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  • ISBN: 9780231104319
  • ISBN10: 0231104316

The Original Analects Sayings of Confucius and His Successors

by E. Bruce Brooks

  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publisher: Columbia Univ Pr
  • Publish date: 09/01/2001
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Description: No individual has so deeply influenced Chinese life as has Confucius. For more than 2,000 years, his teachings have been the foundation of China's classical moral, ethical, and social system; his legacy is inseparable from what it means to be Chinese.

Among his most important contributions is the record of Confucius's conversations and activities, compiled by disciples and their disciples, called the Analects. These 497 sayings -- many of them laconic, aphoristic, and difficult to interpret -- have profoundly shaped the culture and history of Asia.

In this landmark book, E. Bruce Brooks restores the wideranging text to its full historical, cultural, and intellectual settings, organizing the sayings not in topical but in historical sequence. Now the Analects can be read for maximum understanding -- not as a closed system of thought, but as a richly revealing commentary on living in the world that evolved across two hundred years and through many different hands. In this book, the Analects become, for perhaps the first time, a window on the period in which it grew.

In this edition, the 497 sayings are organized into twenty chapters, chronologically arranged. The first four chapters contain the core sayings of the historical Confucius; the balance is the larger body of thought and wisdom created by disciples and their followers -- memories, accounts, sayings and quasi-sayings, invented conversations in the spirit and tradition of Confucian philosophy.

An extraordinary work of historical reconstruction, The Original Analects clarifies many contradictions within the text itself by showing how it was modified and augmented by Confucius's successors during the years of change andconflict that marked the Warring States Period during which the Analects took form. The book includes detailed critical commentary and interpretation for each saying; a massive critical appendix; maps; and a fresh, fluid translation.

Sure to be controversial, this new edition of the Analects allows the text to be newly, simply, and convincingly annotated -- and, in the end, to tell a story that historians thought lost forever.

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