Sign@l - Éclats de frontières

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Éclats de frontières

Auteur Daniel Nordman
Mir@bel Revue Extrême-Orient, Extrême-Occident
Numéro no 28, 2006 Desseins de frontières
IV. Regard extérieur
Page 199-211
Résumé anglais Border Splinters The number of countries bordering on a nation as large as China is considerable. The many ways of examining these borders, be it through geography, history, anthropology, linguistics, economy or law, would entail an enormous investment of work. Each of these fields would have to be investigated on varying scales of effort. For instance, the subject of proper names alone would deserve a long systematic study. The possible approaches - from study of object to that of processes - are nearly infinite. However, comparison enables us to escape from the limits of systems and syntheses, to have disorder prevail over order, to gather fragments, to favour splinters. The vision outlined in the following pages involves granting a large place to gratuitous similarities, to chance occurrences that may spring forth from a detail, a notion, a word proposed by the contributions dealing with Chinese borders. We shall survey a series of varied examples in space - France and Italy in the Ancien Regime, Algeria and Morocco in the late XIXth and early XXth centuries - that enable us to address the question of the lexical field regarding borders and limits, also the question of the structure and consistency of a territory, of the processes involved in the frontier adventure (border and administration, occupation and conquest, hero models), and last the question of proper names, be they referring to parts of the country or hydronyms . The article is rounded off by a presentation of the relations between borders and capitals - in China and in France - based on texts by Jules Verne and Montesquieu.
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