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The Monkey and the Inkpot : Natural History and Its Transformations in Early Modern China (Hardcover)

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Product Overview

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 (1518?1593).

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 Li?s text, Carla Nappi reveals a ?cabinet of curiosities? 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.

Specifications

Publisher Harvard Univ Pr
Mfg Part# 9780674035294
SKU 211288083
Format Hardcover
ISBN10 0674035291
Release Date 10/15/2009
Product Attributes
Book Format Hardcover
Number of Pages 0234
Publisher Harvard University Press
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