The literature on the cultural interrelations of East and West published up to the present time is enormous. Even so, every new scholarly study in this field cannot but provoke interest, so important is the topic, particularly today in the era of so-called globalization. The books under review here, edited and introduced by Andrew Gerstle (SOAS) and Anthony Milner (ANU),1 are based on papers presented at conferences held by the Humanities Research Centre of the Australian National University. The theme of the conferences—‘Europe and the Orient‘—attracted a great number of specialists in art history, musicology, anthropology and history, Asianists and Europeanists, from Europe, the United States and Australia. It is worth noting that the most of the papers are based on published works in which their authors have discussed the same or closely related topics. In presenting the principal ideas of those publications, these collections of papers form a ‘miniature library’ of works on East-West comparative cultural studies. The interdisciplinarity of the articles—their extraordinary ‘polyphony’, the diversity of their often mutually contradictory and polemical approaches, judgements and evaluations—reveals the complexity, multifacetedness and theoretical difficulties which are only too characteristic of the study of comparative culture. The reader is here provided with quite a complete picture of the contemporary state of the field, as well as of the strong and weak sides of its investigations. This breadth of coverage is one of the main strengths of the volumes.