This article examines the image of Florence in the travel accounts of Sheng Cheng, Xu Zhimo, Zhu Ziqing and Zou Taofen, four different personalities, with quite different backgrounds and sensibilities, who visited Florence during the 1920s and 1930s. These authors present to their Chinese readers portraits of a thriving city with a vibrant atmosphere that, nonetheless, transcends its present to be crystallised in an exuberant eternal renaissance. The article argues that the authors are inspired by a specific idea of the Italian Renaissance that gained momentum in late nineteenth-century Europe. This idea strongly resonated with the Chinese intellectual elite of the early twentieth century, who found in it an inspiration to face China’s internal political challenges. However, the travel accounts seem to transcend any real political frame in describing the city, while instead fabricating a fantasy of Florence as the embodiment of modernity, beauty and elegance.

Early twentieth-century Chinese travellers in Florence / Miriam Castorina; Valentina Pedone. - In: STUDIES IN TRAVEL WRITING. - ISSN 1364-5145. - ELETTRONICO. - 25:(2022), pp. 487-503. [10.1080/13645145.2022.2128438]

Early twentieth-century Chinese travellers in Florence

Miriam Castorina
;
Valentina Pedone
2022

Abstract

This article examines the image of Florence in the travel accounts of Sheng Cheng, Xu Zhimo, Zhu Ziqing and Zou Taofen, four different personalities, with quite different backgrounds and sensibilities, who visited Florence during the 1920s and 1930s. These authors present to their Chinese readers portraits of a thriving city with a vibrant atmosphere that, nonetheless, transcends its present to be crystallised in an exuberant eternal renaissance. The article argues that the authors are inspired by a specific idea of the Italian Renaissance that gained momentum in late nineteenth-century Europe. This idea strongly resonated with the Chinese intellectual elite of the early twentieth century, who found in it an inspiration to face China’s internal political challenges. However, the travel accounts seem to transcend any real political frame in describing the city, while instead fabricating a fantasy of Florence as the embodiment of modernity, beauty and elegance.
2022
25
487
503
Goal 4: Quality education
Goal 10: Reduced inequalities
Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities
Miriam Castorina; Valentina Pedone
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Utilizza questo identificatore per citare o creare un link a questa risorsa: https://hdl.handle.net/2158/1286658
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