Volume 5, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2211-3711
  • E-ISSN: 2211-372X
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As the Jesuit Figurists journeyed through the sea of commentaries on the and the trans-textual dialogue, they did not just play the role of translators and commentators by doing intralingual translation. They also sought the attention of the Kangxi Emperor and the elite literati by producing handwritten Chinese manuscripts that mimicked the format and grammatology of Chinese commentaries. Besides the commentarial tradition, and the Classical and vernacular language employed in the Chinese manuscripts of the Jesuit Figurists, their formats, writing/calligraphy, layout and other visual features had a life and history of their own. The manuscripts served as a visual medium that helped the Jesuit Figurists communicate and proselytize via a shared identity with the Chinese literati. They strove to imitate the format used in commentaries on the by earlier or contemporary literati. Thus, their Chinese manuscripts were a written space that showed the interaction among the forms of the books, their content, and their imagined readers. The Jesuit Figurists also faced mixed feelings and fluctuating support from their target audience in this translation space.


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