MCLC Review of Human, Beasts, and Ghosts
Rather, his essays are nothing short of an objective lesson of a "comprehensive" mind reflected in both content and style. The rich and myriad allusions in his essays serve to connect various "limited views," different conceptual and aesthetic categories both Eastern and Western, often in a surprising yet brilliant manner. Qian's knack for allusions, as Rea argues in his introduction, is more than simply showing off his erudition. It connotes, rather, a form of "intellectual egalitarianism" and exemplifies the working of a cosmopolitan mind. Still, even as Qian's cosmopolitanism is premised upon a conceptual equality among world cultures, this worldliness can also be daunting simply because the knowledge-scape it commands is too vast for any scholar with "limited views" to grasp.