By Dr Alexander Beecroft
During this ebook, Alexander Beecroft explores how the earliest poetry in Greece (Homeric epic and lyric) and China (the Canon of Songs) advanced from being neighborhood, oral, and nameless to being textualized, interpreted, and circulated over more and more wider components. Beecroft re-examines representations of authorship as present in poetic biographies resembling Lives of Homer and the Zuozhuan, and within the works of different philosophical and old authors like Plato, Aristotle, Herodotus, Confucius, and Sima Qian. a lot of those anecdotes and narratives have lengthy been rejected as spurious or prompted through naïve biographical feedback. Beecroft argues that those texts successfully negotiated the tensions among neighborhood and pan-cultural audiences. The determine of the writer hence served as a catalyst to a feeling of shared cultural identification in either the Greek and chinese language worlds. It additionally facilitated the emergence of either cultures because the bases for cosmopolitan international orders.
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Additional resources for Authorship and Cultural Identity in Early Greece and China: Patterns of Literary Circulation
Ap. 162–4, who can do “mimˆeseis of the voices . . of all manner of men” pntwn d' nqrÛpwn jwnv kaª krembaliastÆn mime±sq' sasin. An instrument resembling the modern oboe. Explicit Poetics in Greece and China 37 her sister. It may be said, of course, to represent that lament, in the sense of evocatively suggesting an obviously unknowable original. More plausibly, I believe, this melody reenacts that lament, not merely evoking it, but actively instantiating it on a regular basis. The last line I have quoted makes this point – the melody is characterized as well known from its use in summoning the people to [musical or athletic] competitions.
I have already suggested that “Ruist” might be a more accurate label for these texts than “Confucian,” given that they only began to take their present shape and to acquire their (eventually) orthodox interpretations in the hands of the ritual specialists of the early Han, a process that was still ongoing in the Eastern Han centuries later. The label “classics” is problematic in its own way. 36 In older texts, we see instead references to the Songs, the Documents, the 36 The earliest references to the “Five Classics” seems to have been in the Xunzi and the Zhuangzi in the third century BC; see Henderson (1991) 42.
In addition, this passage conveys an implicit message about performance. We must remember that the Analects is, or at least claims to be, a transcript of performance – that is, a transcript of various sayings and conversations of Confucius rather than a coherent treatise written by the Master himself (a phenomenon reminiscent of course of the Socratic dialogues of Plato). E. Bruce and A. Taeko Brooks suggest 28 29 Waley (1939) 123. See for example (Cao (1982) 30). 30 If they are right, then of course the claim to transmit rather than create assumes a special urgency; Master Zeng’s performance of Confucius’ teachings gains legitimacy through the construction of Confucius as himself a transmitter, rather than a creator, with Master Zeng as the next in a line of transmission of ancient teachings, rather than as a disciple whose access to the Master himself is tenuous.