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Great Good Place
     

Great Good Place

by Malcolm Kelsall, M. M. Kelsall
 

Only fragments of historical text from China's middle period have been translated into English, until now. Here at last is the first major Chinese historical work from the Song dynasty. Written by Ouyang Xiu, an intellectual giant of the eleventh century, this is a history of the preceding century (907—979), a period known as the Five Dynasties.

The

Overview

Only fragments of historical text from China's middle period have been translated into English, until now. Here at last is the first major Chinese historical work from the Song dynasty. Written by Ouyang Xiu, an intellectual giant of the eleventh century, this is a history of the preceding century (907—979), a period known as the Five Dynasties.

The historical and literary significance of Ouyang's achievement cannot be underestimated. In rewriting the existing official history of the Five Dynasties, Ouyang — whose own time was characterized by extraordinary intellectual and political innovation — made several notable decisions. He rewrote the history in the "ancient" style preferred by forward-thinking literati; he even rewrote the original documents quoted within biographies. He also relied on his own moral categories, reevaluating the worth of the historical figures in light of his own convictions that individuals should take personal responsibility for the fate of society. Ouyang's history would eventually become the official version — the last state-sanctioned dynastic history of imperial China to be written by an individual in a private capacity. In addition to its provocative insights and lucid presentation, Historical Records of the Five Dynasties is an eloquent statement on the art of historical writing in the eleventh century.

A preeminent scholar of Chinese history, Richard L. Davis has provided a thorough introduction and rendered nearly two-thirds of the Chinese original into English, including complete sections critical to understanding the politics and personalities of the time. Biographical clusters based on Ouyang's moral categories also appear in full, helping readers to appreciate the Confucian agenda that informs the work.

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Kelsall (English, U. of Wales, Cardiff) shows how literature influences how people perceive visual imagery, by comparing country houses as they sit in the physical world and as they function as characters in fiction and poetry. Over 30 photographs accompany the consideration of writing from the Renaissance to Virginia Woolf and Henry James. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231081467
Publisher:
Columbia University
Publication date:
02/01/1993
Pages:
252
Product dimensions:
0.57(w) x 9.00(h) x 6.00(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Richard L. Davis is Chair Professor of History at Lingnan University, Hong Kong. His books include Wind Against the Mountain: The Crisis of Politics and Culture in Thirteenth Century China and Court and Family in Sung China, 960-1279.

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