Writing And Authority In Early China / Edition 1

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Overview

Traces the evolving uses of writing to command assent and authority in early China, an evolution that culminated in the establishment of a textual canon as the basis of imperial authority.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Traces the use of writing to command assent and obedience in early China, an evolution that culminated in the establishment of a textual canon as the foundation of imperial authority. Focuses on the emergence of this body of writings as the textual double of the state, and on the text-based sage as the double of the ruler. Examines the full range of writings employed in early China, such as divinatory records, written communications with ancestors, and government documents, showing how these writings were used to control officials and invent new models of authority. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknew.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791441145
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 3/18/1999
  • Series: Series in Chinese Philosophy and Culture
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 556
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.24 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

INTRODUCTION

Powers of Writing
Writing and the Formation of the Chinese Empire

1. WRITING THE STATE

The Archaic Background
Laws and Registers
Reports, Tallies, and Seals
Writing and the King
The Offices of Zhou
Conclusion

2. WRITING THE MASTERS

Scholarly Texts
Scholarly Traditions and the State
Social and Economic Bases of the Traditions
The Master as Model
Conclusion

3. WRITING THE PAST

The Past in Speeches
The Past in Political Philosophy
The Past in Cosmogony
The Past in Chronicle
Conclusion

4. WRITING THE SELF

Composing the Odes
Speaking through the Odes
The Odes as Proof and Sanction
Anthology and Authorship
Conclusion

5. THE POLITICAL HISTORY OF WRITING

The Mythology of Fu Xi
The Mythology of the Duke of Zhou
The Mythology of Confucius
Conclusion

6. THE NATURAL PHILOSOPHY OF WRITING

Between Divination and Philosophy
The Natural Philosophy of Signs
Images and Writing
Numbers and Writing
Conclusion

7. THE ENCYCLOPEDIC EPOCH

Totality and Truth
Canon and Commentary
State-Sponsored Compendia
Sima Qian and Universal History
Sima Xiangru and Universal Poetry
The Liu Family and the Universal Library
Conclusion

8. THE EMPIRE OF WRITING

Establishment of the Canon
Triumph of the Canon
Conclusion

Conclusion

Notes

Works Cited

Index

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