Between History and Philosophy

Anecdotes in Early China

Edited by Paul van Els & Sarah A. Queen

Subjects: Chinese Studies, Asian Literature, Asian Studies, Literature
Series: SUNY series in Chinese Philosophy and Culture
Paperback : 9781438466125, 386 pages, July 2018
Hardcover : 9781438466118, 386 pages, September 2017

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Table of contents

Acknowledgments

Anecdotes in Early China
Paul van Els and Sarah A. Queen

Part I. Anecdotes, Argumentation, and Debate

1. Non-deductive Argumentation in Early Chinese Philosophy
Paul R. Goldin

2. The Frontier between Chen and Cai: Anecdote, Narrative, and Philosophical Argumentation in Early China
Andrew Seth Meyer

3. Mozi as a Daoist Sage? An Intertextual Analysis of the “Gongshu” Anecdote in the Mozi
Ting-mien Lee

4. Anecdotal Barbarians in Early China
Wai-yee Li

Part II. Anecdotes and Textual Formation

5. Anecdote Collections as Argumentative Texts: The Composition of the Shuoyuan
Christian Schwermann

6. From Villains Outwitted to Pedants Out-Wrangled: The Function of Anecdotes in the Shifting Rhetoric of the Han Feizi
Heng Du

7. The Limits of Praise and Blame: The Rhetorical Uses of Anecdotes in the Gongyangzhuan
Sarah A. Queen

Part III. Anecdotes and History

8. History without Anecdotes: Between the Zuozhuan and the Xinian Manuscript
Yuri Pines

9. Cultural Memory and Excavated Anecdotes in “Documentary” Narrative: Mediating Generic Tensions in the Baoxun Manuscript
Rens Krijgsman

10. Old Stories No Longer Told: The End of the Anecdotes Tradition of Early China
Paul van Els

Contributors
Index

Analyzes the use of anecdotes as an essential rhetorical tool and form of persuasion in various literary genres in early China.

Description

Between History and Philosophy is the first book-length study in English to focus on the rhetorical functions and forms of anecdotal narratives in early China. Edited by Paul van Els and Sarah A. Queen, this volume advances the thesis that anecdotes—brief, freestanding accounts of single events involving historical figures, and occasionally also unnamed persons, animals, objects, or abstractions—served as an essential tool of persuasion and meaning-making within larger texts. Contributors to the volume analyze the use of anecdotes from the Warring States Period to the Han Dynasty, including their relations to other types of narrative, their circulation and reception, and their central position as a mode of argumentation in a variety of historical and philosophical literary genres.

Paul van Els is University Lecturer of China Studies at Leiden University, the Netherlands, and the author of The Wenzi: Creation, Manipulation, and Reception of a Chinese Philosophical Text. Sarah A. Queen is Professor of History at Connecticut College and the coeditor (with Michael Puett) of The Huainanzi and Textual Production in Early China.