"Relying on the most up-to-date scholarship in China and current methodologies in the West, as well as his own arduous explorations of remote mountain sites, Harrist has produced a book that joins the best of Sinological tradition with a discriminating art-historical sensibility."
-Amy McNair, University of Kansas
"His attention to detail and command of the broad conceptual issues results in a skillful work of modern art historical scholarship. . . . The Landscape of Words rings with the emotions evoked by the overwhelming vistas and scale of the mountain sites and the author's sympathetic response to the tradition of making and appreciating moya."
"The book deserves praise for expanding interdisciplinary inquiries into the history of writing, the art of calligraphy, religious beliefs, travel, and the perception of landscape in early and medieval China, and for developing insights that scholars from many fields will be eager to build on. . . . Harrist's lucid writing, masterful narrative, and historical sensibility take readers on a ride filled with surprises and inspired moments."
-Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies
"This stunning, interdisciplinary work opens windows into centuries of Chinese elite culture. . . . All who study Chinese religions will find this meticulously researched work rewarding."
-Religious Studies Review
"This review cannot hope to convey the richness of Harrist's book. Like the makers of these . . . inscriptions, the author chose his locations and his subjects with care and carved his words and ideas with finesse. . . . Harrist has compassed the vast field of secondary scholarship on the economic, political, religions, and social histories of medieval China, and his thinking is informed by Western theoretical writings about place, tradition, and ritual. His labor has paid off in a nuanced and revelatory work."
"Robert E. Harrist's The Landscape of Words is one of the most important books on traditional China published in recent years. . . . Given its ground-breaking importance, I predict [it] will also endure for many years to come as essential reading for China scholars and anyone interested in stone inscriptions."
-Journal of Chinese Religions
"Readers will appreciate the author's careful scholarship, extensive translations of inscriptions and other texts, and accomplished writing style, as well as the helpful maps, diagrams and captions supplied with measurements and dates. The inclusion of the 'Chinese Texts' appendix is especially important . . . the breadth and depth of content in Harrist's book should make it a valuable resource for teaching and reference, and a lasting contribution to the field of Chinese art history and visual culture."
"This meticulously researched book . . . is the first study in a Western language devoted to . . . moya or moya shike, carved into the natural terrain on granite boulders and cliffs at thousands of sites of historic or scenic interest."
"Harrist virtually reconstructs a history of stone inscriptions from Han to Tang, with a postscript that extends coverage beyond the post-Tang era to modern times. Recommended."