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Abstract[[abstract]]赫德的日記及書信:一個中國老手的隨筆手札羅伯特赫德爵士（Sir Robert Hart）於1865 年至1911 年期間是服務於中國海關的稽察總長。誠如強納森史賓塞（Jonathan Spence）在他的改變中國：在中國的西方顧問1620-1960 一書中指出，赫氏是數十年間在中國最有權勢的西方人（128）；畢克斯（Robert Bickers）也在最近的評論中讚譽赫氏的歷史地位堪稱是 1863 年後支配中國與海外勢力之大權者。然而，儘管十九世紀以來，赫氏的獨特歷史重要性如此顯赫，但仍未有完整赫氏傳記及私人日記得以問世流芳。其日記高達77 冊，現今存放在貝爾法斯特之Queen’s University 圖書館，其中僅1854 年至1863 年及1863 年至1866 年的日記由哈佛大學學者Fairbank 等人編集，其餘1867 年至1908 年共69 冊則位被編撰。中央研究院歷史與哲學研究院（簡稱 IHP）擁有1867 年至1869 年的第9 冊至第12 冊，計畫將著手編撰這批日記。同時，IHP 目前也正積極與Queen’s University 洽談編集其餘由1870 年至1908 年日記一事。 IHP 得以一窺赫氏其他資料如私人信件等文件，以及與赫氏同時期布蘭德（J.O.P. Bland）, 法蘭斯艾格蘭（Francis Aglen）以及其他海關人員等人之日記、信件，還有其他當時海關人員關於赫氏評價記載的文札。這些豐富珍貴的資料不只提供深入了解赫氏的機會，也堪稱手札類作品的稀世真品。赫氏這位道道地地的愛爾蘭鄉紳，五十餘年耳濡目染於中國風土民情，由這樣一個老外下筆見證中國風俗、奇事見聞、歷史演變，其可信度及重要性皆不容置疑。他堆積如山的手札、筆記，造就他成為一個當代中國民俗通，稱他為大師中的大師也當之無愧！欲鑑賞赫氏手札的價值性，可先由赫氏原生文化背景著手。手札一直是幾世紀以來英國傳統文學的必要元素。Lord Chesterfield, John Evelyn, Samuel Johnson, Fanny Burney 等人之信件，日記、自傳、回憶錄，都紮根並散發出濃厚英國民族性、道地的本土性、及自我色彩。對於赫氏的作品，不難令人聯想到究竟從赫氏、甚至其他這些由老外眼中看到的以及筆下所記載的異國人文風俗，是否多少夾雜著這些西方作者本身種族、性別、階級、自我意識、英國或愛爾蘭特性、宗教背景、道德觀念等等的成分？另一個評估赫氏作品價值性的方式就是將赫氏手札及當代其他西方「中國老手」的作品互為辨證。隨著科技傳媒的發達，手札記事類的寫作風氣也蔚為時尚，相較於傳統的書信、自傳、日記等書寫印刷體裁，時下與日俱增的電訊產物如e-mail, online photo albums, podcast, iWitness reports等等先進傳播媒體更不惶多讓，蓬勃的學術研討會及發表反映出自傳、手札、日記已邁入高科技新紀元。以MLA為例，MLA總裁席尼史密斯 (Sidonie Smith) 選擇 Narrating Lives做為2011年洛杉磯MLA大會的研討會主題，相較於時下先進的電訊傳媒，豈是赫氏以及當時那些旅居海外的「中國老手」所能想像的呢，更別說把赫氏和臉書（Facebook）放在一起了！此研究計劃將產生至少一篇主要研究論文以及多篇研討會報告。但毫無疑問的，此研究計畫因其豐富的資料，定會激發出未來更多的研究成果。此外，這份研究是跨領域之作。承蒙服務於中央研究院歷史與哲學研究院（IHP）的張志雲博士鼎力支持並提供寶貴的學識。張博士對赫氏本人以及當年中國海關歷史的透徹了解完美的調和了本次的手札研究。這份研究將是文學學者與歷史學者的合作發掘更多知識，透過文學與歷史兩者互補又多元的背景組合，定能呈現出非單由文學學者或是歷史學者的單一角度所能拓展的深度研究。本跨領域研究能加強我們對羅伯特赫德爵士，十九世紀中國歷史，東西方的接觸，殖民主義裡的東西方接觸與手札寫作之腳色等議題之充分理解並完整呈現給世人。
[[abstract]]Robert Hart's Diaries and Letters: LifeWriting by an Old China Hand Sir Robert Hart, the Inspector-General of the Chinese Maritime Customs Service from 1865-1911 was, as Jonathan Spence notes in his To Change China: Western Advisers in China, 1620-1960, “the most powerful Westerner in China for decades” (128) and Robert Bickers, in a more recent appraisal, states that Hart’s place in history is such that he has “dominated the picture of the Chinese state’s engagement with the overseas powers after 1863.” (3) Yet, in spite of the manifest importance of Robert Hart in the 19th cent. Sino-western encounter, there is as yet no complete biography of Robert Hart and his private diary, which is preserved in 77 volumes deposited in the library of Queen’s University Belfast, has so far only been edited partially by a team assembled by John King Fairbank at Harvard University. This team only edited the diaries of 1854- 1863 and 1863-1866 and there are still 69 volumes covering the years 1867 to 1908 which have never been edited and remain unexamined so far. The Institute of History and Philology (IHP) of the Academia Sinica, however, has obtained volumes IX to XII, covering the years 1867-1869, and intends to prepare a scholarly edition of these volumes. The IHP is currently also pursuing negotiations with Queen’s University Belfast to obtain permission to edit the remaining volumes covering the years 1870 to 1908. The IHP, moreover, has access to a diverse range of further Hart materials such as public and private letters, circulars, and other documents, as well as diaries, letters and other texts by J.O.P. Bland, Francis Aglen and other Customs officials and contemporaries of Hart. Not only does this present a unique opportunity to advance the historical understanding of Robert Hart, but this extensive collection of texts constitutes an archive of life writing materials of the first order. Hart was a classically educated Briton of Irish extraction who spent over 50 years of his life in what could arguably be defined as one of the greatest historical encounters of modern times and produced tens of thousands of pages of remarkable letters, diaries and other personal documents, as well as several books. He was, therefore, a writer, as well as a historical agent, and all the busy writing he engaged in seems to have been both a tool for the administration of his Customs empire (the “empire within the empire” as it was sometimes called) but also a space for writing his self, being a witness, narrating lives, negotiating meaning, interpreting China. One avenue of inquiry into Hart’s life writing is to locate it within the tradition of his native culture. Life writing has, indeed, been a vital component of the English literary tradition for centuries and the letters, diaries, biographies and memoirs of Lord Chesterfield, John Evelyn, Samuel Johnson, Fanny Burney and many others have participated in the creation of an essentialist value system deeply rooted in and supportive of notions of Englishness, domesticity and self. The question arises whether Hart’s life writing is characterized by a similar essentialist value system. What notions of class, gender, race, self, otherness, Irish/British identity, religion and morality are embedded in these texts? Another avenue of inquiry will be to confront and question the 19th cent. life writing of Hart and other “Old China Hands” with contemporary life writing. The rapid development of communication and information technologies has resulted in the proliferation of life writing as never before; new genres such as email, blogs, on-line photo albums, podcasts, iWitness reports, and life change narratives by patients and victims of crime flourish alongside older genres such as journals, diaries, biographies, and autobiographies. Numerous academic conferences and publications are reflecting this development and are proclaiming the current age the age of life writing. MLA President Sidonie Smith, e.g., has selected “Narrating Lives” as the Presidential Forum theme for the 2011 MLA Convention in Los Angeles. How then do the many life writing materials generated by Hart and other expatriates of the Customs Service compare to the brave new world of contemporary life writing? How does an old China hand face up to Facebook? The research project aims to produce at least one major research article and several conference presentations within the time limits of the project period, but the wealth of materials available guarantees that more publications will ensue at a later stage. The project, moreover, is interdisciplinary and makes use of the expertise of Dr. Chihyun Chang of the IHP; whose knowledge of the history of the Chinese Maritime Customs and Robert Hart perfectly fit into this life writing research. The entire endeavor is, indeed, based on the understanding that a literary scholar and a historian working together will read more intensely and make more discoveries than either a literary specialist or historian working in isolation would and that scholars from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds bring different language skills and cultural sensitivities and modes of thought to the heuristic process. This interdisciplinary research will add substantially to our understanding of Robert Hart, 19th cent. Chinese history, the East-West intercultural encounter and the role of life writing in the age of empire.