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"The Last Emperor": A "History Lesson" and a Lesson in History

James J. Lu
Biography
Vol. 17, No. 1 (Winter 1994), pp. 56-62
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23539967
Page Count: 7
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
"The Last Emperor": A "History Lesson" and a Lesson in History
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Abstract

A biographical account can easily slip into a romanticized legend, wherein the experience of a peripheral—though also historical—figure can be casually sacrificed for the popularization of the central character. Yet the "peripheral" position of a figure in one biography is only temporal, for with a switch of the narrative focus, another biography may instantly spotlight him/her at its "center," thus revealing the sacrifice (including distortions) inflicted upon this character by the earlier text.

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