoint by Yi-Fu Tuan

By Yi-Fu Tuan

In a quantity that represents the fruits of his life's paintings in contemplating the connection among tradition and panorama, eminent student Yi-Fu Tuan argues that "cosmos" and "hearth" are scales that anchor what it potential to be totally and fortunately human. Illustrating this rivalry with examples from either his local China and his domestic of the prior 40 years, the us, Tuan proposes a revised perception of tradition, one completely grounded in one's personal society but in addition embracing interest in regards to the global. confident and deeply human, this significant quantity lays out a route to being "at domestic within the cosmos."

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As I have already observed, these included a wish to organize space geometrically and a lack of attachment to specific sites. I now add to them a proclivity to favor commonsensical over magical inter- CHINA 21 pretation of events. One can understand such proclivity as a mark of confidence, which the possession of power imparts. A confident society is one that commands power in regard to other societies and to nature. Imperial China has known that power. It deemed its neighbors inferior in culture and inferior even in military strength, though events often proved otherwise.

The prestige and possibly even the showmanship of such occasions led them to participate in the rites of imperial theater. In the course of the Ming dynasty, ways of dealing with nonHan tribes in south China were progressively institutionalized. A system of administration that had a fully articulated hierarchy of ranks and rules came into use and was known as the t'u-ssu system. T'u means local or indigenous, and ssu means chieftain. The local and earthbound were clearly subservient to the cosmic pretensions of empire.

Is invariably the opening gambit of a conversation with a stranger. Locality, where one's ancestors are buried, reveals a person's identity and it is the source of his own deepest sense of self. Everyone takes a quiet pride in his or her homeplace, however humble; and the sophisticated elite are no exception. Each locality is assumed to have its own qualities, to which a native is permitted to draw at- 36 CHINA tention, in a subtle and modest way, when he is in cosmopolitan company. These qualities may include a topographical feature or product, a certain accent and use of words (dialect), or a poetic or painterly style.

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