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Cultural habits : The travel writing of Isabella Bird, Max Dauthendey and Ai Wu, 1850-1930 Ng, Maria Noelle 1995

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CULTURAL HABITS : THE TRAVEL WRITING OF ISABELLA BIRD,MAX DAUTHENDEY AND A! WU, 1850 - 1930.byMARIA NOELLE NGB.A., The University of British Columbia, 1978M.A., The University of British Columbia, 1982A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTSFOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHYinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES(Programme in Comparative Literature)We accept this )besis as conforming to the required standard______t.z_J_THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIAJuly 1995@ Maria Nöelle Ng, 1995In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanceddegree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensivecopying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of mydepartment or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writtenpermission.(SigfDepartment of FAAr7 Ii i7&The University of British ColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDate 2 i’2DE-6 (2/88)iiABSTRACTEdward Said’s Orientalism (1978) has generally been recognized asan influential study of western literary perceptions of the East, butnumerous critics have also challenged his geographical parameters as toonarrow and his conceptual framework as insufficiently complex. Thisthesis further expands the study of Orientalism (1) by focussing on acolonized area generally overlooked in this context, namely Southeast Asia;(2) by including a writer of German background, a nationality frequentlyomitted in the discussion of colonial history in general and of Orientalismin particular; and (3) perhaps most importantly, by juxtaposing the viewsof a Chinese author with those of western writers.This thesis is the critical study of three authors about their travels inSoutheast Asia: Isabella Bird (1831-1904), Max Dauthendey (1867-1918)and Ai Wu (1904-1992). Since postcolonial criticism does not generallyconcern itself with the cultural habits which are formed in a traveller’snative society prior to his or her departure, this approach alone does notprovide the tools for the differentiated kind of investigation I wish toconduct. I therefore draw on the cultural criticism of Pierre Bourdieu(1972, 1979, 1993), Johannes Fabian (1983, 1991), and Walter Benjamin(1969, 1974, 1985), to focus on a decisive moment in each traveller’sbackground, which may be said to have shaped his or her perception ofother cultures. In Bird’s case, this event was the 1851 Exhibition whichencapsulated the Victorian ideals of industrial progress, imperialexpansion, and Christian philanthropy. By contrast, Dauthendey’sresponses were shaped by the Art Nouveau sensibilities he bad acquired inIllthe German, French, and Scandinavian bohème. Finally, Al Wu derived hisoutlook from the May Fourth Movement, a brief period when westernideas were welcomed into Chinese social and literary history.Said’s Orieiflalism posits the homogeneous cultural entity of animperial West in contradistinction to a victimized East. This thesis does notreverse these categories, but it does provide the space for an equaldiscussion of Chinese and western writings within a differentiatedhistorical context.ivTable of ContentsAbstract iiTable of Contents i vAcknowledgements vA Personal Preface 1Introduction 7Chapter 1: Isabella Bird: Visitation in Southeast Asia1851: Celebration in a Glasshouse 48Mayhew’s Exotic Poor and Bird’s “Loathsome Infectious Sore” 56A Benevolent Lady of Leisure in Asia 64The Hierarchy of Non-Europeans 76In Southeast Asia and Canton With No Baedeker 9 1Chapter 2: Max Dauthendey: Seduced by the EastBerlin and the Shaping of an Aesthete 101The Orient in Nineteenth-Century Germany 118The Blue Light of the Exotic East 133“A Wanderer Upon the Face of Public Resort” 149Chapter 3: Ai Wu: Learning How to CurseChinese and Dogs Not Allowed 168The Milk of the May Fourth Movement 177Life As a Sahib or a Dog in Burma 186Invocations of China Abroad 196We Are Not One Big Happy Family 206Conclusion 224Glossary 230Works Cited 232VACKNOWLEDGEMENTSI want to thank the members of my research committee, Dr. Jan Walls andDr. Stephen Taubeneck, for their helpful comments. I also want to thankCharles Moorhead for our many stimulating discussions on architectureand the built environment. A scholarship from Graduate Studies enabledme to conduct research in Hong Kong and Singapore. But this thesis wouldnot have been completed without the constant encouragement and adviceof my research supervisor, Dr. Eva-Marie Kröller, who has patiently readand re-read my writing.1A PERSONAL PREFACEBecause I am reluctant to take an unequivocal position againstwestern colonial history and influence, some of my friends have seen meas a victim of wavering ideology. These are usually friends who are non-Chinese, interested in questions of postcolonialism, but individuals whohave generally not lived under colonial rule themselves. However, I grewup in a colony, and my experience has taught me that one must firstsubscribe to the concept that a homogenized West exists in opposition to anundifferentiated East before one can take up a clear position in favour ofeither. I was born in Macau with Portuguese nationality, but my familywas Han Chinese who did not speak English, although we lived in theBritish colony of Hong Kong. My education was primarily Anglo-Americanunder the missionary system. Although there were many Chinese publicand private schools, most Chinese parents preferred an English-speakinginstitution which provided their children with a western education, so thatthey could compete in the Anglo-centric world of Hong Kong. I lived in akind of western culture from Monday to Saturday. We were taught Englishfolk songs such as “Flow Gently Swift Afton” and learnt to make crumpetsin Home Economics class. My evenings and Sunday were spent as aChinese with regular visits to relatives in Macau, where the populationspoke mostly Portuguese or Cantonese,1 and where the military guardswere Africans from Angola. Until I started reading about postcolonialismas a graduate student, I did not perceive a problem in being both awesterner and a Chinese. But my academic discussions with friends andfellow students quickly made me realise that cultural unities such as theWest and the East can be evoked too easily, and the many confluences2which exist between cultures ignored. Yet a close examination of theseconnections will show us that, first, unicultural identities rarely occur inreality, and that second, a post-independent country’s colonial historycreates new kinds of knowledge, cultural habits and political practices. Iwish to resist any simple categorization and, instead, offer a criticalexamination of the intricate and often contradictory processes of formingcultural identities and habits. Travel writing, a literary genre composed ofcultural observations and personal impressions, is an excellent vehicle forsuch a study.I was well-prepared by my multicultural background to become acomparatist, but was less prepared for the debates which currentlydominate the discipline. In her essay entitled “Comparative Exile,”Comparative Literature in the Age of Multiculturalism (1995), Emily Apterdescribes postcolonial literacy as “imbued . . . [with] amnesia of origins,fractured subjectivity, border trauma . . .“ (90), and she sees the contestbetween different generations of comparatists as “a border war” (94).Although I agree that some of the problems Apter cites do exist, I do notbelieve that the field of comparative literature has been quite so disabled.Mary Louise Pratt suggests, less combatively than Apter, that comparativeliterature could be cultivated as “a site for powerful intellectual renewal inthe study of literature and culture” (“Comparative Literature” 62). Sheproposes that the discipline should produce “bilingual, bicultural people (ormultilingual, multicultural people)” instead of students who know severallanguages. It is possible that students who culturally and linguisticallyappreciate non-European countries, ethnic groups and so on will help tobreak down the Eurocentric tradition of comparative literature, hut I thinkthat a complex phenomenon such as a multicultural mindset cannot be3“produced” readily in a university environment which, though it draws ona multicultural clientele, exists largely within a Eurocentric tradition.Any culture is a complex study. For instance, what does a Chinesecultural identity mean? It means more than speaking one or many of thedialects. It also involves more than an intellectual appreciation of theculture. To be Chinese is to have a “sense of belonging to a unifiedcivilization that boasts several thousands of years of uninterruptedhistory,” and though Chinese culture has been “amalgamating,restructuring, reinventing,” most Chinese still believe in the superiority ofthe Han people as the race of China (Wu 160-2). Many Asian culturesshare a similar racial and nationalistic consciousness, however mythical orinvented it may be. Thus, to be Chinese, as is the case in all culturalidentity-formation, means drawing upon historical and social processeswhich have changed and shaped daily lives over a long period of time. Asa person brought up in several cultures, I have fostered a habit to viewsituations from various perspectives. This habit can lead to creative,interdisciplinary but, sometimes, paradoxical approaches to problemsrather than dogmatic ones. Although I condemn the colonial ambitions ofEuropean countries, I cannot disavow the colonial elements whichconstitute my upbringing. On a larger scale, many post-independent Asiancountries have to consider similar problems, and each has to find its ownpolitical and pragmatic solution: for instance, should Myanmar (Burma)totally reject its colonial past and become xenophobic in its exclusion of allother cultures, or should Singapore maintain English as one of its officiallanguages in spite of the colonial implication of English? As I write thisthesis, I realise that my interest in European culture forms a counterpointto my disapprobation of European colonial history. I also realise that4travel writers are carriers of cultural habits, and that these habits varyfrom nation to nation, and change from one generation to another.Therefore, I do not study European travellers only as agents of imperialambition, nor can I valorize Chinese travellers as more tolerant of culturaldifferences than their European counterparts. Instead, I try to account foreach writer’s opinions and prejudices, but, again, my attempt tounderstand German and British Orientalism does not negate thereprehensible history of the European colonization of Asia. I find myself ina similar situation as Janice Brownfoot in her study of the memsahibs incolonial Malaya. Although she wants to “challenge the unbalanced imagesdrawn by men and to enable the women [memsahibsj to tell their ownstory” (187), the non-Asian women still emerge from her article as bigotedand racist because of the colonial history which generally determined theiractions. The travellers represent different cultures; however, the hostilityand distrust between European and non-European people run through theentire narrative.Since I cannot see myself siding exclusively with either the West orthe East, both terms which designate homogeneity and deny cultural andhistorical uniqueness, I have refrained from capitalizing the adjectives‘eastern’ and ‘western’, and name specific country and culture wheneverpossible. Asian countries do not conceptualize themselves in terms of theEast, or the Orient. Each country is strongly aware of its own ethnic andhistorical identity instead of a general geographical identity. As anexample, in a recent issue of Asiaweek, a Hong Kong publication, the word‘eastern’ is never used and ‘western’ is mentioned only twice. Likewise, Iprefer the term ‘the others’ to ‘the Other’ because people do not have asingle reaction against an essentialized Other, but many and graduated5responses to cultures foreign to one’s own. It is also important toremember that not only people of European descent see non-Europeans as‘the others’, but to the many Asians, non-Asians are ‘the others’. Withinthe European tradition of North American universities, a topic as well-intentioned as colonial study can easily re-establish the power relation ofthe non-Asian as the speaking subject and the Asians as the objectifiedothers. In my world, there are many other cultures, some Asian and somenon-Asian. One of the solutions to bridging differences is to recognize thesocial milieu which forms the cultural habits of the others. Sometimes,recognition can also bring about salutary change in our culturalperceptions.6N1 There is one written Chinese language but many spoken dialects.One cannot really use the term spoken Chinese, and colonial chroniclerssuch as J.H.M. Robson were careful to differentiate, for example, betweenthe Cantonese-speaking and Hokien-speaking Chinese in Malaya. Colonialadministrators recognised the ethnic prejudice which existed among theChinese communities. This knowledge was essential to the colonizers, whomanipulated inter-ethnic conflicts to their own advantage. See Recordsand Recollections.7INTRODUCTION: EVERYDAY PRACTICE AND ORIENTALISMTravel narratives describe the presence of the others. In theclassical world of Herodotus, the others were the non-Greeks, thebarbarians. In Marco Polo’s thirteenth-century Europe, the others werethose who lived in non-Christian lands, while in China, the ancestors ofMarco Polo’s Great Khan were outsiders to the Chinese until the Mongolsruled China and adopted Chinese ways. Criteria defining otherness willchange with history. In the nineteenth century, Europeans considerednon-whites as a lower species in the hierarchy established by Europeanreligion and learning. This racist belief was used to justify nineteenth-century European colonial expansion as a civilizing project. Whatdistinguishes nineteenth-century European colonial enterprises from theprevious centuries “seems to be [their] overt, pervasive, andextraordinarily confident racism” (Thomas 77). It was a strand of racismmotivated and institutionalised by an “occidental capitalism” whichexploited the colonized countries by successful assumption of militaryforce and administrative power structures (Rex 204-5). In westerncolonizing culture, the others could be Muslim infidels or African heathens,but they were all in need of administration and catechism by theEuropeans.While western travel writing reported on an increasingly number ofcountries as colonization expanded, traditional Chinese travel writing “wasconcerned with travel in China itself . . . “ (Strassberg 4). Imperial Chinahad an insular attitude towards non-Chinese different from the Europeanattitude towards Asians. Trading with non-Asian foreigners was forbiddenexcept for brief periods of changes in imperial rule, or until western8military actions enforced an open-door policy in mid-nineteenth century.Missionary efforts were restricted. Other Asian states, such as Siam andBurma, were subsumed into the tributary states system when outrightconquests failed. 1 China, or Zhong-guo (literally middle-country), hadalways considered itself to be the kingdom at the centre of the world (Wu161). Imperial China held the rest of the world in indifference, and itspolicy towards Europeans remained relatively unchanged until the latterhalf of the nineteenth century. When China decided to adopt westerntechnology for industrial and military development, it still held onto thebelief that Chinese moral and philosophical values were essentiallysuperior to western culture (Spence 224-5). Eurocentrism was counteredby Sinocentrism.James Clifford asks in The Predicament of Culture, “Can oneultimately escape procedures of dichotomizing, restructuring, andtextualizing in the making of interpretive statements about foreigncultures and traditions?” (261). This pervasive problem in perceiving andrepresenting other cultures generally informs my analysis. Many criticalstudies have recently been written on the representation of the others:François Hartog’s The Mirror of Herodotus (1988), Sara Suleri’s ThRhetoric oLEnglish India (1992) and Mary Louise Pratt’s Iniperial EyesTravel Writing and Transculturation (1992) to name but a few. Mostworks, however, concentrate on the modes of representation and theliterary product, that is, the textual strategies used by travel writers andtheir analyses. For instance, Pratt provides a penetrating discussion ofAlexander von Humboldt’s Ansichten der Natur (Yiews of Nature 1808) inIniperiaLEy. But her relatively brief section on Humboldt “[a]s aromantic, the German kind” (137) fails to contextualize Humboldt’s9interpretation of nature within the specific tradition of GermanRomanticism, which includes such figures as Novalis, who speaks of natureas an occult cipher in Die Lehrlinge zu Sais (1797), an idea which Humboldtechoes in his South American narrative. The difference betweenHumboldt’s and other eighteenth-century travellers’ descriptions oflandscape, such as Alexander Dalrymple’s (Oriental Repertory 1791), canbe better appreciated if one understands in some detail Humboldt’sliterary ties to German Romanticism.Although I am interested in the travel accounts themselves, I ammore concerned with the social-historical construction of the writers whoposit the “interpretative statements about foreign cultures and traditions.”What social process and historical circumstances formed the subjectivity ofIsabella Bird (1831-1904), imperialist and mission-lady? Why would MaxDauthendey (1867-1918) see a New Guinean native as a mighty warriorand not as a degenerate savage? How did Ai Wu (1904-1992), descendantof a traditional Chinese family and schooled in the classics, acquire therebellious attitude and political consciousness so prevalent in his travelsketches? These are some of the questions I hope to answer by conductinga kind of criticism at the “micro level” of travel literature.2 My analysis isgenerated by the examination of everyday life and social experience ofthese writers before they embarked on their journeys. Most travellersjourney with their consciousness already formed by their home-societies;therefore it becomes imperative that we should understand the travellers’social settings before we analyse their writings. If the practice ofmisrepresentation starts at home, then one’s investigation should take intoaccount the travellers’ individual social-cultural background and theirgeneral ideologies. And instead of reading travel writing “from above,” as10one historian describes the German tradition of studying history in largepolitical and philosophical contexts (Evans 22-3), I intend to approach thenarratives from a street-level, to look at the travellers’ interactions withsocial space which influenced their daily lives at home. Thus I havefocussed on some key moments in the modernization of nineteenth-century England and Germany, and in the modernization of China in thetwentieth century, to represent the main currents of influence. Thesemoments--the 1851 Exhibition, the Art Nouveau in Germany, the MayFourth Movement in China--were expressions of modernizing processesand counter-movement against modernization. It is my purpose to showthat this network of influences is instrumental in forming the travellers’cultural identities and habits, which in turn conditioned their constructionsof other cultures.A work which offers an examination “from above” of the systematicconstruction and interpretation of others is Edward Said’s Orientalism(1978). Since its publication, it has continued to stimulate discussionsamong literary critics interested in the vast body of writings on the Orient.The book was instrumental in providing “a shift in the interest of literaryand cultural theoreticians from textuality to historicity,” and it “has been avital force in inaugurating a new phase of cultural and literary studiesmarked by a recognition of the complicity of European knowledge in thehistory of Western colonialism” (Behdad 10). In the reactionary, or asNicholas Thomas more generously calls them, “hypercritical” discussions“on the part of defensive practitioners of Asian studies” (21), Said has beenfaulted for “three hundred pages of twisted, obscure, incoherent, ill-11informed, and badly written diatribe” (Ryckmans 20). But even moreobjective reviews tend to agree that Said’s Orientalism is problematical.The most obvious problem to East Asianists would be the exclusion ofEast Asian and Southeast Asian countries from Said’s “Orient”. As Saidhimself admits, “Orientalism did something fairly limited, although itcovered a lot of ground . . . I limited myself to the period from about 1800until the present, looking at the Islamic Arab world” (Pen 63). On the veryfirst page of Orientalism, Said explains that he has decided to concentrateon the British and French “long tradition of . . . Orientalism, a way ofcoming to terms with the Orient that is based on the Orient’s special placein European Western experience” (1). If one looks at the history ofwestern colonization, the Portuguese and the Dutch empires had anarguably longer tradition than the French and the English in “coming toterms” with the Orient. The Portuguese established the first unofficialcolony in East Asia when they “appointed officials . . . to govern” Macau in1557 (HsU 93), and they will have the dubious privilege to control the lastEuropean colony in Asia until 1999. Portugal was also the first Europeancountry to have a sizable literature on Asia (Lach 1:148-217). These factscannot be ignored in a historicized study and critique of the tradition ofwestern colonization. In concentrating on the French and Britishcolonization of parts of Asia and the Middle-East, Orientalism tends to deemphasize that part of European colonization which began in the sixteenthcentury and affected countries in Asia other than India.Even if we confine ourselves to the colonial history of the nineteenthcentury, two colonial powers in Asia must be taken into account. AlthoughThe Netherlands could not continue to rival England as a European powerin the nineteenth century, they remained a strong colonial presence in12Southeast Asia until the mid-twentieth century. A new entry in the racefor colonial possessions, Germany claimed New Guinea, several islandgroups in the Pacific, Qingdao (Tsingtao), and the Shandong Peninsula inChina as part of German territories. Although Germany, because it was acolonial power only for a short period, did not develop the rich tradition ofcolonial literature as the Dutch did in the nineteenth and twentiethcenturies, it was the centre of European Orientalist Study in the Romanticera. Friedrich Schlegel’s writings and lectures on Sanskrit and IndicStudies inspired a great number of other German orientalists, including hisbrother, Wilhelm (Schwab 74). Said defends his exclusion of Germany inhis study of Orientalism by claiming thatat no time in German scholarship during the first two-thirds of thenineteenth century could a close partnership have developedbetween Orientalists and a protracted, sustained national interest inthe Orient. There was nothing in Germany to correspond to theAnglo-French presence in India, the Levant . . . . (Orientalism 18-9)Said is right when he writes that “there is a possibly misleading aspect tomy study” (18). In this instance, there was no corresponding Germanpresence in the Orient because there was no Germany at that time.Germany did not become a nation until 1871. Between then and the FirstWorld War, an aggressive colonial policy was pursued to much effect, aperiod in German history which will be discussed further in Chapter 2.And although the “German Orient was almost exclusively a scholarly, or atleast a classical Orient” (Orientalism 19), Germans were just as aware of theEast as other Europeans were through inter-European commerce andtravelling. As early as the sixteenth century, “[tjhe close political ties of13the Hapsburgs to Spain and the Low Countries and the constant commercialintercourse between Antwerp . . . and the Hanseatic and south Germanmercantile centers brought Germany . . . into intimate touch with thediscoveries and Asian trade” (Lach 2:22). Germans, although not activecoloniali sts, were nonetheless developing stereotypical impressions of theEast. In Orientalism, Said presents us with an exclusive picture ofEuropean orientalist practices based mainly on two colonial nations, areification of a “Western totality . . . a discrete entity capable of generatingknowledge and institutional power . . .“ (Clifford 272). Orientalism andmuch writing on colonialism, as Thomas cautions, tend to conflate thecolonizers into a global entity and ignore the questions of who wascolonizing and where (97-8).And if the Orient of the modern Orientalist “is not the Orient as it is,but the Orient as it has been Orientalized,” as Said claims (Orientalism 104),then one must wonder if there ever was an essential Orient before it wasorientalized. Or as Robert Young asks in White Mytho1ogks, “[I]f Saiddenies that there is any actual Orient which could provide a true account ofthe Orient represented by Orientalism, how can he claim in any sense thatthe representation is false?” (130). It also raises the question of whetherthere is the possibility of true cultural representation, or whether culturalrepresentation is always prey to stereotyping? And if one wants to speakof the “actual” Orient, or Asia and the Middle East, one must also includeChina, Japan, Korea, the Malayan Peninsula, Burma, the Dutch Indies and soon. In Orieatali&m, there are a French Europe and a British Europe, just asthere is an Orient which Said defines, whether intentionally or not, as theIslamic Arab world. Perhaps all this criticism of Orientalism is merecavilling, an approach which Rey Chow decries as “positivistic thinking,14derived from a literal understanding of the significance of geographicalcaptivity” (7). But I think, to quote Said himself, Orientalism could indeedbe misleading, especially now that it has reached “textbook status”(Thomas 8). Its sweep of vision and undifferentiated treatment (or simpleneglect) of Asia do not equip the readers “for the singularity ofrepresentations of other regions [other than the Middle East]” (8).In Orientalism, western views of the Orient are described as “anunstoppable European expansion,” an “efficient engine” which could“capture [the Orient], treat it, describe it, improve it, radically alter it” (95).The Orient was totally suppressed and human interchange was nonexistent. This image of a cowed and victimized Orient tends to confirm thecolonial belief that the Orient was weak and submissive. In a collection ofessays entitled Orientalism and the Postcolonial Predicament: PerspectivesonSmilhAsia (1993),3 various contributors try to show that “colonialdiscourses are not only interconnected but also productive discourses,which create new kinds of knowledge, expression, political practice, andsubjectivity” (Breckenridge 6). One instance of this relation between theWest and the East was the adoption of the “Madras” system, “also known asthe ‘monitorial’ or ‘mutual improvement’ system” for a scheme for nationaleducation in eighteenth-century England (Richardson 91). The “Madras”system, initially designed to educate the “half-caste children” of Britishsoldiers in India, became the educational system which facilitated “theinternal colonization of [England’s] unruly ‘industrious classes” (Richardson96-7). The disciplinary and monitoring nature of the system eventuallybecame part of the nineteenth-century philanthropic culture, much asprecautionary measures taken against the spreading of the plague evolvedinto the panoptic power of the government in later centuries (Foucault,15Disdp1in 195-228). In the case of the ‘Madras system’, the powerstructure remained uneven in this transference of colonial administrativeand pedagogic knowledge to the empire: colonial half-castes andmetropolitan unruly social classes needed close supervision, and a systemwas devised for this enforcement, in India and in Great Britain. It alsoproves the point that the circulation of knowledge and the formation ofsocial relations within the colonial system were more complex thanOrientalism would lead one to presume.Thus the postcolonial critic Homi Bhabha reiterates in his essays thatcolonial discourse is ambivalent and contested, and that in his “inadequateengagement with alterity and ambivalence,” Said offers “a peremptoryresolution to a problem posed with remarkable insight” by the introductionof “a binarism within the argument . . .“ (“Other Question” 77). To Bhabha,“[h]ybridity is the sign of the productivity of colonial power, its shiftingforces and fixities” (“Signs” 173). This reading, as does Lisa Lowe’s inCritical Terrains: French and British Orientalisms (1991), considerablydestabilizes Said’s monumental Orientalism: “If the effect of colonial poweris seen to be the production of hybridity . . . then an important change ofperspective occurs. It reveals the ambivalence at the source of traditionaldiscourses on authority and enables a form of subversion . . . “ (173). ToBhabha, colonial power is established not solely by colonial authority nornative silence. Colonial authority must necessarily face the challenge of“the uncanny forces of race, sexuality, violence, cultural and even climaticdifferences” (174). Other writers have also noted that colonial writing doesnot always record a total will to dominate, but that colonial encounterscould occasion bewilderment and fear in the colonizing agent as well(Thomas 15, Herbert 167-9).16The differentiated approach which critics such as Bhabha offer in rereading the colonial discourse contributes to my comparative study ofwestern and eastern travel writings. But the cultural criticism of PierreBourdieu is also pertinent to my analysis of both the formation of culturalhabits and the way these habits influenced the cultural encounters of thetravellers. Although Bourdieu does not write on colonial topics, his ideasare useful in their analyses of social practices, practices which includetravelling and writing. He analyses the social structure of Kabyle in Africa(Esguisse d’une Théorie de Ia Pratigue 1972), Parisian society (LaDistincticn 1979), and the social relations within the cultural world (IhField of Cultural Production 1993)3, using the concept of the habitus.“L’habitus,” Bourdieu writes in Esguisse d’une Théorie de Ia Pratigue, is the“principe générateur” (generative principle) “[qui] produit des pratiques”(179). These practices, including social habits, in turn reproduce theregularities or rules inherent in the objective conditions of the production,objective conditions being the material conditions of existence, such as theplace of dwelling or of work. In other words, our social habits are shapedby material conditions, which are in turn shaped by our social habits. InLa Distinction, speaking of a more specific society, Bourdieu furtherexplains habitus as “[n]écessité incorporée, convertie en dispositiongénératrice de pratiques sensées et de perceptions capables de donnersens aux pratiques ainsi engendrees . . . “ (necessity internalized andconverted into a disposition that generates meaningful practices andmeaning-giving perceptions)5 (La Distinction 190). These practices andperceptions are circulated within society through personal interaction orthe media; as a result, cultural misrepresentations continue to thrive.Within the concept of habitus, the tendency of people in various17occupations--such as travelling--to misrepresent others, becomes amanifestation of internalized lessons which we have absorbed into oureveryday life through the material conditions of our existence.Because different material conditions of existence produce differentforms of habitus, it follows logically that members of different societiesand cultures will develop their own sets of dispositions, pre-conceptionsand prejudices regarding other peoples and cultures. In Said’s Orientalismand much of the critical writings on colonial discourse generated by it (onecan even say that Orientalism and its discourse within the academiccommunity form a kind of habitus), all Westerners are suspect of havingracist attitudes towards people of non-European origins. But according tothe logic of habitus and its flexible analysis of practices, I would rather saythat the way we (Westerners or non-Westerners) perceive others willalways be structured by our own social conditions, regardless of the racialor ethnic identity of the societies. Our misconceptions of the others willdiffer in gradation, but they will not be eradicated as long as the othersremain ‘not one of us’. Thus a multicultural society will likely be moretolerant of other cultural practices than a homogenous society; a liberalgovernment will be less xenophobic than a totalitarian one. The concept ofhabitus allows for such conditions of restructuring by gradual changes insocieties. Within this concept, one takes into account the “dynamics ofcolonialism” and does not assume “that some unitary representation isextended from the metropole and cast across passive spaces, unmediatedby perceptions or encounters” (Thomas 60).I have traced the dispositions, that is, the tendencies and responses,of the travellers when confronted by a foreign environment, to theobjective conditions and everyday practices of their home societies. These18were conditions which formed their social identities: “l’identité sociale sedéfinit et s’affirme dans [les] différence[s]” (social identities are definedand asserted through difference[s]) (La Distinction 191). Of all forms ofmaterial conditions, I have concentrated on the social settings, whichinclude the built environment, and the travellers’ interactions within them.The theme of the social settings facilitates a continuous discussionthroughout the different stages in the travellers’ journey, from the transitto the on-site stage. Because the habitus is not only a structuring structure(“structure structurante”) but also a structured structure (“structurestructurée”) (La Distinction 191), it allows for the paradoxical conditions inwhich we will find the travellers, who could be restructured by their newenvironment and yet, in many ways, resisted change after their travelsoccurred. The internalization of various dispositions and conditions athome is not so easily erased by an encounter with a different culture; onthe contrary, habits acquired at home are often further entrenched whenconfronted by a foreign culture. When the objective conditions of homewere closely replicated abroad, such as in the British colonial settlementsin Southeast Asia, there was even less disruption of the traveller’sperceptions. Thus, Isabella Bird’s reactions towards the Malays wereclosely linked to her disposition towards the poor in Edinburgh andLondon. When the material conditions were somewhat changed, becausethere was a difference in cultural practices, the traveller could continue tobehave as he had at home, but would inevitably find that the conditions,restrained by political decisions or foreign languages, were not alwayscongenial. This was the case with Dauthendey who found himself in apredominantly Dutch colonial community. Ai Wu experienced the samedisjuncture in perception when he travelled to Burma and was confronted19directly by colonial rule. The latent hostility he felt towards foreigners inChina was aggravated by life experience. Theory was then transformedinto activism. Thus the responses of the travellers to alien culturalsituations were governed by the degree of differences between their ownand the others’ cultural habits.One can become reductionist in framing a discussion of English,German and Chinese travel narratives within the concept of habitus alone.In La Distinction and The Field of Cultural Production, Bourdieu focusseshis analyses on the Parisian class system and on the relations of Frenchcultural institutions, and these specific social structures cannot withoutqualifications be applied to travel texts produced by agents of threedifferent cultures. In the study of travel writing, the social background ofthe traveller and the politics of literary production are pertinent topics fordiscussion, in which Bourdieu’s concept of habitus becomes relevant, but Iwant to expand the notion of habitus to include literary study, a strategyalready practiced to a degree by critics such as Rachel Bowlby in lustLookingConsumer Culture in Dreiser,.Gissing and Zola (1985).I read travel writing as a literary form with many functions. At itsmost ideological, travel writing “is essentially an instrument within colonialexpansion and served to reinforce colonial rule once in place” (Sara Mills2). Travel writing could also be used as an educational tool and has notalways been considered a form of trivial literature. As Charles Battenreminds the reader, accounts of European travels in the eigthteenthcentury were considered “as being of distinct literary merit” (24). It isboth a social and historical record, and it interacts and intersects withforms of knowledge and expression throughout the world (Pratt ImperialEyes 5). The continued popularity of travel writing gives the writer a20chance at gaining literary prestige and monetary rewards, and couldguarantee an author a wide readership. These are historical and socialconditions embedded in the genre which should be considered when onestudies travel writing. Above all, travel writing is ambiguous. It ispurportedly factual, but many travel narratives have proven to be fictionalin parts; the example of Ih Sir John Mandeville (14th century),so often cited by earlier travellers, comes readily to mind. But like earlynovels, “the reportorial function” of travel writing has given the genre its“privileged position of observation and commentary” (Davis 212). ThusJoseph Conrad could vouchsafe the veracity of his Southeast Asiancharacters because he borrowed the descriptions from travel records(Sherry 139-41). Because of the perceived reportorial and the implicitpolitical function, as well as the popularity of travel writing, the criticalstudy of the genre is both necessary and instructive. It contributes to thediscussions of such topics as the invention of tradition, or the truth valuein writing.There have been many recent academic studies on travel writing.Mary Campbell’s The Witness and the Other World (1988) discusses travelliterature from 400 to 1600 AD, while Tzvetan Todorov’s La Conguete del’Amérigue (1982, The Discoveryof Aiuerka 1984) and Peter Hulme’sColonial Encounters (1986) provide critical insights into European writingson the history of Central America and the Caribbeans. Percy Adams(Travel Literature and the Evolution of the Novel 1983) and Charles Batten(Pleasurable Instruction: Form and Convention in 18th CenturyZtraeILiterature 1978) analyse the genre in the context of western literarytradition. With the recognition that the student population is increasinglymulticultural and with the growing interest in other literary traditions,21travel writing becomes an ideal genre for the study of interculturalresponses and history. Although travel writing has been acknowledged intraditional literary histories, it was not “until the advent of colonialdiscourse as a legitimate field of research in the 1970s” (2), as Sara Millswrites in Discourses of Difference,that travel writing was studied ascolonial text.As articles in Charles Bernheimer’s Comparative Literature in theAge of Jviultic.ulturalism (1995) show, Comparative Literature istheoretically the best-suited discipline for the study of colonial discourse.My own colonial background largely influences my reading of travelwriting as both a palimpsestic history of the metropole at a certain period,and a literary record of the countries which are visited. Therefore, Idiscuss some aspects of European and Chinese cultures in as much detail asthe travellers’ representations of Southeast Asia. Although the threetravellers do not belong to the established roster of great writers such asHenry James, Thomas Mann or Lu Xun, they are recorders andeyewitnesses of encounters in which the cultural and power dynamicsinvolved were always complex and layered. Bird, Dauthendey and Ai Wurepresent specific cultural moments in nineteenth-century Europe andtwentieth-century China which had an important impact on travel writing,and travel writing, as mentioned before, is a genre which can circulatecultural perceptions. The geographical and literary areas which areexamined in the thesis have been overlooked in previous studies: thecolonial cultures in Southeast Asia and popular German Orientalism havenot generally been explored, and an extensive comparison of Chinese andEuropean travel writings has not yet been conducted. The relationbetween factual reports and fiction is just as complex and layered, and I22use both travel narratives and fiction to show some of the connectionsbetween the two genres, such as the sharing of tropes. Analyses of travelnarratives alongside colonial fiction clarify the motivations of fictionalwriters such as Orwell or Conrad and show the cultural context withinwhich they worked. Travel writing by minor writers introduces freshperspectives on literature as cultural history. This genre of writing alsoprovides concrete information for our interpretations of canonical works,as, for instance, reading Bird’s The GoIdenChersonese can shed much lighton Conrad’s Southeast Asian tales.I begin the chapter on Isabella Bird with a detailed discussion of theglass and steel structure which was generally called the Crystal Palace.Conceived as an idea in 1849 and opened in 1851, the huge domedstructure was metonymic of the Victorian belief in progress and was “thestart of the modern myth of the grail of ‘growtht” (McKean 5). Theinnovative design and vastness of the structure, and the plenitude ofobjects on show instilled in the British the belief that “every futureimprovement in society will radiate in some unknown or known way fromthe Great Exhibition” (TheEconomisi qtd. in Richards 29). The CrystalPalace symbolized two central ideas important to a middle-class Victorianlike Isabella Bird: the power of the British Empire and the proper fashionfor the colonizing agent to view and describe the colonized subjects aspossessions.A prodigious project undertaken and finished in an amazingly shortspan of time, from the tender deadline of July 10, 1850 to the opening dateof May 1, 1851, the Crystal Palace was a concrete testimony to theindustrial ingenuity of nineteenth-century Britain. This gargantuan23building situated in Hyde Park in the centre of London, an astonishingphysical phenomenon in itself, was sold to the public through skillfulcommercial strategies as “the ideology of England, from the nationalidentity embodied in the monarchy to the imperial expansion taking placein Africa . . . “ (Richards 5). The project was strongly endorsed by thePrince Consort from early design stages. His support, together with theelaborate opening ceremony by the Queen in the presence of all theimportant personages of the realm, confirmed the royal patronage of theproject and the building. The Crystal Palace was more than a building. Itbecame one of those centres which Clifford Geertz calls “concentrated lociof serious acts,” an arena in which leading institutions of a society convergeto create ideas of lasting influence (Geertz 14). Britons like Isabella Birdwould be justly proud of the Crystal Palace and what it housed andrepresented.Inside the building were not only exhibits of manufactured objectsand all forms of commodity, but also units of colonial displays. Therationale for imperial displays was “[tb show the resources of the colonyoff . . . to encourage emulation and . . . [tb enhance British trade”(Greenhalgh 55-6). Indians and Indian artifacts were displayed andcatalogued in the same way as a lighthouse reflector or a giant telescope.Spectators were educated and encouraged to participate in the colonialadventure; other peoples and cultures were objectified as colonial lessonsfor the masses.Embedded and implicated in the success of the construction of theCrystal Palace were the problems inimical to the industrial age. From anaesthetic point of view, critics like Ruskin objected to the architecture ofsteel and glass as a separation of “art from nature, labor from design, and24function from beauty”; to such critics it was a triumph of “engineeringbravura” rather than beautiful design (Boyer 226). In more practicalterms it was the prototype of the urban architecture of modern cities: theskyscrapers and the shopping malls. Corollary to the process of urbanmodernization was an influx of population looking for work, which “createdan acute problem of overcrowding . . .“ (Himmelfarb 55-6). It was aboutthe middle of the century that the word ‘slum’, which originally signified aslumbering, unfrequented back alley, acquired its negative meaning today(207). The grid-formation of the interior of the exhibition site, thetriumphal displays of technological inventions, the valorization of scienceand modern hygiene, all these contributed to the Victorians’ increasingawareness of the seedy living conditions of the working classes. It was notmere coincidence that Henry Mayhew authored both a novel based on theGreat Exhibition (1851) and an exhaustive study of the lives of the Londonpoor.Henry Mayhew’s social writings, which are discussed in Chapter 1,could be read as blueprints to Victorian novels by Dickens or WilkieCollins. One cannot fully appreciate a figure such as Silas Weggs or Mr.Boffin in Our Mutual Friend without reading Mayhew’s descriptions of thecostermonger or the dustman in London Labour and London Poor. Hisarticles were avidly read by the public, partly because of the risingsentiment of philanthropy in the middle-class, but also because theyprovided a glimpse into a world which held all the fascination of a foreigncountry. Thomas Cook, the genius of modern mass tourism, “ransightseeing tours to the East End of London,” where Cook had its officeamongst “a Dickensian rookery pullulating with life” (Brendon 153) andslumming became a fashionable pastime. The London of the social outcasts25was the equivalent of the criminal world of Baizac or the mysteries ofEugene Sue’s Paris, a milieu which, as Benjamin tells us, contained all thepoetic terror of Cooper’s savage America (Baudelaire 543-44).Thus I introduce Mayhew as a bridge-figure to Bird, who sharedMayhew’s reforming zeal and anthropological curiosity. Mayhew’s Londonand Bird’s Edinburgh also provide the explanatory background to Bird’sinterest in the native built environment in The Golden Chersonese. In theMalay Peninsula, coddled by people of her own social class and gratified bythe signs of prosperity of the colonial empire, Bird continued her mode ofobservation, treating the Malays very much as if they were theunemployed and the poor of Britain. The social power relations betweenthe observer and the observed remained unchanged. Her access to placesand peoples was a kind of “[c]ontrol over spatial organization” which iscrucial “for the reproduction of social power relations” (Harvey 186-7).However, Bird’s dispositions were challenged when she arrived in China,where, although western presence was allowed, the Westerners’movements were circumscribed.To present two facets of imperial travel writing I compare Bird’saccount of Canton, China to another English traveller’s. Laurence Oliphantwas on a government mission and he encountered the Chinese in a militaryskirmish. His account of the Chinese was phrased in the rude terms of aconqueror. By contrast, Bird’s sense of superiority was diminished bycircumstance. Lacking the power to control the spatial organization of thecity, she could not interrupt the everyday life of the Chinese as she couldthe Malays. Reduced to gazing at the shopfronts, Bird had to place theChinese in a different category of otherness. Still in the “allochronistic”perceiving mode (Fabian, Time and the Other 312),6 Bird saw the Chinese26as an ancient and corrupt people, moving down the slope of development.Bird treated the Malays, who were dependent subjects, with theindulgence reserved for ignorant children. In Canton, she was only onceallowed to penetrate the “front region” of the city life, the “barriers toperception” of which Goffman speaks in the organization of social space(106). It was, in a perversely appropriate way, a place of violence andpunishment. Bird’s habit of entry and surveillance, themselvestransgressive activities, was thus rewarded by the permission to observeviolent acts.The ultimate exercise of power for a traveller is to ignore thedetermination of frontiers which organize spatiality everywhere (“il n’estpas de spatialité que n’organise Ia determination de frontières”) (deCerteau 217). Travel guides, whether in person or in book form, are agentswho set up boundaries for the travellers to observe: these guides suggestcertain sights and advise avoidance of certain routes. They also function asetiquette handbooks. In the last part of Chapter 1, I examine how Bird’sfreedom from the interdiction of a Baedeker gives her the ultimatepossessing gaze, the “monarch-of-all-I-survey” look (Pratt 201-5), thusrestoring her to the position of colonial surveyor and shopper of cultureswith which the chapter begins.The thesis moves from the drama of the interior (Crystal Palace,slums) to the drama of the street in the chapter on Max Dauthendey. Inthe first part of Chapter 2, I explore Berlin in the 1890s, at the time whenMax Dauthendey arrived from the provinces. In order to convey the depthof influence which this new imperial capital exerted on the perception ofthe young poet and artist, I include discussions of various aspects ofBerlin’s urban life: the Berlin Secession, the architecture and the city space,27the imperial culture of Wilhelm II. I see Dauthendey primarily as aflaneur, the social figure whose habitat is indexed by Baudelaire in ‘LePeintre de Ia vie moderne”:La foule est son domaine, comme l’air est celui de l’oiseau, commel’eau celui du poisson. Sa passion et sa profession, c’est d’epouser lafoule. Pour le parfait flâneur, pour l’observateur passionné, c’est uneimmense jouissance que d’élire domicile dans le nombre, dansl’ondoyant, dans le mouvement, dans le fugitif et l’infini. (691)(The crowd is his domain, just as the air is the bird’s, and water thatof the fish. His passion and his profession is to merge with thecrowd. For the perfect idler, for the passionate observer it becomesan immense source of enjoyment to establish his dwelling in thethrong, in the ebb and flow, the bustle, the fleeting and the infinite.)7The nineteenth-century flaneur could only exist within certain social andhistorical contexts. As Benjamin discusses the phenomenon, the flaneurculture needed the physical setting of a modern city. Before Haussmann’srebuilding of Paris, wide pavements were rare, and the narrow onesafforded little protection from vehicles. Strolling was made possiblebecause of the construction of arcades (Baudelaire 36-7). The literary idleras a social type was already detectable in the London coffee-houses ofRegency England, as exemplified by men of letters such as Joseph Addison(Brand 71-7), but Benjamin saw the flaneur as a stroller in the city in thelatter half of the nineteenth century. Baudelaire’s and Benjamin’s flâneurflourished in the milieu of the ‘capitalist city’, which “is a place of mystery,the site of the unexpected, full of agitations and ferments, of multipleliberties, opportunities, and alienations . . . of violence, innovation, andreaction” (Harvey 229). Berlin of the 1890s was the supreme example ofsuch a city.28Emperors of the newly united Germany undertook imperial buildingprojects and transformed the city into a spectacle. Wilhelm II used it asthe setting for his spectacular ceremonies. The architecture of glass andsteel, the train stations, the arcades and the department stores rivaledeach other in feats of engineering and design. It was a city whichflourished under modern industrialization, and “[L]a société qui repose surl’industrie moderne n’est pas fortuitement ou superficiellementspectaculaire, elle est fondamentalement spectacliste” ([t]he society whichrests on modern industry is not accidentally or superficially spectacular, itis fundamentally spectaclist) (Debord 14).8 The culminating effect of thiscornucopia of spectacles is an urbanization process which took place inDauthendey’s creative consciousness, and[t]o dissect the urban process . . . is to lay bare the roots ofconsciousness formation in the material realities of daily life. It isout of the complexities and perplexities of this experience that webuild elementary understandings of the meaning of space and time;of social power and its legitimations; of forms of domination andsocial interaction . . . and of human nature, civil society and politicallife. (Harvey 230)In Dauthendey’s case, the “consciousness formation” was intensely visual,owing no doubt to his own background in photography and his training asan artist.One might say that the existence of the nineteenth-century flâneurwas based on the visual nexus, the exchange of the gaze. As Benjaminwrites in “Charles Baudelaire. Em Lyriker im Zeitalter desHochkapitalismus” (Charles Baudelaire, a Lyric Poet in the Era of HighCapitalism), “[W]ie es urn den Literaten in Wahrheit stand: als Flaneur29begibt er sich auf den Market; wie er meint, urn ihn anzusehen, und inWahrheit doch schon, urn einen Käufer zu finden” ([Tihe true situation ofthe man of letters was: he goes to the marketplace as a flâneur, supposedlyto take a look at it, but in reality to find a buyer) (536)).9 The business offlânerie was intricately involved with the commodity culture, of whichthere was no better representative than the department store. During the1851 Exhibition, the exhibition of goods was still rationalized by high-minded intentions such as mass education and nationalism. But followingthe establishment of the Bon Marché, the first building that “was formallyconceived and systematically designed to house a grand magasin” in Paris(Miller 20), selling mass merchandise to the public became a way of life inmodern European cities. Commercial architecture and streetscapeschanged to accommodate the display of goods and the culture of shopping,inside and outside the stores, created the flow of visual exchanges soimportant for the flâneur. Intimately linked to flânerie was the artist,especially someone who was a follower of Art Nouveau.Dauthendey kept company with representatives of literaryJugendstil. He was a friend of Richard Dehmel and Frank Wedekind, acontributor to Pan and Blätter für die Kunst and, later, met Strindberg inParis through some of his Berlin friends. Jugendstil, or Art Nouveau, was astylistic movement related to Arts and Crafts in architecture, and toSymbolist and Decadent movements in literature and the visual arts. Intheir book on the various art movements at the turn of the century, arthistorians Richard Hamann and lost Hermand prefer the term ‘Stilkunsturn 1900’ because it is more inclusive and at the same time expressive of aspecific epoch. Born out of the Naturalist movement, Art Nouveau reactedagainst the attention to squalor which Zola’s novels typify, but inherited30the naturalist’s keen visual sense for details. Adherents of Art Nouveauvalorized surface representation. The world of work (“Arbeitswelt”) andsocial reality (“gesellschaftliche Wirklichkeit”) were alien to them. ArtNouveau was anti-Realism and anti-Naturalism (Jost 15). The individualistnature of the artist, nurtured and matured through the RomanticMovement and the philosophy of l’art pour i’art, engendered theillusionary belief that the artist should be someone “radically independentof the economy and of politics,” but[t]he work of real emancipation, of which the ‘post’ of artist or poet isthe culmination, can be performed and pursued only if the postencounters the appropriate dispositions, such as disinterestednessand daring, and the (external) conditions of these virtues, such as aprivate income. (Bourdieu, Field of Cultural Production 623)10In this interpretation of the constraints which social reality places on theartist, Dauthendey confirms Bourdieu’s description of the nineteenth-century writer: “the result of the meeting of two histories: the history ofthe positions [the artists] occupy and the history of their dispositions” (61).At about the time when life in the modern city presented itself as aseries of spectacles, when “visual codes replace[d} aural codes” (MacCannell, Tourist 64), the business of tourism began to mass market theconcept of travelling by packaging cultures. The means by which thetravel industry produced a reified image of a foreign culture were visual:advertisement in magazines, posters, brochures, and as provided in theThomas Cook office in the 1870s, an array of guide-books, maps andcommodities related to travelling (Brendon 104). In the 1900s, Cook’sTraveller’s Gazette was promoting “foreign destinations . . . in giving31spuriously romantic [and visual] titles to faraway places: Ceylon was ‘theGarden of the World’ . . .“ (249). According to Benjamin, the fiâneur lost hisfreedom when he joined the commodity market. Urban changes alsorestrained the practice of flânerie; the boulevards became inhospitable forstrollers with the increase of traffic and the narrowing of sidewalks.Instead of the streets, the natural place for the stroller and observer ofmodern cultural scenes to go was abroad. The city flâneur who wanted tostay in the market place by writing transformed himself into the world-touring travel writer who ‘strolled’ according to a well-planned itinerary.In my analysis of one of Dauthendey’s exotic stories set in Asia, aproduct of his first world tour, I show that the motifs and images used aredirectly influenced by Jugendstii. In his exotic fantasy of the Orient, adifferent type of misrepresentation of the others takes place. It is more of‘an imaginary Orient”0 in the artistic sense than Bird’s ideologicallyinscribed representation. Dauthendey did not focus on imperial ambitionand success in his travel writings. The German expressionist Emil Nolde,who was also travelling in Southeast Asia in 1914, showed a much strongercolonial streak. Though both were from the same national background,they established different social relations in Germany which in turninfluenced their dispositions towards the German colonial possession ofNew Guinea.In further discussions of the material conditions of Dauthendey’sjourneys and his stay in the East, I return to the importance of the builtenvironment and of social space in a person’s perception. By reconstitutingthe practices of specific social classes, the salon on an ocean liner and theresort-style sanatorium were two forms of social settings which helped tore-compose a familiar space in a foreign surrounding. These social settings32also marked out the boundaries to “delineate social groups” (well-offEuropeans) and “to define entry or exclusion” (Rapoport, Meaning 170).Unlike Isabella Bird, Dauthendey had no opportunity to socialize with localnon-Europeans. The boundaries which kept out the natives also confinedthe Europeans. The settings themselves contained ambiguity. A salon onan ocean liner tried to preserve all the intricate social rules and tastes ofmiddle-class Europeans although it was en route to Asian destinations. AsDauthendey’s experience in Java showed, a hill resort, a specificallycolonial social setting, was patterned on the sanatorium model in latenineteenth-century Europe, which was “really more a spa than a hospital,laid out on extensive and well-manicured grounds, serv[ing] only the well-to-do” (Rothman 195). Dauthendey’s experiences of the East, in myanalysis, were spatially circumscribed with very little cultural permeation.This lack of opportunity to form a varied set of social relationships ineffect preserved his European ‘oriental’ vision. His internment increasedhis longing for Europe and discouraged any enthusiasm he might havenurtured towards Javanese culture.The itineraries of the travellers in this thesis follow the developmentof western colonial and capitalist endeavours in East and Southeast Asiafrom the mid-nineteenth century till the early decades of the twentieth.In The Golden Chersonese Isabella Bird traced the imperial progress ofBritish success in the Malay Peninsula. Max Dauthendey was funded bypublishers and the transportation business for his world travels,excursions which were customized adventures and part of the touristeconomy. Ai Wu began his travelling in a period when western culturehad achieved its maximum influence in China, a process which began in thenineteenth century. Ai Wu’s freedom from the constraints of family33tradition and his political insight were fomented by ideas of the MayFourth Movement. His writing career reflects one of the ironies of history:some Chinese intellectuals liberated and educated by western thoughteventually used their knowledge to turn against imperial influence andsuccessfully ended western dominance in China.This dominance began nine years before the opening of the 1851Exhibition, when British gunboat diplomacy successfully coerced theopening of several Chinese ports to international trade and forced China tocede the island of Hong Kong in perpetuity to Queen Victoria. In theindustrialized cities of nineteenth-century Britain, everyday life waschanged by the introduction of railroads, the omnibus, in-house plumbingand other manifestations of technology. But China remained impervious toany material form of modernization in spite of the increasing westernpresence in China in the nineteenth century. In the mid-1890s, “China hadonly 370 miles of [railroad] tracks” compared to 21,000 miles in Britain(Spence 250-1), and both the imperial and the local governmentsstrenuously opposed any kind of westernization. The areas most affectedby modernization were “the treaty port cities and within them . . theWestern concession areas” (Spence 224). Thus arose the “curious,ambiguous position” where elements of tradition and change existed sideby side (224), but in no way was the West integrated with the Chinese.Even when the Chinese government realised that the acquisition ofwestern technology, especially in weaponry, would be advantageous to theChinese, it only agreed to a reform movement which would borrowwestern technical knowledge for practical uses, holding on to the belief“that there was indeed a fundamental structure of Chinese moral andphilosophical values” which was superior to any western system of thought34(Spence 225). Under such circumstances, two power centres were createdwithin treaty port cities. In the concession areas, the western powers weregranted extraterritorial rights, while outside the boundaries, the Chinesegovernment wielded traditional jurisdiction.Chapter 3 begins with an examination of Shanghai, which had thereputation of being the most westernized Chinese city in the earlytwentieth century. Within the concessions western nations contrived topractice a form of Orientalism which was humiliating to the Chinese, whohad never been governed by non-Asians, and which was considerablymore restrictive for both racial groups than an outright colonialOrientalism, such as the French in Indochina. Instead of overt domination,the two power groups practiced ongoing prejudiced treatment of eachother. Two sets of legal and other “particularized notions as sovereignty,property, discipline, surveillance, and jurisdiction” (Soja 150) marked outthe territorialities of the Chinese and western powers. Westernconcessions in China were concretized examples of the spaces of anxietyand ambivalence which frequently haunt colonial or semi-colonial rules,spaces in which the Westerners were “terrified by the obscurity of ‘thenative mentality’ and overwhelmed by indigenous societies’ apparentintractability” (Thomas 15).But as Foucault points out in “Espace, savoir et pouvoir,” there is noabsolute system of domination, that “. . . queue que soit la terreur quepuisse inspirer un système donné, ii existe toujours des possibilités derésistance, de désobéissance et de constitution de groupes d’opposition”(no matter how terrifying a given system may be, there always remain thepossibilities of resistance, disobedience, and oppositional groupings) (Ditset écrits 4:275).12 Concession areas, less absolute in their exercise of35power than the vast Chinese domain, ironically provided Chineseintellectual movement havens from traditional forces. The members of theMay Fourth intellectual movement, in turn oppositional to the Chinesegovernment and the western ones, were a ‘restructuring’ force rather thana purely resistant one in their relations with the traditional Chinese andthe imperial western social structures. In their adaptation of westernideas, their admiration for western writers and their anti-westernnationalism, May Fourth writers were involved in a process ofrestructuring which “conveys the notion of a ‘brake’, if not a break . . . anda shift towards a significantly different order and configuration of social,economic, and political life” (Soja 159). It was rootedin crisis and in the competitive conflict between the old and the new,between an inherited and a projected order. Restructuring is not amechanical or automatic process, nor are its potential results andpossibilities pre-determined. In its hierarchy of manifestations,restructuring must be seen as originating in and responding tosevere shocks in pre-existing social conditions and practices; and astriggering an intensification of competitive struggles to control theforces which shape material [and intellectual] life. It thus impliesflux and transition, offensive and defensive postures, a complex andirresolute mix of continuity and change. (Soja 159)The concession zones, a space of rented power, provided the Chineseintellectuals who enthusiastically accepted western knowledge andphilosophy with the in-between territory necessary for their pursuit offorming a new Chinese society. These were areas where Chinese authoritywas curtailed but where the young intellectuals could minutely observethe humiliating process of diminished sovereignty, observations whichprovided fuel for their anti-western nationalism.36A similar process of restructuring can be perceived in Ai Wu’spersonal life, in his enthusiasm for the May Fourth Movement, his anti-Confucian attitude, his practical resistance to traditional familial customs,and his journey to a foreign country. Ai Wu left China as a reaction to“pre-existing social conditions and practices” (Soja 159). He continued tochange and react to the condition and political situation in colonial Burma.His writings reflect this state of flux and transition, as do Bird’s andDauthendey’s. I compare the writings of two Chinese travellers to showhow degrees of dependence on and independence from cultural dominationand market conditions could affect two Chinese representations of theothers. Ai Wu, an outsider to the Chinese ruling elite and the colonialregimes, was predisposed to write negatively about racial and classsuppression in Burma. But his knowledge of western literatures andBurmese dialects also provided him with more points of reference to othercultures than was available to a western traveller such as SomersetMaugham, whose cultural orientation was purely British and who couldonly communicate through interpreters. With no official or social positionto maintain, Ai Wu shaped his reactions as befitted his political agenda. Incontrast, the other Chinese traveller I discuss, Chiang Yee, was an exofficial and a political exile in England, and his sense of social status andhis need for a refuge made him attend to specific demands which requireda certain degree of acculturation.One can read two sets of dispositions working in Chiang Yee’sdescription and illustrations of the Lake District. His representation of theshrines of English poetry, the Grasmere and Ambleside of Wordsworth andthe Coniston Water of Ruskin, is sinologized by his Chinese poetry, paintingand calligraphy. He voices admiration for the poetic tradition, but he37writes indifferently of the landscape. He sees the Lake District as anoutsider, not only nationally, but also culturally. Although Chiang Yeenewly learnt to appreciate the aesthetics of English Romanticism and ofEnglish landscape, he nonetheless provides a nuanced response, if notpreconditioned adulation, of these culture-laden places. Chiang Yee’srepresentation of English culture is a gesture of textual resistance ratherthan an aesthetic colonization. In a process of cultural restructuring, whenhis own national and cultural identity was subsumed by the host country’s,Chiang Yee inserts into the rhetorical tradition of English landscapedescription Chinese texts and Chinese paintings in order to assert hisChinese identity.I end the chapter on Ai Wu on the theme of assertion andsuppression of ethnic identities which are disruptive processes of constantjostling for enunciation in colonial cultures. In Ai Wu’s few socialinteractions with non-Asians, a hostile reaction held in abeyance and aconditioned distrust were evident rather than an open and readyacceptance of other cultural beliefs or behaviour. In the earlier section onChiang Yee, I have shown how Chiang Yee’s apparent acculturation belieshis bitterness at western arrogance towards the Chinese. But even withinthe monolithically constructed Orient, ethnic diversity and hostility existed.The Chinese Han group considered itself the representative ethnic group,and believed that “minority groups . . . had been assimilated into theChinese culture because of the irresistibly superior Han civilization thathad carried on unchanged for thousands of years” (Wu 162). The colonialgovernment in Burma tried to manipulate ethnic tension amongst theShans, the Karens, the Burmans and so on for political expediency. Toprovide a look at a focussed and ‘westernized’ problem of ethnicity, I use38examples from both non-fiction and fiction to illustrate the differenttreatments and social status accorded the Eurasians in the Anglo-colonialand the Dutch Indies societies. This exercise confirms that there aredifferences not only between the East and the West, but also distinctionsbetween the western colonial powers.Throughout the thesis I treat the travellers not primarily as literaryfigures. Publications which deal with literary travel writers are toonumerous to list. My travellers were representatives, knowingly (Bird) orunknowingly (Ai Wu), of the dominant trends in their particular societies.They were variously shaped by certain social tendencies, such asevangelicalism, the culture of commodity and intellectual restructuring. Inthe English-reading world, Isabella Bird is the only known writer of thetrio. She is generally seen as a member of that intrepid group of Victorianspinsters, flourishing between the nineteenth and early twentiethcenturies, who ventured beyond the boundary of home (Birkett, SpinstersAbroad 1989), or as an agent of imperial rhetoric (Kröller, “FirstImpressions” 1990). Given her popularity as a travel writer--most of herbooks are still in print--her writings need to be examined in the context ofVictorian cultural habits. A recent article on Bird discusses her only as anexample of the adventurous lady (Susan Armitage, “Another Lady’s Life inthe Rocky Mountains” 1993). My choice to examine the origins of herimperial and missionary consciousness, which coincided with theemergence of the industrial society in mid-nineteenth century England,will treat Isabella Bird as a mainstream representative of Victorianimperial culture as well as highlight the philosophical conflicts betweencolonialism and philanthropy.39Thus my thesis starts in the 1840s, when western technology andimperial ambition not only changed the urban landscapes of the westernworld but also forced western attention and policies upon China. It wasalso in the mid-nineteenth century that the western “dream of travel”ended with the rise of modernism (Porter, “Modernism” 55), and travellingturned into serious business, either in the Thomas Cook way or as animperial enterprise. I discuss modernism not primarily in conjunctionwith aestheticism, as Porter does in “Modernism and the Dream of Travel,”but as a manifestation of change in the everyday life of the English, theGerman and the Chinese societies. For the two Europeans, modernism wasthe confrontation between the remains of the rural world and “newmaterial world created by European industrial capitalism from the closingdecades of the eighteenth century on . . .“ (Porter, “Modernism” 58). Bird’sresponse to modernism was to endorse it as a sign of social progress, but itwas an endorsement mitigated by social concerns. Her travel narrative isan illustration of the ambivalent ethical role which evangelical imperialistsplayed in colonialism, as “harbingers of industrial capitalism . . . [whoseJcivilizing mission was simultaneously symbolic and practical . . .“ (Comaroff8-9).Max Dauthendey persisted in dreaming of travel, the fulfilment ofwhich ended in his death in the tropics. The literary products and somepaintings from his travelling are the only remains of his career still incirculation. His writings are not available in English, but paperbackeditions of his Asian short stories and his travel writings are stillmassmarketed in Germany, an indication of the popularity of exoticliterature. A television programme based on his last years in the DutchIndies was aired in Germany in 1993 and again in 1995.13 But unlike40writers of the genre in English and French, such as Kipling and Loti,Dauthendey has so far not been studied within the context of colonialcriticism in English. In the area of German Orientalism, there is a desire toisolate Orientalism as a discipline of scholarship grounded in the Sanskritscholarship of Schlegel or the India of Schopenhauer, as Raymond Schwab’sThe Oriental Renaissance (1984) and Amos L. Wilison’s Mythical Image(1964) attest. Or one will find a descriptive history of writers whotravelled to the Orient (Schuster, China und Japan 1977). An exception tothis tendency is Andrea Fuchs-Sumiyoshi’s Orientalismus in der deutschenLiteratur (1984) which discusses the construction of the Orient in the greatliterary tradition from Goethe to Thomas Mann. However, critical attentionseems to be lacking in the area of popular orientalist practice, whichincludes travelling to the Orient. Yet German literature, during Germany’sshort period as a colonial power, generated a great deal of exotic writing, ofwhich Dauthendey is only one example. This is an area in which morescholarly work is needed. I mention Emil Nolde’s autobiographies, butthere are also other travel writings by Hermann Hesse, Stefan Zweig,Waldemar Bonsels, Hermann Graf von Keyserling and Richard HUlsenbeck,a pioneer dadaist. Together these texts constitute the field of GermanOrientalism. John Noyes’s CckmiaLSpace (1992) is a study of GermanSouthwest African colonial literature which integrates present theoreticalconcerns with historicist and textual analyses. This is possible only ifliterary works, in the broadest interpretation, are studied in relation totheir social conditions of production (Bourdieu, Field of Cultural Production33), and not as some pure disinterested discipline.Although DerWUrzburger Dichter Max Dauthendey, a book publishedin 1992 on the occasion of the hundred and twenty-fifth anniversary of41Dauthendey’s birth, includes a short biography by Gabriele Geibig andsome unpublished essays written by Dauthendey, it is not a criticalanalysis of Dauthendey’s writings. The most recent study I can find whichmentions Dauthendey is Hans Christoph Buch’s DieNahe und die Ferne(1991). Buch chooses to analyse exotic literature within the largerframework of German literature with foreign motifs, and interprets thedialectic of ‘here’ and ‘there’ as the psychological projection of anEurocentric consciousness (12-3, 30-1). Distancing German colonial historyfrom those of Spain, Portugal, England and France (and neglecting theNetherlands), Buch writes that, luckily, Germany today is spared thetrouble of decolonization (“Mühsal der Entkolonialisierung”) (13). I thinkthat this restrictive reading of the responsibilities and implication ofcolonization is a rather self-congratulatory attitude. Racism, whichengenders misrepresentation, cannot be contained within a historicalevent, such as a colonial past, and cannot be reserved only for specificcountries. But racial prejudice may differ in its manifestations, closelydependent on social and cultural conditions. I hope to show in this thesismore distinct ways of reading colonial and travel writings than the onesprovided by the broad context of European colonization.In a discussion of social attitudes and practices within certainhistorical periods, the literary genres of the exotic tale and the personalmemoir could provide indispensable information for analysis. I have alsospent considerable attention on non-literary subjects such as architectureand specific social practices such as hotel living, because they provide thenecessary material for my discussion of habitus and representation. AsBourdieu maintains in Field of Cultural Production, in order to understandany writer, it is necessary, first of all, to understand the social background42of the writer at the moment under consideration (163), since writers alsohave to work within the field of power relations in society.I have tried to make provision for two neglected areas in Said’sOrientalism by concentrating on travel writings about colonized areas inSoutheast Asia, and by including the contribution of a non-westerntraveller. I can think of no interventionist tactic more concrete than todiscuss European and non-European literatures as equal literary entities.A detailed discussion of an Asian writer provides a truly cross-culturalcomparison, and not only an acknowledgement of multiculturalism. Asianliteratures such as Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, are often treated aspostscripts, if at all, in western critical writing which claims to bepostcolonial and non-Eurocentric. The Empire Writes Back (1989) byAshcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin is one such example. This process ofmarginalization within a discussion of marginal literatures is often a resultof the critics’ linguistic limitations. Or else, non-European and non-NorthAmerican studies are perceived as ‘exotic’, an attitude which FrançoiseLionnet claims is a deterrent to “a better understanding of the networks ofinfluence and power, lure and seduction, freedom and liberation” whichlink various manifestations of interrelated cultures (171). Rey Chow alsocriticizes the exploitative element in the white intellectual project which“turns precisely the ‘disdained’ other into the object of his/her study, andin some cases, identification . . .“ (13).In my analysis of Ai Wu, I continue to use the theoretical frameworkof the earlier chapters, since I am not discussing Ai Wu as an essentializedChinese writer, or comparing western and Asian literary stylistics. I aminclined to sympathize with Yuan Heh-hsiang who questions the efficacy ofusing interdisciplinary methodology “on the grounds that its involvement43of multiple disciplines renders the study of East-West relations so complexas to be impossible” (Yuan qtd. in Aldridge x). In my case, I have chosento discuss Ai Wu’s writings with western critical tools. Within theparameters of this thesis, I do not believe it possible to provide two sets(East and West) of theoretical discussions. In addition, there areideological problems in the matter of Chinese publications: a writer suchas Ai Wu, a prominent Communist in China, is not published nor discussedat all in Taiwan. Under such circumstances, there is little contributionfrom that island in my discussion of Ai Wu. The Chinese critical literatureI find tends towards hagiography in the treatment of its subject and istherefore not particularly useful as a critical source, and discussions ofcertain western topics which impinge upon the cultural totalitarianism inChina generally become propagandistic and defensive.There are not enough critical studies of Chinese writers written inEnglish, and those which are in print usually concentrate on the writerswho have already been translated. There is a respectable collection ofworks on Lu Xun, and a growing number of studies on Ding Ling. Butthough Ai Wu was a prolific and a published writer both before and afterthe Communist regime, he was denigrated out of hand by dominantliterary historians such as C.T. Hsia for his communist beliefs (A History ofModern Chinese Fiction 1961). In Hsia’s influential book, many MayFourth writers are considered inferior to western writers of the same era.Hsia, in his tenacious pursuit in assigning western literary values toChinese literature in the great tradition of Matthew Arnold and F.R. Leavis,seems to be continuing the Eurocentric tendency of only studyingliterature which is acceptable to established canons. This practice has44traditionally delegated non-English literatures to the margin of European-based curriculum, a situation which this thesis tries to address.I am aware that there is the same danger of subsuming Chineseculture under western culture in this thesis, but I have kept the discussionwithin three considerations: the practice of representation in travelwriting, the influence of social settings on this practice, and the sociohistorical contexts of the human environment. I have paid close attentionto “cultural assumptions and institutions and concrete extraliteraryconditions” (Yu 161), to avoid the pitfall of generalization. Furthermore,the Chinese literature from the May Fourth Period can be said to be ‘user-friendly’ to non-Chinese scholars, since it was receptive both to nontraditional and western concepts, although it must be remembered thatMay Fourth writers adopted western literary models for very Chinesereasons (Yip 27, Chow 8-9).In the preface to Penelope Voyages: Women and Travel in the BritishLiteraryZLraclition (1994), Karen Lawrence admits that in formulatingtheories about travel “[o]ne senses what escapes, that is, what travelsbeyond the theoretical ground one has chosen to map” (xi). Inendeavouring to keep this thesis focussed, I have to restrain mytheoretical interests which seem to grow with every topic I research.There are issues which have been addressed by other writers. Sara Mills,Sara Suleri and Mary Louise Pratt, to name but a few, discuss the codevelopment of the politics of colonization and the feminization of thelandscape, and in “The Imaginary Orient,” Linda Nochlin traces the maleobjectifying gaze on the woman’s body in paintings. The gendered gaze ofthe flâneur is discussed in Janet Wolff’s “The Invisible Flâneuse” and in themore general context of the male looker in Laura Mulvey’s Visual and45QthrPteasure (1989). The ethics of travel writing is also a subject Iwould like to explore further, although I cannot agree with Dennis Porterwho believes that “we would all be better off, if the great majority of theworld’s travel books had never been written at all” (Haunted Journeys304). Misrepresentations of the others, innocent or intentional, areproduced not only by travel writing, but by the encompassing exchange ofinformation available in the modern world. Misrepresentations arecirculated even as I write. I think the problems originate in the travellers’societies, where the process of internalization occurs, and not at themoment of cultural encounter. An ethical and critical way of readingtravel writing, taking into account the social context within which it isproduced, will further our attempt to “[v]ivre la difference dans l’égalité”(experience difference in equality) (Todorov 253).All translations from German and Chinese are mine unless otherwiseindicated. Quoted passages of Chinese texts are placed in the footnotesbecause of the difference in script. I have also provided a glossary ofChinese terms used in the thesis. For romanized Chinese spelling, I haveused the standard pinyin system unless I am quoting a specific text whichuses some other spelling systems, (for example, Chow Tse-tsung’s spellingof titles of Chinese journals). Throughout the thesis, I have avoided usingthe terms ‘the West’ and ‘the East/Orient’ whenever possible, and indicatethe specific country or geographical area instead.46Notes1 For further information on conquest-patterns in Chinese history,see Zhcmgguo tongshi (A Survey of Chinese History) by Wang Dashou in 2vol urn e s.2 i borrow the term from Barrie A. Wilson’s article on“Metacriticism” in Irena Makaryk’s Encyclopedia of Contemporary Literary3 In a recent article, “Orientalism, an Afterword,” Said cites theseessays as proof that the information and knowledge used by the colonialpowers derived from Oriental scholarship, although I do not see that as themain focus of the study.4 The English translation is from Outline of a Theory of Practice(Cambridge UP, 1977), 78. Bourdieu also writes about the habitus in LaDistinction and in The Field of Cultural Production. “The Field of CulturalProduction,” which is included in the collection of essays entitled The Fieldof Cultural Production, was published in English in Poetics (1983). There isno French version of The Field of Cultural Production as a book to date.5 The English translation is from Distinction (Harvard UP, 1984), 170.The translator is Richard Nice.6 In his discussion of the process of “time distancing” between theobserver and the observed in anthropological discourse, Fabiandifferentiates anachronism and ‘allochronism’ as follows:Anachronism signifies a fact, or a statement of fact, that is out oftune with a given time frame; it is a mistake, perhaps an trying to show that we are facing, not mistakes, but devices(existential, rhetoric, political). To signal that difference I will referto the denial of coevalness as the allochronisrn of anthropology.Time and the Other.7 The English translation is from Charles Baudelaire, SelectedWritings on Art and Literature, 41-2. The translator is P.E. Charvet.8 The translator of the English version is not listed.479 The quotation is from volume 1.2 of Gesammelten Schriften ofBenjamin. The English translation is from the collection of essays entitledCharles Baudelaire: A Lyric Poet in the Era of High Capitalism, 34. Thetranslator is Harry Zohn.10 The quotation is from the article “The Field of CulturalProduction,” which was originally published in English.11 A recent example of an ‘imaginary Orient’, a term I borrow fromLinda Nochlin’s article of the same title in The Politics of Vision, is anexhibition of Whistler’s paintings in Washington called Whistler in Japan,although Whistler was never in Asia and, according to the curator of theexhibition, showed no interest in Japanese culture. I learnt of this newsitem on “Arts Report,” Canadian Broadcasting Corporation radioprogramme, June 22, 1995.12 This quotation is from an English interview conducted by PaulRabinow in 1982, “Space, Knowledge, and Power,” Foucault Reader(Random, 1984), 245. The French translation, by F. Durand-Bogaert can befound in volume 4 of Dits et écrits 1954-1988 par Michel Foucault.13 I have not personally seen this programme, but I have read thescript for it, which Dr. Eva-Marie Kröller has very kindly obtained fromBayerischer Rundfunk for me. The script seems to concentrate on thepicturesque elements of Dauthendey’s travel, but it would be unfair tocriticize it without seeing the visual presentation. There have been severaldissertations on Dauthendey: Vri dhagi ri Ganeshan, “Das Indienbilddeutscher Dichter urn 1900,” diss., Bonn, 1975; Shridhar B. Shrotri, “MaxDauthendeys auslandsbezogene Werke,” diss., Poona, 1964. I have notbeen able to obtain them to date.48CHAPTER 1: ISABELLA BIRD : VJSITAILON IN SOUTHEAST ASIA1851 : Celebration in a GlasshouseOn May 1st, 1851, the first World Exhibition was inaugurated byQueen Victoria in the Crystal Palace: “By 8 am the great carpet, the daisand its chair of state draped in crimson and gold stands ready . .(McKean 28). The Crystal Palace was opened with great pomp andceremony precisely on the morning the organizers had planned. It wasdesigned by the gardener and estate-manager Joseph Paxton and becameemblematic of all things perceived as Victorian--the marriage of industryand art, the glorification of technology, the success of the self-made man,the assertion of colonial conquests, the rise of commodity culture and thetriumph of science over nature. However, a closer examination alsoreveals the conflicting trends, already inherent in Victorian culture,represented in this building’s construction. It made visible the paradoxicalrole which Victorian mainstream beliefs played in society--thephilanthropic belief in doing good countered by a staunch support for thestatus quo, philosophical liberalism challenged by industrial capitalism, theknowledge of social ills obfuscated by fear of change and nationalcomplacency. Isabella Bird was a quintessential Victorian with a religiousupbringing; she practiced good work, believed in the Empire andsupported Britain’s mercantile and imperial ambitions. Before I begin mydiscussion of Isabella Bird’s writings, I will take a tour around the site ofthe Crystal Palace and analyse it as a condensed site of imperial ideologyand its social implications. This exercise will help define the parameters ofBird’s attitude towards the poor and the non-Europeans she met in Asia.49A structure with the capacity of displaying ten miles of machineryand manufactured goods, the Crystal Palace was architecturally theprototype of the glass and metal construction which became that of theskyscrapers and department stores. Designed only as a temporarybuilding, it was nonetheless massive in size (several times that of St.Paul’s). The aesthetic principle of the design was to bring into the interioras much natural light as structurally possible and thereby create theillusion of open air. Paxton’s winning design consisted mainly of iron andglass. The thin iron columns reduced the obstruction of supporting walls inthe interior space; the “tablecloth” roofing, “made up of 300,000 panes, or400 tons of 16 oz glass” (McKean 25), allowed a constant flooding ofexterior light into the exhibition hail. Like the conservatories so popular asa building type in the nineteenth century, the Crystal Palace was aconstruction of “the dream of a garden under glass” (Kohimaier 1), toprovide a year-round spring, and the affirmation of man’s ability to controland preserve nature.Without the rapid growth of cities and all the resulting urbanproblems--the lack of greenery, polluted air, crowds and traffic, the idea ofcreating an environment in which people could enjoy nature within thecity would not have flourished (Kohlmaier 9-10). But in the Crystal Palace,the charm of exotic plants was superceded by the novelty of exotic goodsand peoples. Although trees from Hyde Park on the site were preservedand palm trees were used for decoration, the main attraction, apart fromthe building itself, was the things on display. Thirty-four nations, apartfrom the host country, participated in the exhibition, and this number didnot include all the colonial possessions, such as India, which also occupiedprominent space (Greenhaigh 12). The Crystal Palace had created under its50roof a continuous and controlled environment in which the spectator couldescape from the urban environment outside and at the same time strollamongst streets displaying the fruits of industrialization.Even while under construction, the building site of Crystal Palace wasa source of excitement: “ . . . everyone wants to see the spectacle ofindustry . . . and crowds queue, with 200 visitors regularly each day”(McKean 25). Like the destruction and re-construction of Haussmann’sParis, the urban building site became a symbol of industrial renewal andgrowth (Kampmeyer-Kading 31). The constant flow of activities andmaterials under tight supervision had all the excitement of controlledchaos. Queen Victoria and Duke of Wellington were both avid visitors“addicted to the ever-changing scene” (McKean 25). This dramatization ofthe building process was extended to the inner structuration, and all theexposed girders, webs and columns were painted in different colours tocreate an interior perspective. In this, as well as in the choice of thebuilding materials, we can trace the origins of the architecture ofmodernism. 1But in 1851, in spite of the success and popularity of the exhibition,there was a real debate on the status of the Crystal Palace as architecture.The professionals were quick to point out that Paxton was not an architect,nor a trained engineer. The structure was not designed for permanency.In its use of materials, it was related to industrial buildings such as trainsheds; as an iron building, it was in stark contrast to the Victorian piles ofstone and brick, with their decorative pilasters and marble interior.Ruskin opposed it because of its size: “Largeness of dimension does notnecessarily invoke nobleness of design” (qtd. in McKean 41).2 Theconfrontation between functional pragmatism and tradition is neatly51encapsulated in this debate. Yet despite the conservative criticism levelledagainst it, the Crystal Palace did not signify a movement towards politicalor social radicalism. Instead, it reinforced solid, middle-class and nationalvalues, such as the belief in commerce, prosperity and imperialism.The Crystal Palace was a perfect venue for the display of Britishimperial power. In the 1851 Exhibition, “the only colony on show outsidethe British areas [that is, colonies] was Algiers” (Greenhalgh 56). But the1851 Exhibition began the trend in subsequent world expositions toregularly feature displays from European colonial possessions. In anillustration of the Indian booth in the Crystal Palace, a life-size stuffedelephant is placed on a dais with a howdah on top of it. Standing toattention at the foot of the animal are Indians dressed in differentcostumes (McKean 34). This practice of showing non-European peopleswas incorporated in later exhibitions into the entertainment programme.At the 1889 Exposition Universelle, “[tjhe Senegal village had eightfamilies,” although the performing participants came from several distinctregions with no common language. The manager of the Javanese villagesaw the people in his village as “pleasant buffoons” (Greenhaigh 87-90).But these contrived ethnic performances were originally meant to be partof the overall educational process, although the “visual melange of thespectacular and the scientific . . . turned the industrial world into oneimmense picture show” (Boyer 257). In 1851, the exhibition of colonialgoods, non-European peoples and artifacts was a concretization of theimperial idea, which decontextualized other cultures and turned them intofrozen tableaux. The huge translucent space of the Crystal Palace inconjunction with the profusion of objects on display and the democratic52principle of granting admission to the general public, created anatmosphere for uninhibited and unlimited browsing.For shopping before the 1851 Exhibition had been a limitedexperience. Both The Shopkeeper’s World by Michael Winstanley (1983)and Shops and Shopping by Alison Adburgham (1989) attest that shops inGreat Britain in the mid-nineteenth century were mostly small premiseswith poorly merchandised interiors, except for purveyors of exclusivegoods such as ‘India shawls’, as cashmere shawls were called then. One ofthe best examples of seedy retailers in literature is Mr. Venus’ shop inDickens’s Our Mutual Friend (1865): “ . . . in a narrow and a dirty street .Mr. Wegg selects one dark shop-window with a tallow candle dimlyburning in it, surrounded by a muddle of objects . . . “(87-8). Not till theestablishment of department stores such as The Bon Marché in the 1860swere people able to find a plenitude of goods gathered under one massivebuilding structure (Miller, The Bon Marché). The Crystal Palace providedthe necessary spatial experience to bridge the ideal of imperialism and thereality of material objects of daily life for the multitude who entered it.Hitherto abstract notions such as the greatness of Britannia becameconcretized in the forms of goods and machinery.The Crystal Palace was not restricted to the privileged few; thereinlay the power of its social influence. The 1851 event was open to thepaying public. Multitudes flocked to visit it and “[r]ailways issuedconcessionary fares and day-tripping became the rage” (Desmond 392).Thomas Cook, an acquaintance of Joseph Paxton, organized excursions toLondon to see the exhibition, and despite fears of “an inundation” ofartisans and mechanics from the north, the Cook excursionists “behavedimpeccably.” This was attributed to “British stability . . . Mass mobility was53becoming acceptable” (Brendon 62), although one should bear in mind thatthe early Cook excursions were organized temperance outings.This change in the public’s perception and tolerance of travelling hadtwo side-effects. Mass tourism was on the rise once tour operators such asThomas Cook further exploited and refined the format of cheap excursionsto sites and events such as the Crystal Palace and the exhibition. But thispopularization of travelling also induced the upper-classes to discoverroutes and modes of travelling which would be barred to their socialinferiors. Isabella Bird’s itinerary in the Far East is an example of thesearch for the unbeaten tracks in travelling as an indication of classdistinction. Using her social and official connections, Bird managed toventure into areas not open to packs of tourists. While ordinary customersof Thomas Cook desired the prosaic comfort of a well-run hotel and theassurance of an ever-present guide, those who “conceived themselvesindependent travelers and thus superior by reason of intellect, education,curiosity, and spirit” would search for the kind of travelling whichseparated them from the “droves” of common tourists (Fussell 40).The Crystal Palace provided more than a destination for massexcursions. It also became the focus of the competitive market culture ofindustrialized Britain. People throughout the country came and saw theindustrial displays in the exhibition as material proofs of the leading statusof Great Britain in the industrial world. There was no building similar tothe Crystal Palace before 1851, whose construction process itself was atestament to British organization prowess. The time it took from groundbreaking to occupancy was a bare nine months. When Charles Darwin andhis family visited it in July, 1851, he was suitably impressed: “Only natureitself--an earthquake, a rain forest, a Fuegian savage--provoked greater54awe” (Desmond 395). The Crystal Palace represented a new age of “liberal,progressive reforms . . . [the] intellectual elite began recasting nature as acompetitive market-place” (392). While Darwin wrote on the naturalselection process in the plant and animal world, Victorian social forceswere entrenching the divisions between the classes. Herbert Spencer’scatch-phrase, “survival of the fittest,” a distortion of Darwinian naturalselection, dovetailed nicely with the ethos of the competitive market-place(Gould 36-8, 40).This market culture presupposed social relations which were basedon competition and attrition, and it did not favour the poor in society. Thefiercer the competition, the faster the many problems facing the losingsectors grew, such as crowded living space, low wages, poor sanitation.Although there were differentiations in the standard of living betweenskilled workers and the very destitute, it remained a general fact that“Victorian slums were nasty” (F.M.L. Thompson 181). These livingconditions were graphically described in Charles Kingsley’s 1850 novel,Alton Locke. Kingsley derived much of his descriptions of the slum squalorfrom Henry Mayhew’s reports on the poor “which startled the well-to-doclasses out of their jubilant and scornful attitude” (Kingsley 1:5). In 1869,Isabella Bird wrote a pamphlet titled Notes on Old Edinburgh which decriesthe slum condition in the northern city. The pamphlet shares many ofKingsley and Mayhew’s concerns. I will introduce Bird’s writings by wayof Mayhew’s pioneering social study, London Labour and the London Poor,,a kind of urbanized ethnographic and picturesque narrative, a style ofwriting so familiar in travel accounts, including Bird’s The GoldenChersonese. Mayhew’s social writings, which were published with theintention to attract public attention and sympathy towards the55impoverished class, were an ambivalent study of customs and habits whichMayhew did not always condone. Nonetheless, Mayhew’s London pooremerged from the pages of his work “as variegated, cultivated, self-awarepersonalities” who garnered Mayhew’s sympathy (Herbert 251). Bird’ssocial pamphlet is similar to Mayhew’s sprawling study in subject, but itcombines social observation with Christian zeal, a combination whichproduces. a stronger censoring effect on Bird’s empathy for her subjectmatters. In The Golden CKersonese, Bird’s observations of Malay andChinese scenes are still motivated by social and religious concerns.However, her responses were by no means categorically negative. Throughher few contacts with the natives, Bird became aware of evidence ofsuperior elements in non-European culture, an awareness whichundermined the colonial mission of nineteenth-century Britain. Thisambiguous and contradictory response to the others is already discerniblein Mayhew’s London Labour and the London Poor.56Mayhew’s Exotic Poor and Bird’s “Loathsome Infectious Sore”Henry Mayhew’s four-volume London Labour and the London Poor(1851-1862) 3 was not the first nineteenth-century sociological study.Previous studies include Friedrich Engels’s The Condition of the WorkingClass in England (1844-5 Leipzig) and Edwin Chadwick’s Report OiL the.Saniiary_Condition of the Labouring Population (1842). Chadwick’s reportis perhaps most germane to my comparison of Mayhew’s and Bird’sattitudes towards cultural and social groups inferior to the English middle-class. In his 1842 statistical study for the government, Chadwick“repeatedly made the case that disease among the poor was a major causeof economic waste” (Christopher Lawrence 43). This and other similarcommissioned studies focussed on improper sanitary conditions, such asdrains, cesspools, refuse pits, as contributary causes of fever and cholera.Improvements in these and other sanitary conditions would reduce thenumbers of the poor who, because of sickness or drunkenness, could not orwould not work and had to resort to the workhouses (46-7). Thesescientifically compiled reports established a standard by which differentsocial sectors could be measured and evaluated. It was “[a] gradualcreation and application of a new, medical, concept of normality”(Christopher Lawrence 44). By achieving the standards of living approvedby these reports, those who had the means also acquired both social andphysical distance from those who did not. Furthermore, the establishmentof a concept of normality was an example of an institutionalized discoursewhich directs the social hierarchization of different segments of society(Foucault, Hi ryo Sexuality 1:141). The destitute were viewed as abreed apart--wasteful, contaminating and dangerous. According to57Gertrude Himmelfarb, Mayhew equated the homeless to nomads andsavages “who wandered the streets of London, scrounging and scavengingfor a bare existence” (Himmelfarb 122). At about the same time,Baudelaire was using the human debris of modern society as subjects forhis poems. But whether as subjects of romantic or social dissections,ragpickers and dustmen became the objects of scrutiny.Mayhew’s study is both like and different from Chadwick’s type ofstatistical analyses. Mayhew’s standard of respectability is still based onthe concept of normality already established by government reports. Indescribing the dwelling places of the working children, Mayhew highlightsthe overcrowding: “Those who reside with their parents or employers sleepusually in the same room with them, and sometimes in the same bed . .It seems somewhat curious that, considering the filth and noisomeness ofsome of these lodging-houses, the children who are inmates suffer only theaverage extent of sickness . . . “ (Mayhew 177). Mayhew’s study takes forgranted that living arrangements below middle-class standard are signs ofpoverty; the anomaly in this case is the moral and physical health of thechildren in spite of their living environment. (Incest is a subject notopenly mentioned until 1883 in a pamphlet titled The Bitter Cry of OntcastLonckn) (Himmelfarb 62). In his investigation of low lodging-houses ofLondon, Mayhew quotes one informant who “had slept in rooms socrammed with sleepers . . . that their breaths in the dead of night and inthe unventilated chamber, rose . . . in one foul, choking steam of stench”(113-4). Mayhew hastens to assure the readers that this is no invention as“I use his own words.” In its way, Mayhew’s writing continues to confirmthe overall picture Chadwick’s and other reports had drawn of people oflower classes. Linked with such “degenerate” living conditions are equally58“degenerate” morals: “The indiscriminate admixture of the sexes among theadults . . . is another evil . . . Any remonstrance at some act of grossdepravity, or impropriety on the part of a woman . . . is met with abuseand derision” (119). Like other mid-nineteenth-century reformers,Mayhew believed that social ills were caused by unhealthy livingconditions, and once these conditions could be categorized and understood,physical and moral disorders could then be managed.When Mayhew’s accounts first appeared, they were thought to be“stranger than fiction” (Humphreys, Travels 62). Indeed, his reports on thechildren street-sellers (161-89) or the boy crossing-sweepers (Mayhew263-71) give credence to Dickens’s portraits of the children in Oliver Twist(1838) or Jo in Bleak House (1853). Mayhew also introduced into his socialobservations a sense of discovery of an unknown physical world. Thus themiddle-class reading public was guided through the “poor man’s country”(Himmelfarb 58), and this exposure to the lower classes eventually gaverise to Cook’s excursions to slum areas. In his venturing into the ‘poorman’s country’, Mayhew used a host of informants and guides to take himthrough “these courts [which] have other courts branching off from them,so that the locality is a perfect labyrinth of ‘blind alleys’; and when once inthe heart of the maze it is difficult to find the path which leads to themain-road” (Mayhew 57). This description of the forking roads in aLondon slum aptly describes Mayhew’s own prose which proliferates indigression on one topic, resulting in a “pervasive incoherence” whichmirrors the rookeries featured in his study (Herbert 223). In hiscomparison of Mayhew’s book with early Victorian missionary writings,Christopher Herbert observes correctly that Mayhew’s exhaustivecatalogue of the costermongers’ wardrobe does not offer “a specific59exegesis of all this coded imagery . . . “(241). This abundance of detaildoes however offer to the readers who had never stepped beyond theboundaries of middle-class conventions vicarious glimpses of socialproblems normally invisible to them. In his “rhetorical heightening,” bothin his own prose and in the statements of his informants (Herbert 207),Mayhew creates a sense of theatre. Although the street folks or cross-sweepers are paraded through the pages in the spirit of objectiveempiricism, their autobiographical accounts are rendered often in theirown dialects and lingoes, in order to give a sense of drama: “The blessedcrushers is everywhere . . . I wish I’d been there to have had a shy at theeslops” (Mayhew 26). This strategy further separates the readers from thesubject, accentuating differences instead of eliciting a sense ofcommonall ty.Isabella Bird begins her Notes on Old Edinburgh (1869) by calling the“loathsome infectious sore” of Edinburgh slum the worst amongst those shehad visited, including London, Quebec and New York (3). Like Mayhew,she did her “room-to-room visitation’t (8)--one of many occasions whenBird uses evangelical terms--with guides, in her case the company of twophilanthropic gentlemen and one lieutenant of police (4). Again likeMayhew, Bird did not shrink from describing the absolute material filth inwhich the poor lived: “Opening a dilapidated door, we found ourselves in arecess . . . There was an earthen floor full of holes, in some of which waterhad collected. The walls were black and rotten, alive with woodlice” (11).Bird comments that this kind of dwelling, which she repeatedly calls “lair”or “den,” is fit only for a dog to die in.60But unlike Mayhew, Bird did not share Mayhew’s “acute disaffectionfrom the respectable middle-class world of his origins” (Herbert 231).William Wilberforce, the abolitionist and social reformer, was Bird’s distantrelative. The Bishop of Winchester, Charles Sumner, and the Bishop ofChester, later Archbishop of Canterbury, John Bird Sumner, were hercousins (Stoddart 2-4). Mayhew’s London Labour and the London Poorgrew out of his journalistic writing; it was a continuation of hisinvestigative reportage. The subjects he chose for his book were not allsuffering abject poverty, as for example the omnibus- and cab-drivers(358-68). And Herbert believes that “[i]n emphasizing [the street folk’s]bitter hatred of the upper classes and their love of lawlessness andindecency,” Mayhew was projecting his own personal hostility towardsVictorian conventions (231). Bird’s writing, by contrast, is grounded inrespect for convention and belief in the Christian mission. In TheGoldenChersonese, her social and religious allegiance would safeguard her fromdeveloping excessive sympathy towards the colonized people.In the style of one of the evangelicals’ favourite texts, the First Letterof the Apostle John (Bebbington 13), Bird’s prose suggests a constantcontrast of light and darkness. In a twelve-line description of an entranceto a tenement, the adjective “dark” appears four times (10). Light is notonly a natural medium necessary for seeing, but the metaphorical light inwhich the converted and the loved one lives. Except for the prostitutesand the virtuous sewing women, Bird pays very little attention to theoccupations of the lodgers. Her interest is primarily in their deplorableconditions of living. In the true spirit of evangelical activism and itsphilanthropic tradition (Bradley 119-20), Bird’s pamphlet is a piousexhortation to the middle-class to act:61[t]he responsibility is on the gentlemen who cross the High Streetdaily to lounge in the Parliament House, on the literati who frequentone of the finest libraries in Britain, on the antiquarians who explorethe wynds and closes in search of an ancient inscription . . . on thehundreds, both of ladies and gentlemen . . all who see and all whohear. (N1es 29)Thus, Bird did not socially alienate herself from the middle-class, althoughshe distinguished herself from those who neglected to attend to thereligious teaching of charity.Bird also establishes a position of authority early in her pamphlet.She reminds the readers that she has travelled to North America andtherefore can confirm, from real experience, that Edinburgh’s slum was theworst. Her experience as traveller distinguishes her observations fromparochial judgment. Her companions were two gentlemen “who did nothesitate to expose these social plague-spots” and a police official (Notes 4),while Mayhew’s witnesses were chosen from the same low classes of hissubjects. Bird’s tour bore the condescending appearance and spirit ofofficialdom, and the wretched inhabitants of Edinburgh were defencelessly“exposed” to the visitors’ critical gaze. Above all else, Bird’s pamphlet isfull of righteousness.With industrialization changing the social structures of nineteenthcentury Britain, the more progressive sector within the Church of Englandbelieved that the established Evangelical organizations were “inadequate tomeet the challenge of the new urbanization” (Lewis 36). City missionarieswere set up with “paid lay visitors” to carry out systematic visitationsusing careful procedural guidelines (Lewis 36, Bradley 45-7). The missionsknew that their “evangelical troops marching as to war among the poor of62London” would not be welcomed with open arms, but that the fallen stateof the poor would have to be reclaimed by persistent efforts (Lewis 119).Such earnestness could be socially disruptive, as we can see in the hostilityof Barchester’s church establishment towards Mr. Slope in Trollope’sBarchester Towers (1857). Isabella Bird’s own father, while a rector inBirmingham, was pelted with stones because of his strict sabbatarianism(Stoddart 20-1). More than anything else, as the commissioned statisticalreports on the living conditions of the poor had done, the lower classeswere singled out by the evangelicals for intensive scrutiny. E.P. Thompsonbelieves that the evangelical philosophy of hard work, discipline andobedience was instrumental in de-radicalizing the working class (Makingof the WorkingCIass 390-1). This attitude of compassionate paternalismwhich treats the lower classes as objects of pity but also contempt is quiteevident in Bird’s Notes of Old Edinburgh.Although “vital and earnest [Anglican] evangelicalism” in the secondhalf of the nineteenth century “was a good deal more cant and a great dealless practical piety” (Bradley 195), the ideals of Victorian respectabilityand moral behaviour were already shaped by the social and politicalinfluences of religious reforms. It must be stressed that Anglicanevangelicals, among them Wilberforce, the Trevelyans, the Earl ofShaftsbury, belonged to the privileged classes. Their belief, nationally andprovincially, “was undoubtedly an important element in the mentality ofthe haute bourgeoisie that dominated British politics . . . a combination ofrentier economic interests, office holding, and social notability” (Hilton 7).It was in this spirit of opportunistic pragmatism that the Londonmissionaries deployed their forces to preach to mass gatherings during the1851 Exhibition, taking advantage of the many provincial visitors. The63successful completion of the Crystal Palace, the discipline andprofessionalism of all those involved in making it possible--these werequalities evangelicals earnestly believed in. The exhibition was a symbolas well as material proof to the evangelicals that middle-class virtues suchas industry and application would pay off in terms of progress and betterstandards of living. But these social missionaries also paid due attention tothe victims of industrial progress, those without the benefit of socialwelfare, the unemployed and the unemployables, the Old Betty Higdens ofnineteenth-century Britain. It was this combination of religious rigor,analytical curiosity, pride of heritage and paternalistic compassion whichformed the disposition of Bird, the author of The Golden Chersonese.64A Benevolent Lady of Leisure in AsiaThere are two recognizably evangelical elements in Bird’s Tiie_GokknChersonese (1883). The book reflects a strong concern for bodily healthand welfare of the soul, in this instance those of the natives of SoutheastAsia; and it is a relatively detailed report produced by personal contact, inthe style of missionary visitation. These aspects are important to ourunderstanding of Bird’s attitude towards the indigenous peoples she met aswell as of the kinds of subjects on which she dwelled in her book. Thepresence of these philanthropic elements in her travel narrative shows oneway in which a dominant culture can misrepresent other cultures. LikeMayhew’s investigative reports on the urban poor, Bird’s social concernscaused her to categorize in her writing the Malays, Chinese and others intoseparate groups of people--unredeemed, unenlightened, superstitious.They become targets of the evangelical civilizing project.In 1828 the District Visiting Society was established in London inorder to “[mobilize] large numbers of laymen in a systematic approach tourban evangelism” (Lewis 35). The Society became the prototype of themany visiting agencies used by urban missions to dispense aid to the poor,and the “visitors were often women” (Prochaska 100). In order to organizeand assign the visitors to separate areas, “[t]he central committee would . .survey the proposed district or parish, . . . surveyors would gatherinformation about the poor in this area their names, occupations, size offamily . . . the district would then be subdivided . . . “(Lewis 36). Visitorswere required to keep detailed records of their visits and journals of theirclients. Entries in a typical schedule would be, for instance, “number offamilies visited,” “meetings held,” “deaths of persons visited” (134). Under65such a well-organized system, the poor families selected for visitations hadlittle chance to escape from strangers who turned the lives of the poor intostatistics. In mid-nineteenth century, when charity organizations were soproliferous that a central controlling society had to be formed (CharityOrganization Society), different charity authorities would rival each otherfor clients in the same areas, so that “[w]ith thousands of visitors enteringhundreds of thousands of households each year in London, few poorfamilies were free from their dutiful attentions” (Prochaska 106). Sincethese visitors were of superior social status to the visited poor, they oftenintruded without regard for the privacy of their targets.In spite of the ostensible good intentions of these activities, theirimplications were nonetheless disturbing. The poor, often stereotyped assinful and lazy because they were unemployed and negligent in churchattendance, were treated as a class rather than as individuals within asocial system. In Trollope’s Barchester Towers, church politics evolvearound the power and monetary rewards of the stewardship of the charityhospital while the inmates are seldom discussed. In their zealous attemptsto reform prostitutes, “rescue workers” would often discuss tactics to gainentry to the prostitutes’ dwellings (Prochaska 199), and visits were oftendone in cooperation with health and police officials (206-7). In MichelFoucault’s terms, these rescue workers and government officials formed anetwork of mobilized observatories (Disdpline and Punish 170-1).Furthermore, the rigor with which the visitors, who usually camefrom respectable and religious middle-class background, preached whatthey considered normative values--diligence, temperance, humility--to thepoor, ensured that their clients would remain in their inferior socialpositions. As an example of this relationship between proud benefactor66and disadvantaged client, Jane Eyre’s aunt implores Mr. Brocklehurst: “Ishould wish her to be . . . made useful, to be kept humble . . . “ (Brontë 34).Philanthropic impulses in nineteenth-century England were such that thepoor might be relieved temporarily from physical wants, yet noconstructive reforms were carried out to provide for long-term alleviationof their condition, which would involve changes to the class and economicstructures of the society.Isabella Bird was active in philanthropic organizations during heryears in Scotland. Between 1862 and 1866, she organized several groupsof impoverished crofters from the Hebrides to emigrate to Canada; shearranged for letters of introduction, raised money for passage andprovision of clothing (Stoddart 51-3). In 1870, she was working on ascheme to provide wash houses for the slums in Edinburgh after Londonmodels (71-3). These concerns for social problems and duty aretransposed in The Golden Chersonese to the peoples of Southeast Asia. Atthe time of her Southeast Asian tour, Bird was a published travel writer.Her three previous books, Six Months in the Sandwich Islands (1875), ALady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains (1879) and Unbeaten Tracks in Japan(1880) were well received. Her social and published status ensured thather opinions and observations would attract a general readership.In a letter from Kwala Kangsa in February, 1879, Bird mentions herfirst elephant ride into the interior of a Pêrak district uninhabited by anyEuropeans. Her first impression of the elephant is unfavourable: “Before Icame I dreamt of howdahs and cloth of gold trappings, but my elephanthad neither” (298). Bird’s reaction was typical of the false expectationraised by colonial spectacles such as the stuffed elephant with a67magnificent howdah exhibited in the Crystal Palace in 1851. In its naturalenvironment and not on display, her real elephant was “ugly” anduntrained. The pachyderm’s periodical and unscheduled stops gave Birdthe opportunity to explore various kampongs not on her itinerary. Herreport on visiting these native dwellings is easily reminiscent of herpamphlet Notes on Old Edinburgh. Like a district visitor who was obligedto inspect every aspect of a household, she went into a series of houses andintruded into their back rooms as she had done in the Edinburgh slums:I clambered into a Malay dwelling of the poorer class, and wascourteously received . . . This house is composed of a front hut and aback hut for communication. Like all others it is raised to a goodheight on posts. The uprights are of palm, and the elastic, gridironfloor of split laths of the invaluable nibong palm (oncospermafilamentosum). . I could not see that a single nail had been used inthe house. The whole of it is lashed together with rattan . . . . In theback room, the province of the women and children, there were aniron pot, a cluster of bananas, and two calabashes. (GoIdn 209-300)Bird generalizes, after some detailing of furniture and interior,The open floor, while it gives air and ventilation, has also itsdisadvantages, for solid and liquid refuse is thrown through it soconveniently that the ground under the house is apt to containstagnant pools and heaps of decomposing matter, and men lyingasleep on mats on these gridirons have sometimes been stabbed witha kris inserted between the bars from below by an enemy seekingrevenge.I must not, however, give the impression that the Malays are adirty people. They wash their clothes frequently, and bathe as oftenas possible. . . (301)As can be seen from these excerpts, Bird is scrupulous in factualdetails, such as the building technique and materials used by the Malays.68Although she adds a gracious codicil in case her portrayal of the Malays ismisunderstood, her British middle-class readers would likely have beenreminded of descriptions of the refuse heaps or cesspools of urban slumsin Mayhew’s London Labour and the London Poor, her own pamphlet, orsocial novels such as ALtonLocke. by Charles Kingsley, who borrowed fromMayhew a similar setting of unwholesome squalor for his novel. Norwould the reader readily identify the Malays as a civilized culture afterBird’s reminder of their “tradition” of bloody revenge.Almost all early literature on Malay culture mentions the tradition ofamok. Alfred Russel Wallace’s The Malay Archipelago (1868) has a sectionon it in the chapter on the customers and manners of the people ofLombock (174-5). To Wallace, to run amok was part of Malay nature, justas much as the people’s hospitality or their eating rituals. FrankSwettenham’s MalaySketches (1895) has one chapter on “Amok,” which isdistinguished by its graphic detail. Using a real incident to illustrate amok,Swettenham recounts how a middle-aged Imam (a priest) on the 11thFebruary, 1891, went on a murderous rampage, killing six people andwounding four, before he himself was fatally speared. Swettenham’semphasis on the murderer’s social standing, the nature of the wounds andthe weapons used, seems to imply that amok was a biological disorderwhich could happen in any Malay without cause, and that the brutality ofthe action was beyond the control of law and science. A post-mortem wasperformed on the attacker and his internal organs “were healthy exceptthat the membranes of the right side of brain were more adherent thanusual” (Swettenham 43). In the 1935 edition of Handbook to BritishMalaya, issued by the Malayan Civil Service, the subject is not mentioned,but on the Malay, the writer laconically comments: “ . . . he has been called69• • • in character treacherous . . . ,“ a description which the writer qualifiesas hasty and superficial (Handbook 31), but which he does not dispute.Swettenham uses nearly the same words in introducing the topic of ‘amok’:“The Malay has often been called treacherous. I question whether hedeserves the reproach . . .“ (4). British observers could not resist theheightened exoticism of such savage and anti-social behaviour whichseemed acceptable in the Malay culture; they were both fascinated andappalled by it. To portray native peoples as ‘degenerate’ types was aregular trope in colonial writing. Native degeneracy sanctioned Europeanintrusion, as Said has pointed out in Orientalism (1-28). At the same time,the writers somehow had to minimize this extremely non-Britishbehaviour in the Malays who were nominally their subjects.Bird also writes on the topic of amok, in a chapter devoted to thesuperstitious and cruel practices of the Malays. Sandwiched betweencritical comments on spirit possession and slavery is a compilation ofvarious accounts of amok, which Bird cites as observations made byreputable British officials such as Major McNair and Captain Shaw. Sheherself expresses no particular indignation at the occurrence of amok, butputs forward a rather relative view: “Considering how punctilious andcourteous the Malays are, how rough many of the best of us are, howbrutal in manner many of the worst of us are, and how inconsiderate oursailors are of the customs of foreign peoples . . . it is wonderful that bloodyrevenge is not more common than it is” (Golden 355-6). Instead, Bird wasmore concerned by the Malay practices of slavery and superstition.Bird criticizes slavery at great length, calling it “a great curse” and“one cause of the decay of the native States” (358), the practice was eviland cruel, and together with polygamy “go far to account for the decay of70these States” (361). Although slave trading was abolished by thenineteenth century in Britain, it was still an accepted practice before 1807,and British slaves were not freed until the Emancipation Act in 1833(Colley 323-4). Bird’s relative, William Wilberforce, was instrumental andactive in the campaign for abolition (Bradley 86-88). Thus Bird’sabhorrence of slavery had an ancestral and evangelical origin, similar toher contempt for the Islamic religion.When describing Malay believers, she repeatedly uses the term“bigoted Musselmen” (GckIen 121, 138, 140). In a negative report on aMalay village in Malacca, Bird considers the people, who “have a completecivilisation of their own, and their legal system is derived from the Koran”as “decidedly ugly, and there is a coldness and aloofness of manner aboutthem which chills one . . . “ (138). Though the children “are very pretty”and the dwellings “picturesque,” the people are said to “tell lies” (139), and“for the most part [are] ignorant and fanatical Mohammedans” (140). Birdexpresses evangelical disapproval as she writes: “but we do not understandthem, nor they us, and where they happen to be Mohammedans, there is agulf of contempt and dislike on their part which is rarely bridged byamenities on ours . . . “ (140). As she ends The Golden Chersonese, Birdregrets that the Christianization of “a people wholly given to idolatry”would prove to be a difficult task and that “missionary effort is nowchiefly among the Chinese . . . “(362-3).Although Bird was the official guest of the British colonialadministration in the Straits Settlements and in Malay States, she oftenchose a hectic and almost gruelling itinerary instead of a leisurely andindulgent schedule. In a letter to her sister, Bird laments that seasicknessprevented her from catching up with large arrears of writing and sewing,71and a week was “irrecoverably and shamefully lost” (Golden 29). Herstrong Protestant work ethic guided her conscience, and she admired theMalays most when they were industrious and active. After spending sometime in Pinang (sic) socializing with the Governor, police magistrate andChief Justice, Bird writes that she longed for the wild (256), and thesophistication of Georgetown offered very little to see “in my line at least”(257). While not clambering into Malay houses or exploring in the wild,Bird enjoyed visiting jails and hospitals. In the philanthropic culture ofnineteenth-century England, hospital and prison visits formed part of theroutine of charity workers. But for women visitors to gain access toprisons and hospitals, they had to deploy either political or monetarypower. Bird was well-connected enough to obtain permission to visit jailsand hospitals in Southeast Asia and in Canton, China.Of a jail she saw in Klang, Bird concedes that the building wastolerable, and the prisoners had “a liberal diet of rice and salt fish.” Beforethe British colonial system instituted prisons, criminals were shot or killedwith the kriss, a Malay weapon, on the spot (Golden 239). Thus, Britishrule had benefited even the criminals in the Malay States. In describingthe appearance of one Chinese prisoner in Selângor, Bird is merciless in hercontempt:I wonder how many of the feelings which we call human exist in thelowest order of Orientals! It is certain that many of them onlyregard kindness as a confession of weakness . . . . This wretchedcriminal with his possible association with a brutal murder is a mostpiteous object on deck, and comes between me and the enjoyment ofthis entrancing evening (247).72Such callous remarks are hard to connect with the evangelical preaching oflove and forgiveness. I think this contemptuous attitude towardsindigenous peoples is motivated by several major evangelical tendencies--overseas missionary zeal, compassionate paternalism and social allegiancewith the propertied, influential classes of society. These tendencies hadearly on established within Bird sets of cultural habits which became partof her disposition in interacting in social situations.Although many religious denominations had established overseasmissionaries, it was “the Anglican Evangelicals . . . which represented thelargest single effort to convert the heathen in the nineteenth century”(Bradley 75). The propaganda machinery of the Church Missionary Societyoperated to touch every corner of British society, including hosting annualchildren’s meetings in Exeter Hall, with as many as five to six thousand inattendance at each event (Prochaska 89). Tracts of missionary lives weredistributed, hymns were composed especially with themes of convertingthe heathens, and fund-raising campaigns were devised around suchcauses as financing a ship, “the John Williams, named after a missionarywho had been eaten by New Hebridean Islanders” (82). Such tactics, whichhighlighted the ‘unChristian’ behaviour of the heathens, would help toprejudice the general public against any people who were non-white andnon-Christian and affirm the missionary cause.Yet this essentially racist attitude which saw non-Europeans incaricatures and stereotypes did not stop the Victorians from joining ordonating money to missionary organizations, in order to save the ungodlyIndians, or Africans, from eternal damnation. Nor were all philanthropicefforts as superficial as Mrs. Jellyby’s in Dickens’s Bleak House.Philanthropic practices were perhaps an exercise in what Gertrude73Himmelfarb calls compassion in “its unsentimental mode, compassion[which] seeks above all to do good . . . “(5-6). This antipathy towards thevery people one was supposedly helping was a common reaction amongstmissionaries and anthropologists. In his journal and his letters, DavidLivingstone did not disguise the fact that he was disgusted at the Africantribes he tried to convert, people who were still living in “the lowest formsof barbarism,” who wore no clothes and practised blood revenge (PrivateJournals 253).Bird belonged, as mentioned before, to the (upper) middle-class ofAnglican evangelicals with connections to high places in society and in thechurch establishment. Victorian notables and policy-makers belonged tothis social elite. Its sense of superiority was further confirmed by Darwin’stheory of evolution, which portrayed a society with members who moved“along the ladder of civilization, propelled by natural selection, aided byuse-inheritance, with selfish instinct giving way to reason, morality andEnglish customs” (Desmond 579-80). It is evident from Anne Stoddart’sbiography and from her own writings that Bird subscribed to thisinterpretation of social stratifications.Thus her sense of social and racial hierarchy was well-established.Not only was her impression of non-whites influenced by Anglicanevangelicalism and middle-class social standards, but her attitude towardsthe colonialists could be equally censorious. Bird did not approve of theResident of Klang, whom she describes as a vulgar man with “a floridcomplexion,” whose wife had “a plaintive expression” (217-8) and whosedaughter was afflicted with ill health. It was because of his ineffectiveadministration, Bird implies, that the town had little commercial activity,the population was composed of “chiefly police constables” (221) and the74Residency had “much of the appearance of an armed post amidst a hostilepopulation” (218). Bird’s ideal colonial administrator would be someonelike Paul Swinburne, “a tall, slender, aristocractic-looking man, whoscarcely looks severable from the door-steps of a Pall Mall Club,” whocould talk brilliantly on art and literature, and “is much beloved by theSikhs, to whom he is just,” or a Mr. Maxwell, who was educated at Oxfordand Lincoln’s Inn (285). The appeal of good social connections stillprevailed in the 1930s, when J.H.M. Robson recorded his experience of thecolony and its administrators: “Educated at Eton and Oxford, the owner of acastle and possessed of considerable private means, Rodger was obviouslyabove and beyond minor failings of humanity” (37). It is therefore naturalthat Bird, a conscientious and well-connected Victorian, showed suchawareness of the political and religious aspects of Malay society. The wellbeing of the colony, which the colonizers were trying to mould into a lesserversion of the empire, was directly linked to the prosperity of GreatBritain.But The Golden Chersonese is not entirely devoid of praise for thecolonies and their people. Bird often describes her tropical experiences asdreamlike (126, 131, 143). In comparing Europeans to the natives, Birdhas occasionally favoured the Malayans. The Kling woman, Bird believes,is a figure of graceful perfection, and “[w]hat thinks she, I wonder, if shethinks at all, of the pale European, paler for want of exercise andengrossing occupation” (117). The ambiguity in Bird’s admiration for theKling woman illustrates my earlier contention that contacts unsettled someof Bird’s cultural assumptions. The aside “if she thinks at all” could refer toeither the Kling’s lack of imagination, or it could mean if the Kling womandeigns to “think at all” of the European. Contradictory appraisal of the75Malays occurs again when Bird writes of the Malays who lived inkampongs, “Captain Shaw likes the Malays, and the verdict on them hereis that they are chaste, gentle, honest, and hospitable, but they tell lies . .(139). Her profuse lists of flowers and fruits evoke not only theabundance and riches of the colonies, but are reminiscent of Mayhew’s listsof characteristics which give order and definition to the tribes ofcostermongers and dustmen in urban London. In both instances, the needto reduce chaotic profusion into recognizable order exemplifies theEuropean classificatory impulse to draw out “the tangled threads of . . . lifesurroundings” and to re-weave these threads “into European-basedpatterns of global unity and order” (Pratt 31). Bird’s travel narrativeparadoxically imparts the impression that she admires the colonies and thenatives, not only as colonial possessions of Britain, but as places and peoplewith their individual cultural heritage. Like Mayhew, Bird was to discoverthat cultural contacts required re-evaluations of one’s own beliefs.76The Hierarchy of Non-EuropeansIn his discussion of religious and secular colonization, JohannesFabian suggests that “demonstrating ideological support and collaboration”of the role religion played in “formulating and sustaining colonialism” canno longer generate “interesting” questions. Instead, “accumulatingevidence of the complexity of relations between missionary and secularcolonialism” will lead to “new synthesizing approaches” in the study ofcolonialism (Time and the Work of Anthropology 155). I want to take uphis suggestion and examine Isabella Bird’s complex response towards HongKong, a colony ceded to Britain for perpetuity by the Treaties of Chuenpi(A.D. 1841) and Nanking (A.D. 1842)4, and Canton, in which Britain hadextraterritorial privileges but not direct jurisdiction. There are threeoverall groups of non-Europeans in Bird’s narrative. These are thedecayed Chinese, who could not be branded savages, the uncivilizedMalays, and the Chinese under British rule, who were useful for theircommercial abilities. Her perception and analyses of these people aregreatly influenced by her religious upbringing and social connections,while the power Britain could wield over these peoples affected herimperial instinct at the same time. In the Malay Peninsula and Hong Kong,Bird was cheered by the effectiveness of colonial governments. In Canton,Bird was made unpleasantly aware of the restrictive role Britain could playin China.When Bird was in the Malay States and the Straits Settlements, shewas critical but tolerant of Malay habits: “The men are not inclined tomuch effort except in fishing or hunting . . . The women are very small,keep their dwellings very tidy . . . . They are not savages in the ordinary77sense, for they have a complete civilisation of their own, and their legalsystem is derived from the Koran” (LkIden 138). We must remember thatthis is not high praise, for in his “Minute on Indian Education” (1835),Thomas Babington Macaulay states categorically that “a single shelf of agood European library was worth the whole native literature of India andArabia” in spite of the heritage of Indian culture (Macaulay 182). A mostpoignant example of the racial discrimination Europeans practiced incolonial places is Bird’s fondness for a menagerie of apes and a retrieverwhich Hugh Low owned. These animals had dinner regularly with Bird atthe table, while Chinamen, Sikhs and a Madrassee served. Bird, showingthat she had read Darwin, calls the apes “[m]y ‘next of kin’ . .. ; theyrequired no conversational efforts; they were most interestingcompanions” (Golden 307). Implied in this set of relationships is Darwin’sobservation in The Descent of Man: “For my own part, I would as soon bedescended from that heroic little monkey, who braved his dreaded enemyin order to save the life of his keeper . . . as from a savage who delights totorture his enemies” (619). To highlight Bird’s preference for animals tonon-white others, she mentions a very small incident during anadventurous boat ride, “ . . . and the river swirled so rapidly and dizzilybelow that I was obliged ignominiously to hold on to a Chinaman . .(Gclden 245-6), as if the physical contact with a non-European wouldcontaminate her, while she allowed one of the apes to lie on her lap as shewrote, “with one long arm round my throat . . .“ (308) without any suchconcern.When the Chinese population in the Malay States and StraitsSettlements is mentioned, it is most often in connection with the wealth ofthe merchants. In Singapore, the Chinese “are not only numerous enough,78but rich and important enough to give Singapore the air of a Chinese townwith a foreign settlement” (115). In Malacca, “the Chinese may be said tobe everywhere, and the Malays nowhere” (201). But if Bird tolerated theChinese, it was in deference to their mercantile ability, a trait with whichnineteenth-century English could well identify. In one passage where Birdgives a summary of the ‘history’ of the Malay Peninsula, she usesmercantile language to describe the process of European takeovers:It is strange that I should have written thus far and have saidnothing at all about the people from whom this Peninsula derives itsname, who have cost us not a little blood and some treasure, withwhom our relations are by no means well defined or satisfactory, andwho, though not the actual aborigines of the country, have at leastthat claim to be considered its rightful owner which comes from longcenturies of possession. In truth, between English rule, the solidtokens of Dutch possession, the quiet and indolent Portuguese, thesplendid memories of Francis Xavier, and the numericalpreponderance, success, and wealth of the Chinese, I had absolutelyforgotten the Malays, even though a dark-skinned, militarypoliceman, with a gliding, snake-like step, whom I know to be aMalay, brings my afternoon tea to the Stadthaus ! (137)Great Britain’s relation to the country is defined by ‘cost’, ‘treasure’,‘possession’ and by contractual terms such as the ‘claim’ to ‘rightful’ownership. The colonizers are graded by the evangelical and middle-classvalues of “professionalism, and financial rectitude” (Hilton 7). Thus theDutch are ‘solid’, the Portuguese ‘indolent’, but Francis Xavier is singled outfor approval as a missionary pioneer, and the Chinese, though nonEuropean, for their wealth. The Malays, as a subject people, are relegatedto the role of tea server in the uniform of a policeman, who walksstealthily and is without distinction. Towards the Chinese serving class,Bird showed general mistrust and opprobrium, especially towards the79Chinese addiction to gambling and opium-smoking. But about theflourishing opium trade which meant revenues to the British, Birdremained silent.While in Hong Kong, Bird stayed at the Bishop’s Palace. She thoughtthe scenery beautiful, the palatial grounds magnificent, but the Chinese“indifferent, rough, and disagreeable, except the well-to-do merchants.“ She disliked their way of speaking English, and could not toleratetheir “ugly habit of speaking of us as barbarians or foreign devils” (Golden37). While Bird writes detailed accounts of Malay customs, housing,costumes, thereby acknowledging the existence of Malay history, she seesHong Kong as a creation of Britain:Moored to England by the electric cable, and replete with all themagnificent enterprises and luxuries of English civilisation . . . andpossessing the most imposing city of the East on its shores, the colonyis only forty years old, the island of Hong Kong having been ceded toEngland in 1841, while its charter only bears the date of 1843 . .[Tjhe magnificent city of Victoria extends for four miles along itssouthern shore, with its six thousand houses of stone and brick andthe princely mansions and roomy bungalows of its merchants andofficials scrambling up the steep sides of the Peak . . . . (Golden 39)In Bird’s version the history of Hong Kong--’only forty years old’--beginswith British rule. The imperial message of the 1851 World Exhibition hasbeen incorporated into the rewriting of colonial history. Hong Kong, thoughan island in the South China Sea, is not only linked, but “moored” toEngland by technology, while China, by implication, looks helplessly on inher decay. Although she presents a picture of prosperity, Bird does notindicate that the six thousand European-style bungalows and mansions inreality only housed the seven thousand Europeans, while the majority of80the remaining one hundred and fifty-three thousand Chinese lived in“houses . . . wanting in all sanitary principles . . . “ (Eitel 561). This fact ismentioned in E.J. Eitel’s Europe in China: the History of Hongkong From theBeginning to the Year 1882 (1895), not as a critique of the colonialadministration or British Rule, but as a passing comment on the sanitationof Hong Kong during Sir John Pope Hennessy’s tenure as governor. InEitel’s book on Hong Kong, the Chinese have been effectively written out ofhistory, while all history-making actions--legislation, public works,education--have been undertaken totally by Britons. When Sir John triedto appoint a Portuguese clerk to the position of Acting Colonial Treasurerwith a seat on the Council, the appointment was revoked because of theclerk’s nationality, and Sir John’s overtures to include Chinese in theadministration were “interpreted by the English community as attempts togain the favour of the . . . Chinese sections . . ., to create an anti-Englishfeeling . . .“ (530). Overall, John Pope Hennessy was seen as a failedgovernor partly because of his pro-Chinese stance, especially towardsChinese criminals, a sentiment Bird echoes in ihe_Golden Chersonese: “Itmust be admitted that the criminal classes are very rampageous . . . fromundue and unwise leniency in the treatment of crime . . . “ (40).Bird was also interested in the medical facility in Hong Kong, and wasaccompanied by the governor in visiting the Tung-Wah Hospital, “a purelyChinese institution, built some years ago by Chinese merchants . . .“ (Golden87). She gives a concise description of the layout of the wards and thearrangements of beds, writing approvingly of the ventilation system usedin the building, the general cleanliness and the practice of temperance. Butshe castigates in no uncertain terms the Chinese medical procedure andtreatment practiced by the doctors:81• • . but the system adopted is one of the most antiquated quackery,and when I think of the unspeakably horrible state of the wounds,the mortifying limbs, and the gangrened feet ready to drop off, Ialmost question Governor Hennessey’s wisdom in stamping thehospital with his approval on his “State Visit.” (91)Bird thought it strange that the Chinese did not practice bleeding, orleeching, or blistering, but used instead “powdered rhinoceros’ horns, sun-dried tiger’s blood • . . and many other queer things . . •“ (89). Although shehad no sympathy for the medical quackery at the hospital, she wassuitably impressed by the ceremonial reception the trustees gave her:It was a charming Oriental sight, the grand, open-fronted room withits stone floor and many pillars, the superbly dressed directors andtheir blue-robed attendants, and the immense costumed crowdoutside the gate in the sunshine, kept back by crimson-turbanedSikh orderlies. (92)As indicated by Bird’s varied response to aspects of Chinese life in HongKong, Chinese culture and people had ceased to impress the Europeans inscience and technology, but the Chinese spectacles continued to please,especially if they were in honour of the colonists. In the tableau quotedabove, the honoured guests are the governor, his wife, and Isabella Bird.The thronging crowd outside are the Chinese, who are kept back by Sikhguards, another colonized race. Since the trade and military expeditionshad successfully broken down Chinese insularity and dispelled themystery surrounding the walled kingdom, Westerners generally believedthat China’s greatness was in her past. In The Descent of Man Darwin, indiscussing development in civilized nations, mentions that the Orientals didnot seem to entertain the idea of progress (132-3). It is assumed, by both82Bird the visitor and Eitel the administrator and historian, that without theinfluence of Britain, Hong Kong would have remained a place which, as oneearlier visitor to Hong Kong dismissingly writes: “boasts of only two walks[and is] entirely devoid of other charms” (Oliphant 57-8).When Laurence Oliphant accompanied Lord Elgin, Britain’s chieftreaty negotiator, to China in 1857, China had already lost the first OpiumWar (1839-42) and the Treaty of Nanjing, signed on August 29, 1842,apart from ceding Hong Kong in perpetuity to “Victoria and her successors,”also allowed British subjects and their families to set up residence in fiveChinese cities--Canton, Fuzhou, Xiamen, Ningbo, and Shanghai (Spence 158-9). Western nations began to exert influence in China, and their dominancedid not diminish until the early 1930s, when outright hostility broke outbetween Japan and China in 193 1-32. But Europeans in Canton did notenjoy the same total power and freedom which Europeans in Hong Kongand the Malay Peninsula did. Instead of choosing the best sites to buildtheir mansions, as they did in Hong Kong on the hillside, the Europeans“domiciled on Shameen, a reclaimed mud flat . . . This island, which has onone side the swift flowing Canton river . . . has on the other a canal, onwhich an enormous population lives in house boats . . . “ (Gokln 44).Although Bird claims that the settlement, “insular and exclusive, hearslittle and knows less of the crowded Chinese city at its gates” (45), thisinsularity also indicates that the foreigners were restrained, throughinternal as well as external factors, to conduct their lives within limitedspaces.Oliphant’s impression of Canton is generally negative. As he watchedthe exodus of Chinese fleeing the foreign invasion, he muses:83It was singular to stand here and watch this exodus, to observemiscellaneous property which was being conveyed by patient cooliesand men transported articles which we should consider worthless,as carefully as their wives; nor considering the general aspect of thefemale part of the population, was this wonderful, when to theirnatural ugliness is added the deformity of feet . . . any thing moreunprepossessing than the lady part of the community could not bewell conceived . . . In fact, after the first novelty has worn off, thereis nothing to make promenade in the streets of a Chinese townattractive. The foulest odour assail the olfactories. The mostdisgusting sights meet the eye--objects of disease, more loathsomethan any thing to be seen in any part of the world, jostle against youyou suspect every man that touches you of a contagious disease(Oliphant 120)Notice how Oliphant’s view of the Chinese echoes that of an English person,who would also regard the paupers, the destitute, the foreigners in theEnglish slums with a mixture of fascination and aversion. In LondonLabour and the London Poor, Mayhew describes one series of visits hemade to homes in Shadwell, an area “infested with nests of brothels” (483),and one of the rooms “contained a Lascar . . . and his woman. There was asickly smell in the chamber . . . . [The] woman’s face was grimy andunwashed, and her hands so black and filthy that mustard-and-cressmight have been sown successfully upon them . . . she appeared ananimated bundle of rags” (485). Mayhew went on to conjecture that thiswoman probably had some form of disease “communicated by the Malays,Lascars, and Orientals generally, [which] is said to be the most frightfulform of lues [syphilis] to be met with in Europe” (485). Contagiousdiseases, rags and dirt were the metonyms prejudiced Europeans devisedfor people from the lowest depth of the social strata, or for non-whiteswho did not have the benefit of wealth.84As we have seen, the evangelicals also thought of crowded living asimmoral. Bird mentions in Notes on Old Edinburgh that one of the familiesshe visited had two adults and five children, who all slept on the floor, andin order to preserve the only sets of clothing they had, slept naked “all of aheap” (18). Together with the need for individual privacy--indoor watercloset and piped water for washing behind closed door--and gendersegregation in order to maintain a proper standard of social morality, classdifferentiation became a factor also in the determination of living spaces innineteenth-century England. Thus respectable middle-class householdswould have rooms for specific functions, and for male and femaleoffspring, and “[r]elease from the necessity of doing one’s dirty washing inpublic was literally the path to respectability” (F.M.L. Thompson 192-3).Consider also the fashion of respectable classes in the mid-nineteenthcentury in England. The crinoline, which “reached its apogee in 1859-64,”could measure as wide as ten yards round the hem (Gernsheim 47). Evenless extravagant models would require considerable space for women tomaneuver in. Men and women wore gloves, and were covered from headto toe with fabric--neck-clothes, stiff collars, buttoned bodices. Physicalcontact was kept to a minimum and social intercourse conducted at adistance. Because of urban development and subsequent increase inpopulation in industrial centres, etiquette in public places became one ofthe indicators of breeding and class distinction. One etiquette writercomplains of the disorderly behaviour of the working class on the trains:It is very trying to have all sorts and conditions pushing in withbundles, from which umbrellas protrude in every direction . .Instead of being apologetic on being remonstrated with, they become85most aggressive, assured that those of their own class present willsupport them . . . (qtd. in Michael Curtin 162).In a similar way, Oliphant the English gentleman was disgusted at theChinese crowd thronging about, with their bedraggled belongings, brushingagainst the Europeans. Streets in Canton were not designed with the sameprinciple and needs in mind as an English city street. The Chinese, thoughnot intending to be overly familiar with the Westerners, nonetheless wouldnot share the idea of required physical distance between people which theEnglish cherished. Perhaps most galling of all would be the lack of respectand awe the Chinese population generally showed towards the Europeans.When the European troops seized Canton in 1857-8 and captured theChinese leader after some difficulty, Oliphant thought the prisoner wasacting without due humility: “Yeh, seated in a large room . . . wasanswering in a loud, harsh voice . . . Though he endeavoured, by theassumption of a careless and insolent manner, to conceal his alarm, hisglance was troubled . . . “ (109). Oliphant, unfamiliar with Chineselanguage and culture, was interpreting Yeh’s body language within theEnglish context. The frustration occasioned by the foreign surroundingwas converted into disdain for the defeated enemy. Bird had a similarcultural confrontation during an outing in Canton: “Two nice Chinese boyssat by us, and Mr. Smith practised Chinese upon them, till a man came outangrily and took them away, using many words of which we onlyunderstood ‘Barbarian Devils” (Golden 60). In this incident, we have aclearer example of reverse racial prejudice practiced by the despisedOrientals, who found western presence contaminating. However, Birdtreats it without rancour, for she adds immediately: “The Cantonese are not86rude however. A foreign lady can walk alone without being actuallymolested . . . “ (Golden 60). The same could not be said for London, wherea lady of any nationality would not be advised to walk alone inWhitechapel or Spitalfields.In a colonial city, the European power could change the urbanlandscape to suit its own culture. In French Indochina, “[a] smug self-assurance prevailed among those late-nineteenth-century Frenchmen who,looking around at Saigon or Hanoi, could feel they had successfullyreplicated the urbane beauty of cities in their homeland” (Wright 161). InJoseph Conrad’s short story, “The End of the Tether,” Captain Whalleywalks down “a recently opened and untidy thoroughfare . . . “ as he tries tomake a momentous decision (54). This “grandly planned street” is flankedby government buildings and European companies, but shunned bynatives. As mentioned before, Europeans built their mansions on thehillside of Hong Kong because it was thought in the nineteenth century thatthe mountain air was salubrious for a European constitution. In discussingthe choice of site in colonial settlements in response to nineteenth-centurytheories on contagious diseases, Anthony King writes: “This explanation ofthe causes of malaria, and the belief that they were considerably reducedby moving to higher elevation where cooler air temperatures prevailed,had profound effects on the settlement pattern of European army in India”(King 108). A similar pattern of civilian settlement occurred in Hong Kong,but not in Canton.Nor should it be assumed that indigenous inhabitants of colonizedplaces necessarily wanted to be in close proximity to the Europeans. TheEuropean esplanade is shunned by natives after business hours in Conrad’s“The End of the Tether.” In another work by Conrad, Victory (1914), Axel87Heyst’s Chinese servant would not allow the white man to come near hiscottage, and the natives blockade their part of the island from Europeanencroachment. Bird mentions with irritation how the Chinese, even incolonized Hong Kong, called the Europeans “foreign devils,” and her hostand hostess used to be called by their servants “this very ugly name”before the Chinese found out that the English knew the language (Golden37). And except for commercial transactions, Chinese believed in keepingall contacts with the “foreign devils” to a minimum.It is possible that the festive season of Chinese New Year had givenBird a more favourable impression of Canton than Oliphant. Overall, sheenjoyed the city, its teeming streets and its people. She was respectful ofthe antiquity of Canton, “which dates from the fourth century B.C.” (GoI&n50). The costumes and the shops excited her more than the quietrefinement of the foreign settlement. Always aware of material wealth,Bird was impressed by the elaborate architecture of residential houses,“with projecting upper stories, much carved and gilded” (61), or the silk-lined robe worn by the men, even the coolies, who had “over this asleeveless jacket of rich dark blue or pure brocade . . . The stockings arewhite, and the shoes . . . are of black satin . . . The most splendid furs areworn . . . “ (62). She was attracted to all unusual practices, such as visitinga “dog and cat restaurant” (63), although she did not mention whether shetried the food. But what seems to have fascinated her the most was theprison, which reminds us once again of her philanthropic background.Bird did not visit the Naam-Hoi prison in Canton to save souls.Although she had as guide an American missionary who had “preached190 times in Chinese” (Golden 73), her letter on this visit gave no88indication that they were allowed to preach to the prisoners. Instead oftreating them as honoured guests, as the directors of the Hong KongChinese hospital had done, the officials in the Naam-Hoi prison paidabsolutely no attention to Bird and her companion. According to a planwhich Bird drew of the judgement hall, they stood between the entrancepillars and the prisoners undergoing torture. The judge, a young man“with fine features, a good complexion, and a high intellectual brow,” neverturned to look at anyone (75). As a matter of fact, Bird was placed so nearto the tortured prisoners that “the dress of one touched my feet. I couldhear their breathing . . . “(77). Altogether Bird devotes a lengthyseventeen pages on the prison in Canton and the execution ground, whereshe went shortly after some executions had taken place:we came to a great pooi of blood and dust mingled, blackeningin the sun, then another and another, till there were five of themalmost close together, with splashes of blood upon the adjacent pots,and blood trodden into the thirsty ground. Against the wall opposite,a rudely constructed cross was resting, dark here and there withpatches of blood. Among the rubbish at the base of the wall therewere some human fragments partly covered with matting; a littlefurther some jaw-bones with the teeth in them, then four morecrosses, and some human heads lying at the foot of the wall, fromwhich it was evident that dogs had partially gnawed off the mattingin which they had been tied up. The dead stare of one human eyeamidst the heap haunts me still. (Golden 83)Bird goes on to describe with sangfroid how she picked up a “bloodsplashed” wooden ticket which was hung from a prisoner’s neck, and sheintended to keep it as a memento, “as the stroke which had severed itsstring had also severed at the same time the culprit’s neck” (84).89It would have been impossible for Bird to conduct herself the wayshe did, both at the prison and at the execution ground, without herevangelical background. As can be seen from her Notes on Old Edinburgh,she did not shrink from an environment of physical filth. Female charityworkers were expected to plunge in where respectable middle-classwomen would fear to enter. Thus we would find Victorian “rescueworkers” fearlessly walking the streets with the prostitutes they tried torescue, suffering jeers and pelted with “[tjomatoes, rotten eggs, and deadfish . . . “ (Prochaska 192-3). Nor was public demonstration and physicalviolence alien to Bird; her own father was attacked in the streets ofBirmingham.More noteworthy in the quoted passage is Bird’s fixation on thegruesome details, which reminds the reader of the missionary tactic ofhighlighting pagan practices, or of Swettenham’s report on amok. Blood isrepeated four times, not to mention her descriptions of human remains.Christopher Herbert believes that the victims of the ghoulish spectacles ofpublic hanging or physical discipline “were made to play the role ofsacrificial scapegoats for the characteristic moral anxieties of Evangelicalculture . . “ (Herbert 33). More than that, Bird’s dwelling on the very non-English and therefore barbaric legal system as represented by Naam-Hoiprison, may be read as a strategy to affirm English ascendency over theancient culture of China. Unlike the colonized peoples of the MalayPeninsula and Hong Kong, the Chinese in Canton and Chinese historyremained autonomous to English rule. Successful colonizers did not relishthe secondary role Europeans were legislated to play within China. Tomaintain the position of an observer from a superior culture, LaurenceOliphant denigrates the ancient custom and history of China and equates90its antiquity with its military defeat, the cowardly lawless mob and theempty, untended Yamuns (offices of law) in Canton (Oliphant, Chapters 7-9). Similarly, Bird reports that the prisoners in the Cantonese prisonchorused that they wished they were in the prison in Hongkong, wherethere were plenty of food, baths and beds to sleep on, and “ . . . good, goodis the prison of your Queen!’” (Golden 71), a true validation of enlightenedBritish rule over the colonized peoples. The recognition of an independentculture and a change in the political and physical environment have forcedthese writers to adopt discursive strategies which would, to use an Asianterm, ‘save face’. But as an evangelist, Bird also adds a Christian coda tothe section on the execution ground, as the sight of the cross reminded herof the cross upon which Jesus was crucified. She warns the English readersagainst complacency regarding their national “administration of justice andthe treatment of criminals . . . for the framers of the Litany were familiarwith the dungeons perhaps worse than the prison of the Naam-Hoimagistrate” (Golden 84). Thus the English judicial system and Christianteaching are given dual prominence in the process of reforming theOrientals, and British superiority is reinstated in the narrative.91In Southeast Asia and Canton With No BaedekerGuides have always played an important part in travel literature andin fiction on travellers, be it published travel guides which direct thetravellers to specific sites, or the cicerone, who interprets and acts as go-between for the traveller in foreign surrounding. The Baedeker figuresprominently in E.M. Forster’s A Room With_a_View (1908). In Forster’snovel, the guide acts as a metaphor of the conventional consciousnesswhich struggles against instinctual feelings. In Henry James’s novella,Daisy Miller’s Italian cicerone is accused of indiscretion by the Europeanexpatriates, a reaction which James uses to highlight the gulf betweenDaisy’s independent spirit and the expatriates’ rarified social sense. InJourney Without Maps (1936), Graham Greene tries to convey theexcitement--with a subtext of ennui--of a twentieth-century exploration inthe footsteps of David Livingstone executed without the benefits of mapsor able native guides:Had we any idea of what we were up against? Had we any reliablemaps? No, I said. There weren’t any to be got. Had we any boys?No. Had we let the DCs up the line know of our coming and engagedrest-houses? No, I hadn’t known it was necessary. When we crossedthe border, how were we going to sleep? In native huts.‘You poor innocents,’ he said. He nearly wept over the wheel. Hadwe ever considered what a native hut meant? The rats, the lice, thebugs . . . (Greene 49-50).Greene’s interlocutor, a European resident of Sierra Leone, points out somebasic necessities of travelling in a foreign country--lodging, contacts,helpers (if travelling in rough terrain) and guides. This section will92examine the influence Bird’s accommodation and guides might have had onher views of the Malay Peninsula, Hong Kong and Canton.Bird went to considerable trouble to select her guides in an earliervisit to Japan. Her final choice was by no means totally satisfactory to hertaste, and her writing reflects the complex relationship which existedbetween a native guide and a European traveller. It was a commonsituation in which the superior European resented being dependent on thelesser race, and felt unsettled when the Asian guide did not conform tostereotypical expectations (Kröller 91-2). Bird never mentioned thepresence of an appointed native guide during her Southeast Asian andCantonese travels. In the Malay Archipelago, Bird relied exclusively onEnglishmen, all holding some official positions. In Singapore, Bird waslooked after by the Colonial Secretary, Cecil Smith, whose resident was aplace of “delightfully cultured and intellectual atmosphere” (Golden 109).In Malacca, Bird was lodged by the Lieutenant-Governor in the Stadthaus,“formerly the residence of the Dutch Governor” (128). In other words,Bird’s hosts and guides were generally from the social class with aprofessional background, and their sons attended public schools anduniversities (Butcher 34-7). In this atmosphere of colonial culture, Bird’sperception of British rule was always positive and assured, bolstered bythe sad legacies of the former colonial powers. The morality of colonialismwas never questioned and native cultural values were seldomacknowledged. When Bird writes of the Portuguese and the Dutch, shesees them as losers in a competitive race: “[their] rule have [sic] passedaway, leaving, as their chief monuments--the first, a ruined cathedral, anda race of half-breeds; and the last, the Stadthaus and a flat-faced meeting-93house” (Golden 130). If she criticizes the English, as she does in the case ofBloomfield Douglas, the resident of Klang, it is with circumspection andalways in the belief that good administration was paramount to a strongcolonial presence. Even her adventures into the wild were managed by apolice inspector or an assistant resident, sometimes accompanied by avalet. Small wonder then that Bird writes with smugness: “It is so strangeto see that other European countries are almost nowhere in this strangeFar East,” and she adds “England . . . is represented by prosperous colonies,powerful protective forces, law, liberty and security” (255-6).If Bird could efficiently minimize the presence of the Malay sultansand their nominal rule in some areas of the Peninsula, she could also veryconveniently ignore the Chinese population in Hong Kong. Guest of thebishop and the governor, Bird saw Hong Kong as a eulogy to the prosperity,peace and growth the English had brought to this island. She was evendelighted by the sight of Hong Kong on fire, which affected the Chinesepopulation who lived in the crowded central district rather than theEuropeans who lived on the hillside. In picturesque language Birddescribes the scene:But dense volumes of smoke rolling and eddying, and covering withtheir black folds the lower slopes and the town itself made asurprising spectacle . . . . I got into a bamboo chair, with two longpoles which rested on the shoulders of two lean coolies, who carriedme to my destination at a swinging pace through streets as steep asthose of Varenna. Streets choked up with household goods and thecostly contents of shops, treasured books and nick-nacks lying on thedusty pavements . . . Chinamen dragging their possessions to thehills; Chinawomen, some of them with hoofs rather than feet,carrying their children on their backs and under their arms . . . Mr.Pope Hennessy, the Governor, ubiquitous in a chair with four scarletbearers; men belonging to the insurance companies running about94with drawn swords, the miscellaneous population running hither andthither; loud and frequent explosions, heavy crashes as of totteringwalls . . . made a scene of intense excitement; while utterly unmoved,in grand Oriental calm (or apathy), with the waves of tumultbreaking round their feet, stood Sikh sentries, majestic men, withswarthy faces and great crimson turban. (Golden 31..2)This passage shows Bird’s skill as a descriptive writer, but it alsoshows her looking at the Hong Kong populace through the eyes of thecolonists. A disaster to numerous Chinese who lost their homes and goods,the conflagration was to Bird a spectacle of unparallelled excitement. Thetwo Europeans, Bird and Pope Hennessy, are conveyed through the streets,amongst the stricken Chinese, on chairs carried by coolies and guards.Sikhs, impressive because of their crimson turbans and majestic build,stand apathetically immobile. The whole scene is written with a kind ofbreathless intensity, which makes it effective but ethically problematic.Later on in the passage, Bird calls the noisy panic of the Chinese a “Babel”;she describes the breaking out of fire afresh as “luridly grand in thetwilight, the tongues of flame lapping up house after house” (33). Not aword is said about what happened to the Chinese after the fire, except thatSikhs are patrolling the city day and night to prevent looting. But Eitel’shistory of Hong Kong has even less to record on the disaster:After the great fire of 25th and 26th December, 1878 . . . [which] inthe opinion of the community demonstrated the absence of allsystem in the management of the Fire Brigade, Sir John promised(January 18, 1879) various reforms. But nothing of any momentha[s] been done . . . . (Eitel 528)Eitel capitalizes on the opportunity to criticize the government of PopeHennessy rather than commenting on the aftermath of the fire. In the95index to his Europe in China, there are entries for “Chinese Hatred forForeigners” and “Chinese Perfidy,” but nothing on the Chinese of HongKong, although he ends his history by complaining that[tjhe persistent refusal to adopt European costume or English ways ofliving . . . . all these symptoms of Chinese clannish exclusivism .clearly indicate that on the Chinese side there is, as yet, no desire tosee the chasm that still separates Chinese and European life in thisColony, bridged over. (574-5)His advice is that “. . . secular education now tentatively pursued waslikewise bound to fail so long as insufficient attention was bestowed on ageneral promotion of the English language. There was, during this period,hardly a thought of aiming at that regeneration of the Chinese communitywhich would raise them to the level of the Europeans . . . “ (575). In Eitel’shistory, the Chinese in Hong Kong were accused of keeping their owncultural identity instead of adopting the British culture. But administrativepolicies and social relations also made it clear that the Chinese would neverbe accepted as equals of the British. Therefore, the concept of raising theChinese “to the level of the Europeans” was largely a theoretical posturing,and implicit was the racial inequality which Europeans, in spite ofphilanthropic leaning, continued to exercise. This gulf between teachingand practice generally reflects the ambiguity Bird’s writing shows.Bird went to two countries in which Britain was not predominant ineither colonial rule or in cultural influence--Canton, and Cochin-China forone day, on the way to Singapore. Bird’s guide in Canton were missionarieswho had studied the language, or her hostess, Mrs. H., presumably the wife96of the director of Jardine, Matheson, and Co. in Canton. Thus her itinerarywas shared between sightseeing, in which she delighted, especiallyamongst the shops and fairs, and visits to places of worship and justice.Bird admired the intrepidity and tenacity shown by the American, Germanand English missionaries and her writing is interspersed with incidents oftheir efforts. She thought the Chinese temples ugly, and China “a nation ofatheists or agnostics, or slaves of impious superstitions” (Golden 64-5).In her book, the section on Canton seems to contain the mostcontradiction: she admired Chinese antiquity and the richness of Chineseculture, but she the abhorred Chinese legal system and forms of itsreligious worship. It was a conflicting perception which Bird neverresolved. Bird’s values and expectations were formed by the middle-classculture of Victorian England. Bird was a ‘trained’ Victorian: she was bothreligious and materialistic. She would not despise wealth and prestige, butshe was mindful of the social responsibilities incumbent upon the upper-and middle-classes towards the poor.Similarly, the colonizers were responsible for civilizing the natives,“to educate a people who cannot at present be educated by means of theirmother-tongue” (Macaulay 182). This noble purpose justified the violenceimplicit in all projects of colonization. Bird did not reproach the colonialgovernment for superimposing its rule of law and its customs upon theMalays, and wished that the same civilizing process could be effected inChina. The Chinese, in spite of their tradition, were seen by Oliphant andBird as no better than the great unwashed mass in need of enlightenedadministration. As long as the British hierarchy of cultures held sway,colonization and missionary work could continue without contradiction.The efficiency of British colonization over the French, the Dutch and the97Portuguese in Southeast Asia also confirmed this hierarchical structure ofnations, already evident in the Great Exhibition. Bird’s short excursion intoCochin-China gave her the opportunity to compare English and Frenchcolonialism. In Saigon, Bird saw Frenchmen, Spaniards and Germanslounging in the shades of cafes, “with their feet upon tables” (Gckln 95).She thought the colonial life in Saigon was made up of little other thantiffin and bath and siesta, and concludes, after visiting some villagers that[t]he French don’t appear to be successful colonists. This CochinChinese colony of theirs . . . was ceded to France in 1874, but itsEuropean population is still under twelve thousand . . . [Herinformants] believe that the colony, far from being a source of profitto France, is kept at a heavy annual loss. . . . (103-4)In Bird’s estimation, the French government, unlike the British, wasrunning the colony at a loss instead of showing a profit. Thus, thecomplexity of Asian history and cultures was reduced to a competitionbetween European powers aimed at making profits. The complexity of asociety with several ethnic groups was simplified into employablestereotypes: the Chinese amah, Malay gardener, Tamil chauffeur and so on(Handbook to British Malaya 55).Bird was sometimes aware that her observations were not empiricaltruths, as she writes in The Golden Chersonese:I am painfully aware of the danger here, as everywhere, of forminghasty and inaccurate judgements, and of drawing general conclusionsfrom partial premises, and on my present tour there is the addedrisk of seeing things through official spectacles; but still certainthings lie on the surface, and a traveller must be very stupid indeedif he does not come to an approximately just conclusion concerningthem. (324)98The specific instance which occasioned Bird’s remark was her disapprovalof a resident whose administration treated the Malays unjustly. Althoughher observation and the reason for it, “on the surface,” are both laudable,the reader must remember that the just system of law and order whichBird wanted for the Malays was an English colonial system. If Birdexperienced moments of contradictory consciousness, she relied on herevangelical training to restore her faith in her own culture and therighteousness of its path.Bird gave an impression of earnest accounting in The GoldenChersonese, with her obsessive writing under the most inclementconditions and her shame at not doing something. She also ensured thatshe quoted indisputable sources, such as the government blue books andWallace, to give her travel narrative the authenticity of scholarlyinvestigation. If Bird travelled in Southeast Asia without a Baedeker, herbook was providing the kind of information a guidebook might conceivablycontain--geography, climate, flora and fauna, population, and culture,which is further discussed under headings of language, literature, religion,music, mathematics, medicine and so on (3-27). It is not merelyentertaining, which would be sinful, but also informative.The possession of power was an ever-present element in Britishtravel writing about colonized countries. Even Leonard Woolf’s Growing, inwhich he claims often that he despised the imperialist role he played, isnot exempt from racial and cultural prejudices. In The Golden Chersonese,the overall imperial rhetoric is occasionally challenged by Bird’s sympathyor admiration for the non-Europeans. The Chinese in Malaya are praisedfor their industry. The Klings are admired for their gracefulness. Thetropical landscape is enchanting and dreamlike. The further Bird was from99the colonial settings of clubs and residency, the less dogmatic her judgmentof the others became. In Canton, Bird is circumspect in her observations,but in Hong Kong, surrounded by colonial officials, she writes at herimperialistic ‘best’. This conglomeration of imperial pride, ethicalconscientiousness, professionalism, belief in progress and technology overnature, and a need to appear fair-minded, is detectable in much of Britishlate colonial travel writing, as for example Greene’s Journey Without Mapsor Forster’s reminiscences of his Indian travels, The Hill of Dcvi (1953).The Golden Chersonese, a forerunner of self-reflexive imperial writing,shows that prejudice and bigotry could be rationalized by altruism.Immersion in metropolitan beliefs helped to smooth away any experienceof ethical contradiction. In Bird’s writings, the awareness of other culturalidentities was not distinct enough to break down Eurocentric complacency,which was preserved by rigorous adherence to British culture in thecolonies. The specifically European consciousness of Max Dauthendey, asthe next chapter shows, was shaped and preserved by different sets ofcultural habits than Bird’s, and this difference is very clearly reflected inhis representation of Southeast Asia.100Notes1 See McKean, Kohlmaier and von Sartory for discussion on the glasshouse building type as the origin of modern architecture.2 See Ruskin, The Seven Lamps of Architecture and Michael Brighton Pugin and the Gothic revival in Victorian architectural aesthetics.3 For the publication history of Mayhew’s London Labour and theLondon Poor, see Humpherys’ two books on Mayhew.4 E. I. Eitel was out by one year with the date of the Treaty ofNanking in Europe In China (1895), a history of Hong Kong which hasrecently been republished by Oxford University Press and probablyaccepted as a canonical work on Hong Kong. Both S pence and Hsü give1842 as the year the treaty was signed.101CHAFFER 2: MAX DAUT[{ENDEY : SEDUCED BY TIlE EASTBerlin and the Shaping of an AestheteOn January 19, 1893 Max Dauthendey wrote to some friends inWurzburg about a visit he paid to Edvard Munch’s private exhibition in aluxurious building on the corner of Friedrichstrasse and Leipzigstrasse inBerlin:The first impression. Colourful strokes--brushstrokes an inch longlike commas, like colonies of bacilli .Twice I encircled the paintings--passed back and forth in front ofthe wall; it was as if I wanted to drink some mulled wine,but it’s too hot: one sips and sips, and keeps getting burnt .Suddenly I saw, felt and understood everything . . . There wasa mixture of six or seven colour tones, where painters who use abroad brushstroke only obtain one tone; the shadows in iridescent gradations, as in nature, the lights flicker, and everything camealive. .Der erste Eindruck. Bunte Striche--Kommas von einem ZollLange die Pinselstriche, wie bunte Bazillenkolonien .Zweimal ging ich um die Bilder--an den Wänden hinauf, hinunter, es war mir, wie wenn man Glühwein trinken möchte,aber es ist zu heiss: man nippt, nippt, man verbrennt immerwieder . . .Plötzlich sah ich, empfand ich und begriff ich alles• . es entstanden sechs-, siebenfache Tonschwingungen, wosonst die Maler mit breitem Pinselstrich nur einen Ton bekommen; die Schatten schillerten in Stufungen, wie in derNatur, die Lichter flimmerten, und alles lebte. . . • (Sieben Meerenahmen mich auf 95)There are three implications in this description which highlight the courseof Dauthendey’s development as an artist and writer, a process which will102be discussed in some detail in this section: the conservatism of the Berlinsociety, the way Edvard Munch turned potentially disastrous publicity tohis own advantage, and Dauthendey’s appreciation of Munch’s avant-gardetechnique of painting. All three points concern a network of artistic andsocial influences which formed the cultural habits of Max Dauthendey. Theconfluence of aesthetic and social interests, which I have discussed inchapter 1 in relation to nineteenth-century Britain, will be examined inthis chapter within the socio-political milieu of Wilhelminian Germany.In 1892, the year before Dauthendey’s visit to the private showing atthis location, Edvard Munch was invited by the Berlin Artists Association(Verein Berliner KUnstler) to mount an exhibition in the imperial capital.However, after seeing the paintings, which Munch carefully hung himself,the conservative members of the association petitioned Anton von Werner,friend of the emperor and president of the association, to close the show atonce (Paret, The Berlin Secession 50).Munch’s reaction to this outright rejection by the establishment wasnot to return to Norway, nor to hold a private showing in the morebohemian district, but to set up his quarters right in the midst of thebusiness and middle-class sector of Berlin, a crossroad often painted andused as setting in literature. Munch’s choice of location is a gesture ofshrewd calculation: the Berlin of Kaiser Wilhelm II was a city of spectacles,a city of “chauvinistic ostentation” (Cannadine 217), of “elaborate socialperformances” (Balfour 15). Nothing would have drawn the public’sattention more than a renegade modern painter mounting an exhibition inthe business core of the city.The kinds of paintings which were accepted both by the conservativeelite, including Kaiser Wilhelm II and the majority of middle-class103Germans, were genre paintings showing idyllic farm lives, or historicalpaintings of military and nationalist significance, of which Anton vonWerner’s The Proclamation of the German Empire (1871) is a peerlessexample. Munch’s intensely subjective and erotic works were “new,foreign, disgusting, common” (Paret, uS 50). Werner was the court painterof Kaiser Wilhelm I and personal friend of both Friedrich III and WilhelmII. In 1875 he was chosen as Director of the Academic Institute for theFine Arts: “The appointment, which carried with it membership of variousgovernment commissions and seats on juries, gave Werner great influencein the Prussian cultural bureaucracy and among artists in Berlin” (Paret,Art as History 169).Werner was hostile to impressionism, and his conservative taste inart echoed Wilhelm II’s rigid preference for realistic representation in artwith historical references. His power within the arts community alsodictated to a certain extent the kinds of art which received imperialapproval and funding. In 1901, when the erection of the statues along theSiegesallee (Victory Avenue) in Berlin’s Tiergarten was completed,Wilhelm II compared them to the great sculptures of the Renaissance.German impressionist painter and one of the founders of the BerlinSecession, Max Liebermann, whose apartment overlooked the Siegesallee,quipped that the only thing he could do now was to wear tinted glasses(Kramer 206).Like Liebermann and other members of the Berlin Secession,Dauthendey belonged to the middle-class in spite of his sympathy formodern artistic movements (Paret, aS). This conjunction of artisticradicalism and political conservatism--Dauthendey was to writeapprovingly of German colonization in New Guinea--is what I find specific104in German fin-de-siècle Orientalism, which is exemplified by Dauthendey’swritings. His perception of the East is aesthetic and concerned mainly withexterior display. His understanding of colonial politics, as will be discussedlater in this chapter, is naive. Unlike Bird, Dauthendey did not adopt theguise of educator and moralist and he seems to have had little to do withthe missionary movements in Germany. Instead, his intense and worldlyattention to the ornamental surface and to spectacles is very much aproduct of Dauthendey’s experience of Berlin as a centre of imperial,artistic, and commercial activities in the last two decades of the nineteenthcentury.In 1891, the year Dauthendey moved from WUrzburg to Berlin,Germany was only twenty years old as a nation. The country was youngand aggressively successful in the process of modern industrialisation, andfragmented by its different regional interests, religious groups, socialclasses and economic sectors. The young emperor, twenty-nine years oldwhen he came to the throne, was the embodiment of the conflicting valuescirculating in Wilhelminian society. Deeply aware of the military traditionof his Prussian ancestors, Wilhelm II indulged, some would say to apathological degree, in military ceremonies, uniforms and otherparaphernalia: “He constantly tinkered with the uniforms. He forced theentourage to wear them when ‘we would have much preferred to wearsuits’. He stipulated the speed at which cavalry was to move at parades”(Hull 41). He was also entrenched in Prussian social formality and castesystem, so well depicted in many of Theodor Fontane’s novels.On the other hand, Wilhelm II delighted in technological inventions.He loved travelling by car or train. He was a strong supporter of the new105and non-aristocratic industrialists of the Reich, such as Alfred Krupp orAlbert Ballin, the director of the Hamburg-Amerika line. Unlike othersovereigns of his time, Wilhelm II was appreciative of the power of publicopinion and the necessity to manipulate the press (Kohut 136-40). In hisplans for building up the imperial navy and to expand Germany’s overseasterritories, he was very much in line, if somewhat belatedly, with thedominant foreign policies of the other industrialized countries, principallyEngland and France. This rivalry with other European powers wasextended to imperial display in ceremonies and building programmes. AsDavid Cannadine notes in his article on the spectacle of modern Britishroyalty, “Splendor out of Court”: “This growing internationalcompetitiveness was mirrored in the large-scale rebuilding of capital cities,as the great powers bolstered their self-esteem in the most visible,ostentatious manner” (217).Kaiser Wilhelm II’s simultaneous inclinations towards conservativismand modernism, his use of public displays, and the role he played inWilhelminian society are important points to consider when analysingDauthendey’s representation of the East. In his otherwise informativebook on Wilhelminian culture, EromNaturalism to Expressionism, RoyPascal dismisses Wilhelm II’s “personal impact on politics” and social life asminimal (8). More recent studies and debates on the functioning andpolicy-making of the imperial court have shown that, on the contrary,Wilhelm II was a key factor in the preservation of outmoded socialhierarchy and conservative artistic standards, in the increase in tensionbetween Germany and England, in the occupation of Kiautschou (Jiaozhou),China in 1897, and in the creation of the imperial navy.2106At the end of the nineteenth century, Berlin had a population of twomillion people, ten times the number in the first decade of the century(Kramer 42). Berliners enjoyed technological inventions such as thetelephone and streetcars before other German urban dwellers did. Theimperial capital was also a centre of dramatic and literary activities, aswell as the hub of modern artistic movements. Apart from the traditionaltheatres, Max Harden founded the Freie Bühne in 1889, which opened itsseason with Gerhart Hauptmann’s Yor Sonnenaufgang and Ibsen’s Ghosts.A year later Bruno Wille founded the socialist Freie VolksbUhne. Its firstplay was Ibsen’s Pillars of Society. Strindberg, Hamsun and Przybyszewskilived for a while in Berlin as friends of the writers’ community, whichconsisted of Julius and Heinrich Hart, Ola Hansson and his dramatist-wifeLaura Markholm, and Wilhelm Bölsche amongst others. The publishinghouse Ullstein, which owned the influential Berliner Zeitung, I1Ius1rirt andMorgenpQst, built its new and enlarged premises on Kochstrasse in 1886(StLJahre Ullstein, 2-4). But these writers were on the fringe of both thecourt and the middle-class societies. Kaiser Wilhelm was not a literaryman, and during his close association with his friend, Philipp Count zuEulenburg, he depended on his courtier to recommend books for him toread (Hull 73-4). Eulenburg’s taste in literature was decidedlyconservative, and Max Harden, during his attack on Eulenburg and hiscircle, went so far as to accuse the Count of ruining the Kaiser’s “nascentmodernism” (73).As for the majority of the people, one of the most popularpublications was the Gartenlaube, an illustrated journal which rejected themodern advance in the arts (“das moderne Richtungen in der Kunstablehnte”) and which would be ridiculed as “kitschig” today (Kramer 241).107An 1897 cover illustration of the journal shows the titular arbor in thebackground, with a young mother, parasol in hand, talking to a young childin the foreground. Within the shady and beflowered arbor sit theremaining members of the family: the husband, two other children in frockand sailor suit, and the parents of the couple, all enjoying a quiet repast.The editorial policy of the paper was to avoid any materials of an offensiveor extreme nature.In the visual arts, the accepted styles of painting in Germany, andespecially in Berlin, were imitative and staid. The Berlin Salon exhibitions,funded by the Ministry of Culture, supported genre painters such asWilhelm Leibi or Hans Thoma, or historical painters of allegorical themessuch as Hans Makart (Paret The Berlin Secession). Kaiser Wilhelm himself,as could be seen from his official papers: “had categorical likes and dislikes,and he felt strongly that German art needed his leadership if it was tofulfill what he took to be its mission” (24). Judging from an exhibition ofhis personal collection of paintings at his court-in-exile in Doom, Holland(Wilderotter, 129, 196, 226), the Kaiser’s taste was close to the Victoriansentimental home-and-hearth genre, such as Landseer’s works of domesticanimals.Dauthendey was introduced to the Munch exhibition in 1892 by hisavant-garde literary friends. In the same year, the avant-garde paintersin Berlin resigned in protest at the Berlin Artists Association’s treatment ofMunch. Some of these ex-establishment members formed the BerlinSecession in 1898. Amongst the founding members of the movementwere impressionists Max Lieberman and Walter Leistikow. The art dealersand publishers Bruno and Paul Cassirer supported the movement by108agreeing to become administrators of the exhibitions for the secessionists,and in May 1899, the Berlin Secession held their first showing as anindependent group. The tame and uncontroversial nature of the paintingsonly highlights the extreme conservatism of the contemporary public taste.From 1891 to 1893, Dauthendey spent a great deal of time in Berlinwith the writers mentioned previously. In 1893, Dauthendey met RichardDehmel and Stefan George through poems he had published in variousjournals. He became especially friendly with Dehmel, who describedDauthendey’s poetry as expressive of an astonishing style (erstaunlicheAusdrucksweise) and as colourful (Dauthendey, Gesammelte Werke I 459).Dauthendey also frequented the secessionists’ showings. In his diaryentries and letters during this period, his impressions reflect the decadentindulgence in colours and textures so prevalent in the paintings of aLiebermann or a Lovis Corinth:There was a big dinner party at Richard Dehmel’s - . . . I wished you,my dear ones, had had the pleasure of seeing the table . . . the silverbowl sits in the middle, its swelling curve resembles a silver umbelupside down, surrounded by ruby red wineglasses and greenVenetian glasses with dragon design, and in between are ripe, redoranges in crystal bowls on the damask tablecloth, and amongst themetal and glass are tall pale orchids in sheer mauve, melting in theirsucculence, proudly erect or drooping under their own heaviness.Zum Abend war grosses Abendessen bei Richard Dehmel - . . . undEuch Lieben hätte ich gem das VergnUgen gegonnt, diese Tafel zusehen . . . in der schwellenden Uppigkeit die strotzende silberneBowle wie eine schwere Silberdolde in der Mitte, und die Rubinglaser und die grunen venezianischen Drachenglaser und dazwischendie satten, roten Orangen auf dem Kri stall und dem Damast, und mitten zwischen dem Metall und Glas hohe bleiche Orchideen, blasslilaund in feuchtem Schmelz und stolz aufgestiegen und schwer gebeugt.(Sieben Meere nahmen mich auf 100)109True to Dehmel’s admiration for Dauthendey’s sense of colours, this briefrecord of a dinner party is quintessentially aesthetic: the piling on ofobjects (bowls, glasses, oranges, orchids), the swirl of colours (silver, green,red), the connotation of exoticism (ruby, dragon) and the encapsulation ofnarrative temporality in a fleeting moment (the ripe oranges, the droopingorchids). The vocabulary is blatantly erotic, suggested by an orgy ofripened fruits and swollen lilies and erect glassware. Dauthendey presentsa tableau of things without function, unlike the utilitarian manufacturedgoods displayed in the Crystal Palace. This composition of lovely objects isto be enjoyed for its sensuous quality, its merit is to be found in its visualbeauty, criteria central to Jugendstil (Jost 15, 23).The writers and painters at the turn of the century, according toPeter Paret on the secessionists and Hamann/Hermand on the literary andvisual arts scene (Impressionismus 1972), were not politically committed:“Most of them originated in the naturalist camp and had become apoliticalindividualists after their estrangement from socialist issues” (Die meistenvon ihnen kamen noch aus dem naturalistischen Lager und waren nachihrer Entfremdung von Soziali smus zu unpolitischen Individuali stengeworden . .. ) (17). The negative effect of this disengagement frompolitical decisions was a lack of activism in the artistic circle. Some of theartists and writers worked in an exclusive environment and consideredthemselves above issues such as colonial politics or military expansion.Dauthendey certainly subscribed to this solipsistic ideal.However apolitical these artists and writers might have been, theywere still subjected to the spectacles mounted by the emperor for thepublic. On a very everyday level, the city-scape of late nineteenth-century110Berlin was dominated by the neo-classical blocks of the Stadtschloss (theemperor’s official residence) at the east end of Unter den Linden and theReichstagsgebaude (seat of parliament) further west, beyond theBrandenburger Tor. The palace itself originated from the Baroque periodof the early eighteenth century, but many other surrounding monumentsas well as the parliament building were built in the eclectic and derivativestyle of Wilhelminian architecture.Judging from historical photographs of that period, these buildingswere not sequestered from the public thoroughfare by strips of park andgreenery. Their facades of articulated columns and heavy masonrypunctuated by regular intervals of fenestration suggested not only apretense to grandeur, but a reaching back to the times when this form ofarchitecture represented laws and measures: “[T]he face which the Palaceturned to the general public was harsh and severe, reflecting the royalview of Berliners” (Taylor 28). In the growing urban traffic of Berlin, withstreet cars and horse wagons, motor cars and pedestrians, not to mentionthe proliferation of industrial buildings, factories and apartment housesjostling for space, the solidity and impenetrability of these state buildingsgave the city what Richard Sennett calls “clarity” in his discussion of spacesof authority in The Conscience of the Ey (3 1-40). The palace with itssurrounding monuments, or the Reichstagsgebaude, sitting so near to streettraffic and so overwhelming in scale, also suggested a mixture of urbanand imperial drama, where the crudity of the plot is camouflaged by theseeming richness of the props. The exteriority of the object is thesubstance.Nor was the imperial government the only patron of monumentalarchitecture. On the Leipzigerstrasse Berliners could do their shopping at111the Wertheim department store, the architect Alfred Messel’s “greatcathedral to commerce” (Mallgrave 300). The store boasted a “decadentRoman anta, decorated with peacocks and pierced by a dwarf colonnade,supporting a huge coffered arch . . •“ (Artley 39). The interior of the storeresembled exhibition spaces in a world exposition, with glass cupola andhanging chandeliers. During the era of expositions, Germany was visiblylagging behind in imperial displays compared to other European countriesexcept Spain, Russia and Austria (Greenhalgh 73). Although Germanyfailed to impress in world expositions, it recompensed its poor showingabroad by the extravagance of its civic buildings and commodity palaces athome.Wilhelm II himself was certainly well aware of the currency ofimperial spectacle. Numerous photographs and paintings of that periodshow the Kaiser in military uniforms, in parades, in memorial dedications.The epitome of this heroic posing can be seen in Max Kroner’s portrait ofthe emperor in 1890, with the young Kaiser in the foreground, resplendentin white and gold, his many military decorations balanced by the elaboratedrapery effect behind him, giving him the appearance of both a warriorand a classical god. The modern artists and writers might have scoffed atsuch pompous displays, as witnessed by Liebermann’s remark on theSiegesallee. Nonetheless, such images were distributed regularly to thepublic through the illustrated journals and reaffirmed by the Kaiser’stireless travel around Germany for personal appearances. Although thesymbolism of architecture, of paintings, of sculpture is generated throughinterpretation and is by no means stable, the symbolic meaning ofWilhelminian buildings, of the Kaiser’s public appearances and otherdisplays were in a sense determined from the top. The message of112imperial power was repeated around the landscape of the city likesignposts. As Thomas Nipperdey writes in Gesellschaft,_Kultur4Theorie,only those in power erect monuments, never the opposition (133).But this display of wealth and power in the metropolis demanded aprice. The corollary development of industrial and commercial expansionwas urban squalor and social problems. Although Berlin could boast that“no other European city had grown so rapidly . . . in few cities did urbanmisery exceed that in the tenements of Berlin’s northern and easterndistricts” (MUller 38). Naturalist writers, as for instance GerhartHauptmann, showed his awareness of the conditions of the working peoplewith his play, Die Weber (1892). Writers and artists who becameidentified with Jugendstil preferred to concentrate on the beautification ofthe urban and the modern elements of city life, thus ignoring social contentand concentrating on formal expression. The beauty of Jugendstil is ofselective seeing; the watcher’s subjectivity is the locus. Dauthendeydisplays fully this aesthetic tendency in the writings discussed in thischapter. In both his fiction and his autobiographical writings, there is noother narrative perspective except the artist’s eye, which only registerswhat he wants to see.In spite of the high cost of living, Berlin dazzled Dauthendey with allits vitality, its modernity, its multifaceted social life. The young poet fromWUrzburg enjoyed the sights city life offered as a typical nineteenthcentury flâneur, who poeticized about the “city of swarming, city full ofdreams” (Fourmillante cite, cite pleine de rêves) (Baudelaire, “Les SeptVieillards”). In a letter to his friends at home in 1893, Dauthendey gushes:113First I wrote, of course . . . then at four o’clock went strolling onUnter den Linden, tout seul. --No, not tout seul: with everyone.A thick crowd pressed here and there all the way to the Brandenburger Tor, and the carriages flew by like silver shadows, and thefine horses’ hoofs danced and clattered smartly on the asphalt .and on the velvet cushioned seats the ladies swayed (here and theresome beautiful ones), with thin chic chiffon veils of lemon yellow,lilac and purple on their hats. .Erst gedichtet, natUrlich . . . dann urn vier Uhr Linden gebummelt,tout seul. --Nein, nicht tout seul: mit alien Menschen.Em dichter Strom presste sich hinunter und hinauf bis zumBrandenburger Tor, und die Equipagen flirrten silbern vorbei, unddie feinen PferdefUsse trippelten und klappten auf dem Asphaltund in den grauen Samtpolstern . . . wiegten sich Frauen (hieund da sogar schöne Frauen), zitronengelbe und fliederfarbene undheliotropfarbene dünne, freche Seidenschleifen auf den Hüten. .(Sieben Meere nahmen mich auf 99)This excerpt contains all the exciting elements of city life: crowd scene,traffic, colourful costumes. The Berlin of Wilhelminian Germany offeredthe necessary conditions for a flaneur-culture to flourish. In the footstepsof modernized cities such as Paris, with its boulevards and parks(Kampmeyer-Kading 38-9), and Milan, with its monumental arcadecomplex (Geist 74-5), the thoroughfares in Dauthendey’s Berlin providedopen space for the crowd to move through and resting places, such as theKaisergalerie, for the lookers to station themselves. The proliferation ofrailway stations and department stores, architectural structures related tothe arcade (Geist 4), also allowed a constant social interchange of theobserver and the observed.The figure of the flâneur, who spent his days looking at passers-byand shop windows, the evenings in the theatres, and the early hoursdrinking and smoking in pubs with fellow artists and writers, fits114Dauthendey’s profile in Berlin. An anti-establishment social type, thebohemian artist claimed to scorn the materialistic ethos of late nineteenth-century industrialized society. He would not subscribe to a structuredwork schedule. Unlike the factory workers or office workers, he neithertook the tram early in the morning to a work-place far from home, nor didhe expect a pay package at the end of each month. Benjamin describes theParisian man of letters as someone who displayed his idleness beforepeople as part of his working hours: “He behaved as if he had learned fromMarx that the value of a commodity is determined by the working timesocially necessary to produce it” (Charles Baudelaire 29) (Er verhält sich alsob er von Marx gelernt hätte, dass der Wert jede Ware durch die zu ihrerProdukti on gesell schaftlich notwendi ge Arbeitszeit bestimmt i st”(Gesamnie1t 1.2: 530). Benjamin further analyses the activity of theflâneur as a strategy to render the complexity and confusion experiencedin urban big cities manageable and non-threatening, by ascribingstereotypical readings to passers-by. However, while the loiterer adoptedan attitude of detached observation at the newsstand or in a coffee shop,he was at the same time offering himself as an object of observation. Inany social situation involving “observation of behaviour--with theexception of behaviour observed through one-way screens--occurs in two-person or group situations” (Ruesch 46) and one can expect to be looked atin return. The attention to personal attire and the bohemian artist’spreference for unconventional fashion, such as that of Whistler (Lochnan21), was in a way using one’s appearance as a calling card: the flâneur waswaiting to be identified by fellow travellers.But there was another side to this painterly Berlin which Dauthendeydescribes in his letters. A 1912 photograph of a working-class family115shows seven siblings of various ages, the youngest in a cot, posing in anarrow room with flaking wallpaper and crammed with all the furniture ofthe household. Lying next to the cot, in a single bed, is the mother lookingsideways at her children, some of whom are smiling, but the elder two lookuncomfortably sombre (Glaser 79).4 Unlike the composition impressionistpaintings present to the viewer, which suggests the elegiac poetry of afleeting moment, the staring eyes and dour expressions of the ‘sitters’confront the camera in this documentation of hard life. The photographdoes not suggest that the condition of these people will be changed soon.This family would have been one of the many who had to live in the rentaltenements (“Mietskasernen,” literally ‘rental barracks’) scattered “to thenorth, to the east, and to the south and southeast of the city” (Czaplicka33). Most of these places were unheated, badly designed and constructed,and without sanitation. Some families had to live on the roof or in thecellar. Some individuals could save money by renting oniy a bedspace, andoften some units also served as brothels. The rooms were often damp.When previous renters had dried up the place by occupying it (“trockenwohnen”), the landlord would raise the rent for the next occupants(Kramer 160). Dauthendey did not write about this urban squalor inBerlin, unike Bird who studied Edinburgh slum. It was also a milieuseldom painted by the German impressionists (Czaplicka 10-2).In the case of the fiâneur metamorphosing into the urban detective,such as Poe’s “The Man in the Crowd,” the narrator “domesticates the cityby reducing its multiplicity to a finite set of readable types” (Brand 193).In the case of the artists and poets engaged in flânerie, they preoccupiedthemselves with the surface of experience, the seeable which could also bemanipulated, as part of their aesthetic programme. There is no world of116work (“Arbeitswelt”) in the German impressionist movement, its world isan idealized space, or an idealized surface (“idealer Fläche”) (Jost 15). Theworking-class of Berlin lived in compartmentalized areas (Neukölln,Moabit); the flaneur as aesthete stayed outside of the invisible fences.To position oneself outside the display window instead of venturingbehind the doors of everyday life reminds one of the stage metaphor socialscientist Erving Goffman uses in his book, The Presentation of Self inEveryday Life (1959). Goffman divides the space of activities in daily lifeinto the front and the back stages, the first serving as an arena for ourinteraction with others and for public consumption; the second formoments of preparation for our daily performances. He gives as the mostimmediate example the living room of a house as the front (22). In thecity life of Berlin at the turn of the century, social performances werefrequently provided by imperial parades, shopwindows and shoppers atthe department stores, or passengers disembarking at train stations--all onview for the flâneur’s observing eyes. Life in public places was the frontarea where social performances were arranged for enjoyment.Emile Zola’s 1882 novel, Au Bonheur des Dames, illustrates thisconfluence of public spectacle, plentiful merchandise available for thelooker, and the use of exotic display which together create a front stage.This commodity palace, the department store, is described by Zolaalternately as a “chapel” or “a machine” (33), with huge glass windowswhich light up like beacons to the passers-by. Inside the entrance thestore-owner, Mouret, has merchandised an oriental hall with displays ofcarpets from the Middle East and South Asia. Spectators who cross thethreshold see “[des] visions d’Orient [quil flottaient sous le luxe de cet artbarbare . . .“ (95). Starting with the first World Exposition, objects ondisplay had acquired centre stage in urban life, a development in people’sconsciousness which resulted in the valorization of the commodity in anincreasingly consumerist culture. Like a shopper, Dauthendey’sperception of Berlin, and later of the Asian countries he visited, would notpenetrate beyond the front stages. The aesthetic habits he acquired as anartist and writer of German impressionism to a large extent dictatedDauthendey’s way of seeing.117118The Orient in Nineteenth-Century GermanyAs Germany occupied Southwest Africa, East Africa, the PacificIslands and Kiautschou, China towards the end of the nineteenth century,Germans became more and more exposed to forms of representation innon-European cultures, so that in novels and newspaper accounts thecolonies were referred to as a matter of course, the way India was apervasive trope in English literature. In Fontane’s novel of Berlin life, EffiBiiest (1895), Instetten unhappily considers joining the colonial service inAfrica after his separation from Effi Briest. His friend laughs at the idea ofthe very proper Junker dressed up in a red fez or a tropical helmet (328).In the last two decades of the nineteenth century, Germany discovered thecolonial race, in both senses of the word.Germany had not pursued a consistent colonial policy until after itsunification in 1871, although there were German traders and missionariesin Africa as early as the seventeenth century (Henderson 9-10). By thetime Germany established colonies in Africa in 1884, the Europeancompetition for overseas territories had reached its last lap. There arevarious theories regarding Germany’s belated entry into the scramble,5but the main reasons could be summarized as follows. First, the successfullobbying of colonial enthusiasts, with the founding of the German ColonialAssociation (Deutscher Kolonialverein) in 1882, which later became theGerman Colonial Society (Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft). “For the nextthree decades,” Richard Pierard writes in “The German Colonial Society,” “itfunctioned as the principal advocate for the overseas empire in that itlobbied the government on almost all matters relating to the colonies,sought to sell the public on their value as a national asset, and promoted119economic development and settlement there” (19). The society was verymuch an elite organization, with the majority of its membership drawnfrom the aristocratic, military-naval, governmental and commercial classesof Wilhelminian society (24-7). This high profile in membership and themembers’ proximity to power helped to a great extent to influence colonialpolicy-making.Another reason for German overseas expansion could be attributedto Bismarck’s change of attitude regarding German foreign policy, a subjectof historical complexity which lies outside the parameters of this thesis. Ina drastically simplified version, it might be said that Bismarck was pragmatic enough to recognize the theoretical advantages of possessing Germancolonies for economic reasons (Henderson 33-4) and that to pursue anaggressive expansionist policy overseas would detract attention fromdomestic problems during his tenure as the Imperial Chancellor (Knoll xiv,Blackbourn, Populists and Patricians 8-9).After dismissing Bismarck in 1890, Wilhelm II became the mostinfluential decision-maker regarding foreign policy in Germany. Hisinterests in colonial possessions were fueled both by his penchant forvisible manifestations of military power and his personal relationship withBritain. After Germany acquired her colonies in Africa and in the Pacific,an area of well over 900,000 square miles, more than four times the size ofthe Reich (Gann 1), world maps reflected these areas in Germany’s colour,thus providing a visible counterpart to Britian’s many colonial possessions.These overseas gains also reinforced the Kaiser’s favourite programme ofthe construction of a strong imperial navy, as historians Harding Ganz andThomas Kohut point out in their studies of the Wilhelminian era.120The success of the new German navy brought Germany into directconflict with Great Britain, who was forced to institute fundamentalchanges in her naval strategy (Massie 185). Wilhelm II’s relationship withEngland had always been problematic. His admiration for hisgrandmother, Queen Victoria, was constantly undermined by hisantagonism towards his mother, the Empress (Kaiserin) Friedrich, whoherself disliked German culture and felt an like exile. In later years,Wilhelm’s personal competition with Edward VII (Kohut, 199-223) wascomplicated by the fact that Edward was his uncle and a senior member ofthe family. To try and rival England as a colonial power was one way, ifnot a totally realistic policy, to show that Germany and England were onequal footing in foreign affairs.In spite of his colonial ambitions Wilhelm II himself seemed topossess little taste for things oriental, but their influences werenonetheless visible in various facets of Wilhelminian life. The term“oriental” in the nineteenth century meant anything of a non-Europeanorigin, as for instance, Egyptian culture.6 There were oriental details inthe interior designs of department stores such as Wertheim, or Tietz, inBerlin, with its huge oriental carpet hall (Artley, IhGo1denAg.oLS.hopDesign). World exhibitions had always reserved large spaces for imperialdisplays, with reproductions of colonial houses and interiors, art objectsand sometimes displays of indigenous peoples (Greenhaigh 52-81).Botanical gardens with tropical, exotic plants were popular places forGermans to spend leisure time, and in an 1880 sketch for the staging ofParsifal at Bayreuth, the artists had designed a tropical garden scene withfronds of palms and rioting undergrowth (Glaser 273).121German painters were also drawing upon oriental themes, such asLudwig von Hofmann’s Exotischer Tanz (1906) or Lovis Corinth’s Sa1oiu(1899). The Cassirers’ galleries showed paintings by other contemporaryartists influenced by oriental motifs, such as Whistler, Degas, and Gauguin,whose thick brushstrokes and use of colours were also discernible inDauthendey’s paintings of Southeast Asia. More than anything, these representations of foreign lands instilled in some Germans a travel-fever(Reiselust), and the modernization of forms of transportation, in steamships and overland train routes, facilitated overseas travels towards theend of the nineteenth century.Kaiser Wilhelm II, the most visible person in Germany, was himselfan indefatigable traveller. News reports and photographs of his tripsaround Germany, to England, to the Middle East, or his cruises toScandinavia, could not but help to sell the glamour of travelling to theGerman people. Although Wilhelm II would not have agreed with thenotion, the restlessness he exhibited could be considered a mutated formof chic bohemianism and fear of ennui:Almost all writers and bohemians in this period moved housesconstantly, in order not to fall under the deadly pall of mechanicalsameness. Many went out of their ways to appear not aspermanently resident at any address, but as a gentleman passingthrough. . .Fast alle Literaten und Bohemiens dieser Jahre wechselten standigihren Wohnort, urn nicht in den “tödlichen” Mechanismus desImmergleichen zu geraten. Viele bemühten sich peinlich, nichtals Ortsansassiger zu gelten, sondern wie em durchreisenderGentleman angesehen zu werden. . . . (Hamann, Inipressionismus57)122In spite of the general sweep of this statement, there are certainly enoughfamous examples, both in and outside of Germany, to illustrate Hamann’spoint. One only has to think of Baudelaire’s fourteen known addresses inParis between 1842 and 1858 (Benjamin, Charles Baudelaire 48), orStrindberg’s constant and neurotic travelling around Europe, orDauthendey’s various journeys to Scandinavia, London, Mexico, Paris,Munich and to the Far East.Popular print materials, such as pamphlets, illustrated journals andnewspapers also played an important role in introducing foreign countriesto the Germans. Newspapers in the Wilhelminian era began to featuretravel reports from South America, Russia, Japan or China:The expansionism in German politics in this period, with its territorial interests reaching as far as China and the Pacific Ocean, wasmatched culturally by an abrupt growth in the genre of travelliterature, which exploited every corner of the world . . . In mostnewspapers, socialist articles were replaced by feuilletons ontravelling.Den weitausgreifenden Absichten der deutschen Politik dieserJahre, deren Radius bis nach China und dem Stillen Ozean reichte,entspricht auf diesem Sektor des kulturellen Lebens eine schlagartig anwachsende Reiseliteratur, die kaum einen Bereich derErdkugel “unerschlossen” lässt . . . So treten in den meisten Zeitschriften an die Stelle der sozialistischen Artikel jetzt feuilletoni sti sche Reiseberichte. (Hamann, Tmpressioni smus 27)The publication which dealt with foreign countries and which had the mostpolitical agenda was the German Colonial Newa (Deutsche Kolonial-Zeitung).It was the print organ of the colonial society, and “was the principal means[the society] used to inform the public about matters pertaining tocolonialism . . . “ (Pierard 28). Apart from producing the newspaper, the123Berlin office also printed wall maps showing the German colonies to hangin railway stations and in schoolrooms. It sent weekly press releasesto other newspapers, and organized slide shows and lectures for thegeneral public (28). It even sponsored trips for parliamentary deputiesto the German African colonies before the First World War, ostensibly onnonpartisan fact-finding missions, but with the implicit purpose ofinfluencing policy direction regarding colonial matters (30). The moreentertaining publication for mass consumption was Colony and Homeland(Kolonie und Heimat), which usually had photographs or illustrations ofcolonial life on the title page (Warmbold 91-2).Inevitably, the propaganda of the colonial society would be mixedwith the propaganda of the Kaiser, who exhorted his people at everyopportune moment to show the German flag on foreign soil, such as theinfamous speech he made to the soldiers dispatched to China in March,1901 to occupy Kiautschou:Soldiers! You are travelling to a foreign country, which has experienced in the last months what German discipline, German bravery,and German manliness mean. Those foreigners have experienced theconsequence of insulting the German Emperor and his soldiers .May you ensure that the renown of the fatherland is made knownthroughout this world. . .Soldaten! Ihr fahrt hinUber in em fremdes Land, welches durch dieEreignisse der letzten Monate erfahren hat, was deutsche Disziplin,deutsche Tapferkeit und deutsche Manneszucht bedeuten. DerFremde hat erfahren, was es heisst, den deutschen Kaiser und seineSoldaten beleidigen . . . Moget ihr dafür sorgen, dass der Ruhm desVaterlandes auf der ganzen Erde bekannt werde. . ..(Reden 14)124Kaiser Wilhelm’s immoderate language exacerbated the tense internationalsituation among the European powers who were vying with each other forconcessions in China. The forcible occupation of the Shandong Peninsulawas to be remembered in subsequent anti-western agitations in China.Back in Berlin, the exterior staging of the imperial power wassuperimposed onto the staging of colonial exploits overseas. If theGermans could not actually eye-witness the taking of Kiautschou, theycould still imagine the German colonialists as modern, if less mythical,versions of the Prussian warriors lining up on the Siegesallee.An apt illustration of the coinciding of Wilhelminian political dramawith colonial adventures is a programme poster of two one-act plays, DkManöverbraut and Kiao-Tschau, included in the exhibition catalogue ofKaiser Wilhelm II’s memorabilia in exile (Wilderotter 322). The postershows on the left side a pagoda on the edge of the shore, and in the centrea German warship steaming towards it. The characters in the plays havenames such as Li-li-ku-ti-pi, played by von Leipziger, or Tschi-tschi-ti-tipu, played by Prinz Carolath. The top of the poster is ornamented by adragon, and the right side decorated with what appears to be Chinesecharacters but is not. In a similar composition, a poster advertising theHamburg steamship company, Deutsche Dampfschiffs-Rhederei (sic), whichfirst took passengers to East Asia in 1872, shows the steamship Herthadominating a peripheral collage of palm trees, Mt. Fuji and Chinese junks(Seiler, Einhundert Jahre Ostasienfahrt 30-1).Thus, Wilhelminian Germans were seduced by visual displays of theEast at many levels of social interactions. Politically, they were encouragedto take pride in German military power in its domination over Chinese andPacific Islanders, and the emperor’s military parades served as a colourful125reminder. Recreationally, newspapers and tourist agencies introducedthem to exotic sights through articles and billboards. Equally colourfuldisplays at expositions and palatial department stores lured the Germansto decorate their homes in the styles of the Orient. The East wasrepresented as an acquirable object, either to be dominated militarily, or tobe bought as a commodity, from a department store or from a touristagent. Dauthendey, although he had grown up in the relatively provincialcity of WUrzburg, was not immune to this glamourous image of the Orient.Dauthendey was first introduced to Asia when he attended anexhibition in Leipzig in the 1880s (GUnther 23). At about the same time,his father’s assistant at the photography studio told him about anacquaintance who had joined the Dutch colonial army in Java. Dauthendeywas impressed with the tropical adventures related to him third or fourthhand. His life in Wurzburg had been uneventful, punctuated with disputeswith his father over his career. Dauthendey senior intended his son totake over the atelier, a future Max rejected. To him, a life in the DutchIndies was infinitely preferable to living in the provincial town ofWUrzburg, and he suggested to his father the alternative of a career as anadministrator or some kind of trader (“irgendein Handler”) in Java on thestrength of reading one book on the place (SiebeiiMeere 55-6). Thisenthusiasm is symptomatic of European ways of interpreting the East inthat period. The political reality of Dutch recruitment of Germanmercenaries to become colonial soldiers is a very different story from whatDauthendey learnt from the atelier assistant.From 1815 till 1909, a small city called Harderwijk in theNetherlands was the centre for recruitment for the Dutch colonial army(“Koloniale Werbedepot”), and because of the diverse human traffic which126passed through this city, it was nicknamed the sewer outlet of Europe(“KloakenmUndung von Europa”) until the depot was closed (Bossenbroek249). The numbers of foreign recruits needed depended on the politicalsituation in the Dutch Indies. From 1856-1860, when there wasconsiderable unrest in the Celebes and Borneo, not only was recruitmentoutside of the Netherlands active, but the monetary rewards wereincreased as well. Most of the German recruits had a military past. Thosewho did not were usually of the lower-middle or lower classes. Seldom didthe German recruits return to Germany, nor did they establish a “littleGermany” in the Dutch Indies (254). When Dauthendey dreamt of joiningthe Dutch colonial army, he was little aware of the political and socialimplications such voluntary exile entailed. Fortunately for Dauthendey,this dream evaporated fairly quickly. Instead, he turned his attention tobecoming a poet and writer, and believed that the proper place to nurturesuch an ambition was Berlin.Dauthendey’s first experience of the Orient on a packaged tour to theFar East came in 1905-6, when he booked a six-month trip with ThomasCook, which boasted in one of its many posters that a Cook’s ticket wouldgive the purchaser the world (Brendon 212-3). The party travelled byship from Europe via the Suez Canal and the Red Sea to India. Apart frombeing an example of conspicuous consumption, the ultra-Europeanatmosphere of shipboard culture betrayed the underlying anxiety thetravellers felt when approaching the ‘exotic’ Orient. This kind ofpreservative atmosphere also ill-prepared the travellers for the foreigncultures they were shortly to encounter. In order to protect its customersagainst cultural shock, the tourist industry tried to replicate Europeanenvironment in popular destinations as much as possible. As Dauthendey’s127letters show, the tourist experienced a packaged Orient and a differentAsian culture could only be glimpsed from time to time.In 1825: “the first oceangoing steamboat” Enterprize (sic) leftSouthampton in August and reached India in December (Searight 24-8).With the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 and improved designs andtechnology in the shipbuilding industry, ocean-crossing had become bothspeedier and more sophisticated by the turn of the century. Theexorbitant cost of an overseas voyage ensured that it was perceived as thestatus mode of travelling, especially if one could afford to be a first-classpassenger. There were plenty of deck games, such as cricket, tennis,curling, bowling, and meals were numerous and prodigious:[T]ea and biscuits between six and seven a.m., breakfast . . . withporridge, chops, steaks, curries, fricassees, omelettes and jam, tiffinat noon with cold meats and garnishings, series of soups, fish, meatentrees, curries, puddings, pies and desserts, tea and toast aroundnine and finally ‘grog’ . . . . (Searight 128)Steamers from North German Lloyd had oak-panelled smoking rooms forthe gentlemen, a ladies’ lounge featuring whiplash metal railing andcoffered ceilings, plush velvet upholstery and ornate decorative details(Seiler, Bridge Across the Atlantic 17).This shipboard luxury became a constructed replica of an uppermiddle-class sort of salon, where wealthy people could gather to show offtheir “pecuniary strength,” (69) as Thorstein Veblen calls it in The Theoryof the Leisure Class. It is a social setting in which people who were“exempt from industrial employments” could gather, an exemption whichdenoted the travellers’ superior rank in society (Veblen 1) Towards the128turn of the century, Thomas Cook’s magazine, The Excursonist, claimed thatfar from being a service used only by the middle class, it was nowpatronized by the royal family and the aristocratic class (Brendon 183).The truly rich could still enjoy the world of conspicuous consumption whilethe travellers indulging in social-climbing could experience the temporaryupward mobility their pocketbook provided as they sailed across theoceans. The socializing of various classes in the salon by no means ensuredthat these interactions would continue once the travellers returned home.Veblen wrote his book in 1899, and his idea of conspicuousconsumption as an essential part of the culture of the moneyed class isbeautifully illustrated by the gilded lifestyle on board the passenger liner.In his analysis of social relationships traversing different sectors,sociologist Pierre Bourdieu expands on Veblen’s thesis that people’sbehaviour is directly related to the social milieu they spend their time in.In La Distinction, Bourdieu maintains that “[lies styles de vie sont ainsi lesproduits systématiques” of the relation between people’s internalizedexperiences and their social environment, which he calls the habitus (191-92). In the case of ocean-crossing salon at the turn of the century,Bourdieu’s flexible and encompassing model of analysis also takes intoaccount people who did not belong to the same social classes but werenonetheless confined for a fixed period of time in the same social space.In his autobiography, Gmwing, Leonard Woolf records his voyage outto Ceylon in 1904 as a civil servant, and gives us a hint of what such anartificial social space could be like:In those days it took, if I remember rightly, three weeks to sailfrom London to Colombo. By the time we reached Ceylon, we haddeveloped from a fortuitous concourse of isolated human atoms129into a complex community with an elaborate system of castes andclasses. (12)And in a book of etiquette, Zu Hause in der Gesellschaft und bei Hofe(Social Etiquette at Home and at the Court) by Düring-Detken,. published inBerlin in 1896, strict rules were outlined for middle-class conduct insociety, to ensure that the system of caste and class was internalized andobserved. For example, a social breakfast started at eleven and lasted tillthree; a formal lunch began at one and should be over by three. No politesociety would entertain guests for a dinner dance before nine. One mustnever wear white gloves during the day, lest one should be mistaken foran undertaker or a servant. A guest must never address a servantdirectly. These niceties should be specially adhered to when one was on atrip, since amongst strangers, one must be even more vigilant to maintainone’s social standing.Dauthendey was mixing in a combination of situations not dissimilarto those described in Growing and Zu Hause and felt constrained by it, ascan be gauged by his letter to his wife on January 1, 1905: “Yesterday Icould not write to you at all, I was driven insane by all these Englishceremonies. Each evening at six one must shave, comb one’s hair, put ondinner jacket and fresh shirt and perform all sorts of nonsense whilegetting dressed . . . “ (Gestern habe ich Dir gar nicht schreiben kOnnen, soverrUckt war ich durch all die englischen Zeremonien. Jeden Abend urnsechs Uhr Rasieren, Frisieren und Smoking und frische Wäsche undBlödsinn treiben mit der Ankleiderei) (Sieben Meere 221). Dauthendeymight be feeling peevish because he was in an unfamiliar milieu, but hedid eventually become accustomed to these elaborate rituals. His anti-130British comment is also symptomatic of international travelling before theFirst World War, when one nationality might take the opportunity tocalumniate another, echoing the political jingoism and prejudices at home.Thus, when Pierre Loti visited British-dominated Egypt, he avenged thefaded glory of France by sneering at the English tourists (Loti, Egypt), andas we have seen, Bird writes scathingly of French colonial rule in Saigon.Dauthendey’s and his fellow European passengers’ first introductionto a non-European country was Cairo. This Egyptian city had become anobligatory port of call for travellers to Asia, specially since steam travelbecame popular in the mid-nineteenth century (Searight 74-7). In hisletter, Dauthendey describes the hotels in Cairo as smarter and moresplendid (“flotter und prachtiger”) than the ones in Monte Carlo, and theGrand Continental, where the Cook party was staying, was the mostluxurious (“das Prunkvollste”) of them all. The European guests, dressed inParisian fashion, enjoyed the “Five o’clock tea” on hotel terraces listening togypsy music. As a casual aside, Dauthendey writes of the natives: “And theArabs and hawkers plagued the terraces with ostrich feathers and pearls(die Araber und Verkäufer belagern die Terrasse mit Straussenfedernund Perlen . .. ) (Sieben Meere 223). He intimated that the pearls werereally baubles, leaving the impression that Egyptian culture was lessauthentic than the Grand Continental Hotel with its sophisticated rituals.The bazaars were like a fairytale out of A Thousand and One Night, and hethought the bellydancers in Cairo were less wild (zahmer) than the ones inParis (224). In Dauthendey’s letter, Cairo shimmers between reality andimitation.This insistent comparison of Cairo with Paris and Monte Carlo isindicative perhaps of the orientation of the fin-de-siècle tourist from131Europe towards the East. Egypt was considered an oriental culture, but anoriental culture organized to suit European consumption. In Thomas Cook’stours: “passengers were almost entirely insulated from Egyptian life, whichitself became little more than a picturesque backdrop to a smart socialscene. . . . Little reality was permitted to intrude into this holiday fantasy”(Brendon 227). Egypt was also remembered for its colonial past withFrance, and perhaps the most notorious travel account of the country inthe nineteenth century was Flaubert’s pornographic record, which was firstpublished in German in the late 1890s by friends of Dauthendey and wasconfiscated by the Berlin police.So far, in their travel in the Orient, Dauthendey and his fellowtravellers had had little experience of non-European cultures. ThomasCook had seen to it that natives and native squalor would not impingeupon the tourists’ enjoyment. Travel accounts of the places they werevisiting would most likely be written from the European viewpoint, andmost pleasure-seeking tourists were not in the habit of readingethnographic studies to enlarge their cultural understanding. Smallwonder that Dauthendey, intent on seeing things with an impressionist’ssensibility, recorded his experience in a pastiche of word-pictures, usingsome oft-repeated tropes, which are commonly found in tales such as AThousand and One Night.Nor does this method of interpreting other cultures change withBombay, or Hong Kong, or Japan. At each of these cities Dauthendey picksout a motif and embroiders around it to form a picture of the place.Bombay is a garden, in red and blue and purple, and the city lies betweenpalm trees, with the ocean beyond. The women, draped in dazzling silks ofindigo blue and orange red, remind him of a backdrop (Kulisse) from132Verdi’s Aida. The city is full of cars and European millionaires, and if thenative street performers were not scattered along the quay, one wouldthink that this is Europe (Sieben Meere 225). It is a marketable picture, anexercise in impressionist writing, using Bombay or Hong Kong as thecarrying motif. Dauthendey’s Bombay seems superficial when compared toAldous Huxley’s brief portrayal in his 1928 novel, Point Counter Point.Huxley had spent some months with friends in India and offers a morerealistic picture of Bombay. In the book, Philip and Elinor Quarles aredriving home from dinner, and the city reflects the mood the couple is in,as “the sordid suburbs of Bombay slid past them--factories and little hutsand huge tenements, ghastly and bone-white under the moon . . . “(80). Infact, Bombay outside the ‘purlieu’ of the hotels was like the working-classsuburbs of Berlin, avoided by the middle-class and the tourists. Asymbiotic relationship existed between the development of luxury trades,such as palatial department stores and exotic tours, and the Art Nouveauaesthetics of applying a gloss of glamour to experiences. But theexperience of luxury accommodation and tours is based on an exchange ofcash. It is not an experience available to someone who was destitute likeAi Wu. As Thomas Cook claimed in its poster, a ticket would bring theworld to the traveller, whose own cultural well-being would not bedisturbed. However, one has to buy the ticket first.133The Blue Light of the Exotic EastOne of the material benefits Dauthendey reaped from his Asian tripwas publication. In the years between 1909 and 1914, he published twocollections of short stories with Asian themes: Liagani and Die AchtGesicliteram Biwasee, as well as a collection of poems based on hisjourney, “Die Geflugelte Erde.” In a literary tradition of few exotic novelsset outside of Europe, Dauthendey’s stories can be considered a rarity, andcritical reception was generally positive.7 In the early decades of thenineteenth century, E.T.A. Hoffmann wrote some fantastic novella withoriental motifs, such as Der Goldne Topf (1819), but these stories were setin Europe. In this section, I have chosen to examine closely two shortselections from Dauthendey’s exotic writings. The images and tropes usedin these selections best illustrate Dauthendey’s type of Orientalism. Thefirst is an eleven-page short story taken from the collection Liugam, whichcan also be found in a later edition of short stories under the title DiSchönsten Geschichten von Max Dauthendey (1949). The second is anunfinished sketch of Dauthendey’s trip to New Guinea, then a Germancolony.“Im Blauen Licht Von Penang” best typifies, in its richness of imagesand fairytale-like plot, the mixture of exoticism and eroticism for whichDauthendey was praised during his time. Apart from the names of thecharacters (Gabriela Tatoto, Holongku, Ling-Sung) and of the locations(Hong Kong, Penang), all literary motifs, tropes and references in “ImBlauen Licht Von Penang” (In the Blue Light of Penang) are traceable toGerman or other European influences. Gabriela Tatoto is a Malay prostitutewho plies her trade in Hong Kong during the spring season and comes back134to her villa in Penang to rest in the summer months. One afternoon, shehas invited the photographer Holongku to her house to have her picturetaken. When he arrives, he finds her sleeping half-naked and alone. Hetakes her photo without her knowledge, and hides it in an inside pocket ofhis native costume. One day, when he is out on business in his Europeansuit, his wife by mistake puts a needle through the pocket of the shirtwhile sewing on a button. It is learned later in the evening that thecourtesan has died of a snake bite that very afternoon.The focal point of the story is the seductive prostitute, whomDauthendey portrays as a courtesan in the European tradition, a figurefrequently seen in salon art and a social type who gained increasingvisibility during the Second Empire in France (Brooks 137-8). GabrielaTatoto never speaks. Like one of Gustave Klimt’s reclining nudes in afantasy landscape, she is ensconced in a white villa surrounded by giantblue porcelain vases and palm trees:The garden in its riotous colours was a reflection of the soul of thecourtesan. The artificiality of the porcelain vases, the melancholy of the travellers’ palms, the reckless, lascivious red of theflame trees, all reminded one of the woman within.Der Garten schien das Seelenleben der Kurtisane in semen Farben zuspiegein. Mit der Künstlichkeit der Porzellanvasen, mit der Dusterkeit der Wandererpalmen und mit der rUcksichtslosen, lüsternenRote der Elektrinenbäume erinnerte er an seine Besitzerin. (DieSchönsten Geschichten 101)The availability of the woman as sexual object is symbolized by theverdant garden with its uninhibited disorder (riotous colours) and thebrilliance of colours (reckless, lascivious red). Another traveller to theOrient, Flaubert, also sets his sexual encounters with a prostitute in the135lush Nile landscape, and Kuchuk Hanem’s bejewelled dancing costumeswere memorialized by Flaubert’s friend, Louis Bouilhet, in poetry. Closerto the turn of the century and to Europe, Dauthendey’s friend FrankWedekind gained notoriety with Lulu in Erdgeist (1895) and HeinrichMann created the archetypal cabaret siren in Professor Unrat (1905). Inthe Art Nouveau as in the Decadent movement, women were portrayed “asmothers of deceit and destruction as well as tantalizing and potentiallyunmanning ideals” (Reed 231). In German paintings in the latenineteenth-century, there is, for example, Max Slevogt’s reclining Kleopatra(1908), the Egyptian queen as metonym of the dangerous erotic female.These repesentations, in which the stereotype of the foreign other issometimes linked to the destructive female, both titillated and warned theaudience of the potential destructive force in such blatant sexuality.The sleeping nude has a long pedigree in visual art, with paintersreworking the “Danae” theme in various guises. When Dauthendey designshis sleeping courtesan caught naked by the voyeuristic photographer, his“Danae” is not showered by gold, but captured in still image byphotography. The photographer’s stealth invokes not a mythical link, butthe connotation of pornography--”Still photography may be the oneexercise of vision in which the body can be held as a whole, because it isheld motionless: which may suggest why photography, almost from themoment of its invention, has been a privileged medium for thepornographic image . . . “(Brooks 102). The suggestion of pornography andunusual sexual practice is made even stronger by Holongku’s nightlydream of a ménage a trois situation, with his wife and Gabriela Tatoto inbed together.136Everything else in the story is ornamental. The “blueness” whichbathes and illuminates all objects creates an evocative atmosphere. Likethe silent courtesan, the city Penang has no real features. In describingtwo paintings by German impressionist Franz Skarbina, John Czaplickawrites that “distant and separated from the viewer, the object ofcontemplation assumes an aura . . . This auratic city is one of theimagination and for the imagination . . . Such evocative views are calledStimmungsbilder (mood pictures) in German . . .“ (15). Dauthendey’s Asianstories create such “Stimmungsbilder.” They are like tableaux of colourcompositions with blurred outlines. The snake motif, one of the dominantsymbols in the Art Nouveau tradition (Reed 223), also plays an importantrole in the story. In “Tm Blauen Licht Von Penang,” Dauthendey continuesthe artistic tradition of connecting the snake with dangerous femalesexuality. After all, one of the most famous paintings from the turn of thecentury is Franz von Stuck’s Die Slinde (1893), in which a naked woman,draped by the spiral of a python, smiles seductively at the viewer.Joseph Conrad, also a writer of Southeast Asian exotic tales, had adifferent approach to portraying his characters. Although, likeDauthendey, Conrad did not speak any of the non-European languages, hetried to create a level of verisimilitude in his stories. As he admitted to hispublisher, he culled information for his characters and landscape fromvarious travel narratives, which he called “undoubted sources--dull, wisebooks” (qtd. in Sherry 140).8 Unlike Conrad, who put his faith in texts,Dauthendey used his own paintings, as well as postcards and souvenirswhich he collected during his trip, as inspiration for his Asiatic novellas:“Dauthendey kept no diary [of his trip]” (Tagebuch fUhrte Dauthendeynicht) (Schuster 69-70). What excited his imagination were the images,137the compositions, the colours and shapes of objects and people.Dauthendey’s choice of mnemonic device reminds us of theproblematic nature of mechanical reproduction of images in photography,in magazines or in postcards. In his essay, “Das Kunstwerk im Zeitalterseiner technischen Reproduzierbarkeit,” Benjamin praises thedemocratizing impact of photography. But he also mentions thedisplacement of the cult value of art by its exhibition value (Gesammelte1.2: 443-5). This paradoxical attitude towards mechanical reproductionbecomes more apparent in another essay, where Benjamin criticizesphotography: “[i]t can no longer depict a tenement block or a garbage heapwithout transfiguring it . . . For it has succeeded namely in making evenmisery, by recording it in a fashionably perfected manner, an object ofenjoyment” (qtd. in Buck-Morss 417). On the one hand, images becameavailable, like Cook tours, to anyone who can afford the price. On the otherhand, objects are decontextualized for easy consumption. Thus, benefitingfrom technology, Dauthendey remembers Penang as images in colouredphotographs rather than a city with its own vibrant ethnic population andcolonial history.Nothing illustrates this dominance of exhibition value more than therole advertisement played in the consolidation of commerce and industryin the nineteenth century (Richards, Commodity). In the tourist business,the billboards, magazines and posters helped Thomas Cook bring the worldto people anywhere there was a Cook’s bureau. To advertise a destinationeffectively, an image was used to symbolize the city or country. Thus,North Africa was represented by a camel caravan and Alaska, a camp oftepees (Brendon 212-3). Postcards have the same semiotic value; thecultural significance of a place becomes fixed and simplified. Since the138primary usage of postcards is brief communication from holiday-makers,as a substitute for letters, they become an excellent tool for circulatingstereotypical ideas of cultures. In the case of Dauthendey, he reworks thestereotypical images into his text.After the success of his exotic stories, Dauthendey could afford hissecond Asian journey in April, 1914, a trip jointly funded by his mainpublisher, Albert Langen, and the shipping company, Norddeutsche Lloyd(SihenMeere 269). In early June, Dauthendey was still undecided abouthis excursion trip to German New Guinea, mainly because of the extraexpense (Mich ruft dein Bud 239). If he had followed the plan he outlinedto his wife then, he would have been returning to Europe at the end ofJune. Instead, in a letter to a WUrzburg friend on June 12 (Sieben Meere280), he indicated that he had changed his itinerary and for the month ofJuly Dauthendey stayed in German New Guinea. When the war broke outin August, he was on a packet steamship returning to Java.A newcomer to colonization, Germany did not annex part of NewGuinea until 1884-85 (Knight 79-8). By the time Dauthendey travelled tothe German colony, Germany’s sizeable possessions in the Pacificencompassed, apart from German New Guinea, six groups of islands: theBismarck Archipelago, the Marshall Archipelago, part of the SolomonIslands, part of the Samoa group, the Caroline Islands and part of theMarianne Islands (Colquhoun 404). As other colonizers had done, theGerman Foreign Office replaced some indigenous place names with Germanones, such as Potsdamhafen, Alexishafen or Friedrich-Wilhelmshafen. AsDauthendey wrote to a friend from German New Guinea on 30 July, 1914:“But here it is definitely more romantic [than in Java], because this is139Germany, here in German New Guinea” (Aber hier ist es entschiedenromantischer, weil es Deutschland ist, hier in Deutsch Neu-Guinea) (SkbnMeere 280-81).A fellow German artist who travelled to New Guinea just before theoutbreak of the war was the expressionist painter, Emil Nolde. Nolde haddifferent social and political connections in Germany than Dauthendey. Heand his wife went to the German Pacific colonies under the auspices of theImperial Colonial Ministry (Reichskolonialamt). The aim of their medicaland demographic expedition was to find out the causes for the decline innative birthrate (Nolde 14). As Nolde writes in the autobiography of hisSouth Seas voyage, World and Homeland (Welt und Heimat), this was aserious problem for the success of the colonies, since the natives were themain source of labour for the planters and colonists (14). Unlike Nolde,who was on official business, Dauthendey wrote only an eleven-pagerecord of his visit.This brief sketch contains mainly his impression of Eitape, one of theheadquarters of the three main administrative districts of German NewGuinea (Allen 220), and of the natives he saw in this little settlement.When he first heard about New Guinea from the captain on his voyage outfrom Europe, Dauthendey rejoiced that he would be experiencing “a littlebit of the primitive paradise without civilization” (em wenig paradiesischeUrwelt ohne Kultur) (Mich ruft dein Bild 217). But his first reaction toEitape was one of dismay:“This is Eitape,” the captain said. I replied, “But where is the harbour, and the town?” -- And where are the people, the stone housesof a German harbour? I thought to myself.140“Das ist Eitape,” sagte der Kapitan. Und ich: “Aber wo ist denn derHafen, wo die HafenstadtT’ -- Wo sind die Menschen, die steinernenHäuser vom deutschen Hafen? Dachte ich für mich. (GesammelteWerke 2:156)After wandering in the settlement for a while, Dauthendey was so disenchanted by the lack of a European-style built environment, such ashouses and streetscape, that he wanted to forgo the rest of the excursion,but found out that the steam packet had a set route which it could notchange (Gesammelte Werk 2:164). Of the natives he saw, Dauthendey’sdescription is at once seductive and hyperbolic:They were so black and appeared so mighty that the luminousworld darkened, and it struck one, as one saw them leaning againstthe iron-white railing in the morning light, surrounded by the glass-green, shimmering sea, and lit up by the radiant fire of the sparklingmirror of the water, -- that it struck one, as if the whole world mustdisappear before these brave and gorgeous human forms. Theyalone commanded the attention of the morning sun. The mightyEuropean ship, and all the people . . . became nothing compared tothese Herculean figures, whose broad shoulders could easily carrythe earth as if it were a mere toy ball.Sie waren so schwarz und wirkten so machtig, die helle Morgenweltverdunkelnd, dass es einem, wenn sie da im Morgenlicht am weissenEisengelander lehnten, umgeben vom glasgrunen, lichten Wassergrunde des Meeres und vom grellen Wasserspiegel wie von einemweissen Feuer umleuchtet, -- dass es einem so vorkam, als müssealles vor diesen kUhnen, prächtigen Menschengestalten verschwinden. Sie allein zogen die Aufmerksamkeit der Morgensonne auf sich.Das Schiff, das grosse europäische, und alle Menschen . . . wurdeneine leere Null vor der Wirklichkeit dieser HUnengestalten, die breiteSchultern hatten, auf denen sie die Erde hätten wiegen können wieem Spielball. (Gesammelte Werke 2:158)Dauthendey’s portrait of the natives as godlike warriors representsan intersection of several dominant aesthetic tendencies in late141nineteenth-century. First and central to the descriptive passage is theadmiration of the beautiful male body; second, the vocabulary of literaryimpressionism; and third, the exoticization of blacks in German art. I willdiscuss all three areas against the background of the literary and visual artscene in the last two decades of the nineteenth century, and also compareDauthendey’s vision of the Pacific paradise and its inhabitants, briefthough it is, to that of Emil Nolde.Two main types of male figures prevail in late nineteenth-centurywriting and painting. The effete dandy of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde andthe figures by Burne-Jones and other Pre-Raphaelite painters, with theirhollow eyes and hollow chest, “languid but without repose” (Hollander150), are one type. But within the meticulously dressed dandy lurksanother type of male figure, just as the Arthurian knight or St. George isalso a favourite motif in late nineteenth-century paintings. D’Annunzio’sAndrea Sperelli, the young Roman nobleman in his 1889 novel The Child ofPleasure IL.piacere) is not only a connoisseur of fine objects and beautifulmarried women, but also an excellent horseman and swordsman whokeeps himself fit at all times. In Thomas Mann’s paean to the beautifulmale, “Death in Venice” (“Der Tod in Venedig” 1912), the idol of Mann’sAschenbach is the image of the writhing and naked body of St. Sebastianpainted by so many artists, as for example, Mantegna in the fifteenthcentury. While Art Nouveau modelled women in the guises of Salomé andbloodsucking vampires, it developed the homoerotic vision of athletic menas the ideal of beauty, expressing both physical perfection and intellectualsuperiority (Dijkstra 199-201).This attention to the male body, in the broader, social scene, wasencouraged by the popularity of various sports activities in the last142decades of the nineteenth century. The bicycle was invented by a German,a Freiherr Karl von Drais from Mannheim, before the 1870s (Kramer 175).Tennis, archery and golf were popular with the bourgeoisie. IsadoraDuncan, the creator of modern dancing, was extremely well-received inGermany. Through her, “the ideas of eurhythmics . . . and ‘aestheticgymnastics’ were popularized . . . . These developments corresponded witha new Leibeskultur, or ‘body culture’, which found its greatest socialresonance in Germany . . . For the first time in a century trim bodiesbecame fashionable . . . “ (Eksteins 37). When bathing was promoted in the1880s and 90s both in the country and in urban settings, “the image of thestrong male body was also commonly used to promote [the sport]” (PatriciaG. Berman 77). While the woman’s body was painted in suggestive sexualposes, the man’s body was used to promote a health regime.In the visual arts as much as in literature in late nineteenth- andearly twentieth-centuries, the male body is represented alternately asdelicate or virile. The desire for the decorative and the fragile isintertwined with the desire for the formal and the monumental, and theboundary between the two tendencies is not always readily definable. AsJost Hermand writes in Stilkunst um 1900: “Roughly speaking, one canobserve a development from the ornamental to a more sculpturalexpression, which began in the 1890s and reached its apogee just beforethe First World War” (Grob gesehen, kann man dabei eine Entwicklungvom Ornamentalen zum blockhaft Ausdrucksvollen beobachten, die in denspaten neunziger Jahren beginnt und kurz vor dem ersten Weltkrieg ihrenHohenpunkt erlebt) (219). One can see both elements of style in the worksof Ferdinand Hodler, who painted decorative subjects such as two naked143youths in a flowery meadow (Eriihllng 1901) as well as battle scenes withheavily armoured warriors (Ruckzug bei Marignano 1900).The ideal male figure represented in both literature and the visualarts can generally be described as ‘godlike’. Since no one could claim tohave set eyes on a god, the most logical reference for the late nineteenth-century artists would be the Greek models. The eighteenth-centuryGerman art critic and archaeologist, Johann Joachim Winckelmann, hadalready prepared the way for Greek idealization in his studies of the art ofantiquity, Gedanken über die Nachahmung der griechischen Werke in derMalerei und Bildhauerkunsi (Reflections on the Imitation of Greek W.rksLin Painting and Sculpture 1755) and Geschichte der Kunst des Altertums(History of Ancient Art 1763-4).9 In his collection of essays, TheRenaissance (1873), an influential work for the Pre-Rephaelites and for theArt Nouveau movement, Walter Pater devotes a whole chapter onWinckelmann and reaffirms the latter’s preference for and assessment ofGreek art.The well-trained body of a Greek athlete, with “a wide and deeplyarched chest” and [an] abdomen . . . without belly” (Leppmann ill.xxvi andxxviii) was the prototypical body used by artists, ranging from Max Klingerfor his Phiksph (1910) to Munch for his male nudes. The preferredphysical type at the turn of the century, for the visual arts and for thefashionable male, should be well-exercised (but not from labour), and men“were exhorted to tighten their belts, stick out their chests, and tuck intheir bellies” (Perrot 664). Thus, we have a convergence of themodernization of the human body through exercise and by machines, suchas the bicycle, with the ancient ideal of the Greek god.144The typical presentation of the godlike male figure is to frame himagainst nature, to accentuate the connection between virility and natural,organic beauty (Patricia Berman 71). In Mann’s “Der Tod in Venedig,” thelast time Aschenbach sees the youth, Tadzio is framed against the horizonand the sea, a gender-reversed Venus-figure, but also a symbolic figurefrom Hades, beckoning Aschenbach to his death. Similarly, the nativewarriors, whose godlike stature reminds Dauthendey of mythologicalfigures, form the focal point of his narrative, but in a mise-en-scène of theparadisiacal sea and sky of the Pacific. This removal of the gods from aEuropean setting to the South Seas reifies the myth of the noble savage, aconcept which suited the weary minds of late nineteenth-century citydwellers (Hermand, “Artificial Atavism” 72). The male god dominating anidyllic setting became a trope which impressionist artists exploited.One of the most important characteristics of impressionism, both invisual arts and in literature, is the indulgence in colours. As Hamannwrites: “One turns against ordinary and workaday matters with ideologicalpurpose and indulges in the living palette, from the colourful cravat to thecult of the sun” (Man wendet sich daher mit ideologischer Bewusstheitgegen das Alltagliche und Arbeitsmassige und schwärmt für eine Buntheitdes Lebens, die von der farbigen Krawatte bis zum Sonnenkult reicht)(Impressionismus 236). Epithets and neologisms of light and colourmultiply in “Frühling” (1894), a lyrical essay by the dramatist JohannesSchlaf, such as “milk-white, ii ght-flickering, blood-beclouded, pearl -clear,glimmering, radiating, flashing” (milchweiss, lichtflinkernd, blütendurchwölkt, perlenklar, flimmernd, strahlend, blitzend . .. ) (Inipressionismus247). In his sketch of the so-called primitives, Dauthendey combinesliterary impressionism with the homoerotic visualization of the male145figure. Similar to his enthusiastic reception of Berlin streetlife,Dauthendey’s description of the New Guinean warriors overflows withadmiration. The subordinate clause of the sentence, “Sie waren so schwarz(They were so black . .. ), runs to several lines filled with adjectives.Dauthendey’s positive reception of the New Guineans forms a starkcontrast to German treatment of the natives.Unlike Dauthendey, Emil Nolde, Dauthendey’s contemporary andfellow Southeast Asian traveller, did not see the natives of German NewGuinea as spectacular-looking warriors. As mentioned before, he believedthat the natives’ main function was to serve as slave labour for the Germancolonists. His description of the people of New Guinea, although stressingthe exotic, is mingled with the Europeans’ fear for what they considered anuncivilized culture:They were much taller than the natives of the Yap Island and theywere really savage, with their abundant hair, their ornaments madeof shells and bones hanging on their arms, around the neck, or fromthe ear. Many had a white, curved bone pierced through the nose.They were cannibals, these people. For us Europeans a sinisternotion. We stood close together and looked on with fascination.Sie waren viel grosser als diejenigen der Insel Yap und sie warenwild, mit ihrem machtigen Haar, mit ihrem Schmuck aus Muschelnund Bein an den Armen, um den Hals, oder in den Ohren hangend;manche hatten einen weissen, krummen Knochen durch die Nase gesteckt. Kannibalen waren es, diese Menschen. Für uns Europaer emunheimlicher Begriff. Wir schauten gebannt und standen gedrangt.(Welt und Heimat 57)Nolde’s account is qualitative (“much taller”), judgemental (“they werecannibals”) and ambiguous, expressing both disgust and attraction. Whenthe expedition visited one of the smaller islands where no child had beenborn for over fifteen years, Nolde writes with rare sensitivity that the146native would rather die out (aussterben) than work for the colonists, whohad taken away from them their way of living (99). But in his culturalhierarchy, the natives represented a stage of development which was fastbecoming extinct, a process which Nolde felt was inevitable but he wasthere to record it. This is an example of social Darwinism in practice,specially as it was understood in Germany (Kelly 100-3). In a letterwritten from Käwieng (Kavieng) in March 1914, Nolde boasts that hispaintings of the primitives are so authentic and unrefined (“herb”) thatthey would not be hung in the salons of polite society. But except forGauguin, Nolde knows of no other painter who has found the primitiveculture such fallow ground for artistic inspiration (88). As Russell Bermanpoints out in his essay on Emil Nolde and German Primitivism, for artistslike Nolde, colonial artifacts and primitive culture are transformed into“sources of artistic innovation” (117).Nolde’s desire to use the Oceanic cultures for his art has the samecommodifying purpose as Dauthendey’s plan to use Asian themes for hisexotic tales. But Nolde’s trip was also closely linked with Germany’scolonial programme, which was not the case with Dauthendey. Whilediscussing the negative effects colonization had on the native culture,including extermination of whole tribes in some places, Nolde offers thisadvice: “This must be avoided, certainly not only out of love for the people,but because they provide the labour force” (Das sollte vermieden werden,wohl nicht nur aus Liebe zum Volk, sondern weil es Arbeitskräfte stellensollte) (94). In spite of having witnessed countless instances of miseryinflicted on the natives, Nolde still considers the German colonies wellmanaged and humane (99). Both Dauthendey and Nolde neglectedmentioning, in spite of their being guests of the German colonial officials,147that some of the natives they described in such detail, especially thewarriors in Dauthendey’s record, were part of the machinery of “sub-imperialism” in the German colonies (Hempenstall 96). In order to putdown native revolts and exert fuller control, the German administrationemployed “auxilaries, mercenaries, or allies who had their own reasons forpunishing traditional foes or expanding territorial influence” (96). Thishumane and well-managed colonial administration which Nolde admiredsucceeded by such tactics as “punitive raids and conquest of new territorywith a reeducation program for local recalcitrants” (Hempenstall 97).10For Nolde, his justification of the unjust treatment of the natives, althoughhe had spent over six months in the Pacific with the German colonialadministration, stems from his inherent belief in the superiority of Germanculture over the primitive culture. “Aggressively patriotic” as the mostconservative Germans were (Paret, Berlin Secession 213-15), Nolde wouldapprove of any colonial exploits undertaken by the government, andharshness towards non-Europeans formed part of the programme toachieve colonial goals. It is an ironical footnote to Nolde’s career that hewas listed and banned by the National Socialists as one of the degenerateartists who indulged in ‘niggerization’ (Hermand, “Artificial Atavism” 65-6).Dauthendey’s relative silence on German colonialism is morecomplex. His aesthetic philosophy was to see the beautiful in people andthings. Therefore, he could overcome racial prejudice in his appreciation ofphysical perfection. But this philosophy did not develop into a deeperunderstanding of Asian cultures. His status as an individual traveller, asdistinct from forming part of a group (Thomas Cook) or government tour,also kept him from information and knowledge he might otherwise haveobtained. His main concern was for his art, which could thrive oniy withinthe German culture. Of the three travellers under consideration,Dauthendey was the most isolated from any Asian society, and his writingsbetrayed the least development, although he worked in a foreign milieu.His isolation from native cultures, which created an artificially Europeancondition, ostensibly allowed Dauthendey to continue practicing hiscultural habits. But it was also an isolation which became more destructiveas his internment in the Dutch Indies continued.148149“A Wanderer upon the Face of Public Resort”In Ford Madox Ford’s pre-World War I novel, The Good Soldier, thecuckolded narrator John Dowel! looks back on his itinerant life with hiswife in European spas and laments,[T]o be at Nauheim gave me a sense . . . a sense of almost nakednessIn one’s own home, it is as if little, innate sympathies draw one toparticular chairs that seem to enfold one in an embrace . . . Andbelieve me, that feeling is a very important part of life. I . . . havebeen for so long a wanderer upon the face of public resorts. (21)The sense of vulnerability and disorientation expressed in this passage isalso deeply felt by Dauthendey from 1915 to 1918, when he stayed in EastJava, near Surabaya, and in Central Java, in a health resort in Tosari,because of his recurrent malaria attacks. During this period, Dauthendey’slink to Europe was heavily dependent on technological conveniences suchas the telegraph. Despite his enforced separation from home, Dauthendeylived in a Europe of the mind reified by films and letters. In thisconcluding section, I will discuss the effects of hotel living on Dauthendey’sperception of the Dutch Indies and his resistance to any degree ofacculturation.Prolonged stays in sanatorium-hotels can generate fascinating socialrelationships, as can be seen in Thomas Mann’s Der Zauberberg (The MagicMountain) and Ford’s IhGood_Soklier, both of which were published in1927 but deal with the period before the outbreak of the war. And livingin the rented space of hotels accentuates social inequalities and nationaldifferences, a phenomenon well illustrated by E.M. Forster’s A Room With a150View (1908), Katherine Mansfield’s In a German Pension (1911) orElizabeth Bowen’s The Hotel (1927). All these social interactions andfrictions, expressions of human disposition reacting within the spatial andritualistic structures of hotel living, played an important role inDauthendey’s perception of the East during the last four years of his life.During Dauthendey’s internment in the Dutch Indies, he lived mainlywithin the boundaries of hotels and sanatoriums. It was a highlysegregated social environment which communicated through “visible cues”(Rapoport, “Identity and Environment” 14), such as well-tended grounds inwhich only guests could stroll. These designed and visible environmentalcues maintained the identity of the Europeans as distinct from the natives.Within such a system of settings--main complex, strolling park and so on-Dauthendey had very limited access to the cultures of the non-Europeans.In many ways, Dauthendey’s experience during his last years in the DutchIndies was a European rather than a cross-cultural one.Hotel living lacks privacy. A hotel or a luxury sanatorium, designedfor the rich, is structured like a set of Chinese boxes, where individuals livewithin limited spaces (a room or a suite), segregated first from the fellowguests, then from the visitors and the hotel management, and finally, fromthe outside world. Yet these separations--walls and doors--areinsufficiently solid, so that the user also lives constantly in the public-eye.As on board an ocean-liner, social behaviour must be codified to ensurecommon understanding of hierarchical orders. An individual must behaveaccording to the codes, in order to preserve self-esteem or to show that hebelongs. In a hotel or on board ship, there is no place to escape scrutinyand social evaluation. Even a guest’s room is open territory to hotel151servants, who often can make a survey of his portable identity--luggage,toiletries, wardrobe--while he is absent.A letter to Dauthendey’s wife in March 1917 describes the variousfeatures of hotel living outlined above. The sanatorium in Tosari chargedits guest the costly tariff of nine guldens a day.The houses are built of thin wood . . . The verandahs are glassed in.The water is so cold that one can hardly bathe. Around the hotel,there are about a dozen wood cottages in the rose gardens, and onecan rent the whole cottage or a single room. The place is always full.The rich sugar planters come here with their families to relax. Thereare also quite a few beautiful Dutch women about. In the evenings in the clubhouse--the ladies dressed up and the gentlemen inblack--one can imagine oneself back in Europe.Die Häuser sind dunn aus Holz . . . Die Veranden sind verglast. DasWasser ist so kalt, dass man kaum baden kann. Es liegen urn dasHotel in den Rosengarten ungefahr zwölf hölzerne Landhäuser, dievermietet werden, ganz oder zimmerweise. Immer sind Gäste hier.Denn die reichen Zuckerpflanzer erholen sich hier mit ihren Farnilien.Es sind auch viele schöne Holländerinnen hier. Abends im Klubsaal -die Damen in grossen Toiletten und die Herren in Schwarz--glaubtman sich in Europa. (GeamnieIte Werke 2:491)The hotel layout, consisting of a main complex for social functions andindividual dwelling units connected by a rose garden, marks out the hotelterritory for the users. The spatial separation of the units is not solid asconcrete or heavy timber wall structures would be in Europeanarchitecture, and the open verandah indicates a life-style conducted inview of the public. Because of the high tariff of the sanatorium, onlycertain classes of Europeans can patronize it, which in turn requires a formof upper middle-class ritual, such as dressing for dinner.As shown by his letter, Dauthendey’s life in Java was really far morecomfortable than the war experiences of Europeans at home. Since Holland152stayed neutral during the First World War, the Allies only blockaded thesea routes so that travelling from the Dutch Indies was restricted andmonitored. But the country was never under danger of attack. TheGermans on the islands formed a close network to give each other supportwhen necessary. Before he was taken ill, he periodically stayed withGerman planters or expatriates, but mostly in well-managed hotels withhis own personal servant. Food was plentiful and wine or champagneoften accompanied the meals. The last years of Dauthendey’s life weretotally divorced from the historical realities of the European war, exceptfor contacts made possible by modern technology.In 1917, Europeans made up approximately 29% of the population ofthe Dutch Indies, with the majority residing in the larger cities, such asBatavia, Sourabaya, Bandung and Medan (Handbook 23). By the firstdecade in the twentieth century, most regions of what is now called theRepublic of Indonesia had come under Dutch colonial administration, whichhad established in the 1830s that “profitability [was] the main principle ofgovernment” (Ricklefs 131). As Dutch Indies novels by P.A. Daum or LouisCouperus, as well as the writings of Conrad and Somerset Maugham show,the Europeans in colonial countries lived in “some sort of enclave in themidst of millions. They lived in their own closed community, which wasvastly different from society in the mother country” (Nieuwenhuys, Mirrorof the Indies 145). Within this closed community, the social caste systemwas doubly emphasized, so that “[i]n order to belong to society, one had tobe ‘something’, an official, planter, officer . . .“ (xxvi). Nieuwenhuys’comments on the Dutch colonial society illuminate the in-between natureof the colonial culture: the colonists tried to live as Europeans, but the153Europeans at home viewed their compatriots as different, and usually,inferior.In his introduction to P.A. Daum’s Ups and Downs of Life in theIndies (1987), E.M. Beekman writes: “Men were devoted to money,business, gambling, drinking, and male companionship . . . . the life of themind could find little sympathetic response” (28). Leonard Woolf foundhimself in a similarly philistine society when he became a civil servant inCeylon. His English compatriots looked upon his volumes of Voltaire withsuspicion and thought nothing of his intellect (Giowing 37-8). Dauthendeyfelt similarly neglected as a poet in the midst of a hedonistic social groupwhose only interests were daily banalities.In Java and Sumatra, Dauthendey mixed almost exclusively withGermans living in the Indies, which was a sub-group within the Europeanenclave. But the two social and national groups, the Dutch colonists andthe German residents, shared comparable features. Both were caste- andclass-conscious, both would communicate with the natives who wereplaced in a subordinate position, and both nationals would only movethrough very specific “systems of settings” (Rapoport, “Systems ofactivities” 9) within the country.An example of a system of setting is the hospitality environment,consisting of hotels and rest-houses in resort areas. In The UrbanExperience, David Harvey discusses the different factors which control orinfluence the patterns of access to resources within a society (117-124).One such factor is the neighbourhoods, which “provide distinctive milieusfor social interaction from which individuals to a considerable degreederive their values, expectations, consumption habits, market capacities,and states of consciousness” (118). While Harvey deals mainly with class154structure and class relations within a capitalistic society, I will expand theterm “neighbourhood” to mean, within the context of the Dutch Indies ofMax Dauthendey’s experience, the hospitality areas in which non-nativeswould perform their activities, such as taking their meals or socializing.Money is crucial in all hotel experience, whether in a colonial or aEuropean country. For Dauthendey, a white man travelling in a colonizedAsian country, the problem of money was even more complicated. Notonly did he not have access to ready cash, but his status as a Europeandisallowed him to perform any kind of labour. Thus a Javanese servantcleaned his boots and ran his bath. When he needed writing paper, theservant would buy it for him. All services were rewarded by tipping, asDauthendey complained in a letter to his wife in May, 1914:The tipping on board is also astronomical. I had no idea thateverything is fixed, and that one has to give between five, ten andtwenty marks for music, for the steward who runs one’s bath, for thehead-steward, the deck-steward, the smoking-room attendant, thecabin-attendant, for the maitre d’, the bootblack and the valet. Notto mention the frequent laundry and drinks since Naples.Die Trinkgelder an Bord sind auch enorm. Ich hatte keine Ahnung,dass das alles festgesetzt ist, und dass Musik, Badesteward, Obersteward, Decksteward, Rauchzimmersteward, Kabinensteward, Ti schsteward, Stiefelputzer und Packmeister alle zwischen fUnf, zehn undzwanzig Mark bekommen mUssen. Dann die Wäsche, oftmals, unddie Getränke seit Neapel. (Mich ruft dein Bild 234)In September, 1915, Dauthendey tried to justify the extra expense ofattending a festival in Solo: “I am risking to be left without money afterthe trip. But I must have a bit of change. I have been sitting sinceFebruary in Garut in the same spot” (Ich riskiere zwar, dass ich nachherkein Geld mehr habe. Aber ich muss diese Abwechslung haben. Ich sitze155nun schon seit Februar immer in Garoet am gleichen Fleck) (352). Livingas he did among strangers, like someone in an “ethnically very mixedneighbourhood” (Rapoport, “Identity” 21), it was necessary for Dauthendeyto maintain self-esteem, by dressing well, tipping servants, and in thisparticular incident, using his last mark to take an excursion trip to afestival with other Europeans. Indeed, Dauthendey was keenly aware ofhis poor credit situation, and often wrote defensively to his wife to accountfor the money he had spent on clothing and wine. Although Dauthendeyconsidered himself a member of the more radical faction of the artisticcircle, he was conditioned by middle-class pretensions and habits. In arambling series of essays called Schule des Reisens: Gute Lehren desGlobetrotteis (School for Travelling: Sound Lectures from the Globetrotter)(1914), W. Fred gives practical advice to potential travellers, but nevermentions the unavoidable problem of tipping, which was taken forgranted. Fred’s kind of world travellers were expected to have well-padded pocket-books. Though Dauthendey nominally belonged to thiscategory, he never had the cash to make life away from home a comfort.Apart from money problems, Dauthendey was plagued by the lack ofprivacy in the environment of a hotel and the necessity of socializing withother guests. Dauthendey could not acclimatize himself to the way peoplelived in the Dutch Indies. That Dauthendey shared no common interestwith his fellow guests, German or Dutch, isolated him further. Most of hiscompatriots were businessmen stranded in the Dutch Indies, andDauthendey felt that they ignored him as a noted man of letters, buttreated him as if he were a commercial clerk (“Niemand kUmmert sichanders um mich, als ob ich em Handlungsgehilfe ware”) (Mich ruft deinBud 300). There was no real camaraderie between the residents, who only156cared for themselves. The practical outcome of sharing systems of settingsis that people would participate in communal activities, such as eatingtogether or working together. For Dauthendey and his fellow guests, itwould mean card playing, drinking or gossiping about the war. SinceDauthendey shrank from daily intercourse with them, his existence inthese places, where only certain types of activities were facilitated, becameone of isolation and eventual monotony.Because of this ‘open’ kind of social space in a hotel, where oneconducts one’s life in an enclosed public, little incidents could causedisproportionate anguish. Such an incident occurred when on August 10th,1915, Dauthendey complained childishly to his wife: “The mail came thismorning and there was nothing for me. Others got their letters, but notme. That’s the worst” (Die Post hat mir nichts heute morgen gebracht. Dieanderen bekamen ihre Briefe, ich nicht. Das ist das schlimmste) (3 19-20).Dauthendey’s personal disappointment was compounded by the possibilityof losing status in front of other guests. A similar anxiety goaded him intothe Solo excursion mentioned previously.Moving within these restrictive settings, Dauthendey’s contact withnon-Europeans was limited to the servants in the hotels and resorts. Onthe rare occasions when he mentioned natives and native issues,Dauthendey showed himself as someone who had oniy acquired superficialknowledge of other cultures. Thus in a long letter home, he marvels at therich array of the many courses at the hotel “Reistafel,” served by as manysilent, barefoot Malays in turbans. He fancies himself a Tsar in one of hisown costume plays, and finds the scene comical (Mich ruft dein Bild 239-40).157If Dauthendey was aware of the injustice of the colonial system orthe extent of poverty suffered by the natives under the Dutch colonialgovernment, he made no mention of it in his writings. When he was inGarut, where he had more opportunities to observe the daily life experienced by the various ethnic groups in the Dutch Indies, Dauthendey’sremarks echoed popular European beliefs that inferior races were evidenceof a deficient civilizing process and therefore exhibited juvenile behaviour(Gould 2 14-9). Even Darwin, whose theory of natural selection wasprimarily concerned with plant and animal life (Kelly 116), believed in theunshakeable hierarchy of progressive civilization with the Englishgentleman at the top, as “[e]ach race moves along the ladder of civilization,propelled by natural selection, aided by use-inheritance . . . morality, andEnglish customs” (Desmond 580). Thus, Dauthendey uses the standardadjectives to describe the Javanese and the Chinese (little, pallid), andattribute to them the stereotypical body language of crouching around thefloor, which links them closer to the apes than to people who sit onfurniture. In a letter written in March, 1915, Dauthendey mentioned thatthe natives died easily from diseases, as if life meant nothing important tothem (“als ob ihnen das Leben gar nicht das Wichtigste ware .. .“) (269).However, the social reality at that time was that although medicalattention was readily available for the Europeans, like Dauthendey, it wasnot the case for the natives. Between 1900 and 1930, the Dutch colonialgovernment “increased their expenditures on public health projects nearlytenfold” (Ricklefs 155), but the benefits were hardly felt because of theenormity of the poverty experienced by the natives. In 1930, over tenyears after Dauthendey’s stay, “there were only 1030 qualified doctors inIndonesia (667 of them in Java), representing one for every 62.5 thousand158inhabitants (of all races) in Java and one for every 52.4 thousand in theouter islands” (155-56). Even the government handbook issued in 1924admitted that the deathrates for the natives were high, but that thesituation was more favourable for the European population (Handbook 82).Given that Dauthendey had the unique opportunity of a prolongedstay in the East, what could account for his disinterest in developing adeeper understanding of other cultures? His isolation from an organicdaily life which could in some fashion replicate his European one, withfriends, cultural events and so on, is one reason. The physiological realityof hotel living in a colonial place, which included enforced socialinteraction, expenditure of unusual sums of money and lack of individualprivacy, is another. And finally, his formative education as an artist in hisBerlin days must be considered here. As discussed earlier in this chapter,Dauthendey and his fellow impressionists believed that “the artist is thecreator of beautiful things” (Wilde 21), and symptomatic of the refined andelitist aesthetics of the impressionists, the journal Pan, established in 1895,stated that its aim was not to cater to the taste of the wider public, but tocherish the exclusive character of art (“sich nicht nach den Wünschen desgrossen Publikums zu richten, sondern den ‘exklusiven Charakter derKunst’ zu pflegen .. .“) (Hamann, Impressionismus 114). Or as the“Preface” to the first edition of Stefan George’s Blätter für die Kunst (1892)states categorically: “The title of this publication speaks largely for its goal:to serve the Art, specially poetry and literature, all that which excludes thepolitical and the social” (Der name dieser veroffentlichung sagt schon zumteil was sie soll: der kunst besonders der dichtung und dem schrifttumdienen, alles staatliche und gesellschaftliche ausscheidend) (1).159Dauthendey, himself a contributor to Bläiler, believed in the specialrole of the artist as a romantic figure with superior sensitivity. His way ofworking was to visualize from his imagination, to put into text imagesstored from his travels or Berlin. As already mentioned, he worked notfrom factual notes, but from postcards and objects. When asked during hislast years to write some Javanese stories for publication, he excusedhimself by blaming the tropical weather and also the intrusion of reality:Things are in too much upheaval, I cannot imagine freely, thefantasies refuse to take hold in my mind. Reality is so captivating,the daily news from the war fronts, that I could only pay attention tothem. .Die Zeit ist nicht ruhig genug, die Phantasie kann sich nicht inRuhe in mir spiegeln, ich kann deshalb nichts ausdenken. DieWirklichkeit erzählt taglich so fesseind von den Kriegsschauplatzen,dass ich immer zuhören muss. . . . (388)For Dauthendey, the only way he could have written his exotic taleswould be to practise a form of what Johannes Fabian calls the “denial ofcoevalness,” in which the person, while representing the other cultures,“requires that [the] object . . . be removed from [the] subject not only inspace but also in time” (Time and the Work of 198). To liveamong Asians and to be in daily contact with them diminished theimaginative distance Dauthendey placed between himself and his objectsof fantasy. During his four years in the East, when his dream became aprolonged reality, Dauthendey lost the incentive to exoticize the Orient.Europe, out of reach, was never more desirable.At no time during Dauthendey’s experience in the Dutch Indies from1914 to 1918 did he consider an alternative to a European homeland.160Physically Dauthendey lived in Badung or Tosari, but his world wasregulated by European time, European postal routes, European forms ofimage reproduction. Postal deliveries and their time-tables often causedDauthendey a great deal of anxiety. He worried about war news fromEurope, but he also fretted over the regularity of his mail. In a reply to hiswife, Dauthendey traced the route her letter took with all the attention of ageneral tracing the army’s advance:The letter was from you, it left Strömstad on July 15, wasregistered in London July 19 . . . and arrived in Garut on August19. You started writing it in Berlin on July 6 and finished it onJuly 12, when you were with Holm in Munich-Pasing. It was thefirst letter I received from you from Germany.Der Brief war von Dir, kam vom 15. Juli aus Strömstad, war am 19.Juli in London, “registriert” worden . . . und kam am 19. August inGaroet an. Du hattest ihn am 6. Juli in Berlin begonnen und am 12.Juli in MUnchen-Pasing bei Hoim beendet. Es war Dein erster Brief,den ich von Dir aus Deutschland erhielt. (Mich Ruft Dein Bild 323-324)For Dauthendey, technological conveniences remained ways for thewanderer to connect with home, which he left temporarily for the purposeof some utopic dream.One of these conveniences was the telegraph, which he used withgreat frequency at times of stress. From mid-March to mid-April, 1915, hetelegraphed his wife six times, which cost him approximately .100 guldens.Considering that an expensive hotel charged 9 guldens a day, as thesanatorium in Tosari did, Dauthendey spent a good portion of his meagrefunds on communication. As he remarked after recording these telegramsin his diary: “But how glad I am that this has been invented, this161telegraph” (Aber wie bin ich froh, dass man diese Erfindung hat, dieTelegraphie) (Gesammelte W_erk 2:299-300). He also recorded that hehad been to the “Bioskop” twice in the Spring of 1915. In March, he wentto see a double feature of war pictures of Europe and a play by Grillparzer.Although Dauthendey was not impressed by either showing, he foundsolace in seeing Europe in film:But it did me a lot of good just now to see European dress androoms, closed, and street lives again, if only in the cinema. Andfor an hour, I could believe that I was back on European soiland no longer in Asia.Aber es tut mir wohl jetzt, europaische Kleidung und Zimmer,geschlossene, und Strassenleben wenigstens im Bioskop wiederzusehen. Und für eine Stunde, glaube ich dann, ich sei aufeuropaischer Erde und nicht mehr in Asien. (Mich Ruft Dein Bild268)At this point, we should recall that one of the tenets of the ArtNouveau, or Jugendstil philosophy, is to create beautiful things divorcedfrom the mundane practice of daily life, including anything technological.This is a development from William Morris’s utopic idea, where “a newsocial system resembling the pastoral communities of the past couldreplace the desert of modern industrialism” (Reed 232-3). As Benjaminwrites in “Das Kunstwerk im Zeitalter seiner technischen Reproduzierbarkeit,” with the advent of photography, simultaneously with the rise ofsocialism, art reacted with the doctrine of l’art pour l’art, which gave riseto the idea of ‘pure’ art:With the advent of the first truly revolutionary means ofreproduction, photography, simultaneously with the rise of socialism,art sensed the approaching crisis . . . [AJrt reacted with the doctrine162of l’art pour ltart, that is, with a theology of art. This gave rise towhat might be called a negative theology in the form of the idea of“pure” art, which not only denied any social function of art but alsoany categorizing by subject matter. (Illumination 224).Als nämlich mit dem Aufkommen des ersten wahrhaftrevolutionären Reproduktionsmittels--der Photographie (gleichzeitigauch mit dem Anbruch des Sozialismus)--die Kunst das Nahen derKrise spurt . . . reagierte sie auf das Kommende mit der Lehre vomPart pout l’art, die eine Theologie der Kunst ist. Aus ihr ist dannweiterhin geradezu eine negative Theologie der Kunsthervorgegangen, in Gestalt der Idee einer reinen Kunst, die nicht nurjede soziale Funktion sondern auch jede Bestimmung durch einengegenstandlichen Vorwurf ablehnt. (GesanimeIt 1.2: 441)Thus, some writers and artists at the turn of the nineteenth centuryescaped to exotic places in search of pre-industrial paradises, either inspirit or in actuality, to recapture a primitive world unsullied by electrictramcars and six-day work-week, time-clock and productivity charts. Thedesire to think oneself into another space by recreating a picture whichcorresponded less to reality than to the subject’s ideal was a symptomaticstrategy of these fin-de-siècle travellers (Bongie 4-5). However, this kindof escapism would work as long as the traveller was guaranteed a wayhome, such as modern packaged tours to “dangerous” vacation spots do.11For Dauthendey in Java, the exotic other place was Europe, and ironically,technology, in the form of the cinema, brought it closer to him.Like most Europeans who lived in urbanized centres, Dauthendeywas more dependent on technological inventions than his general writingswould indicate. The Europe of the turn of the century was fullytechnologized. In his autobiography, Stefan Zweig mentions the excitementeveryone felt when flying became a reality and a success: “We rejoiced inVienna . . . out of pride for the hourly triumph of our technology . . . “ (Wir163jauchzten in Wien . . . aus Stolz auf die sich stündlich uberjagendenTriumphe unserer Technik) (Die Welt von Gestern 147). Zweig alsoremembers the great changes brought about by technology in everydaylife during his adolescent years:On the street the night glowed with electric lamps instead of murkylights, the shops on the main streets flaunted their new, seductiveglamour all the way to the outskirts of the city, one could alreadyspeak to others on the telephone . . . Refined middle-class householdsboasted of creature-comfort, one no longer had to fetch water outsidethe house or from the well. .Auf den Strassen flammten des Nachts statt der trUben Lichterelektrische Lampen, die Geschäfte trugen von den Hauptstrassenihren verfUhrerischen neuen Glanz bis in die Vorstädte, schon konntedank des Telephons der Mensch zum Menschen in die Fernesprechen . . . Der Komfort drang aus den vornehmen Häusern in dieburgerlichen, nicht mehr musste das Wasser vom Brunnen oder Ganggeholt werden. . . . (Die Welt von Gestern 15)The devotees of the principle of art untainted by social and politicalelements were also users of technology on a day-to-day basis. Theory wasjettisoned when putting it into practice meant discomfit. And asDauthendey’s writing from the Dutch Indies shows, the European idea of anunspoilt East away from urbanization, fortunately for him, was basicallyinaccurate.Adolf Bastian, the father of German ethnology, already warned in1881 that “[a]t the very instance [primitive societies] become known to usthey are doomed” (qtd. in Fabian, Time and the Work of Anthropology194). Wherever industrialized people went, they brought with them theparaphernalia of industrialization, first to provide themselves withprotection (arms) and all possible conveniences, and second to forge or.164force commercial relationships with the host country. Even the “primitiveparadise” of New Guinea could not escape the pavement of roads, buildingof harbours and erection of industrial sheds by the Germans (Allen 220-25). Because of this importation of western technology, Dauthendey wasable to stay in colonial replicas of European cities and accommodationsduring his travel to the East. And if he could motor around Javacomfortably, it was because of the oil deposits in Sumatra and Kalimantan(Ricklefs 152-53), which provided petrol for the many cars at whichDauthendey marvelled in the Dutch Indies cities (Mich ruft dein Bud 404).Technology also dispelled to a certain extent the aura of exoticismsurrounding nineteenth-century European fantasies of the Orient.Newspaper reports, photographs of Asians not living in fairytale-likesurroundings, Japan’s success as a military power and Asian nationalismand anti-western sentiments in the early twentieth century finally gaveAsia and the many Asian ethnic groups more realistic identities in theEuropean imagination. Technology also triumphed to destroy any kind ofcolonial Orientalism which might linger in German literature. For Germany,its eastern colonial empire ended simultaneously with the outbreak of thewar. On September 11, 1914, the Australian army took Rabaul, the seat ofGerman administration in New Guinea (Westphal 305) and in the earlyhours of November 7, 1914, Kiautschou fell to the Japanese (308). WhenEmil Nolde’s paintings of the New Guineans, one-time colonized subjects ofthe German empire, were branded degenerate art by the National SocialistParty in 1937 (R.A. Berman 112), it was an indication of Germandisenchantment with the “oriental” element in art. For Dauthendey, theexotic East dissolved when he first learnt that he could not go home. Thed’ Ai Wu’s is that the moreirony of his situation in comparison to ir s orEuropeanized his living conditions were, the less he could survive in anessentially foreign culture. The artificiality of colonial settings, divorcedfrom the daily life of the host society, contributed to Dauthendey’s culturalisolation. His literary legacy is a body of writings which feeds on thetradition of exotic literature and at the same time, documents the ultimatedisillusionment with the East.165166Notes1 For detailed analyses of the differentiated segments of Germansociety in the Wilhelminian era, see Blackbourn, Evans and Nipperdey.2 On the personal impact Kaiser Wilhelm II had on Wilhelminianpolitics, see Hull, Kohut, Blackbourn in Populists and Patricians, and Röhl.3 Peter Paret discusses in detail the history of the secessionistmovements in various German cities, especially Berlin, in The BerlinSecession.4 The title of this photography is BerIinWittstockerstrasse, Eltern mitacht Kindern_(1912 in Glaser, p.79. I can only count seven children.Perhaps the eighth has been cut out of the frame.5 On the history of German colonization as well as the Kaiser’s role in it,see Henderson, Blackbourn in Populists and Patricians, Evans’s introductionto Society and Politics in Wilhelminian Germany, and Moses and Kennedy.6 According to Woodruff D. Smith in his essay, ‘Anthropology andGerman Colonialism’, the University of Berlin founded its OrientalLanguages Seminar in 1887; for some years, the seminar taught onlySwahili.7 For details of reviews of Dauthendey’s Asiatic tales, see GUnther, pp.265-66.8 See Norman Sherry, Lloyd Fernando’s ‘Literary English in theSoutheast Asian Tradition’, and Resink for discussions of Conrad’streatment of Malaya.9 Walter Leppmann’s biography of Winckelmann provides a goodintroduction to the influence of the eigthteen-century art historian. On thesubject of Winckelmann and Greece, see E.M. Butler’s The TyrannyofGreece over Germany.10 For details of the German colonial administration in the Pacific, seeBade, “Colonial Missions and Imperialism”; Hempenstall, “The NeglectedEmpire”; Ingrid Moses, “The Extension of Colonial Rule in KaiserWilhelmsland”; Sack, “Law, Politics and Native ‘Crimes’ in German NewGuinea.”11Dean MacCannell’s chapter on modern tourism, “Cannibalism today,”in Empty MeetingIounds illustrates my point on arranged tours todangerous locations.167168CHAPTER 3: Al WU : LEARNIN(IHOWZEOCIJRSECALIBAN. You taught me language; and my profit on’tis, I know how to curseThe Tempest (1.2.363-4)Chinese and Dogs Not AllowedIn this chapter, I will discuss Ai Wu’s travel writing within thecontext of western modernization in China in the early decades of thetwentieth century. Modernization was a limited social process whichaffected mainly the areas where Westerners were allowed to live, unlikethe revolutionary character it assumed in Europe in the nineteenthcentury. Ai Wu’s travel sketches show that he was at the crossroads ofpolitical consciousness. He was stimulated by western ideas, but he wasalso angered by western colonialism. Like Bird’s, his travel was a sort offact-finding mission, except that his experience, instead of affirming thecolonial enterprise, cemented his anti-imperialist position. While in Bird’sThe Golden Chersonese, observations are conveyed in a chronologicalpattern, tightly edited as a series of letters home, Ai Wu’s sketches seemlike a random collection of impressions. Like Dauthendey’s records, AiWu’s sketches cover a period of several years. But Dauthendey’s diary andletters were unplanned for publication at the time of writing and they bearthe mark of an unfinished project, not unlike Dauthendey’s own life. Incontrast, although Ai Wu’s sketches of his journey to Burma are notspecifically linked to each other, they nonetheless show an overall design.169A gradual change of political awareness takes place in the narrative. Inspite of the discontinuous nature of the topics, such as a rainy night inBhamo and a miserable stop in a Hong Kong prison, the tenet of hiscollection of sketches is to portray the unacceptable practice of westernimperialism, which began in China with the “unequal treaties.”The first treaty was carefully studied by other western powers, andin 1844, the Americans signed a longer treaty with China, with additionalarticles which provided free access for American missionaries in China, andthe rights for Americans to build hospitals and churches in the treatyports. In Article 21, the American government inserted the jurisdictionalstipulation “that any Americans committing crimes in China could be triedand punished only by the consuls or other duly empowered Americanofficials . . .“ (Spence 161, Fishel 5-6). By the 1920s, when China wasexperiencing great social unrest, with the Nationalist Guomindang,individual warlords and the Communist Party vying for control of thecountry, the extraterritorial privileges enjoyed by foreigners had grownfar beyond those provided by the treaties of the nineteenth century.The “unequal treaties,” as China considered these humiliating termsof settlement imposed upon her by nations armed with gunboats andmodern technology, were observed grudgingly by successive Chinesegovernments. Traditionally, “[tjhe concept of foreign relations as dealingswith foreign states based on sovereign equality did not exist [in China].‘Foreign relations’ existed only with tributary states or dependencies . . .“(Luke Lee 25). Some of the early European visitors to China--thePortuguese in the sixteenth century--found out gradually “that the Chinesesystem of international intercourse differed radically from that prevailingin Europe” (Lach 1:735). When the western powers enforced170extraterritoriality upon China in the nineteenth century, they were notonly coercing China to conduct foreign affairs according to westerntradition; they were also protecting their own nationals from Chinese laws,which they considered harsh and barbaric. As Wesley Fishel writes:Extraterritoriality was established principally because of the vastdifference between European and Oriental standards of justice andpunishment. The system thus introduced proved to be of enormousvalue to foreigners, who found it not only a protection against whatthey considered insufferable laws and punishments, but also a readyvehicle for the expansion of their trade and influence. Under itscloak, they developed successful commercial enterprises andgradually secured control of a large portion of China’s foreigncommerce. Christian missionaries utilized it as a protective shield tofacilitate the propagation of their faith. (217)Isabella Bird was a beneficiary of extraterritorial rights granted toforeigners. When she became a missionary in China in the 1890s, shecould travel into the interior of the country, areas historically forbidden toforeigners (Bird, Yangtze Valky). Instead of maintaining the position ofsuperiority due to the people of an ancient culture, as had been thetraditional Chinese expectation of foreigners, Chinese everywhere in Chinawere recruited into all levels of service to provide creature comfort forpeople they called variously ‘barbarians’, ‘red-hair devil’ and otherderogatory terms. This situation of mutual distrust precluded interculturalexchange on a large scale. In Somerset Maugham’s sketch of an Americanmissionary doctor and entrepreneur in some interior city, Dr. Macalisterlaments that though he “had been looking forward to a martyr’s crown,” hehas been disappointed over and over again. In Shanghai, he lives in a finehouse with fine servants; in the interior he lives in a missionary compound171with American furniture: “I thought I’d never eaten so much and so well inmy life. You did nothing for yourself. If you wanted a glass of water youcalled a boy . . .“(On a China Screen 48-9). This is the kind of colonialsetting which encouraged the practice of European cultural habits andprohibited any kind of cross-cultural communication. Maintenance of thistype of milieu partially accounted for the continuance of mutualmisrepresentations between cultures.With the rise of nationalism in the post-Qing era, the desire torenegotiate for the abolishment of these treaties was part of the agenda ofevery government. Fishel, writing in 1951, in Los Angeles, calls thenationalist fervour “the virus of revolution” and “the development . . . of anational self-consciousness” very much responsible for the Chinese’s desireto destroy all foreign privileges (72). To the Chinese, the movement tooverturn western imperialism was the natural outcome of decades oftolerating unwanted foreign presence in China. New journals with titlessuch as Chiu-kuo (5 ethNathm) or Izuchih (Se1Lgirnmen1) areindicative of the patriotic sentiment felt by the new republic (Chow Tsetsung, The May Fourth Movement 146, 179-80)). The tension and conflictwhich existed between the foreigners and the Chinese were mostconcentrated in treaty ports such as Guangzhou or Shanghai, wheresizeable foreign settlements could be found. Of all cities, Shanghai in the1920s was the symbol of both the western influence on Chinese societyand Chinese hatred of the presence of foreign cultures.Although the anti-foreigner movements were nationwide, westernideas, such as democracy and individualism, and western literature, weredisseminated and accepted within the intellectual class. Works by Ibsen,Strindberg, Baudelaire, Zola, Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky, to name only a few172examples, were translated by writers of the May Fourth Movement (Chow,May 4th 283-7). Apart from the capital city, Beijing, Shanghai was thecentre of the new intellectual movement in China, where many of theinfluential journals, such as New Youth, or Creation Quarterly, werepublished. Because the International Settlement was administered by theEuropean countries and America, the most vibrant and important parts ofShanghai were not under the jurisdiction of the Chinese. Ironically, thisanomaly provided an ideal refuge for revolutionaries wanted by thegovernment. The Chinese Communist Party was founded on rue Beyle inthe French Concession, and Zhou Enlai, hiding in a friend’s house on rueLafayette from the Guomindang, “helped plan the great rising that almostdelivered Shanghai into communist hands” (Nicholas R. Clifford 10).A photograph of the 1920s will show neoclassical buildings along theBund (now Zhongshan Road), the esplanade along the Huangpu River whereall the commercial business was concentrated (Clifford 36, 164a). ACanadian visitor to Shanghai in the 1930s writes: “. . . the Bund was ahurly-burly of movement and bewildering noise. Cars tooted, street-carsclanged, bicycle bells shrilled continuously . . .“ (Carney 7). A friend of thisvisitor explains to her the origin of the foreign settlements in terms ofeveryday irritants and prejudices, problems which could have occurredanywhere involving cohabitation between different cultures:the Chinese and the whites didn’t like the way each othersmelled. The Chinese said the white men reeked of whisky andtobacco smoke, and the whites couldn’t stand the smell of Chinesecooking or the fact that all the household waste waters were thrownoff the balconies into the narrow cobbled streets . . . So the Britishasked for a bit of land where they could build their own communityand the Imperial Government of Peking contemptously [sic] gave173them a no-good tract of swamp . . . and soon other nations followedwith similar concessions. (14)If one accepts this ahistorical and non-political explanation for the westerndominating presence in Shanghai, a presence tantamount to a “kind ofimperium in imperio” (Nicholas R. Clifford 17), then the anti-foreignagitation in the early decades of the twentieth century and the Chinese’scontinued wariness towards western nations after the Communist Partycame to power would be totally incomprehensible. Chinese mistrust ofwestern political motivations can be traced back to China’s encounter withthe West in the nineteenth century, and to ignore this facet of Sinowestern relation seems a particularly Eurocentric reaction, which fails toencourage cross-cultural tolerance.Chinese then (and some Chinese now still) resented this reversedsegregation practiced by the arrogant foreigners. According to a writer inthe 1990s, the occupation of parts of Shanghai by the imperialists was abetrayal of the city by weak Chinese government officials, who were takenadvantage of by unscrupulous Westerners:If one walked northward from the British consulate, there was a plotof green not far from the consulate, which had a few iron benches forpeople to rest. This piece of land belonged to China on paper, butin reality, Chinese had gradually been banned from loitering aroundit. The security guards usually harassed the Chinese, making themleave at once, so that their presence would not interfere with thepromenade of the foreign gentlemen. At first, this oniy applied toChinese in short jackets [labourers], but then the prohibitionextended to the gentry as well. (Zhang Hong 48)1Although Clifford maintains that there were two separate signs “beside theentrance to the Public Gardens, across from the British consulate,” one174regulating against dogs and one against Chinese (26), popular saying has itthat Chinese and dogs were coupled together on one sign. Foreignerswould repeat this saying because it was, to some, humorous. Chinesewould repeat it to indicate the foreigners’ unwarranted arrogance and theshame extraterritoriality brought upon China.2Yet no one could ever refute the fact that Shanghai was exciting anda centre of activities, political or otherwise, in the early years of theChinese Republic. In Ding Ling’s two-part short stories, “Yijiusanlingnianchun Shanghai” (“Shanghai, 1930 Spring”), the coming-of-age of the maincharacters happen in the treaty port, amidst political agitation andactivities amongst the intellectuals and the workers. Ding Ling herselflived in Shanghai during the most productive years of her writing career(Feuerwerker, Ding Ling’s Fiction). In Mao Dun’s Hong (Rainbow 1930), themain character, Mei, has tried various occupations without finding anypersonal fulfilment, until she arrives in Shanghai in 1924 and becomesinvolved with the anti-imperialist movement: “. . . When I was in Sichuan,I didn’t realize what a nation meant. But living here for a few months, Ican gradually see the power wielded by the foreigners . . .“ (Mao Dun 324).In a climactic scene at the end of the novel, set in the tumultuous days ofSpring, 1925, Mei and a friend spend a day shopping at Wing OnDepartment Store on Nanking Road in the International Settlement. MaoDun manages to set the cosmopolitan atmosphere of westernized Shanghaiagainst the palpable tension generated by the nationalistic Chineseinhabitants of the city. The complexity of the situation is furthersymbolized by Wing On, a department store built by capital from HongKong Chinese who had discovered western entrepreneurship (Nicholas R.Clifford 62). While Mei’s friend, Xu, admires the delicate designs of some175clocks made in Germany in the store, Mei converses with a leader of thepolitical underground and finds out that while she has been busyentertaining her friend, the concession guards have killed several of thedemonstrators and her roommate has gone missing, possibly arrested (MaoDun 358-60). The novel ends with Mci, a self-centred sensualist thus far,joining in with the demonstrators on the street of Shanghai facing the Sikhpolice (390-1).Although Mao Dun does not actually give precise dates to the eventsdescribed in his novel, they bear close resemblance to the May ThirtiethIncident in Shanghai. On May 30, 1925, near the Louza (Laozha) PoliceStation on Nanking Road, crowds gathered to listen to studentspeechmakers denouncing western imperialism and some students werearrested. Then events turned ugly, andall traffic had now halted on Nanking and Thibet roads. The Sikhpolice, their black beards set off by the bright turbans they wore,charged the crowd . . . Some fifteen hundred or two thousand peoplehad quickly gathered outside the station . . . . [A]t 3:37 Eversonshouted a warning in both English and Chinese that he would shoot ifthe crowd did not fall back. Ten seconds later, he ordered his men toopen fire. (Nicholas R. Clifford 104)As a result, eleven demonstrators were killed and twenty wounded. “ToChinese of all persuasions and classes, the May Thirtieth affair was a brutaland unprovoked attack on a group of unarmed students . . .“ (105). MayThirtieth did not end western domination of Shanghai; it was followed byother riots and strikes in the following years, and Shanghai was notliberated from the Japanese until the end of the Second World War. Butthe riots of 1925 in Shanghai and other parts of China marked the176galvanization of mere anti-western feeling into more cohesive politicalmovements which resulted in the rise to power of the Communist Party inChina.These anti-western riots in the 1920s also show that while mostEuropean nations accepted the process of industrialization and the changesit caused in their societies, China in the early twentieth century relatedindustrialization to western encroachment and dominance. Both Bird andDauthendey believed in technological innovations, but for Ai Wu and otherChinese, the idea of technology and modernization was never integrated intheir consciousness. Acceptance of and pride in technological progressmade European travellers see China and Southeast Asia as backward, aperspective which would not occur to Ai Wu, as we shall see in thischapter.177The Milk of the May Fourth MovementAi Wu, born in Sichuan in 1904, in the last years of the Qing dynasty,came from an impoverished but educated family. Both his grandfatherand father were teachers. Although he was educated mainly in villageschools and did not study in the provincial capital, Chengdu, until he wasseventeen, he was familiar both with classical Chinese literature and thewriting of the May Fourth Movement. In ALWu Ping Zhuan (CriticalBiography of ALWji), Zhang xiaomin writes that the principal of the villageschool attended by Ai Wu in the late 1910s was an avid supporter of thenew literary movement and subscribed to several newly publishedjournals such as New Youth and New Tide (18). Once in Chengdu, Ai Wubecame acquainted with western literature in translation, such as Dickens’sDaicLCojperfield and Ibsen’s A Doll House. But most influential of allwere Chinese writers such as Guo Moruo, Lu Xun and and Yu Dafu, allrepresentatives of the May Fourth Movement (Ai Wu, Sell LWri1ing268).3 Although Ai Wu is not known outside the Chinese-reading public,his writing career spanned the twentieth century, witnessing theassumption of power of the Communist Party and the tumultuous CulturalRevolution in the 1960s. Thus his travel sketches serve as a goodintroduction to the development of a writer who matured in the years ofChina’s great historical change in this century.May Fourth was not only a literary, but a social, cultural and politicalmovement. On May 4, 1919, students demonstrated in Beijing against boththe corruption and ineffectiveness of the Chinese government and thefailure of the Paris Conference to rectify conditions imposed by historicaltreaties on China by the western powers. Among the slogans “written in178Chinese, English and French” which the students carried were “Return ourTsingtao,” “Boycott Japanese goods,” “China belongs to the Chinese” (Chow,May_Eourth 109). The demonstration ended with arrests and skirmishesbetween the students and soldiers. The event itself, an expression of thepublic’s dissatisfaction with political events and of cultural and socialchanges which had been ongoing before 1919, became a marker in thehistory of modern China, indicating the growing nationalism of the Chinese,the power of the young intellectuals to organize and agitate for reform, andthe growing acceptance of serious writing in vernacular Chinese, which wasused for the widely-distributed manifesto for the demonstration. Althoughthe event took place in Beijing, its effect was nationwide. In Mao Dun’sHong, Mei recalls the excitement among the students of Chengdu followingthe event: “The angry tide [of May fourth], this firing spark, reachedChengdu a month later . . .“ (20). In the novel, students gather todemonstrate their nationalistic fervour, and merchants of Japaneseproducts are branded traitors. May Fourth might have been dismissed as amere incident, a defiant gesture on the part of the students “if there hadbeen no developments . . . . But the students in Peking started immediatelyto organize the new intellectuals of the nation” (Chow, May Fourth 115-6).it is ironic that the new intellectuals of the nation were also the oneswho were open to non-Chinese influences. Hu Shi, who was “generallyregarded as the first poet to promote vigorously the vernacular literature”and who wrote in the vernacular himself, was educated at Cornell andColumbia Universities (Chow, MayFourth 26-7). Lu Xun, the most reveredof all Chinese writers in the post-Qing era, was studying in Japan in the1900s (Na Han 1-4). Popular writers such as Ba Jin studied overseas and179incorporated western terms and themes in his earlier writing, choosingtitles for his short stories such as “Aliana” or “The Crucifixion of Love”(Collected Stories I). For the May Fourth intellectuals, the two key ideaswere “democracy” and “science” (Chow, May Fourth 58-9). The newliterary societies and their publications, such as Xinyuyiiekan. (CrescentMmithly), were often pro-western (McDougall 46-7).Part of the programme of the May Fourth Movement encouraged itsfollowers to be individualistic, to throw off the burden of thousands ofyears of tradition, to reject irrational superstitious practices and toadvocate reforms for a democratic society. It was a revolutionaryprogramme which was facilitated by the knowledge and acceptance ofwestern ideas. These were all clearly in opposition to the Chinese traditionof feudalism, of the importance and sacredness of family relations, of theunchangeability of hierarchy in the society. In a survey conducted in1921, among 184 married male students, only 5 had chosen their ownwives; others had had their spouses chosen by their parents or elders(Chow, May Fourth 286). This adherence to the old way of conductingoneself, whether in matters of marriage or in choosing a profession, wasvery much in evidence even after the May Fourth Movement. Ba Jin’snovel, ha (Family 1931), traces the gradual break-up of a large, extendedfamily through the 1920s. The eldest son and the most conventional one,obeys the dictates of the grandparents and parents and marries a stranger.His unhappy personal life becomes a constant rebuke to his lack of will torebel. His one consolation is his assistance to his youngers brothers whomanage to escape the family home and lead an independent life inShanghai. In Ai Wu’s first volume of autobiography, he remembers howthe youths in his small town were at odds with the older generation:180But even our immature minds were gradually inflamed by thewords in the periodicals . . . . we believed those who still honouredConfucius and made offerings to him were stupid. We dislikedclassical Chinese . . . we venerated as gods and sages those whopromoted new culture and writing in the vernacular . . . We agreedthat there should be equality between men and women, freedom inmarriage . . . . (Ai Wu, Wen ji 2 133-4)4In the spirit of May Fourth, Ai Wu decided to rebel against the familytradition and the marriage arranged for him with some stranger. In 1925,one of his friends, He Bingyi, was killed in the May Thirtieth incident inShanghai (Nicholas R. Clifford 105, Zhang 24). Under pressure from hisfather to return from Chengdu to marry, Ai Wu took the unconventionaland individual route of leaving home, leaving the province of Sichuan, to“undertake the long road of a wandering life.” The starting point of hisjourney, as he often mentions, is when he “drank the milk of May Fourth”(Zhang 25). This is a particularly evocative figure of speech to the Chinese,since Ai Wu was equating the effect of May Fourth to the importance ofsuckling at a mother’s breast.Ai Wu’s first experience as a wanderer was in the province ofYunnan, in the most southern part of China. Without money or prospect ofa job, Ai Wu was reduced to pawning his books and his personal effects.At last, he was hired as a janitor by a charity organization (ran by the RedCross) in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan. He begins this account of his firstyears of adult independence with a brutally uncompromising descriptionof the dismal accommodation he was given:I lived in a room which had had no lodger for a long time. It had asmell of decay. One window faced the kitchen, and during the day181one could hardly see the objects inside the room. In the evening, theweak light filtered through the dust-covered bulb, giving everythinga look of jaundice. There was only one small entry, but it had nodoor. . . . (My Youth 1)5But Ai Wu was contented, for a moment, because he had a job, though thework involved dusting, cleaning the spittoon, delivering mail, work belowhis level of education and his status as gentry. This vacillation betweentemporary satisfaction in obtaining a means of livelihood and consciousshame at losing caste is to be a constant refrain in Ai Wu’s early travelsketches as well.Ai Wu is a harsh and observant critic of representatives of theemploying class. Throughout the autobiographical narrative, Ai Wu paintssmall vignettes of the kind of feudalistic social milieu which was the targetof reformist and revolutionary intellectual writings. The supervisor of thelower servants was a man enamoured with the little power he had overthe others. Not only did he torture his staff with meaningless andhumiliating tasks, he also often intruded into Ai Wu’s doorless bedroom atnight, to make sure Ai Wu did not run off with stolen properties of theassociation (My Youth 40-1). The head of the association was a wealthylandowner in his forties. He is described as “tall and lanky, sallow incomplexion; any onlooker could tell that he was heavily addicted to opium”(46). This Ho, who was also the head of an extended family of uncles andbrothers, led the typical life of the idle rich, a social class considered to bepart of the problems plaguing China. He would lie in bed till noon, and notuntil he had had his fill of opium would he leave the house. Whenever hevisited the association, “he was followed by a servant who carried all theparaphernalia for his opium smoking” (47). Even the educated class,182basically people of his own background, was not spared Ai Wu’s criticalpen. Through his occasional articles in the local newspaper, Ai Wu madefriends with a few intellectuals in Kunming. One day, Ai Wu and one of thegroup met a young poet who was also a university student:Zhou suddenly pointed at a young man a few yards away from us, hewas dressed in western clothes . . . Zhou proceeded to introduce us.Perhaps the introduction was too casual, Mei showed no sign offriendliness. I also kept my pride as a worker and refused toapproach him to shake hands. (28)6With the sensitivity of someone who had fallen below his social status, AiWu was acutely and painfully aware of any slight directed towards himpersonally. This class self-consciousness in the young Ai Wu ironicallymarked him as an outsider to the lower classes, people he often portraysas peasants and labourers with a coarser and more earthy nature. Caughtbetween different social classes, Ai Wu was comfortable with neither andthis predicament encouraged his enthusiasm for the forging of a classlesssociety.Ai Wu’s meticulous and critical attention to the social habits andrelationships of the people in Kunming reminds the readers of Lu Xun’sshort stories of traditional villages in China. In “A Q Zhengzhuan” (“TheTrue Story of A Q” 1921), Lu Xun satirizes the village in which A Q lives aswell as A Q himself. A Q’s ignorance and constant dread of losing face arethe running jokes of the short story. When beaten by his employers, hecomforts himself by pretending that he is really beaten by his son, and hewould ask rhetorically: “What is the world coming to?” Unhappy that hehas lost face, he bullies a defenceless nun who is passing by. The more the183village crowd encourages him, the more lewd his taunts become. But A Qis a reflection of his environment. His social betters behave with hypocrisyand arrogance. They are shown to be greedy and equally ignorant. Theydiscipline their servants by corporal punishment and dismiss them at theslightest mishap. In Lu Xun’s despairing moments, he feels that Chinesesociety needs some earthshaking events to awaken it to change: “Unlesssome great whip lashes her on the back, China will never budge. Such awhip is bound to come . . . “(Lu Xun, Sl1ecLWriting 29-37, qtd. inHerdan 16). This view of China as backward and unchanging of coursereinforces the western notion that Chinese civilization has had its days ofglory. But the difference between these two views of a decayed China isinsurmountable. Lu Xun was a revolutionary; he believed that China couldbe and should be reformed. He eventually joined the Chinese CommunistParty, although Lu Xun was never a blind follower of party discipline andremained individualistic. The CCP advocated genuine and radical reformsof the society, while the Guomindang, under the leadership of Chiang Kaishek, “had feet of clay . . . its leaders appeared less interested in revolutionthan in power” (Harriet C. Mills 209). On the literary front, Lu Xun wasactive in the establishment of the League of Left-Wing Writers in 1930(213). The western powers, on the other hand, encouraged by the lack ofresistance shown by successive weak Chinese governments since the1830s, believed that China was theirs for easy exploitation.Lu Xun’s influence on Ai Wu and the general respect he commandedare best illustrated in Lu Xun’s response to a letter written by the youngerwriter searching for advice. Lu Xun believes that the role of the writer isthat of a resistance fighter. He encourages Ai Wu and his friend to write,but says that they must choose their materials with careful consideration184and investigate the topics with depth (Ai Wu, Selected Witinga 227-9;Anderson 43-4). As a footnote to Ai Wu’s connection with Lu Xun, Ai Wuwas arrested for political activities by Guomindang agents in 1933. Lu Xundonated funds for the hiring of a defence lawyer for Ai Wu’s trial (Ai Wu,SIetLWritings 272).Ai Wu’s criticism of Chinese society as exemplified by the city ofKunming has a didactic purpose. Like Lu Xun, he did not owe allegiance tothe hierarchical orders of the past. By his action, he had shown that hewanted to practice what some of the new intellectuals preached. He couldtruly turn his back on the traditions of China and try to learn from lifeexperience. But the autobiographical record of his first years of wanderingalso shows a China which was vastly different from the westernizedShanghai. Instead of art-deco buildings and neo-classical banks, Kunminghad narrow lanes and courtyard houses. Instead of a mixture ofnationalities, Kunming had one atheist school teacher, a Mr. Parker, whotried to impart to the Chinese in Yunnan the meaning of Shakespeare’slulius Caesar (My Youth 50-1). One of Ai Wu’s favourite errands was todeliver letters to areas out of town:Whenever I was sent off to some distant street outside the southgate, I would go happily to the noodle shops frequented by coolies.White towels always hung between the tables, because the usedchopsticks were never washed, but were simply replaced in thebamboo container on the table. Customers were expected to wipeused chopsticks on these napkins before eating . . . I didn’t mind [thelack of hygiene] . . . The fastidiousness regarding hygiene when I wasa student, the aversion to anything filthy, these habits were allnaturally a thing of the past. (39-40)7185For Ai Wu, Yunnan was the old China but he adapted to its customs easily.It was neither exotic nor repugnant. The lack of condescension towards adifferent and presumably worse milieu was an attitude which Westernerscould seldom adopt. In Somerset Maugham’s On a Chinese Screen (1922),non-Chinese stranded in outposts, either as missionaries or traderepresentatives, usually hate their surroundings and try to insulatethemselves against the “lying people, untrustworthy, cruel, and dirty . . .“(27) by creating a make-believe world reminiscent of Cheltenham orTunbridge Wells.Ai Wu had no need of such fantasy. No doubt he would have liked toreform this feudalistic society, to see the fortune of landlords such as Homore evenly distributed and to institute better systems of education andpublic health. But he never intimated that he would like to see Chinawesternized. In this, Ai Wu was like other radical Chinese intellectualswho also received some form of western education--Zhou Enlai in Europe,Ba Jin and Wang Duqing in Paris, Mao Dun through his translation ofwestern literature, to name just a few. Ai Wu turned his knowledge topractical use for a changing China.186Life As a Sahib or a Dog in BurmaIn 1927, Ai Wu felt that he could learn nothing more from labouringin Kunming. He met a young man who had been to Annarn, whosedescription of the tropical weather and landscape of Southeast Asiarenewed Ai Wu’s interest in travelling south (My Youth 67). Burma wasdirectly south of Yunnan, and Ai Wu, in March, 1927, with a new strawhat, his books and a little money given to him by a friend, started hisjourney. His record of his three years in Southeast Asia is in the form ofshort essays which were published both as a collection (1935) and asarticles for newspapers (Ai Wu, WanderingSk1cJies 1). Ai Wu travelledon foot, and since he had limited funds, he worked whenever he could onthe way.The district of Burmese Tenasserim was colonized by Britain in the1820s. In the mid-1850s, the British annexed the province of Pegu underthe “imperialistic policy of Dalhousie [whose] ambition was to create alarger and integrated Indian Empire for his nation. The possession ofLower Burma would link the whole British coast-line up to Singapore”(Desai 197). In 1885, the British army took Upper Burma andadministered the unified colony as a province of British India. In theDecember 26, 1885 issue of The London Illustrated Nws, readers werereminded of “the material advantages which the possession of UpperBurmah and the Shan country may afford, by the extended cultivation ofprofitable crops, and by the opening of an inland traffic with the IndoChinese nations and the western provinces of China” (London IllustratedNews 1885.2: 667-8).187One of the British civil servants working in Burma in the 1920s and30s was Maurice Collis, an Anglo-Irish writer who wrote extensively aboutBurma after he left the Indian Civil Service. He was more sensitive thanhis fellow ‘sahibs’ to the ancient cultures of the various states which madeup British Burma, and at the end of his tenure became an avid collector ofartifacts from Burma and China. In his autobiography, he tries to give afair assessment of the British administration in Burma, with its follies andfoibles as well as its achievements. Collis was aware that the prevalentpractice of racial prejudices was unfair. “In 1928,” he writes in J.ntQHidden Burma: “[tjhere was . . . a growing irritation at British exclusiveness.The Burmese were treated as an inferior race; though the law wassupposed to be the same for all, it was interpreted to favour the British”(165). He came under severe criticism himself from the colonialcommunity when in the chair of trial judge he reprimanded an Englishmanfor his actions “[whichj showed an extraordinary insensibility to theproprieties of ordinary human intercourse” (177). The Englishman,suspecting his servant of stealing, persecuted the young man to such adegree that the Burmese jumped out of a high window and killed himself.But in spite of his sympathy with the Burmese culture and attempts at fairplay, Collis shows that, intrinsically, he was an outsider passing judgementon an alien culture.Posted briefly to Mandalay in 1920, Collis visited the Arakan pagodawhich “houses the colossal image of Buddha which was carried away fromArakan in 1784” (Into Hidden Burma 55). This was sacred ground to theBurmese, and after the First World War, with rising anti-colonialsentiments:188pagoda trustees in the principal places had . . . begun to put upnotices prohibiting shoes. It was foreseen that the British wouldrefuse to take off their shoes . . . . The new rule caused some illfeeling in British circles because strolling on pagoda platforms .had always been a favourite pastime. (56)When Collis visited the Arakan pagoda, there was a notice ‘foot wearingprohibited’ up at the entrance. Illogically, Collis thought that theinterdiction did not apply to him. He was chastised by a monk, and wasallowed to stay by virtue of his official position. In front of the shrine, theBurmese accompanying Collis fell to their knees in prayer:I alone remained standing, a conspicuous figure with my shoes on. Itsuddenly struck me that I was committing a rudeness . . . I grewmore uncomfortable and felt like an outsider, or worse, like anoppressor who was taking advantage of his office. (57)An Englishman visiting the same pagoda in 1988, to show that heharboured none of the bias of the colonial period, remarked on Collis’sreluctance to shed his footwear. This post-independence English travellerreassures his readers that “it was easy for me to kick off my Mandalaysandals . . .“ (Abbott 73), thus employing a frequent tactic of contemporarytravel writing to highlight the cultural flexibility of the narrator. Themodern commentator derides previous travellers and participates in localcustoms.Less interested in cultivating the people or the customs of Burmawas Somerset Maugham, who visited Upper Burma in 1922. He travelledvery much in the grand colonial style of Isabella Bird. In the village ofTaunggyi, “the British Resident found him mules and ponies, a Gurkha boy,and an interpreter named Kyuzaw. [Maugham] set out . . . riding at the189head of his caravan like a minor Oriental potentate . . .“ (Morgan 264).Maugham begins his travel narrative of this journey, The Gentleman in theParlour (1930), with the disclaimer that it is not a bOok of information butone of diversion (8). Though he maintains that he is not writing a recordof the Empire, he nonetheless parades the ghosts of Clive, Hastings andRaffles through the early pages, lest anyone should forget that “Burmah”belongs to Britain.The daily routines of Maugham’s journey were also evidence, moreconcrete than the ghosts of Hastings or Clive, of the colonial overlordship ofBritain. Treated as if he were minor royalty, Maugham would wake eachmorning in some bungalow reserved exclusively for the whites who visitedthe interior. While his Yunnanese muleteers got the packing ready, the“Ghurka [sic] boy . . . brought me my tea and took down my mosquitocurtains. I drank the tea and smoked the first delicious cigarette of theday” (Gentleman 58). Each evening, the headman and his attendants of thevillage Maugham was stopping at would wait to greet him: “When Iapproached they went down on their haunches” (48) and shikoed (a lowbowing with hands on the floor). The villagers would offer the white manrice, or flowers, or whatever they could to show their respect. In the ShanState, the native nobleman (the Sawbwa) had ordered houses to be builtfor Maugham on the way: “I felt very grand to have a house built for me tospend a single night in” (89). However, this royal treatment inevitablyprovided the traveller the opportunity to abuse his power:One day, the letter sent out ahead to arrange accommodation havingbeen received but that morning, on arriving at the end of the stage Ifound the villagers . . . still busy with the construction of my house190• . . I was tired and hungry. I wanted a cook-house so that my dinnercould be prepared, and I wanted a place for my bed so that I couldlie down and rest. I lost my temper and my commonsense. I sentfor the Sawbwa’s official and abused him roundly for his slackness.vowed I would send him back to his master and threatened him withevery sort of punishment my angry imagination could devise .(90)Maugham laughs about this incident in his book. But one is left wonderinghow humiliated the Shan official must have felt and how he must havedreaded the reprimand waiting for him from his superior.George Orwell was an official in the police force in Burma at the sametime Collis was in the civil service. Orwell wrote a novel, Burmese Days(1934), which gives a fairly detailed account of the colonial life in theBurmese outpost. Like another colonialist, Leonard Woolf, Orwell did notenjoy the career of serving an imperialist government, and Burmese Dayshas its share of vitriolic comments and portrayals of the indolent, drunk,lewd and bigoted crowd of white people in the village of Kyauktada. Inthe late 1920s, when the events in this novel take place, Burmesenationalism was gaining momentum and a series of riots broke out in1930, with “the sentiment of ‘Burma for the Burmans’ [becoming] morewide-spread . . •“ (Desai 256-7). In Burmese Days, the crisis involves notthe simmering unrest of the indigenous people, but the directive fromabove that the white-only club of Kyauktada has to nominally admit onenon-white member. The Indian doctor Veraswami, in whose eyes thesahibs could do no wrong, wishes to become the token native member ofthe club. The corrupt and most wealthy Burmese of the village plots forthe same end. In the meantime, invectives such as “greasy little sod of anigger doctor” or “you beggars keep your place!” are interchanged with a191native woman’s whining for money from her bored white lover or themutterings of a lazy servant.Though Burmese Days has the tone of anti-imperialism, it has littleelse which would give the reader an insight into the non-white Burmesesociety. It is against the British rule, but it speaks contemptuously of theBurmans, the Indians and the Chinese as well. Both Collis and Orwellworked in Burma, yet neither of them could penetrate or represent theBurmese world effectively, either because of a lack of communication or alack of empathy. In Burmese Days, Orwell’s main character Flory isdespised as a Burmese-sympathiser, and Orwell writes: “He had forgottenthat most people can be at ease in a foreign country only when they aredisparaging the inhabitants” (121). But this need to disparage seemsevident in the author’s own characterizations of the natives as well.So far in this study, the travellers I have studied in depth ormentioned in passing have been European and from the middle-class.Isabella Bird and Max Dauthendey were only passing through SoutheastAsia, just as Maugham was. British expatriates such as Orwell and Collisshould, one assumes, be ensured a wider knowledge of the country theylived and worked in. But the degree of understanding and the ability toempathize with other cultures are consistently uneven and at timescontradictory in these writers. Except for Orwell, and Collis to a lesserextent, none of the Europeans could communicate directly with theJavanese, the Burmese, the Malays or the Chinese. None of these writerscould read the literature, or even the newspapers of the Asian places theywere visiting. As mentioned in the first chapter of this thesis, theseEuropeans evaluated Asian peoples usually through visual perceptions(appearance, body language, physical environment) and through other192sensory perceptions such as smell (cooking) and noise (incomprehensiblelanguages, throat-clearing). The built environment of their western‘worlds’ inside the various Asian societies acted as a screen through whichthe Europeans could obtain only glimpses of the people they colonized orexploited.Ai Wu is the only traveller in this study who had recognized thatcross-cultural communication involved some level of understanding of theother’s language. Unlike the western nations, who legislated the languageswhich were officially used in the colonies, the Chinese and other Asiannationalities were placed in the inferior position of having to learn thecolonizers’ languages as a life skill. Although China was not colonized, AiWu realised that, at least in parts of the country, English was a language ofpower. He grew up away from the major Chinese cities where English wastaught, but he tried to learn the language at night while working as ajanitor in Kunming. In Burma, Ai Wu learnt enough Burmese tocommunicate adequately and to find work. His inferior social positionmeant that there was no question of hiring an interpreter, or a retinue ofcarriers and servants. Thus Ai Wu, travelling with a small knapsack ofbooks and one change of clothing, saw a Burma which the Westernersignored. He recorded the seedy local inns, the Yunnanese muleteers whowere for hire for wealthy travellers, a nun who tried to convert him, anopium smuggler who operated from the border between China and Burma.At an inn in the Kachin mountains straddling the China-Burmaborder, Ai Wu met people from the Kachin tribe for the first time. Headmits that their blood-red mouths from betel-chewing unsettled him, butis nonetheless reassured by the innkeeper (WanderingSketches 88).Later, Ai Wu had occasion to visit and eat with Kachins, and realised how193deceptive appearance could be: “After the other traveller explained to me,I used my fingers to scoop up [the food] . . . it was quite delicious. Whenwe ate, there was no table, no chair. We sat on the floor like beggars” (93).But he thought the meal was memorable all the same. In the chapter, “TheHome of Kachin People,” Ai Wu describes the Kachins’ preference for livingin high altitudes and the simplicity of their huts. Visitors sat on the floor,as was the custom with most Burmese: “The floor was really made ofbamboo poles held together. One could hear the noises of the fowls andthe piglets, and smell the livestock coming through the cracks” (108-9). AiWu was not predisposed to think of such living arrangements in terms ofVictorian sanitary standards and he was neither repelled nor concerned.In contrast, Isabella Bird regarded the Malay housing in The GoldenChersonese. as deficient in hygiene. However, he adds in “Home of KachinPeople,” that next to the huts is a missionary school, from which emergesthe voices of Kachin children reciting their catechism. He feels theincongruity of the mixing of the two cultures and drily observes that thisschool “was producing in quantity future Soldier and Servant” (Wandering110), using the English words ‘soldier’ and ‘servant’ in the text, bothshowing his knowledge of English and emphasizing the power relation ofmissionary pedagogyAfter trying at several places to find employment in Upper Burma,including a missionary school, Al Wu was hired by an innkeeper as anassistant. His work consisted of cleaning the floor of dirt, making the beds,pouring water for the guests, tidying the stable and changing the straw,getting water from the river for the inn; all these chores had to beperformed before lunch (105-6). He was also responsible for waiting ontables at meal times, and for tutoring the innkeeper’s children in the194afternoon. As one critic writes: “. . . Ai Wu’s accounts of his Burmesejourney do not give an aura of romantic exotica” (Leo Ou-fan Lee, “Solitary”301). Other critics have stressed his sympathy for the working andoppressed classes (Zhang 62-70, Ai Wu, Selected Writings 246-8). C. T.Hsia in A History of Modern Chinese Fiction dismisses writers who hadchosen the ideology of the CCP as gullible dupes of the Communist doctrinewho betrayed “a want of intelligence, the kind of intelligence essential tothe creation of a mature literature” (280). Of Ai Wu, “praised byCommunist critics,” Hsia is unconvinced that the writer has “any distinctivetalent” (315). But it would be unfair to read these early essays of Ai Wu asproletarian literature which glorifies the workers in propagandistic clichés.Ai Wu is not an intellectual who writes without real experience aboutdeplorable living condition and social oppression. Leo Ou-fan Lee, a criticwho is partial to C. T. Hsia’s history of modern Chinese literature,nonetheless defends Ai Wu’s early writings: “. . . as [Ai Wu] looks for workfrom place to place he is also victimized by the small shop-owners,innkeepers . . . In addition, the Burmese people who take advantage of himare themselves dominated by their overlords . . .“ (“Solitary” 300). In spiteof the negative views of some literary critics, we can still appreciate thatAi Wu’s sympathy for the people of lower classes was genuine, and that incontrast to the European travel writers, his writing provides a voice for theethnic groups and classes of people who were not represented in westerntravel narrative.Just as he did during his years in Kunming, Ai Wu met both callousand kind people in Burma, as he reminisces in an 1978 essay “My Years inRangoon” (ALWu wen chi 421-39). He recalls how he arrived in Rangoonvirtually penniless and very ill in 1927. The innkeeper sent him off to the195hospital, where he was swindled by a Chinese pretending to be a hospitalemployee: “I had never been inside a hospital, or even seen a hospitalso I gave him what money I had . . . After I was dismissed, the Chinesewho took my money was nowhere to be seen” (421). When Ai Wu wastaken back to the inn, the innkeeper had already put his pack ofbelongings on the curb. Too sick to protest, Ai Wu sat down on thedoorsteps: “I didn’t feel any sadness, nor pain. I oniy felt I was a piece ofgarbage . . •“ (422). Eventually, Ai Wu was taken in and became a sort ofdomestic to a Chinese scholar-monk in Rangoon. Ai Wu also mentions thisepisode in Wandering Sketches, and there seems to be a lack ofpartisanship in his descriptions, in both the 1978 essay and his travelnarratives written in the 1930s, towards the various ethnic groups--callous Burmese innkeeper, Indian rickshaw driver, kindly Burmesepasserby, Chinese swindler and Chinese scholar.Ai Wu was hardly ever in contact with people of the middle- orupper-classes, Asian or European; he writes of milieu and people he knew.Isabella Bird writes about ethnic scenes, but mainly from an observationpoint, as if from a pulpit, elevated by her social position and herevangelical highmindedness. Max Dauthendey sees ethnic groups incolourful impressions of shades and shapes, since he has neither occasionnor inclination to socialize with them. But Ai Wu, as an Asian and amember of the working class, takes his inspiration from interactions withother ethnic groups.196Invocations of China AbroadIn September, 1927, Ai Wu decided he would leave Bhamo, Burmaand travel by boat down the Irrawaddy to Mandalay. His description ofhis last evening in Bhamo is lyrical and evocative, which belies C. T. Hsia’sharsh criticism of Ai Wu’s writing:When I woke up in the early morning, the house was wet fromautumn rain; I felt lethargic . . . I vaguely thought back to lastevening, as I sat alone at a quiet coffee shop by the river. I leanedagainst the window, gazing at the water faintly illuminated by themoon. I sipped my tea with milk slowly, pretending I was enjoying aglass of port. Opposite the coffee shop lived a Burmese family; thelight from the window shone red through the crimson curtains,amidst the dark deep shadows of the coconut trees, weaving acolourful brocade of roses. Someone inside was playing the hujin . .(WanderingSketches 117)8The passage is reminiscent of traditional Chinese landscape painting, whichoften depicts a lonely scholar composing poetry by a stream, with thereflection of the moon shimmering on the water. Ai Wu’s quotation of aline from a classical Chinese poem by the Tang dynasty poet, Du Mu,confirms this interpretation.9 This section will look at the presence ofChina in Ai Wu’s travel sketches and compare it to the evocation ofhomeland in another Chinese traveller’s writing. This comparison willshow that a voluntary exile can write under less constraint than one whohas to acculturate.Travelling with other non-Europeans--Burmans, Indians, Thais,Kachins--Ai Wu sat opposite to an Indian who reminded him of DavidCopperfield’s stepfather, Mr. Murdstone (119). Further on in the same197essay, Ai Wu describes how a tall and impressive looking Sikh teases aYunnanese child, and is in turn amused by the child’s expression ofsurprise. The whole passage is written with simplicity, vividness and afine attention to detail. It has no overt message and makes no attempt topresent an exotic picture of some foreign ethnic group. But at the end ofthe essay, as the boat berths in Katha, Ai Wu laments that all the porterswho are vying for business on the quay are either Burmese or Chinese, asign of the social condition of peoples dominated by stronger nations fromthe West. This is an instance when Ai Wu interjects social comments ineven his most lyrical and objectively written narratives, but this strategycreates a stylistic tension which makes the reader aware of the social andracial tensions which have always existed in colonial societies.Nor was Ai Wu unaware of the paradox inherent in a Burmaefficiently modernized by the colonial power. He remembers a discussionwith some other young men on the subject of colonization, and the othersexpressed their view that western colonization had improved Burma,although it was a humiliating experience for the people. “Seeing the citiesand streets in Burma,” Ai Wu admits reluctantly: “I have to agree withthem” (Wandering 127). But Ai Wu immediately rescinds this grudgingacceptance of colonization:• . the greatest goal of the capitalistic imperialists is to promotetheir goods and to collect raw materials. But when it comes to theimprovement of agriculture, upon which twelve million peopledepend for their livelihood, [the government] pays little attention • •(127)10198This summation echoes what W.S. Desai, a historian who is generally nottoo critical of British colonial history, has to say about the establishment ofBritish rule in Burma:Under the British the face of Burma began to change rapidly fromwhat it had been under the kings. The British speedily began tobuild roads, bridges and railways. The River Irrawaddy began todevelop into a greater highway than ever before. The Britishestablished the rule of law in the country . . . Hospitals and schoolsbegan to be established . . . But it should be remembered that foreignrule must necessarily mean exploitation of the resources of thecountry very much in favour of the ruler. Foreign rule also tends tocreate among the ruled a spirit of dependence, a slavish mentality,and an inferiority complex. The subject race is taught that it is aninferior race, wanting in initiative. The benefits conferred by foreignrule are considered by many to be hardly a compensation for thismoral loss. (Desai 248)Maurice Collis, magistrate and civil servant of the British government,offers a liberal point of view which is quite similar to Desai’s on the rule oflaw in Burma: “The Burmese were treated as an inferior race; though thelaw was supposed to be the same for all, it was interpreted to favour theBritish” (165). All three are agreed on the inherent unjust condition ofcolonial governments.The last essays in Wandering Sketches increase in political stridency,as Ai Wu became actively involved with the Communist Party in Rangoon,and published anti-colonial articles in a Rangoon newspaper for overseasChinese, The Rangoon Daily, with slogans such as “Burmese, Chinese, let usjoin together and bring down the British imperialistic rule” (Zhang 36). OnDecember 22, 1930, the Tharrawaddy Rebellion broke out, a rebellioninvolving not the intellectual class, but the farmers and the labourers of199Burma (Collis 192-5). Ai Wu and several other Chinese friends wrotesympathetically of the rebellion and were arrested by the government asagitators and deported from British Southeast Asia.The last stop of Ai Wu’s wandering in Southeast Asia was Hong Kong.A careful analysis of the brief sketch, “One Night in Hong Kong,” will yieldan instructive comparison with Bird’s narrative of the island-colony.British and Chinese records represent two opposing impressions of thesame island. The title of Ai Wu’s essay is romantic, but it is also broadlyironic in Chinese, since the word Hong means ‘fragrant’ or ‘perfumed’,11and Ai Wu’s experience was less than salubrious. The Chinese politicalprisoners were originally promised that their last stop before embarkingon a ship for Xiamen, China would be spent in freedom. Instead, they wereimprisoned overnight and never saw the city. Ai Wu writes joyfully of hisexpectation to see the colony, which he calls the little daughter of China(Wandering 165). His first sight of Hong Kong is generic of traveldescriptions of the Peak: “As the ship neared . . . it was dusk and rainingslightly. The hillside was all alight, just like a young girl bedecked withjewels . . .“(165). Al Wu’s metaphors for Hong Kong are disturbinglypossessive; he speaks of a young bride, a lovely young girl, and a betrayedlover. They chime uncomfortably with the colonial rhetoric of possession,domination and submission. Nowhere in his narrative on Yunnan or Burmadoes Ai Wu employ such verbal flights of fancy, and this stylistic deviationhighlights the political wrangle involved in the history of Hong Kong, fromthe signing of the Treaty of Nanjing in 1842 to this day, when the islandwill once more be part of China in 1997. As his choice of metaphorsindicates, in Ai Wu’s sketch Hong Kong is seen not only as a British colony,as Burma was, but as property stolen from the Chinese.200Al Wu and his fellow prisoners spent a night in gaol, a small space inwhich several other inmates were already incarcerated. There was nosanitary facility except a bucket for human waste, a feature to which AiWu refers specifically. The only perfume (the hong in Hong Kong) Ai Wuexperienced was the non-perfume from the over-flowing waste bucket(Wandering 167). Ai Wu is explicitly crude in this sketch, a farewell essayto his journey in Southeast Asia, a written testimony to the imposition ofcolonial rule. After the initial description of the island, the essay is filledwith jingoistic sentiments, a Chinese reverse copy of Bird’s cliché-riddenpaean to the enlightened governing of Hong Kong by the British (TheGolden Chersonese 38-41). Unlike Bird, who dwells on the luxuries ofEnglish civilisation and princely mansions, Ai Wu writes only of the prisondungeon and the waste bucket. Instead of being waited on by Chinesedomestic servants, Ai Wu and his inmates are guarded by Indians. Insteadof rubbing shoulders with the wealthy foreign residents, Ai Wu calls them“foreign devils,” or “red-haired devils” (Wandering 166), servants ofimperialism, pigs and dogs without gratitude (167). The sketch does notprovide an overall picture of Hong Kong as a city. Like other articleswritten about the colony by May Fourth writers, such as Lu Xun and WangDuqing (Lu Xun, Selected Writings 411-18), it presents Hong Kong as apolitical pawn between China’s struggle to reclaim sovereignty andBritain’s colonial policy to safeguard Hong Kong as the “emporium ofcommerce” (Bird, Golden 40). “One Night in Hong Kong” contains coarselanguage which, given the provocation Ai Wu had to endure, is justified.It also shows that not only Europeans, but also Chinese, resort to politicalrhetoric and clichés in order to underscore issues of nationalistic identityand rights. Furthermore, this sketch reminds the readers that to date, the201problems involving the political ownership of Hong Kong is still very muchunder discussion.Ai Wu’s awareness of and indignation at racial discrimination duringhis travels are echoed in other Chinese writings of experience abroad, forexample, in Wang Duqing’s My Life in Europe. Living in France ostensiblyas an exchange student, Wang worked most of the time as a cheaplabourer; the hoped-for funding never materialized. His autobiography isalso a social criticism of European treatment of the Chinese in the 1920s.In “Reminiscences of My Writing Life,” Ba Jin recalls his two years in Parisas essentially lonely and the small room he rented as “tomb-like” (SelectedFiction 4). Although Ba Jin was receptive of western ideas, his circle offriends was mainly other Chinese students and political dissidents. But notall May Fourth Chinese writers view European societies critically. In ZhuZiqing’s sketches of Venice, Lucerne or Amsterdam, European cities areportrayed as delightful, picturesque and charming (Zhu, Selected Writings).However, the most instructive contrast to Ai Wu’s WamkriiigSketches canbe found in Chiang Yee’s travel book on the Lake District in England.Chiang Yee came from a landowning family in the province of Jiangxi.He received a university education and later became a provincial governorin the late 1920s. A contemporary of Ai Wu, Chiang Yee enjoyed theprivileges which were denied to the former writer--a secure childhood inthe kind of family which Ai Wu worked for in Kunming, a universityeducation, a career. In 1933, having fallen into disfavour with thenationalist government of Chiang Kai-shek, Chiang Yee was advised byfriends to leave China: “On the French liner I spent thirty-three dayshardly uttering a word . . .“ (Chiang, China Revisited 34). Not proficient in202English, Chiang Yee thought of the name “the silent traveller” when he wasfirst approached to write a travel book, to indicate both his separationfrom the English people because of linguistic (and racial) difference and hisown contemplative way of seeing. Ironically, the publisher initiallyobjected to “the silent traveller” idea, “in case it might induce inquiriesfrom Scotland Yard: Why does a Chinaman want to walk silently? ManyEnglish people at the time had not forgotten about Dr. Fu Man Chu,” recallsChiang Yee, who was aware of the crudely-drawn Chinese villain inpopular literature (China Revisited 39-40). In spite of this bit of racialstereotyping, he went on to write in English a series of Silent Travellerbooks.Chiang Yee’s first book is TheSilent Traveller: A Chinese Artist inLakeland (1937). Ostensibly it is about his experience of the Lake District,but it becomes a vehicle for Chiang Yee’s reminiscences of the beautifulscenery of the lakes and the famous Lu Mountain in his home province.Chiang Yee provides brush drawings of Wastwater, Wasdale Head andDerwentwater with accompanying poems written in beautiful Chinesecalligraphy, in the style of traditional Chinese landscape paintings. It is astrangely effective co-production of western landscape and Chinese art.Although the book sold quite well, the publisher had serious misgivings atfirst printing, and (Sir) Herbert Read, the literary and art critic, writes withreservation in his “Preface”: “. . . Mr. Chiang, who is a poet as well as apainter, has dared to enter our national shrine [of English landscape] and toworship there in his own way” (Chiang, Lake “Preface”). Unlike Ai Wu,who was ready to reform the country, Chiang Yee was an exile who did notfeel optimistic about a China capable of reform at the time. His writing is anostalgic reflection of a China he knew in the past; Ai Wu’s is a critique of203a China and a colonized Burma of the present and a hope for the future.Unconcerned with diplomacy or courtesy, Ai Wu’s Wandering Sketches areopenly offensive about Westerners. Mindful of the host country and hisown identity as a Chinese who might be seen as a “Dr. Fu Man Chu,” ChiangYee’s critical comments of social prejudices are subtly disguised. Thiscautiousness is well illustrated by an incident in Derwentwater. Havingmet another Chinese there, Chiang Yee suggested that they should go“boating under the moon,” a traditional Chinese pastime:We naturally made friends on the spot, and it was an intensepleasure to have a real conversation with someone at last; since I hadcome to the Lakes I had lived almost dumbly . . . . When the friendand I had met at the landing-stage, we hired a boat and set out. Myfriend rowed first, but in the Chinese manner, which was the exactopposite of the Western way--forwards instead of backwards. Thepeople on the lake side laughed derisively and shouted at him, andcompelled us for our own peace to change the method. I myself hadthe impression that though the Western way may be speedier andmore scientific, there is something poetic and appreciative in theChinese one . . . . (Lake 43)Chiang Yee is aware that the two Chinese are objects of curiosity andderision, but his only rebuttal is to suggest that the Chinese way of rowing,albeit different, also has its merits.Chiang Yee’s “daring” foray into what Herbert Read calls “the veryholy of holies of our nature poets” (Lake “Preface”) is a valiant attempt tointroduce Chinese culture, poetry and art to a wide English reading public.But using the words of Linda Nochlin on paintings of “the ImaginaryOrient” (Politics of Vision 35), there are absences in Chiang Yee’slandscapes of the Lake District. There is overall a total absence ofEnglishness. Chiang Yee’s drawings sinologize views of Grasmere, or204Crummockwater, by using large expanse of white space, denoting sky andwater in Chinese landscape paintings, by using traditional brushwork fordepicting pines, and by Chinese calligraphy. But Chiang Yee realizes thathis method of representation would need explaining: “I treated [thepainting] entirely in Chinese manner with our own media . . Our style ofpainting inclines to bring out the subjective mood . . . but does not imposea stringent law on representation” (Lake 11). One concludes that apartfrom technique and media, it is Chiang Yee’s interpretation, and specificallyhis non-English interpretation, of the Lake District scenery, which makeshis records Chinese:Keeping on my way, I came upon the double peak of Middle Fell;suddenly I felt a wave of familiarity--its form had great resemblancewith the “Shuang-Chien Feng” (Double-Sword Peak) of Lu Mountainin my native city. For the moment I felt a little homesick. (11)Or later in Rydal Water:The hills round this piece of water were as beautiful as any to befound in the whole Lake District, but the lake itself was very smallindeed . . . I wished there might have been large clumps of lotus orwater-lily planted here, too . . . . (58)And though Chiang Yee invokes Thomas de Quincey and Wordsworth in theintroduction, one suspects the editor’s decision to ease the reader into thisChinese narrative to play a role. Nowhere is there a whiff of EnglishRomanticism, or Ruskinian aestheticism. Yet one can also read AChineseArtist in Lakeland as a narrative which counteracts the overwhelminglycomplacent and Eurocentric tradition which engulfed Chiang Yee. In ChinaRevisited After Forty-Two Years, he recalls the day when the Chinese flagwas raised for the first time in London:205China had long been looked down on by Western eyes and therewere never good words for her in the newspapers. The raising of theChinese flags was regarded as a most unusual event . . . I especiallywent down to London to walk about near the Chinese flag allmorning and afternoon like a young child. (43)There is, within this context, some validity in thinking of Chiang Yee’s textas an “autoethnographic” text, constructed “in response to or in dialoguewith those metropolitan representations” (Pratt 7). Unlike some westernpaintings of Asian subjects, for example the drawings of Auguste Borget, inwhich Chinese scenes are rendered in the style of Constable or ClaudeLorrain as a matter of course, Chiang Yee’s strategy, as his writingindicates, is intentional, as a counter-discourse against the dominantculture surrounding him. Like Ai Wu, he is raising the Chinese flag. Butunlike Ai Wu, who could express himself as a Chinese subject in China,Chiang Yee had to be circumspect as a political exile in England. Similarly,European orientalist writing of China has its audience in Europe, whichwould not be the case inside China. The survival and circulation of certaintypes of representation obviously depend on a friendly social and politicalcontext.206We Are Not One Big Happy FamilyChiang Yee and all ‘Chinamen’ might remind the English of Dr. Fu ManChu. However, contrary to this assumption, even among the Chinese thereare differences, sometimes subtle, sometimes obvious, between people whospeak mutually unintelligible dialects (Cantonese and Shanghainese) orwho come from vastly contrasting places (Guangzhou and Haerbin). AChinese traveller from Hong Kong in the 1950s was thought to be aforeigner in Haerbin because the people who grew up there after theSecond World War had seldom seen a Chinese dressed in a pinstriped suitand an overcoat.’2 Chiang Yee recalls that his grandfather forbade anyonein the family to mention the Manchus who had overthrown the Mingdynasty in 1643 (Chinese Childhood 27), and always dressed his hair in atopknot instead of the braid decreed by the Manchu government. Amongthe ethnic groups in China, Han was and still is the predominant group. Inthe late 1950s, in the midst of reform fervour, Zhou Enlai had to warnagainst “great-Han chauvinism” regarding other ethnic Chinese (Han Suyin269). Yet for hundreds of years, the common western image of Chinesepeople has been one of monolithic sameness.To Ai Wu, the peoples in Burma were not all the same. He realized,from conversations with Yunnan Chinese who lived at the Burma-Chinaborder, that the Kachins had a separate identity from the Shans and theBurmans. But Ai Wu’s non-Asian characterizations are sometimes lesssympathetically drawn. In his collection of semi-autobiographical stories,Nan xingJ (To the South 1935), the non-Asians are mainly the Britishofficial-types who despised and dominated the Asians in Burma. They are207not individuals, but stereotypes of the vulgar and bullying white man, asexemplified by the customer at a Burmese inn looking for “a girl”:This English gentleman sniffed down his long and sharp nose. But inhis drunken bleary eye, he could discern that [she] was not prettyenough. He snorted, “No,” and looked up with disappointment. Thenhe hummed softly, “Where is she? My sweet girl . . .[He] grasped my shoulders and shook me, laughing coarsely,and I could smell his strong alcoholic breath. (Nanxiugji 84)13But when Ai Wu writes as a less ideologically biased observer, he showsthat his perception of non-Asians can be as differentiated as his treatmentof the Asian ethnic groups.In Rangoon, Ai Wu stayed for a while in a district inhabited mostlyby Indians who either worked for the government or taught at schools(Nan xingji 238). The monk for whom he was working was tutor to anEnglishman, a lecturer at the Rangoon University. Ai Wu briefly mentionsthat he was married to a Burmese student and had a colonial lifestyle, butmakes no critical comment on either the interracial marriage or thecolonial origin of the Englishman. Ai Wu’s other non-Asian social contactswere an Irishman and an American who lived in the neighbourhood. Ofthem he writes in some detail. The Irishman was unemployed and oftendrunk, but generally friendly. He would discuss with Ai Wu such issues associal injustice or the failure of his marriage. The Chinese writer admiresthe Irishman’s lack of pretentiousness, although Ai Wu suspects that“when he talks like this, he has been drinking, and every word is lacedwith alcohol” (240).But Ai Wu is more critical of the American. Instead of thecomfortable shabbiness of the Irishman, the American was always tidy,208never drank, and was always alert, as if he were saying: “I knoweverything, you can’t pull any wool over my eye” (240). Although he oftenvisited the flat where Ai Wu was staying, he seldom conversed with theChinese: “He likes to sit on the stoop of our door and smoke his cigarquietly . . . his little eyes looking keenly at the house across the street”(241). A Burmese father and daughter lived in this house on the secondfloor. She was about twenty-five years old and attractive. The American,in a rather obvious manner, used the doorstep of the Chinese as a lookout.Although the Burmese woman was aware of her admirer, she showed nointerest and stopped stepping out onto the balcony. The American’sbehaviour became a matter of jokes and gossip, and Ai Wu felt compelledone day to confront him:“Do you really like Asian women?”This question really pleased him. His expression brightened and hesmiled as he answered:“Yes, very much! Asian women are very beautiful!”Then he followed with a long piece which I did not understand .Then I asked him why he did not marry one.He looked at me with surprise and shook his head, smiling:“I would have to be a Moslem to marry an Asian woman!”I did not understand his meaning, and must have looked puzzled. Heexplained that a Moslem could have several wives while a Christiancould only marry one. (Nanxiugji 2423)14In this dialogue, two recognizable cultural stereotypes are intertwined andmisrepresented by the enamoured American--the exotic Oriental womanfor sale, a stereotype used by Dauthendey in his short story, and thebigamous Moslem. Being a Christian, the American could not commitbigamy, and his solution was to have mistresses in all the Asian cities hevisited. When Ai Wu accused him of already committing bigamy, he209claimed that these women were good for at most half a year. Deeplyoffended, Ai Wu told him that Asian women would not respect him for thisattitude. The outcome of the story was that the Burmese family movedaway because of this American’s persistent pursuit, a social snub whichsatisfied all the Asians in the neighbourhood. This episode provides anAsian response to the Eurocentric trope of ‘the oriental seductress’ which isso popular in exotic literature. In both Conrad and Somerset Maugham,Asian women are portrayed as beauties when young and harridans whenold. European men are advised to stay with women of their own races,while European men are considered a profitable ‘catch’ by the poor Asians.Ai Wu’s sketch reverses the situation as imagined by popular Europeanwriting, including libretti for operas such as Madama Butterfly. The non-Asian was despised for his unmannerly advances and the Burmese familymoved in order to avoid any unwanted attention. Although Ai Wu treatsthis episode satirically in his writing, his contempt and disapproval of thewhite man seem justified.Ai Wu’s lack of social contact with non-Asians during his three yearsin Burma confirms the kind of colonial social stratification so evident inboth Bird’s and Dauthendey’s travel writings. But the tendency togeneralize all colonial societies is easy in any analysis of colonial literature.This elision of differences is partially justified by the overall racial policywhich pitted Europeans versus non-Europeans. However, this positioncould give rise to a general blurring of perception, as one critic admits:“The content of French colonial ideology may have been distinct from thatof, say, the British or the Dutch, but its form and its consequences were notso clearly distinguishable” (Ross 4). I would suggest that one way ofdistinguishing the various colonial societies is to analyse the reactions of210the ruling members to their compatriots who have stepped out of linesocially by, for instance, attempting to befriend or love a native. In thissection, to further my contention that not only the Asian cultures, but thecolonial cultures are not homogeneous, I look at both personal records andfictional writings to compare Anglo-Malayan, Anglo-Burman and DutchIndian treatments of racially mixed relations. This investigation will alsoshow that the colonial cultures inevitably underwent a process ofacculturation which changed them from the home societies.In Joseph Conrad’s An Outcast of the Islands (1896), the Dutchclerk, Willems, belongs to the white marginal group, “the secondarytraders,” those who took up opportunities beneath the dignity of thedominant colonial class (Rex 208-9). His Eurasian wife is of Portuguesedescent. He has married her as a social strategy, since a Portuguese in theDutch Indies racial hierarchy was higher than a native. The Da Souzasdepend upon him: “That family’s admiration was the great luxury of hislife. It rounded and completed his existence in a perpetual assurance ofunquestionable superiority” (Outcast 13). Willems’s union with a Eurasianis not uncommon in Dutch Indies fiction. In P. A. Daum’s Ups and Downs ofLife in the Indies (1890), Eurasian women form the matriarchy of theplanters’ world. The ‘Indos’, as Dutch Eurasians were called (Beckman 21),though not ostracized by colonial society, nonetheless “lived in an entirelydifferent world” (21). Interracial relationships were not frowned upon,and legalized marriages were dictated by the religious belief of the nonEuropeans rather than race (Hellwig 31, Wittermans 83). Therefore, forexample, the servants of the Dutch East-India Company “were explicitlyallowed to marry non-Europeans provided they were Christians”(Wittermans 82-3). In Conrad’s Almayer’s Folly, Almayer’s Malay wife is a211converted Christian brought up in a convent. Although “real socialequality” was out of the question between ‘Indos’ and the Dutch (Heliwig26), “[t}he racial mixture, as such, was of less importance to the status,role, power, and life style of the individual Eurasian than the status of bothhis parents, and particularly his father, within the structure of the colonialsociety . . . “ (Wittermans 80).In the Anglo-Malayan and Anglo-Burmese societies, racial mixing ofa friendly or a sexual nature was consistently forbidden implicitly. As thewife of a deputy commissioner warned an innocent Civilian who took teawith a subordinate: “. . fraternizing with Indian officials was ‘absolutelynot done’: it would get him a bad name” (Dewey 203). The Rules andRegulations for the Information and Guidance of the Principal Officers andOthers in His Majesty’s Colonial Possessions (1837) contains guidelines forevery category of conduct except the sexual. One has to assume that theinterdiction against intermingling with non-Europeans was a social, not alegal, one, which nonetheless exerted tremendous pressure upon those whodesired not to conform. In Leonard Woolf’s autobiography of his Ceyloneseyears, Growing, he records that the division of race and caste was strictlyobserved in spite of clandestine sexual encounters between colonial menand native women. As Orwell’s miserable tree-planter, Flory, tries toexplain his betrayal of the anglophiliac Indian in Rurmese Days:There’s no law telling us to be beastly to Orientals--quite thecontrary. But--it’s just that one daren’t be loyal to an Oriental whenit means going against the others. It doesn’t do. If I’d stuck outagainst signing the notice I’d have been in disgrace at the Club for aweek or two. So I funked it, as usual. (151)212The European writers I have read also seem to “have funked it.” InConrad’s An Outcast of the Islands, Willems dies at the end in front of hisArab mistress. Conrad’s Jim, both a friend of a native and a lover ofanother, also pays with his life. Orwell’s Flory kills himself when he ispublicly disgraced by his Burmese mistress and rejected by his Englishlover. In Somerset Maugham’s short story, “The Letter,” Geoff Hammond iskilled by his English mistress when he tries to desert her for a Chinesewoman. And even as late as the 1950s, in post-independence Malaysia,the educator Crabbe, a compassionate and idealistic Englishman, isrewarded for all his tribulations by drowning (Burgess, The Long DayWanes). The general pattern seems to be that the writer, having createdsomeone who could function marginally in a non-European environment,cannot envision a viable life for him in a fully interracial society. And inthe Anglo-colonial world, the Eurasians, products of interracialrelationships, were treated differently than their counterparts in the DutchIndies society.In Louis Couperus’s The Hidden Force (1900), the resident’s first wifeis a Eurasian, and nowhere in the book is it mentioned that this marriage issocially unacceptable. His daughter is described as a “young girl with apale olive complexion that sometimes displayed a hint of a blush. She hadbeautiful black hair . . . “ (Couperus 50). Compare this mild reference toher less-than-total European background to Orwell’s unkind caricature ofthe two Portuguese Eurasians in Burmese Days:[One] was a meagre, excitable man, and as brown as a cigar-leaf,being the son of a South Indian woman . . . Both were dressed inshabby drill suits, with vast topis beneath which their slender bodieslooked like the stalks of toadstools. (123)213Unlike the semi-animal appearances of Orwell’s Eurasians, both the Dutchresident’s children are considered good-looking. Although the Dutch had astereotypical image of Eurasians as immoral and indolent, Dutch Eurasians,as Wittermans points out in “The Eurasians of Indonesia,” are still part ofthe racially mixed “Indisch” society (99). In a gradation of racialassumption, this Indisch society in turn “was considered passionatesensualists” by the pure Dutch (Beekman 20). When discussing the censusdata taken in Anglo-Malaya, John Butcher believes that the Europeanentries were possibly inaccurate, since Eurasians might have denied theirmixed racial background:There is evidence that some Malayan Eurasians were included asEuropeans because they were ashamed of stating their ethnicidentity. The case of the ‘Dutch’ Eurasians was somewhat different.In the Netherlands Indies, the distinction between Europeans andEurasians was not as clear as it was in the British colonial territories.(25)Eurasians in British colonial writings seldom achieve any social standing,and are often portrayed as cowardly or laughable, as opposed to the pukkasahibs. When Macaulay first arrived in India, his servant was a half-castewhom Macaulay describes with condescending merriment as a Catholicwho could “bully a negligent bearer, arrange a bed, and make a curry”(Trevelyan 372). “His name,” Macaulay continues, “which I never hearwithout laughing, is Peter Prim.” Conrad, whose Southeast Asian fictioncontains a mixture of Dutch Indies and British colonial prejudices,describes Willems’s Eurasian brother-in-law as a dark-skinned little manwith little feet who is awe-struck by his white brother-in-law (Outcaste13). In Maugham’s short story “The Yellow Streak,” the main character214Izzart lives in daily terror lest someone discovers that his mother is a“half-caste” (457). During an accident, instead of acting courageously likean honourable Englishman, he runs away and “behaved like a skunk”(475). The most disappointing portrayal I have come across, disappointingbecause the writer is J.I.M. Stewart, Reader in English Literature at Oxford,author of books on Conrad and Shakespeare, is Applehy on Ararat (1941),a book he wrote under the pseudonym of Michael Innes. In this detectivestory, the very pukka sahib sleuth partly solves the mystery byrecognizing the villain as a Eurasian, and not an Englishman: “He nevertakes those blue glasses off . . . . There was a sort of betwixt-andbetweenness about him, if you know what I mean . . . [Then I] found anopium pipe and what was certainly a tin of opium. That settled it” (Innes170-71). Innes’s mysteries are invariably learned and well-crafted. Thusit seems a pity that someone as well-qualified as Dr. Stewart would in1941 still resort to tired clichés such as an opium pipe or a shifty look toindicate that someone is not racially pure, and to cast him as an arch-villain.Whether villain or coward, seductress or adulterer, Eurasians areseen as something more dangerous than the unmixed natives, because theyhave the potential of “seepage and infiltration” (Gist 51). It is a ‘type’which recurs in European colonial writings, but I have not come across it inChinese writing. Chinese in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuriesseldom had the opportunity to know non-Asians except in the treaty ports.In his memoirs, the last Qing emperor, Pu yi, remembers his impression offoreigners before he met his Scottish tutor: “I saw those foreign women . .specially with their colourful eyes and hair, and found that they lookfrightening . . . “(Pu yi 118). Even when China began trading with western215nations, intermarriage was unusual and “inconceivable. It was consideredshameful for the individual and for the country” (Dikötter 58). The samesocial taboo functioned in the Chinese and the Anglo-colonial cultures, andto a lesser extent, in the Dutch Indies, but as a literary type, Eurasiancharacters apparently only appear in western colonial literatures.In Ai Wu, we find a more flexible attitude towards different culturesthan the Westerners had towards Asian ones. That Ai Wu couldcommunicate directly with other ethnic groups accounts for his culturaladaptability. The fact that he was not a subject of the English colonialsystem and was ideologically motivated towards greater Chinesesovereignty explains his independent and often politically chargedobservations. Unlike Bird and Dauthendey, Ai Wu lived with the ethnicgroups during his travel, which gave him the opportunity to acquire moreintimate knowledge of the people. Though he analyses the other Asiansfrom a more level evaluative field, there is in Ai Wu’s writings still theconscious pride that China was the oldest Asian culture. But unlike Bird,an arch-imperialist, Ai Wu’s nationalistic pride was tempered by China’spartial subjugation by the western nations. Ai Wu’s impressionisticsketches are not as self-indulgent and ornamental as Dauthendey’s diaryentries or letters. For him, the struggle was not merely a personalexperience; it also involved the national identity of China in the twentiethcentury. His observations of colonial behaviour provide a counterpoint tothe Eurocentric perspective in western travel writings. His detachmentfrom European culture allows him to be critical while his knowledge ofwestern literature enables him to empathize with the Europeans onoccasion. Ai Wu’s travel writing is not totally objective, but it introduces tothe readers Asian societies which are more complex than western writers216are prepared to comprehend. The Eurasian culture which I briefly discussis metonymic of the Southeast Asia in this thesis and Asia in general.Southeast Asian societies today bear many signs of European cultures, inarchitecture, in languages, in literatures. Yet these cultural traces are notalways accepted by the Asians, nor critically assessed by the Europeans.The ‘Orient’ covers many societies and cultures, which the Malaysianscholar and novelist Lloyd Fernando suggests we “must view withbafflement” (Cultures in Lonflict 151). It is a bafflement which mightencourage western scholars to view Asian societies and literatures asunique cultures with their own specific histories, instead of consideringthem as an afterword to serious literary and cultural discussions.217NotesI from Zhang Hong, GreatShaaghai.& -ti1k5 &:-‘J‘,c&*1J•4 i42 It was one of the common sayings I learnt in my childhood and Ialways believed it to be true.3 For an overview on the May Fourth Movement, see Chow Tsetsung, C. T. Hsia and Jaroslav Prusek.Il)$$i4’h.IGk’*±*‘*‘‘-CC i. 00I44%!*‘l,jI’L4:\=i*\4It44I‘--0C0‘%‘bd00 0 I‘&‘L%II‘“jL*ØIC221Mooring At River Ch’in-HuaiSmoke shrouds cold water, moonlight shrouds sand.Night-mooring at Ch’in-huai, close to wineshops.Gay girls know no lost kingdom’s sadness.Still sing across the river “Jade Flowers in Rear Court.”The English translation is by Wai-lim Yip in Chinese Poetry, 331.10 from Ai Wu, WanderingSketches.11 When Hong Kong is returned to China, will the name of the islandbe changed to the pinyin system to replace the present westernized one, orwill China keep the colonial name ‘Hong Kong’, so well-known to tourists?22212 This happened to my father who travelled to China in the late1950s on business and was jeered at by the children in Haerbin as animperialist foreigner.13 from Ai Wu, Nan_xingji./fL 4JEa‘d’(&) JL&’. 1!i 1(&A\*1‘!_L_224CONCLUSIONIn “Orientalism, an Afterword,” Said recounts a letter he receivedfrom the historian Albert Hourani, who regrets that owing to the force ofargument in Orknlahsiri, the book “had the unfortunate effect of making italmost impossible to use the term Orientalism in a neutral sense, so muchhad it become a term of abuse” (45-6). Hourani concludes that the wordshould be retained for use “in describing ‘a limited, rather dull but validdiscipline of scholarship” (46). Said’s response to the above is thatwhile I sympathise with Hourani’s plea, I have serious doubtswhether the notion of Orientalism properly understood can ever, infact, be completely detached from its rather more complicated andnot always flattering circumstances. I suppose that one can imagineat the limit that a specialist in Ottoman or Fatimid archives is anOrientalist in Hourani’s sense, but we are still required to ask where,how, and with what supporting institutions and agencies such studiestake place today? (46)Implicit in Said’s article is the caveat that one cannot divorce the pursuit ofa “discipline of scholarship” from the pragmatic consideration of socialpractices and their relations of power, which, as Foucault maintains in“Pouvoirs et Strategies,” “sont intriquées dans d’autres types de relation(de production, d’alliance, de famille, de sexualité) oü elles jouent un role ala fois conditionnant et conditionné” (are interwoven with other kinds ofrelations [production, kinship, family, sexuality] for which they play atonce a conditioning and a conditioned role) (Dits et écrits 3: 425).lI have tried to show throughout my thesis that the practice ofrepresenting the others is conditioned by the traveller’s own socialrelations at home. Cultural habits are implicated in the everyday action225and values of society, and constant critical examination of our socialpractices in a historical context is necessary to evaluate our responses toother cultures and the reasons for these responses to emerge. My researchhas convinced me that most cultures in Asia have exchanged influencesand ideas with the West, and that it is meaningless to take sides within anessentialized opposition of East against West, or Europeans against non-Europeans. The problem, it seems to me, is to find out why wemisrepresent the others, the solution to which might mediate contentioussituations between cultures, while to only speak of how we should notrepresent other cultures serves only a legislative function. To paraphraseBourdieu’s criticism of inverted ethnocentrism, a merely announcedopposition to colonialism or imperialism is an intellectual response to onlypart of a problem, and this righteous indignation becomes a “spuriousidentification” which has the appearance of legitimacy (Distinction 374),while the distance between the abstract appreciation of and theexperiencing of cross-cultural difficulties remains. It might also objectifyan ethnic group, or a nation, as a study of victimization, a practice whichRey Chow criticizes in Wri1ingDiaspora.The proliferation of critical discussions of Orientalism has thepotential effect of creating an anti-Orientalist discourse which is, in itsextreme reflexivity, a discourse “of irony, of elitism, of solipsism, of puttingthe whole world in quotation marks” (James Clifford, WritingCukure 25).Scholars who research, and write about, Orientalism can easily forget aboutthe geographical and political reality of Asia and the Middle East. Theterm Orient has changed because of political events and marketingstrategies. The Orient today signifies the tourist-friendly Southeast Asiaand Hong Kong, which are lavishly promoted by the tourist industry,226instead of the Islamic Middle East, once the haunts of popular travelwriters such as Lady Hester Stanhope. Asia itself consists of many nations,with many ethnic groups, each with its own distinct political aspirationsand inclinations. Except for Hong Kong and Macau, all of the countries haveachieved some form of independence. Many, including China, Indonesia,Singapore, Taiwan and Korea, do not tolerate total freedom of speech, andfor most of them, it is paramount to achieve economic progress byincorporating aspects of western technology into their societies.A recent article on the ethical problems which western architectsface when building skyscrapers in Asian countries illustrate the dilemma Ifind implicit in the critique of Orientalism, namely, how to connecttheoretical criticism to everyday practice. In the article, “Asia Bound,” thewell-meaning writer claims that American architects need to educate theirclient (Asian) countries who “are indifferent to their own traditions”(Langdon 88). Western architects working in Asian countries such as Chinaand Malaysia often find themselves hired to design skyscrapers which areincompatible with the traditional landscape and aesthetics of thesecountries. Although problems such as decontextualized urban planningcertainly exist, the writer provides essentially a western critique of Asianstrategies to achieve modernization, disregarding the complex political,geographical and historical issues which confront each of these countries.Although he sees the domination of skyscrapers in an Asian landscape asaesthetically problematic, he does not discourage the practice of westerntechnology, which provides much needed employment for Americanpersonnel, in these Asian countries. That China and a post-independentcountry such as Singapore will have very different responses towesternization is submerged in the writer’s self-conscious awareness of227the role of the West as educator. The writer thus finds himself in theparadoxical situation of criticizing the ethical implications ofmodernization, and at the same time supporting the practice of westernarchitecture. Similar to the concerned writer of “Asia Bound,” postcolonialand cultural critics engage in criticism of western Orientalism in good faith.However, they are also in danger of continuing a tradition of reifying onefacet of Asia for attention and reaffirming the role of the western writer ascritic of other cultures. The perpetuation of the cycle of localization can beas counter-productive as Eurocentric condescension. James Cliffordencapsulates the paradoxical position of cultural criticism when he saysthat he does not want to “reinscribe an ideology of absolute difference” butalso wants to “hold onto the notion that there are different cultures”(“Traveling Cultures” 116).This thesis has omitted some areas which can provide furthercomparative study in travel writing. The Chinese tradition of appreciatingnature cannot be readily theorized in terms of the gendered landscape ofwestern narrative. As a very superficial example of difference, theChinese term for motherland or fatherland is the gender-neutral ‘ancestorland’. It would be a fruitful study to investigate the relation between thefeminization of nature and traditional aesthetics in Chinese, and comparethe results to European ideology of the aesthetic. I also would have likedto include a detailed study of the concession areas and their influences onand importance to May Fourth literature, and compare my findings to theurban settings of Berlin and London and the effects these environmentshad on the production of orientalist literature in the nineteenth century.However, these inclusions would have taken my thesis into a differentarea. This thesis shares the same tendency most studies of travel writing228display: the analysis of causes and effects, of ‘being there’, either at homeor abroad, replaces the interest in the process of travelling, the ‘gettingthere’.2 Although there are works on the history and development ofmodes of transportation, such as Sarah Searight’s Steaming East (1991),they are usually separated from the study of travel narrative as literature.My critical position has been grounded in an examination of thesocial practices of various societies which produced the interpretative gaze,and not only from the western perspective. I have looked at thesepractices with the knowledge that I have my own cultural habits. To quoteIsabella Bird in The Golden Chersonese, in one of her rare reflexivemoments: “I am painfully aware of the danger here, as everywhere, offorming hasty and inaccurate judgements, and of drawing generalconclusions . . .“ (324). I am also reminded of the Asianist Jonathan Spencewho compared the study of China to the burrowing of a terrier for rabbits,an activity which creates its own chaos (Mirsky 51), but is nonetheless aworthwhile endeavour. Thus, this thesis contributes to an ongoinginterpretive process and is not the final word in the cultural investigationof the East and the West.229Notes1 The French text can be found in Dits et écrits 1954-1988 ParMichel Foucault, volume 3. In the same passage Foucault warns againstthe assumption of “a massive and primal condition of domination, a binarystructure with ‘dominators’ on one side and ‘dominated’ on the other”(“qu’il ne faut donc pas se donner un fait premier et massif de domination[une structure binaire avec d’un côté les ‘dominants’ et de l’autre les‘dominés’]”). The English translation is from Power!Know1edg (Random,1980), 142.2 I am thinking of James Clifford’s article “Traveling Cultures” in thisinstance, where he writes that the localizations of anthropological studiesin terms of a ‘field’ tend to erase the technologies of travel which happenoutside the ‘field’, that the discourse of ethnography (‘being there’) is toosharply separated from that of travel (‘getting there’).230GlossaryALWu Ping Zhuan .“Aliana” JIi4 4J“A Q Zhengzhuan”Ba JinChengduCffiM4uo[JiMGuOJCreation Quarterly 4J srJ“Crucifixion of Love” zi‘ 4Ding Ling :1,4Du MuGuangzhouGuo MoruoHaerbinHe Bingyi 4jHu ShiHonghuqin jjJiaJiangxiKunmingLu XunMao DunMelNa HanNan xingji23 1New TideNew YouthPu yiTzu-chih [Zizhi] 1.6Wang Dashou .Wang Duqing_b;4 JjWenji Lf1cXinyue yuekan.“Yijiusanhingnian chun Shanghai”Yu DafuYunnanZhang XiaominZhang HongZhongshan RoadZhou Enlai232Works CitedAbbot, Gerry. Back to Mandalay. Kent: Impact, 1990.Adams, Percy G. 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