CHAPTER IV
TOLSTOY'S CONTACTS WITH CHINESE

DESPITE Tolstoy's protracted study of China, it was only in the last five years of his life that he enjoyed personal communication with intellectuals of that country. Concerning the first of these, a certain Chang Ch'ing-t'ung, we know extremely little--little more, indeed, than that, while residing in St. Petersburg (perhaps as a member of the Chinese legation?) he, together with A. N. Voznesenski, translated into Russian a monograph on modern Chinese history that had been written in 1901 by the famous Chinese scholar, Liang Ch'i-ch'ao ( 1873-1929). This monograph, entitled Li Hung-chang, or a Political History of China during the Last 40 Years, was published in St. Petersburg in 1905.1 As Chang Ch'ing-t'ung is apparently unmentioned in the volumes of the Jubilee Edition hitherto published, we are forced to rely on what is said of him in Biryukov Tolstoi und der Orient,2 on various pages of which Chang's name appears with the most astonishing variations.3 From this we learn

____________________
1
See Appendix B, item 7. Li Hung-chang ( 1823-1901) was one of the most important Chinese statesmen of his day.
2
Pp. 125 ff. and 177-178 n17.
3
These variants, given without a word of explanation, are typical of the carelessness which mars Biryukov's book. They are as follows: (1) Tsien Huan-t'ung (p. 125), (2) Tsien Huang-t'ung (pp. 177-178 n17), (3) Tsien-Huang-T'ung (p. 266, index), (4) Tschantschintun (p. 261), (5) Chan-Sien-T'ung (p. 264, index). The fourth variant is most nearly correct. It comes close to Chzanchintun, which is the way Chang's name (in Russian transliteration) appears on the title page of his book; this, according to the standard Wade-Giles transliteration of Chinese words into English, would be Chang Ch'ing-t'ung. Biryukov's Tsien would probably be Ch'ien in the Wade-Giles system. The stand-

-47-

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Tolstoy and China - Vol. 4
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The History of Ideas Series ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • Chapter I- China, the West, and Tolstoy 3
  • Chapter II- Tolstoy''s Readings on China 11
  • Chapter III- Tolstoy''s Writings and Publications on China 30
  • Chapter IV- Tolstoy''s Contacts with Chinese 47
  • Chapter V- The Meaning of China to Tolstoy 59
  • Chapter VI- The Question of Chinese Influence 75
  • Appendix A 91
  • Appendix B- List of Works on China Read by Tolstoy 95
  • Bibliography 103
  • Index 107
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