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Author Durrant, Stephen W., 1944- author
Title The letter to Ren An & Sima Qian's legacy / Stephen Durrant, Wai-Yee Li, Michael Nylan, Hans van Ess
Imprint Seattle : University of Washington Press, [2016]
book jacket
 Ethnology Library  DS734.9.S8 D875 2016    AVAILABLE    30520020819448
 Chinese Lit.&Phi. Lib.  782.82 2437/ D965    AVAILABLE    30580003297525
 Fu Ssu-Nien WTN LANG BK  DS734.9.S8 D965 2016    AVAILABLE    30530001254754
Descript xi, 178 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
text txt rdacontent
unmediated n rdamedia
volume nc rdacarrier
Note "'Surely, a man has but one death. That death may be as heavy as Mount Tai or as light as a goose feather. It is how he uses that death that makes all the difference!' So wrote Sima Qian (first century BCE), author of Record of the Historian (Shiji), the first comprehensive history of China's past, in his 'Letter to Ren An.' In this, the most famous letter in Chinese history, he explains his decision to finish his life's work, the first comprehensive history of the Chinese past, which was begun by his late father, rather than to honorably commit suicide following his castration for 'deceiving the emperor.' The authenticity of the letter, which is included in Sima Qian's biography in Ban Gu's (CE 32-92) History of the Han Dynasty, has been debated for millennia. Is it a genuine piece of writing by Sima Qian addressed to a fellow sufferer who was himself languishing in prison and would die in 91 BCE? Or is it a very early work of literary impersonation whereby Ban Gu or a still earlier author sought to elucidate Sima Qian's reasoning through an epistle? Conceived as a text for Chinese history courses, this compact volume provides a full translation of the letter (along with the original Chinese text) and uses different interpretations of this key document to explore issues in textual history, epistolary culture, Han politics, and Han thought. It shows how ideas about friendship, loyalty, factionalism, and authorship encoded in the letter have far-reaching implications for the study of China"--Provided by publisher
Includes bibliographical references (pages 161-168) and index
Han dynasty emperors -- The letter to Ren An : english translation -- Seeking answers, finding more questions / Stephen Durrant -- Dissent against Emperor Wu of the Han / Hans van Ess -- Friendship and other tropes in The letter to Ren An / Michael Nylan -- The letter to Ren An and authorship in the Chinese tradition / Wai-yee Li -- Appendix: The letter to Ren An : Chinese text -- Glossary of Chinese characters
Subject Sima, Qian, approximately 145 B.C.-approximately 86 B.C. -- Correspondence
報任安書 -- 評論 csht
The letter to Ren An
Historians -- China -- Correspondence
Sima, Qian, approximately 145 B.C.-approximately 86 B.C. -- Criticism and interpretation
Sima, Qian, approximately 145 B.C.-approximately 86 B.C. -- Authorship
Sima, Qian, approximately 145 B.C.-approximately 86 B.C. -- Influence
Chinese letters -- History and criticism
Friendship -- China -- History -- To 1500 -- Sources
China -- History -- Han dynasty, 202 B.C.-220 A.D. -- History -- Sources
China -- Politics and government -- 221 B.C.-220 A.D. -- Sources
China -- Intellectual life -- 221 B.C.-960 A.D. -- Sources
Alt Author Li, Wai-yee, author
Nylan, Michael, author
Ess, Hans van, author
Alt Title Letter to Ren An and Sima Qian's legacy
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