From David B. Honey’s Incense at the Altar (super helpful as a map for the chapter I’m writing on 19th-century sinology), I jump to John K. Fairbank’s autobiographical Chinabound. First page:
The shrinkage of the globe we live on has made it more necessary to understand the other nations, and for the past fifty years I have been trying to understand China. The gradual enlargement of my circle of knowledge about China has of course enlarged the circumference of my ignorance which surrounds it. Questions multiply faster than answers.