Read e-book online The Shaman and the Heresiarch: A New Interpretation of the PDF

By Gopal Sukhu

ISBN-10: 143844284X

ISBN-13: 9781438442846

The first book-length examine in English of the chinese language vintage, the Li sao (Encountering Sorrow). contains translations of the Li sao and the 9 Songs.

The Li sao (also often called Encountering Sorrow), attributed to the poet-statesman Qu Yuan (4th–3rd century BCE), is likely one of the cornerstones of the chinese language poetic culture. It has lengthy been studied as China’s first prolonged allegory in poetic shape, but so much students agree that there's little or no within the two-thousand-year-old culture of observation on it that convincingly explains its supernatural flights, its complicated floral imagery, or the gender ambiguity of its basic poetic character. The Shaman and the Heresiarch is the 1st book-length examine of the Li sao in English, supplying new translations of either the Li sao and the Nine Songs. The publication strains the shortcomings of the earliest extant statement on these texts, that of Wang Yi, again to the quasi-divinatory tools of the hugely politicized culture of chinese language classical hermeneutics mostly, and the political machinations of a Han dynasty empress dowager specifically. It additionally bargains a completely new interpretation of the Li sao, one established now not on Qu Yuan hagiography yet on what past due Warring States interval artifacts and texts, together with lately unearthed texts, train us in regards to the cultural context that produced the poem. In that gentle we see within the Li sao not just a mirrored image of the period of the nice classical chinese language philosophers, but in addition the breakdown of the political-religious order of the traditional country of Chu.

“The e-book is intensely good researched and meticulous in execution; it represents a brand new top of interpretation and cross-disciplinary review of a vital vintage of old chinese language poetry. each establishment of literature and chinese language experiences must have it on its shelves.” — Religious reports Review

“Gopal Sukhu’s hugely unique … new research of the ‘Li sao’ is the main distinct therapy of the poem in English considering Lim Boon Keng’s 1929 The Li sao, an Elegy on Encountering Sorrows.” — Journal of chinese language Religions

Gopal Sukhu is affiliate Professor of chinese and Literature at Queens university, urban collage of latest York, and teaches Classical chinese language at Columbia collage.

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Extra resources for The Shaman and the Heresiarch: A New Interpretation of the Li sao (SUNY series in Chinese Philosophy and Culture)

Sample text

To understand how those conventions operated in the Li sao, we will turn for comparison to certain Han works where those conventions were still being 38 The Shaman and the Heresiarch observed. Finally we will offer a translation and analysis of the poem that take into account its internal structure and its relation to Warring States era concerns as reflected in pre-Han texts, including some only recently unearthed. In other words, we will read the Li sao as it has not been read for most of the last two-thousand years or so—as a Warring States era text, meaning, at the very least, without reference to the received accounts of Qu Yuan, though we will never stray far from the royal palaces of Chu.

The main challenge comes from recent archaeological finds, especially in Hubei and Hunan, the most spectacular being the tomb of Zeng Houyi 曾侯乙, the Baoshan 包山 tombs, and the Guodian 郭店 tombs. On the basis of these and other finds the picture of a culturally and technologically sophisticated Chu is emerging, a picture so inviting that many Chinese have come to think of Chu as the second source of Chinese culture. Others essentialize the North with terms such as Confucian, authoritarian, and dull.

Wang Kaiyun, outexplicating everyone else before him, thinks that the flying dragon stands for King Huai, and the jade and ivory stand for various types of chariot belonging to the various feudal lords. According to Wang Kaiyun’s reading, the passage is Qu Yuan’s call to unite the lords under the king to resist Qin. But the king in the end does not heed his call, and it is for that reason that Qu Yuan chooses to depart. 62 Chewing the text into small bits to extract what one imagines to be historical content, a technique that was already well developed before Wang Yi, appears repeatedly even in some of the most sober and philologically informed commentaries of the late imperial period and modern times.

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The Shaman and the Heresiarch: A New Interpretation of the Li sao (SUNY series in Chinese Philosophy and Culture) by Gopal Sukhu

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