Authorship and Cultural Identity in Early Greece and China: by Dr Alexander Beecroft

By Dr Alexander Beecroft

During this e-book, Alexander Beecroft explores how the earliest poetry in Greece (Homeric epic and lyric) and China (the Canon of Songs) developed 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 alternative 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 encouraged via naïve biographical feedback. Beecroft argues that those texts successfully negotiated the tensions among neighborhood and pan-cultural audiences. The determine of the writer therefore 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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Of elite young men). This concern would be familiar enough to the author of the Mao Preface; what would perhaps seem strange to that author would be Aristotle’s acceptance of deviant music as appropriate for the lower orders of society, a diversion harmless for them even if it would be injurious in a pedagogical context. Clearly, then, Aristotle does think that music has a political dimension and a role in regulating public well-being; his interest in class distinctions (and his indifference to the possibility of improving the lower classes through education) suggests limits to the role that music can play for him.

Recent scholarship (Wang Baoxuan (2001), Fukui (2005), Nylan (2009)) has cast doubt on the traditional narrative that the state sponsorship of Ruist classical scholarship became entrenched under Han Wudi, suggesting that the Five Classics did not yet constitute a coherent corpus, and that the study of other texts, such as those of the Huang-Lao school, carried more weight at the court of Wudi. In this new view, the entrenchment of the Ruist study of the classics took root under Wang Mang and in the early Eastern Han, partly as a critique of the Qin (as had been assumed to be Explicit Poetics in Greece and China 31 From this perspective, the Record of Rites passage is highly suggestive.

Foucault (1994) 789–821. 35 In each case, talking about the author turns out to be a convenient way to talk about how texts are read or written. If this is true for our times, it is, I argue, still more true for the opposite end of the historical record. The greatest intrinsic interest that ancient accounts of authorship should hold for us lies not in what they have to say about authors, but in the theories of literature that they imply and embody. To write the life of an author, especially in default of reliable documentary evidence (the case for most of the materials I study here), is inevitably to reveal, intentionally or no, one’s assumptions about how and why literature is produced.

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