The Academic Corner of Sanguo

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Re: The Academic Corner of Sanguo

Unread postby waywardauthor » Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:38 am

[Another review on the same book, this one appearing in The American Oriental Society in 1981]

Book review of Xun Yue (AD 148-209): Life and Reflections of an Early Medieval Confucian by Chen Chi-yun

Written by Chad Hansen of the University of Vermont

This biography covers in sometimes prodigious detail one of the really interesting periods of Chinese history. The author traces the final decline and dissolution of the mighty Han empire-the sometimes-violent struggles between the eunuchs and the court officials, the bloody and image shattering popular rebellions and religious uprisings, the delicate political and military maneuvering and infighting in the subsequent civil war culminating in the onset of the period of disorder-the Three Kingdoms Period.

There were a host of fascinating figures living in this era. They range from political-military geniuses to profound philosophers. Xun Yue's life and thought are significant because he stands as a representative of the plight of Confucianism at the end of the Han dynasty. Confucianists had, in effect, struck a bargain with the imperial forces in China: to use their priestly aura as articulators of the traditional values and their fanatic pursuit of order (not law and order-just order) in the service of imperial despotism and to support the imperial family's claim to the Mandate of Heaven. This required that they ignore, forget, or misunderstand all the philosophical developments in that doctrine from the classical period-from Mozi and Mencius through Xunzi.

Xun Yue concretely embodies the Confucian contretemps. The author observes with embarrassing frequency the contradictions, ambiguities, and ambivalent attitudes in his thought. We know Xun Yue had a good memory-he memorized some of the things he had read only once. He could also count-he classified nine conditions of state, six categories of ruler, six more of ministers, and three types of disorderly people. In his more mature thought he got to the six tempers, the three primal spheres, the five human businesses, the hundred officials, the four evils, the five basic government programs and many others (139). He took many striking stances on delicate issues. We are told that he criticized only excessive behaviors, that he favored what was right over what was wrong and criticized those who set impossible standards. He criticized simplistic thinking, didn't favor mere erudition for its own sake, was flexible and realistic and was skeptical of our ability to learn ultimate truth. We are not told who held the opposite positions.

The author repeatedly insists on the profundity and the sophistication of Xun Yue's thought, sometimes with trans- parent metaphors like "penetrating the darkness of reality," though there is some criticism of Xun Yue's thought, e.g., for his narrow concept of the Tao-which is attributed to Yue’s trying to "bring the omnipresent into the present or extend the finite into the infinite." The author's treatment of the rival schools of thought evidences a most unsatisfactory Confucian bias. Taoism and Legalism are caricatured as the "extremes" to a Confucian "middle" and typically reduced to puerile adjectival descriptions.

This book chronicles with painful accuracy the Confucian contribution to the onset of the philosophical "dark ages" in China. It is important, however, to anyone interested in the intellectual products of such developments in history.
Alone I lean under the wispy shade of an aged tree,
Scornfully I raise to parted lips a cup of warm wine,
Longingly I cast an empty vessel aside those exposed roots,
And leave behind forgotten memories and forsaken dreams.
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Re: The Academic Corner of Sanguo

Unread postby waywardauthor » Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:48 pm

[Another review on the same book, this one appearing in Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies in 1977. Some part of it is transcribed, and some of the examples of Lau's somewhat harsh evaluation are omitted twice. It is wade-giles, some of the u's are not transcribed properly. ]

Book review of Xun Yue (AD 148-209): Life and Reflections of an Early Medieval Confucian by Chen Chi-yun

vWritten by D. C. Lau

Xun Yue was a minor thinker in the latter half of the second century A.D. His life almost coincided with the last years of the Eastern Han. He has been a rather neglected figure, and students of Chinese history and thought should welcome this study by Dr. Chi-yun Chen who is a specialist not only on Xun Yue but also on Xun Shuang, an uncle of Xun Yue. Besides publishing 'Textual problems of Xun Yue's writings: the Hanchi and the Shen-chien' in 1968, Chen also published 'A Confucian magnate's idea of political violence: Xun Shuang's interpretation of the Book of changes ' in the same year.

The present study falls mainly into two parts. The first three chapters sketch the age in which Xun Yue lived while the next three chapters analyze Xun Yue's thought in his two works, the Han chi and the Shen chien, with the final chapter dealing with Xun Yue's influence in subsequent ages. The author's purpose can, perhaps, be described as twofold: first, to give Xun Yue’s thought a historical background and second, to use the changes in Xun Yue's thought as a clue to changes in his attitudes following changes in the historical situation. In general, the author is more successful in his first purpose than in the second. This is not surprising, as he is basically a historian by training and analysis of the subtleties of philosophical ideas is not really his strong point. There is a further difficulty. Too little is known of Xun Yue’s life so that any interpretation of the position he took is liable to be mainly conjectural.

Chen divides Xun Yue's life into four periods: (1) the period of eunuch power and the tang-ku persecutions ending in A.D. 184; (2) from the Yellow Turban rebellion in 184 to the 'restoration' of the Han court at Xu in 196; (3) from his official appointment at the newly restored Han court at Xu to the completion of the Han chi in 200; and (4) from the completion of the Han chi to his death in 209, during which period the Shen chien was completed and presented to the throne in 205. The author's thesis is also twofold: first, that Xun Yue, like many of his friends and relations, was a dissident in period (1) but turned loyalist in period (3); second, that Xun Yue's criticisms of the Han in his Han chi written in period (3) were in the ch'ing I tradition but these gave way to the ch'ing t'an discourses in the Shen chien in period (4). The first part of the thesis is highly conjectural as we know nothing about Xun Yue's life in period (1), except that ' he lived in retirement under the pretext of illness and was not known to people of the time ' (Hou Han shu, p. 2058). How can we be sure that he shared the views of dissidents? More important, surely being a dissident is not incompatible with being a loyalist. In a sense, it is because a critic is loyal to a ruling house that he is so critical of its shortcomings. Thus it would seem to be incorrect to describe Xun Yue as a dissident turned-loyalist. Equally, Chen's point that as the Han chi is an apology for Han rule any criticism in it must have been a hangover from Xun Yue's dissident days is open to the same objection. As to the transition from the ch'ing i type of criticisms to ch'ing t'an type of discourses, this may have been due chiefly to the difference in genre of the two works and not necessarily to a change in Xun Yue’s position. In a historical work like the Han chi it would hardly have been appropriate to insert discourses of a ch'ing t'an nature.

To revert to the analysis of thought. One of the disturbing features of Chen's work is his insensitivity to both the Chinese and the English languages. For instance, in discussing Legalism, the author says, ' Fa, or methods, man-made rules and law' (p. 149). Is there any evidence that the Legalists ever used the term fa to mean ‘methods’? Again, take the title Shen chien. It is rendered throughout as 'Extended Reflections', but in a discussion of the meaning of the words we find, 'The title Shen chien means "lengthening ", "extending ", or " reiterating " the chien (mirror, reflection, lessons of history) ' (p. 128). The author goes on to mention a work entitled Tien yin by Cai Yong and says, ' Tien refers to the canons and ordinances; yin means to extend and lengthen', and then simply concludes that Shen chien was synonymous with Tien yin. This gliding from meaning to meaning irrespective of whether they are connected or not is hair-raising. Xun Yue was very explicit about the meaning of his work. He says, 前鉴既明后复申之故古之圣王其於仁义也申重而已(SC 1.1a). By using 申 and 重as a compound, he leaves no doubt that 申 was to be understood as 'to reiterate '. Indeed, Chen understands this quite well, but it does not seem to have deterred him from using 'Extended Reflections' in general as the translated title. What would 'Extended Reflections' mean to the English reader? the first place, he is unlikely to take 'reflections' as 'mirror reflections ', but if he were told that that was the sense of the word, what is he to make of the title? Would he think of ' elongated images in the mirror'? As to the assertion that the title is synonymous with Tien yin this is totally unfounded as tien does not mean 'lesson' nor does yin mean 'reiterate.'

At times Chen's arguments can only be described as non sequitors. Here is a blatant example. In Xun Yue's biography in the Hou Han Shu, it is said that 'his family was poor and did not possess many books'. Chen tries to explain why there were so few books in the family by the unscholarly disposition of Xun Shu, his grandather, and says that this confirms a statement made earlier in Xun Shu's biography which mentioned that "Shu had no taste for the orthodox classical learning and was therefore looked down upon by the many conventional confucian scholars". On the same page, Chen refers once again to Xun Yue's grandfather as the "suncholarly Xun Shu." If we turn to the Hou Han Shu we find Xun Shu descibed as "widely learned, but was not fond of chapter and verse type of learning, and was much disapproved of by the vulgar Confucians... Outsanding men of the time of Li Ku and Li Ying all looked up to him as their teacher.' By omitting the phrase 'widely learned' and by not mentioning the respect Li Ying accorded him and, above all, by translating chang chu chih hsueh as 'orthodox classical learning,' Chen manages to give the impression that the Hou Han Shu actually considered Xun Shu unscholarly. But surely 'chapter and verse learning' is a cliche almost always contrasted with interest in the general meaning of the classics and not a few of the great scholars of the Han were so descirbed. By the same token such men would have to be considered 'unscholarly.' Again, if Xun Shuang were really unscholarly, would Li Yang have looked up to him as a teacher?

The book does not seem to have undergone a thorough revision before publication, as there are a considerable number of oversights. Here are some examples. Hou Han Shu is hyphenated Hou-Han Shu and translated as "History of the Later Han Dynasty" instead of Hou Han-shu "A continuation of the Han Shu." 'Grand unity' is said to be rendered as Ta'i t'ung when surely the ta in the original is a verb and not an adjective? Kai K'uan-jao should be Ko K'uan-jao. [List of other examples omitted] On page 88 we find 'follow the wise path of [the Han loyalists] Ch'en Ying and Wang Ling.' It is astonishing to find Ch'en Ying descibed as a Han loyalist as he refused to take on the leadership long before the appearance of the Han. On page 141 we find 'acknowledge and comprehend the changing lot' descibed as a 'recurrent injunction' of Xun Yue, but in fact the phrase i pien-shu tso t'ung, as far as I know, is found only once in the Shen Chien.

The romanization in the book is erratic to say the least. Kang-yu should be kang-jou. Yung should be Jung. Juan Chi on page 8 becomes Yuan Chi on page 9. Ho-nan yun should be Ho-nan yin. Chen should be Tsen on page 21-22. Feng Xu becomes Feng Shu on page 36. The syllable tsun in tsunchen does not exist in the wade-giles system. Shun i should be sun i. Finally there are two misprints. Kun-yang on page 153 should be kung-yang and comfotable on page 146 should, of course, be comfortable.

Although I have dwelt, perhaps unduly, on the shortcomings of the book, it is, nevertheless, a useful work for the student of Han history and thought and it is to be hoped that the author will take the first opportunity to give it a thorough revision.
Alone I lean under the wispy shade of an aged tree,
Scornfully I raise to parted lips a cup of warm wine,
Longingly I cast an empty vessel aside those exposed roots,
And leave behind forgotten memories and forsaken dreams.
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Re: The Academic Corner of Sanguo

Unread postby waywardauthor » Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:03 am

[Another review on the same book, this one appearing in the American Historical Review in 1977. ]

Book review of Xun Yue (AD 148-209): Life and Reflections of an Early Medieval Confucian by Chen Chi-yun

vWritten by Yu Ying-shih of Harvard University

In the present state of Western scholarship on Chinese history, the Age of Disunity, between the end of Han and the Sui-Tang reunification (roughly 200-600), is least adequately covered. With the exception of a few monographic studies, mostly annotated translations of historical texts, the whole period of early medieval China remains largely a terra incognita. The publication of Chi-yun Chen's Xun Yue is therefore doubly welcome.

This book is a study of the life and writings of Xun Yue, based originally on the author's doctoral work done at Harvard a decade ago. It consists of seven chapters-two on the political, social, and intellectual conditions of the time in which Xun Yue lived and wrote, one on Xun's family background and bureaucratic career, and two on his works. As the author's learned discussions in the footnotes show, the entire edifice of the study is built on a firm textual ground with solid philological bricks.

Though practically unknown to the non-specialist reader in the West, Xun Yue occupies a prominent place in the Chinese intellectual tradition both as historian and as thinker. In the history of historical writing, Xun Yue's Han-chi (Chronicles of Han) served as an important link between the Tso Chuan (Tso Tradition) of the pre-Ch'in period and the Zizhi Tongjian (Comprehensive Mirror for Aid in Government) by Sima Guang (1016-86), the greatest masterpiece in the annalistic tradition of Chinese historiography. However, since the rise of Ch'ing philology in the late seventeenth century, the Han-chi has been valued by scholars mainly because it occasionally differs from the present text of the Han-shu (History of the Former Han Dynasty), of which it was originally a condensation. Through careful analysis, the author has succeeded in rehabilitating Xun Yue as an original and creative historian. It is now clear that beyond the value of textual collation the Hanchi also has its own intrinsic historiographical merits. On the other hand, Xun Yue the thinker is less distinguished than Xun Yue the historian.

His ideas as expressed in the Shen-chien ("Extended Reflections") are not particularly original. As the author rightly points out, "the Shen-chien is an assemblage of old sayings, but addressed to a new audience" (p. 136). In the history of thought in the Han period, Xun Yue not only pales beside Dong Zhongshu (179?-104? B.C.) and Wang Chong (A.D. 27-ca. ioo), but even ranks next to Wang Fu (early second century) and Zhongchang Tong (179-220). But the very fact that Hsuin Yueh is a minor thinker makes him a better subject for the study of intellectual trends of his own times. For, as G. H. Palmer once said, "The tendencies of an age appear more distinctly in its writers of inferior rank than in those of commanding genius."

The period in which Xun Yue lived witnessed a fundamental intellectual transformation from political criticisms of the literati (known as ch'ing-I or "pure criticism") to a movement of philosophical conversations transcending all mundane matters (known as ch'ing-t'an or "pure conversation"). Xun Yue's works reflect this transformation vividly. As the author has aptly summed up, "The Han-chi was the last major product of the ch'ing-I positive political endeavor in the later Han; the Shen-chien marked the beginning of the ch'ing-t'an evasion and withdrawal from active involvement in the Age of Disunity" (p. 162).

To conclude, however, I find it necessary to make a few remarks on the transition from the ch 'ing-i to the ch'ing-t'an. First, throughout the book the author makes references to both movements, but gives no systematic account of the transition. For the benefit of the non-specialist, such an account seems highly desirable.

Second, when the author occasionally touches upon the problem of the transition, he tends to understand it mainly in terms of the disintegration of sociopolitical order at the end of Han. To be sure, the validity of this long-held view can hardly be questioned. Nevertheless, evidence strongly suggests that the rise of the ching-t'an movement must also be interpreted as an internal intellectual development since the end of the second century. Third, the term ch'ingt'an has two different shades of meaning. In its earlier usage during Xun Yue's time, it was often interchangeable with ch'ing-i in meaning. Ch'ing-1'an did not acquire its transmundane philosophical meaning until the middle of the third century. Failure to make this important distinction has somewhat affected the author's understanding and translation of two interesting letters exchanged between Zhong You and Cao Pi in 219 (p. 146).

Criticism aside, this book breaks new ground and contributes substantially to our knowledge of early medieval Chinese history.
Alone I lean under the wispy shade of an aged tree,
Scornfully I raise to parted lips a cup of warm wine,
Longingly I cast an empty vessel aside those exposed roots,
And leave behind forgotten memories and forsaken dreams.
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Re: The Academic Corner of Sanguo

Unread postby waywardauthor » Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:21 am

[Chen's second book on Xun Yue is a translation with some commentary of two of Xun's works. This book review appeared in Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies in 1981]

Book Review of Xun Yue and the Mind of Late Han China: A Translation of the Shen-chien with Introduction and Annotations by Ch'i-yün Ch'en and Hsün Yüeh

Written by Michael Loewe

Xun Yue (A.D. 148-209) was but one of several penetrating critics and scholars who came to prominence towards the end of the Han period, but in many ways he shows himself as possessing one of the deepest intellects and most original minds of the day. His contemporaries included academics such as Ma Rong (79-168), best known as a protagonist of the Old Texts school of learning; Cai Yong, whose name is associated with the first engraving of the scriptures on stone tablets in A.D. 175; and Zheng Xian (127-200) whose comments on those texts retained pride of place in Chinese scholasticism until the T'ang period and later, giving rise as they did to a synthesis between conflicting attitudes. In addition we know of forceful critics such as Wang Fu (90-165), Zhongchang Tong (b.180), Cui Shi (110-170) who were more immediately concerned with the political, social, and economic abuses of public life, and who sought means of correcting them within the existing framework of the Han Empire. It was Xun Yue, who, of all his contemporaries, was the most capable of analysing that framework and assessing its strengths and weaknesses, and it was thanks to his initiative in doing so that he contributed markedly to Chinese ideas of ethics and political theory.

In a previous study (Xun Yue (AD 148-209): the life and reflections of an early medieval Confucian, Cambridge, 1975) Professor Ch'en placed Xun Yue in the context of the intellectual and political changes of the second century A.D. It was a time when Confucianism was in decline and there was a call for compromise. The formal protests against corruption known as ch'ing-i had developed into a tendency towards intellectual escapism, as seen in the ch'ing-t'an movement; disillusion with traditional forms and ideals had failed to engender a new intellectual lead. In political terms, no solution had been found to the deep- seated problems of dynastic weakness, as was revealed in incidents such as the rise of the eunuchs or the persecution of the men of letters (A.D. 166), Or the short-lived Yellow Turban rebellion of 184. Dynastic legitimacy and loyalties were subject to question, and the attempt to re-establish the dignity and strength of the Han house in 196 failed to attract the support that would maintain it for long. The situation bears a superficial resemblance to that of the seventeenth century, when traditionalists were obliged to decide whether they would be justified in supporting a conquering house or whether they should adhere to a defunct and powerless dynasty. For, marred as the conqueror was by uncouthness or cruelty, he could none the less discharge the duty of a ruler in imposing order on the land; but it was the dispossessed house, in exile, that could yet command a moral claim to legitimacy.

Xun Yue left two major works. In the Han-Chi, which was written after the restoration of 196, he shows himself an unashamed apologist for the Han house. In his critical judgements which are attached in that book to specific incidents of history of the Former Han period, he was able to summarize the intellectual attitudes of the past with particular acumen. The Shen-chien was written subsequently, when it was clear that the restoration would fail in its purpose. In this work Xun Yue moved from historical judgement to an attempt to formulate abstract principles. Such an attempt is rare in the early centuries of imperial China, being somewhat alien to the Chinese tradition. The style of the book is sometimes difficult, owing partly to the dexterous use of citation or allusion, sometimes with a double entendre that is at first sight puzzling and confusing. However, it is by such means that Xun Yue contrives to preserve his intellectual integrity and to lend support to Confucian ideas of human ability and achievement. It was a singularly unfavourable time to maintain such views, when many of his contemporaries were taking refuge in preaching the need for a state discipline, along legalist lines; a lesser man than Xun Yue might well have been reduced to silence or forced to ignominious compromise.

In the Shen-chien, Xun Yue aims to isolate those elements that are permanent in the imperial order and that will outlast dynastic crisis and change. It is hardly surprising that he saw a means of establishing permanence amid transience by an appeal to the Book of Changes and its message of the eternal return. In his concept of man, Xun Yue may well have reached a degree of analysis so far not achieved in China. Much of his thesis depends on his clear distinction between nature (hsing), human feelings (ch'ing), intellect (ts'ai) and moral conduct (hsing), and between innate and acquired characteristics.

In discussing human problems and weaknesses, Xun Yue set a high tone in his demand for intellectual integrity, while accepting the need to stop short of imposing the noblest ideals in order to keep humanity amenable to control. And herein lies one of the problems that faces a Confucianist. If he believes that weaknesses of moral quality inherent in human beings can be ameliorated by training or discipline, he must ask how far he is justified in applying forceful means of persuasion, so as to bring an individual man or woman to a superior state of existence. Fortunately, those Chinese who believed that moral differences of this type are discernible were not concerned lest their view of such qualities would be summarily dismissed as mere value judgements; for they were confident that their ideas, however ill-defined by Socratic standards, held the key to an improved state of human behavior. In the times in which he lived, Xun Yue finally saw no difficulty or contradiction in resorting to so-called 'legalist' methods to secure the betterment of man. As the chapters of the Shen-chien show, he was ready with practical suggestions for the government of China which many preferred to reject as signs of unduly harsh 'legalism'. Unfortunately, the times in which he lived were too much for Xun Yue's synthesis of extreme measures and noble ideals. The Han empire had effectively met its end before his death in 209; but before then he had been obliged to withdraw from political activities, as they proved to demand too much of his conscience.

The volume under review sets out to rescue Xun Yue from the obscurity into which he was perhaps deliberately cast by later writers of a Neo-Confucian persuasion. In a long introduction Professor Ch'en charts the rise and fall of intellectual trends from the Chou period until Xun Yue's own time. He shows the emergence of a faith in human ideals and the reliance that came to be placed on cosmological theory as a means of supporting imperial authority; and he discusses the re-activation of the doctrine of the Mandate of Heaven as this became necessary during the Han period. He also shows how some of ideals suffered a rude shock thanks to political events of very different natures, e.g., the reforms of a 'legalist ' type, under the Qin empire; or those of a 'Confucian' brand, under Wang Mang; or the overriding loss of purpose that beset public life in the latter half of the second century.

There is also a valuable bibliographical survey of the two texts under consideration, the Han-chi and the Shen-chien, in which problems of authenticity and corruption are discussed. It is suggested that the text of the Han-chi may have suffered from tampering in Song times, in order to avoid contradiction with Neo-Confucian historiography; and that the Shen-chien may have suffered some displacement of text in order to provide a supplement to parts of the Han-chi.

Professor Ch'en has made a highly valuable contribution to our understanding of the Chinese intellect. Much of his analysis is couched in abstract terms, as compared with the live and definite issues that formed the subjects of discussions by some of the Chinese writers who are cited. His approach must be taken in parallel with a factual and chronological analysis of changes that were witnessed in other aspects of public life and which concerned matters such as religious practices, intellectual policies or the procedures for accession and abdication. A number of expressions obtrude in the introduction which appear at first sight to be generalizations oversimplifications (e.g., 'the Taoist view history' 'Han cosmology' pp. 15, 22) but which on inspection bear a specific meaning. Occasionally the sentences are overloaded and difficult to take in at first reading.

But these are minor points; the author is to be congratulated on painting a clear picture on a broad canvas. He will earn the gratitude of scholars and historians alike for his clear analysis of Xun Yue's contribution to Chinese thought, and for his account of Chinese ideologies immediately before the full force of Buddhism had been felt and the Taoist religious movements had affected the face of the land. In addition, teachers will be very grateful for an English version of yet another Chinese text which they can recommend to their pupils.
Alone I lean under the wispy shade of an aged tree,
Scornfully I raise to parted lips a cup of warm wine,
Longingly I cast an empty vessel aside those exposed roots,
And leave behind forgotten memories and forsaken dreams.
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Re: The Academic Corner of Sanguo

Unread postby Sun Fin » Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:11 pm

I've read all the reviews this morning. It sounds to me like the authors study of Xun Yue's writings is very good but his understanding of the historical context is inadequate. Still worth picking up I'm sure!

In the last one, Loewe's article, he said this:

waywardauthor wrote: Cai Yong, whose name is associated with the first engraving of the scriptures on stone tablets in A.D. 175


Does anyone know anything more about this?
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Re: The Academic Corner of Sanguo

Unread postby waywardauthor » Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:10 pm

Sun Fin wrote:I've read all the reviews this morning. It sounds to me like the authors study of Xun Yue's writings is very good but his understanding of the historical context is inadequate. Still worth picking up I'm sure!

In the last one, Loewe's article, he said this:

waywardauthor wrote: Cai Yong, whose name is associated with the first engraving of the scriptures on stone tablets in A.D. 175


Does anyone know anything more about this?
I thought so, I've got a copy back home.

I'm not sure, but there's a surprising amount of archaeological stuff that's out there, or were at least noted in records that we have, that rarely get brought up. The Cao Pi book written by Howard L Goodman is filled with references to various stele and engravings. The problem is getting this stuff translated into English. The Three Kingdoms is one of the best known periods in China, but the least studied or popularized among the west. Early Medieval Chinese historiography was practically nonexistent until relatively recently, building up in the 70s and 80s before the journal was established. A journal that is almost impossible to access, as none of my institutions allowed me access.
Alone I lean under the wispy shade of an aged tree,
Scornfully I raise to parted lips a cup of warm wine,
Longingly I cast an empty vessel aside those exposed roots,
And leave behind forgotten memories and forsaken dreams.
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Re: The Academic Corner of Sanguo

Unread postby Sun Fin » Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:42 am

waywardauthor wrote:I thought so, I've got a copy back home.


I've added it to my want list! :lol:
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Re: The Academic Corner of Sanguo

Unread postby qqdonut » Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:01 am

Wondering - has anyone read/has opinions on AB Fairbank's somewhat older dissertation on Sima Yi? "Ssu-m a I (179—251): Wei statesman and Chin founder. An historiographical inquiry"

Skim reading it now (it's long!), and it talks a lot about historiography in general and how it changed from Former Han to Tang but I believe it has a full translation of Sima Yi's bio from JS?
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Re: The Academic Corner of Sanguo

Unread postby Sun Fin » Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:33 pm

Huh, I wasn't even aware it existed. Initially I thought the author's name looked familiar but it's a different Fairbanks who was involved in the Cambridge History of China series. Flicking though a few books I have, however, I've seen it referenced a few times so it is considered a valid source.

I've found it on ProQuest now and I'll probably buy it at some point. Have you ordered it or have you found it online somewhere?

It's always exciting to see new 3K sources uncovered!
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Re: The Academic Corner of Sanguo

Unread postby qqdonut » Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:51 pm

Sun Fin wrote:Huh, I wasn't even aware it existed. Initially I thought the author's name looked familiar but it's a different Fairbanks who was involved in the Cambridge History of China series. Flicking though a few books I have, however, I've seen it referenced a few times so it is considered a valid source.

I've found it on ProQuest now and I'll probably buy it at some point. Have you ordered it or have you found it online somewhere?

It's always exciting to see new 3K sources uncovered!


I guess since it's a dissertation it's available for free from washington.edu - just Google the name of the paper. A lo-o-ong read and somewhat verbosely written but a good piece of work, it has been referenced in quite a few other 3k/Jin publications. A few interesting (if brief) analyses on differences between what's in his JS bio and the wording of the original source.

I copy and pasted the text from the PDF to read it myself since it's a bit of a mess with footnotes/formatting, etc.
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