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Writing and authority in early China by Mark…
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Writing and authority in early China

by Mark Edward Lewis

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This is a very scholalry book and a difficult read for the layman. The author discusses various early Chinese texts in detail, so a good understanding of this corpus is probably a necessary requirement for fully appreciating this book. But I still thought the analysis of the canonization of Confucian texts was very interesting. This is a valuable book for those who want to learn more about the origins of that tradition.
  thcson | Jul 3, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0791441148, Paperback)

This book traces the evolving uses 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. Its central theme is the emergence of this body of writings as the textual double of the state, and of the text-based sage as the double of the ruler. The book examines the full range of writings employed in early China, such as divinatory records, written communications with ancestors, government documents, the collective writings of philosophical and textual traditions, speeches attributed to historical figures, chronicles, verse anthologies, commentaries, and encyclopedic compendia. Lewis shows how these writings served to administer populations, control officials, form new social groups, invent new models of authority, and create an artificial language whose master generated power and whose graphs became potent objects.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:23 -0400)

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