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Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Commentarial Transformation of the Spring and Autumn

Author:
Newell Ann Van Auken

Publication Date:
December 2016

Publisher:
SUNY Press




Abstract:

The Spring and Autumn is among the earliest surviving Chinese historical records, covering the period 722–479 BCE. It is a curious text: the canonical interpretation claims that it was composed by Confucius and embodies his moral judgments, but this view appears to be contradicted by the brief and dispassionate records themselves. Newell Ann Van Auken addresses this puzzling discrepancy through an examination of early interpretations of the Spring and Autumn, and uncovers a crucial missing link in two sets of commentarial remarks embedded in the Zuoû Tradition. These embedded commentaries do not seek moral judgments in the Spring and Autumn, but instead interpret its records as produced by a historiographical tradition that was governed by rules related to hierarchy and ritual practice. Van Auken’s exploration of the Zuo Tradition and other early commentaries sheds light on the transformation of the Spring and Autumn from a simple, non-narrative historical record into a Confucian classic.

Table of Contents:

Acknowledgments
Scholarly Conventions

Introduction
 Text, Commentary, and Authority
 The Spring and Autumn: An Overview and Brief Reception History
 The Zuô Tradition and Spring and Autumn Commentary
 Overview of the Book

1. Orthodoxy and Transformation: Two Categories of Commentary

2. The Ritual Filter and the Centrality of Lǔ

3. Hierarchy, Criticism, and Commendation: Recognizing Merit and Assigning Fault

4. Two Ways of Teaching the Spring and Autumn: The Sources of the Direct Commentaries

5. Other Approaches to Commentary in the Zuô Tradition: The Gentleman and Confucius

6. Incomplete Correspondences and the Likelihood of Mediated Contact: The Relation of the Direct Commentaries to Gōngyáng and Gǔliáng

7. From Recording Rules to Written Text: Conceptual Antecedents to Gōngyáng and Gǔliáng in the Direct Commentaries

Epilogue

Appendix
Summaries and Topical Lists of the Direct Commentary Passages
Summaries: Specific Remarks
Summaries: General Remarks
Topical Lists of Direct Commentary Passages

Notes
Bibliography
Index

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