Finding Wisdom in East Asian Classics

Overview

Finding Wisdom in East Asian Classics is an essential, all-access guide to the core texts of East Asian civilization and culture. Essays address frequently read, foundational texts in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese, as well as early modern fictional classics and nonfiction works of the seventeenth century. Building strong links between these writings and the critical traditions of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Daoism, this volume shows the vital role of the classics in the shaping of Asian history and in...

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Finding Wisdom in East Asian Classics

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Overview

Finding Wisdom in East Asian Classics is an essential, all-access guide to the core texts of East Asian civilization and culture. Essays address frequently read, foundational texts in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese, as well as early modern fictional classics and nonfiction works of the seventeenth century. Building strong links between these writings and the critical traditions of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Daoism, this volume shows the vital role of the classics in the shaping of Asian history and in the development of the humanities at large.

Wm. Theodore de Bary focuses on texts that have survived for centuries, if not millennia, through avid questioning and contestation. Recognized as perennial reflections on life and society, these works represent diverse historical periods and cultures and include the Analects of Confucius, Mencius, Laozi, Xunxi, the Lotus Sutra, Tang poetry, the Pillow Book, The Tale of Genji, and the writings of Chikamatsu and Kaibara Ekken. Contributors explain the core and most commonly understood aspects of these works and how they operate within their traditions. They trace their reach and reinvention throughout history and their ongoing relevance in modern life.

With fresh interpretations of familiar readings, these essays inspire renewed appreciation and examination. In the case of some classics open to multiple interpretations, de Bary chooses two complementary essays from different contributors. Expanding on debates concerning the challenges of teaching classics in the twenty-first century, several pieces speak to the value of Asia in the core curriculum. Indispensable for early scholarship on Asia and the evolution of global civilization, Finding Wisdom in East Asian Classics helps one master the major texts of human thought.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Choice

These accessible essays will be valuable to anyone with an interest in the traditions and literatures of East Asia.

Patricia Greer
This collection of essays about East Asian great books, by outstanding scholars in the field, addresses the issue of why these books are classics. Wm. Theodore de Bary's essays offer approaches to reading these books that are essential to understanding them. Scholars and advanced students in Asian studies will find this book very valuable.
Choice
These accessible essays will be valuable to anyone with an interest in the traditions and literatures of East Asia.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231153973
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 7/26/2011
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Wm. Theodore de Bary is the John Mitchell Mason Professor Emeritus and provost emeritus of Columbia University and past president of the Association for Asian Studies. He has written extensively on Confucianism in East Asia and is the coeditor of Sources of East Asian Tradition, Sources of Chinese Tradition, Sources of Japanese Tradition, and Sources of Korean Tradition.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

Preface. The Great "Civilized" Conversation: Cases in Point (Wm. Theodore de Bary)1. Asian Classics as the Great Books of the East (Wm. Theodore de Bary)2. Asia in the Core Curriculum (Wm. Theodore de Bary)3. Why We Read the Analects of Confucius (Wm. Theodore de Bary)4. Mencius (Irene Bloom)5. Laozi (Franciscus Verellen)6. Zhuangzi (Paul Contino)7. Xunzi (Wm. Theodore de Bary)8. The Lotus Sutra (Wing-tsit Chan)9. The Teaching of Vimalakārti (Robert A.F. Thurman)10(a). The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch (Philip Yampolsky)10(b). The Platform Sutra as a Chinese Classic (Wm. Theodore de Bary)11. Tang Poetry: A Return to Basics (Burton Watson)12. Journey to the West (C.T. Hsia)13. A Dream of Red Mansions (C.T. Hsia)14. Zhu Xi and the Four Books (Wm. Theodore de Bary)15. Waiting for the Dawn: Huang Zongxi's Critique of the Chinese Dynastic System(Wm. Theodore de Bary)16(a). The Tale of Genji as a Japanese and World Classic (Haruo Shirane)16(b). Passion and Poignancy in The Tale of Genji (Wm. Theodore de Bary)17. The Pillow Book (Wm. Theodore de Bary)18. Kamo no Chômei's "An Account of My Hut" (Paul Anderer)19. The Tale of the Heike (Paul Varley)20(a). Kenk?'s Essays in Idleness (Donald Keene)20(b). Kenk? and Montaigne in Tandem (James Mirollo)21(a). The Poetry of Matsuo Bash? (Haruo Shirane)21(b). Matsuo Bash? (Donald Keene)22. Chikamatsu (Donald Keene)23. Saikaku's Five Women Who Loved Love (Wm. Theodore de Bary)24. Kaibara Ekken's Precepts for Daily Life in Japan (Mary Evelyn Tucker)25. The Contemporary Meaning of T'oegye's Ten Diagrams on Sage Learning (Michael C. Kalton)26. The Memoirs of Lady Hyegyōng (JaHyun Kim Haboush)27. The Song of the Faithful Wife Ch'unhyang (Rachel E. Chung)28. Reading and Teaching The Tale of Kieu (Conrad Schirokauer)Index

Columbia University Press

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