In her essay On Chineseness as a Theoretical Problem, Rey Chow laments that traditional sinology in the West has treated Chinese literature as evidence of a Chinese ethnicity inherently “endowed with a certain primitive logic.” 1 In other words, the study of ancient Chinese literature resembles the enterprise of classical anthropology engaged in preserving a great ancient civilization that should represent an insurmountable ethnic difference. Chinese literature is hence perpetuated as the radical other of Western culture based on the Greco-Roman tradition. Chow contends that this Enlightenment and European attitude also leads to an “entangled class and race boundary” between ancient and modern China in Western Chinese studies:

high culture, that which is presumed to be ethnically pure, belongs with the inscrutable dead; low culture, that which is left over from the contaminating contacts with the foreign, belongs with those who happen to be alive and can still, unfortunately, speak and write. 2