The Citizen of the World

Oliver Goldsmith
Chiswick, 1819
Widener Library
KE 26574 (2)

Click for full-size imageOliver Goldsmith’s satirical novel, originally published in 1760, employs as its narrator a fictionalized Chinese philosopher in London, who writes letters home reporting on strange European customs. The China represented here is a utopian construct, employed for the purposes of critique and satire. Enlightenment thinkers often toyed with non-western cultures in this fashion as a lens to gain an outside, exotic, perspective on European society.

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