The Empire of the Text

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9780847687381: The Empire of the Text
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This unique study argues that in the Qin-Han period, there arose in China a regime of textual authority_one that overlapped but did not coincide with imperial authority. Drawing on a wide range of research and theory, Connery makes an original contribution to the analysis of early imperial elite culture, particularly in the fields of literature and linguistics, intellectual, and institutional history. The author provides new contexts for thinking about canonization and textual transmission systems, an innovative framework for analysis and discussion of the early imperial elite, a socio-ideological exploration of one strand of late Han 'Confucian' thought, and a critique of the concepts of subjectivity and the 'birth of lyricism' in China.

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Christopher Leigh Connery is associate professor of literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Review:

A work of great brilliance and insight. This is scholarship at its best: skeptical, full of substance and ideas, not confined by conventional wisdom or fashionable trends. (Victor H. Mair, University of Pennsylvania)

Connery's experiment leads the reader into fascinating and sometimes difficult terrain. . . . Connery's arguments, which always deserve careful attention, are built upon two pillars: first, a meticulous and judicious use of sinological scholarship; and second, a profound engagement with theory. Readers will be stimulated and challenged by Connery's impressive scholarly achievement. . . . An excellent work. (Journal of Asian Studies)

...important book of our times. Connery's work is a lucid alternative to some customs of scholarship in this area that should be re-assessed; he clears a lot of underbrush with this book and shows the way an alternative view would look. The Empire of the Text amounts to a principled re-thinking of the theoretical basis of the study of ancient Chinese culture, which pressures us to quit our familiar conceptual frames and examine the terms we use ina more cautious light. This is a projec of overwhelming critical significance. (Bulletin of the Institute of Chinese Literature and Philosopy)

Connery is frankly 'interpretive and theoretical,' his book is an 'analytical experiment'. . . complementary in period and approach, [that] makes enormous contributions to our understanding of the power of Chinese sacred texts. Essential reading for students of early China. (Kidder Smith, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, ME Religious Studies Review, Vol. 26, No. 2)

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9780847687398: The Empire of the Text

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ISBN 10:  0847687392 ISBN 13:  9780847687398
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 1999
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