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Jamison's review

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  • John Colarusso
    Dear List, Roger Pearson of JIES has given me permission to post Stephanie s review [of Bryant/Patton] for the list. Here is my edited copy as I sent it off
    Message 1 of 25 , Sep 21, 2006
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      Dear List,

      Roger Pearson of JIES has given me permission to post Stephanie's
      review [of Bryant/Patton] for the list. Here is my
      edited copy as I sent it off to the journal.

      http://www.safarmer.com/Indo-Eurasian/Bryant_Patton.review.pdf

      or tinyurl: http://tinyurl.com/g45ak

      Best regards,

      John

      John Colarusso, Ph.D.,
      Professor
      Departments of
      Anthropology, and of
      Linguistics and Languages
    • Steve Farmer
      ... I ll just ask two quick questions, then -- really comments -- on your first post. I doubt that we disagree here in any deep way, and they may not require
      Message 2 of 25 , Sep 21, 2006
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        Bruce writes, re questions on his overview:

        > As far as I am concerned, people can do whatever they find
        > convenient. If a question comes up with "China 1," it
        > seems reasonable to me to have it asked then, while it is
        > still fresh in mind....

        I'll just ask two quick questions, then -- really comments -- on your
        first post. I doubt that we disagree here in any deep way, and they may
        not require any further discussion. I don't want to split the thread,
        by any means.

        1. You write:

        > We are dealing with written texts. Compared to classical India, or
        > Greece, the bulk of the extant Chinese classical texts is small
        > relative to the period they document.

        It might be useful for people from other fields to be reminded that the
        "received" classical texts in most cases represent forms that are often
        quite late. One of the really exciting things I find about current
        Chinese studies, which I assume you'll elaborate on eventually, is that
        tomb-text finds (epitomized by the Mawangdui and Guodian hoards) in the
        last few decades have often demonstrated that what for several
        millennia have been viewed as the "received" texts may have diverged
        quite sharply on key points from the texts that actually circulated in
        the Warring States/Han periods. And this by analogy has to make us
        rethink what we know about classical Western and Indian texts as well,
        where we are often totally dependent on medieval manuscripts for
        "ancient" texts.

        In any event, I assume that you plan to take up this issue, but a lot
        of people not working in philology may assume that when we're talking
        about written texts that it is normal for us to have ancient
        manuscripts in hand. And in most cases, of course, that isn't true.
        (You of course know this, but not everyone will.)

        2. You write:

        > Nearly all the texts are secular, and most are concerned with
        > political philosophy (including opposition to political
        > philosophy).

        I of course know what you mean, and I assume here you're
        implicitly comparing these texts with (say) earlier Vedic or Buddhist
        materials, since in your post you earlier mentioned contrasts with
        Michael's and Stephen's presentations on those materials. And of course
        the claim that Chinese texts are largely political and 'secular' (when
        compared with other ancient traditions) is a pretty common one. There
        is no harm here if people actually know the texts, but I'd like to
        underline the obvious to people who don't know them -- pointing out
        that what we mean by 'secular' and 'political' in these cases at least
        implicitly (and often quite explicitly) involved quite complicated
        religious/cosmological frameworks.

        Without belaboring all this, here are two pages from the (quite heavily
        layered, as you know) Lüshi chunqiu (Spring and Autumn of Mr. Lü), at
        least parts of which were compiled in the 3rd century BCE, in the
        ed./trans. of Knoblock and Riegel.

        The text certainly deals with political philosophy, but I'm
        not sure 'secular' is the right word.

        http://www.safarmer.com/Indo-Eurasian/extract.jpg

        I think you could make the same comment about earlier Warring States
        'political' texts, although the cosmological element wouldn't be
        so obvious.

        In any event, I don't think you'd really disagree on these points, and
        they probably don't really require further elaboration, but I did want
        to underline them.

        On the use of transliteration systems, I hold my tongue! :^)

        Best,
        Steve
      • E Bruce Brooks
        To: Indo-Eurasian Research Cc: WSW In Response To: Steve Farmer On: Questions on China 1 Steve has raised two large questions, which may be easier for me, at
        Message 3 of 25 , Sep 21, 2006
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          To: Indo-Eurasian Research
          Cc: WSW
          In Response To: Steve Farmer
          On: Questions on "China 1"

          Steve has raised two large questions, which may be easier for me, at least,
          to discuss when I have shared more details of how we see the Chinese texts
          in question. But to anticipate a little, in the interest of responsiveness:

          1. Text Transmission

          STEVE: It might be useful for people from other fields to be reminded that
          the "received" classical texts in most cases represent forms that are often
          quite late. One of the really exciting things I find about current Chinese
          studies, which I assume you'll elaborate on eventually, is that tomb-text
          finds (epitomized by the Mawangdui and Guodian hoards) in the last few
          decades have often demonstrated that what for several millennia have been
          viewed as the "received" texts may have diverged quite sharply on key points
          from the texts that actually circulated in the Warring States/Han periods.
          And this by analogy has to make us rethink what we know about classical
          Western and Indian texts as well, where we are often totally dependent on
          medieval manuscripts for "ancient" texts.

          BRUCE: Somewhat to the contrary, the basic sense I personally get from the
          major tomb text finds, apart from joining others in welcoming the appearance
          of previously lost or unknown items, is that our received texts (typically
          stemming from Han) are really pretty good. To take the Dau/Dv Jing as an
          example, though from the Gwodyen and Mawangdwei versions we can correct some
          wording in the received text, and refine some of its chapter divisions
          (which had long been questioned by scholars anyway), it can be shown that
          the *arrangement* of the text in those versions is a local caprice, a
          text-history dead end, and that the main line of transmission, going back to
          the accretional original, is better represented by the received text.

          So also, mutatis mutandis, with the Yinchyweshan Sundz, where again there
          has been a local rearrangement of the material which is explicable in purely
          local terms. Though this is interesting as evidence for the local situation,
          it does not ultimately affect our sense of the original Sundz.

          The Sundz underwent an enormous expansion in Han, reaching more than 80
          chapters, rather than the original 12 (soon extended to 13). It would be
          quite imaginable that our received text was this gigantic distension of the
          original. In that case, the Yinchyweshan version, in which only the first
          bits of extended text are present, would have come as the kind of revelation
          which I think Steve has in mind. Instead, as it seems all that extra matter
          was excised by rather knowledgeable early editors, or by early scholarly
          consensus operating in some other way, and the text has come down to us in
          very much its pre-expansion form, still preserving signs of the accretion
          process which gave rise to it in the first place.

          2. Secular Character of Elite Writings.

          To my characterization of the bulk of the Warring States as secular, even
          political, rather than sacred [specifically in contrast to the general run
          of early Indian texts], Steve responds:

          STEVE: I of course know what you mean, and I assume here you're implicitly
          comparing these texts with (say) earlier Vedic or Buddhist materials, since
          in your post you earlier mentioned contrasts with Michael's and Stephen's
          presentations on those materials. And of course the claim that Chinese texts
          are largely political and 'secular' (when
          compared with other ancient traditions) is a pretty common one. There is no
          harm here if people actually know the texts, but I'd like to underline the
          obvious to people who don't know them -- pointing out that what we mean by
          'secular' and 'political' in these cases at least implicitly (and often
          quite explicitly) involved quite complicated
          religious/cosmological frameworks.

          BRUCE: Not to provoke a general discussion, which might be endless, but in
          the Chinese context, and indeed in general, I would be disposed to challenge
          the linking of "religious" and "cosmological." I feel it may be analytically
          more fruitful to keep them apart, and in the Chinese case, to ask exactly
          who in the Warring States debates offered to equate them. More precisely, I
          think it is easier to discuss the question if we keep the social strata
          factor in mind. For instance, the ancestral pieties of the ruler are
          different from the phallic superstitions of the millet grower, and these in
          turn are different from the notably reticent attitude toward both which is
          displayed elsewhere, most notoriously by the "Confucius" of the Analects.
          When we move downward from the level of the serving elite, we rapidly get
          into less agnostic territory. For example, we find the Micians bitterly
          criticizing the Confucians for their lack of belief in such globally
          familiar folk ideas as retributive spirits. The further down you go, the
          more familiar the territory becomes to students of general religion. Nor are
          the kings and emperors wholly unintelligible in those terms. It is in
          between, in the text-producing elite layer of Chinese society, that we find
          a difference. But it is precisely the text-producing layer with whom we have
          to deal, in discussing the texts they produced.

          It may also be clarifying to note where, in the sequence of textual layers,
          or of early and late texts generally, certain specific ideas are
          manifested - or not manifested. I hope to present a view of certain of the
          relevant texts presently (though in sum, and not necessarily detailed enough
          for these issues to be wholly clear; I can of course go into more detail -
          as far as we here have it to offer - for any text which invites close
          discussion in this way).

          STEVE: Without belaboring all this, here are two pages from the (quite
          heavily layered, as you know) Lüshi chunqiu (Spring and Autumn of Mr. Lü),
          at least parts of which were compiled in the 3rd century BCE, in the
          ed./trans. of Knoblock and Riegel. / The text certainly deals with political
          philosophy, but I'm not sure 'secular' is the right word.

          http://www.safarmer.com/Indo-Eurasian/extract.jpg

          I think you could make the same comment about earlier Warring States
          'political' texts, although the cosmological element wouldn't be so obvious.

          BRUCE: The quoted text is from LSCC 13, which in our view (to anticipate
          once again) is the first chapter in the Chin addendum of c0221 (not in the
          core of c0241). It concerns the portents of misrule, and of impending state
          disaster sent by Heaven in retribution for misrule. This is a belief pattern
          that certainly goes back to Shang; the oracle bone inscriptions work it out
          at enormous length. It also seems to us to have been part of the mental
          equipment of the series of scribes who put together the Chun/Chyou chronicle
          of Lu (from 0722 on). In some form, but still recognizably, it seems to
          survive in the working assumptions of Szma Tan, who was Grand Astrologer
          under Han Wu-di from c0137 on, and whose official task it was to interpret
          just such portents, and make recommendations about them, whence, in all
          probability, some of the omen-fixing Han reign period names (nengo). So
          there is a tradition about such matters, itself constituting a school of
          thought, or technical expertise. Calendar making, lunar interpolation
          questions, and the like, were evidently related. It did exist, and it
          continued to exist through the sovereignty gap and into the early Empire.

          As far as I know, though, we don't possess any pre-Imperial texts directly
          reflecting this special expertise, or this view of Heaven, which may already
          indicate something about the mind of the culture that either preserved or
          did not preserve certain texts. (Somewhat analogous views *are* expounded in
          the Han text Chun/Chyou Fan-lu, though in which strata of that text is a
          question that is still being discussed). We *might* have such texts from the
          Warring States, but we don't, and it may *mean* something that we don't. I
          have the impression that portentology and its adherents were kept pretty
          much apart from the other views of practical applied humanity. The paragraph
          Steve cites is from an avowedly encyclopedic work, which is perhaps not
          surprising as an exception to the general absence. And the absence is not
          just a Confucian absence. The statecraft schools, conventionally called
          "Legalist," on the whole have absolutely nothing to do with these ideas;
          they look to food supply and boot camp and the death penalty, not to
          messages sent by an eclipse telegram, to make the state successful (the
          contrast with the ideology of the War Psalms of the Bible, where God is
          everything and archery training is nothing, could not be more extreme).

          There are other exceptions here and there, but they remain exceptions, and
          the tenor of elite discourse, by and large, acknowledges these notions, but
          does not generally operate with them, let alone expound them. I thus think
          that the general lack of elite reliance on these concepts, when the elite
          texts are in a recommending or analytical mood, is the more significant
          fact, not the undoubted existence of a Palace specialty in omen
          interpretation.

          All parts of the thought spectrum are well populated, if we take China as a
          whole, but the subset of "China" that is represented by our elite discourse
          texts, various though their standpoints are, seem on the whole to keep
          pretty clear of the portentology corner of things.

          When the Dzwo Jwan, moving through the various stages of philosophical
          evolution which Taeko has described in her recent Oriens Extremus paper (I
          here as elsewhere anticipate a point to be made in a later note), finally
          arrives at a worldview which I would call cosmological, it does so after
          abandoning earlier worldviews in which any higher powers, sometimes called
          "Heaven," are responsive to, or in any way concerned with, human actions
          whether good or evil, and accepts instead a world in which Heaven does what
          does, and among men, the stronger side wins. Thus the end of the 04c, in one
          distinct Confucian variant view. Coming later, perhaps in the early middle
          03c, is Sywndz 17, the essay on Heaven, whose thrust is thus summed up by
          Knoblock (3/15-17):

          "The book develops the concept of Nature as the impartial and universal
          power controlling humans and the myriad things. The course of Nature is
          invariable, and as such it responds neither to the goodness of a [Yau] nor
          to the evil of a [Jye]. Consequently, prosperity and fortune, adversity and
          misfortune, result not from the invariable processes of Nature, but from the
          actions of man."

          "The separate roles of Nature (Heaven and Earth) and Man are unified by
          their constancy (17:5). The difference between the gentleman and the petty
          man is that the gentleman keeps to what it is his to do and does not long to
          do what belongs to Nature (17:6). All the various unusual events of Nature
          are the outcome of its regular processes; they are not omens as superstition
          holds, and although we may marvel at them, there is no reason to fear or
          worship them (17:7, 17:8).

          "In proposing a morally neutral Nature, [Sywndz] argues that natural
          calamities, unusual events, and "ill omens" are not the result of what men
          do, but are products of the normal operations of Nature. Because they are
          rare, it is permissible to marvel at them, but because they are part of the
          "normal" course of Nature, they should not be feared."

          This rejection, or what Sywndz himself calls a "separation" (fvn), strikes
          me as much of a piece with the route by which the final position of the Dzwo
          Jwan is reached (whether that position be a last organic evolutionary stage,
          as Taeko concludes, or, as some think, a later addition to the text). It is
          just when Chinese thought arrives at the concept of Nature (the order of the
          physical universe), which is what I would take "cosmology" to mean, that it,
          or those segments of it, abandon the notion of a cause/effect or ethical
          connection between Man and a more vaguely conceived Heaven, which is what I
          take "religion" to mean.

          The point, as it seems to me, is not that the mindset of portentology did
          not exist in classical China, as a survival from archaic times, but that the
          elite tradition was concerned either to ignore it (as with most Legalist
          writings), or to explicitly distance itself from it (as in the two variant
          Confucian views here mentioned; views that arise, as I hope presently to
          explain in greater detail, at a specific moment in the evolution of Chinese
          thought).

          With these important qualifications, which I thank Steve for raising on
          behalf of others who probably wondered about them also, I thus think that if
          I were limited to one sentence on the matter, I would still be inclined to
          stand by my original epitome.

          Bruce

          E Bruce Brooks
          Warring States Project
          University of Massachusetts at Amherst
        • prem saran
          Dear John, Jamison s review was such a pleasure to read! I m only mildly surprised that non-Indian scholars/ academics should support what is really a
          Message 4 of 25 , Sep 21, 2006
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            Dear John,

            Jamison's review was such a pleasure to read!

            I'm only mildly surprised that non-Indian scholars/
            academics should support what is really a political
            controversy/sydrome, viz. the 'out-of-India' polemics
            of some Indians, whether scholarly or not.

            As the reviewer has very politely stated, the norms of
            objective scholarship are rather different from those
            that obtain among journalists....

            Warmly,

            Prem


            --- John Colarusso <colaruss@...> wrote:

            > Dear List,
            >
            > Roger Pearson of JIES has given me permission to
            > post Stephanie's
            > review [of Bryant/Patton] for the list. Here is my
            > edited copy as I sent it off to the journal.
            >
            >
            http://www.safarmer.com/Indo-Eurasian/Bryant_Patton.review.pdf
            >
            > or tinyurl: http://tinyurl.com/g45ak
            >
            > Best regards,
            >
            > John
            >
            > John Colarusso, Ph.D.,
            > Professor
            > Departments of
            > Anthropology, and of
            > Linguistics and Languages
            >
            >
            >
            >


            __________________________________________________
            Do You Yahoo!?
            Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
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          • Lars Martin Fosse
            ... Since I contributed to that book, I would like to answer this question. The book was planned in the late nineties, and I personally finalized my
            Message 5 of 25 , Sep 22, 2006
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              Prem wrote:

              > I'm only mildly surprised that non-Indian scholars/ academics
              > should support what is really a political
              > controversy/sydrome, viz. the 'out-of-India' polemics of some
              > Indians, whether scholarly or not.

              Since I contributed to that book, I would like to answer this question.

              The book was planned in the late nineties, and I personally finalized my
              contribution in 1999. At that time, it seemed meaningful to confront the
              Hindutva brand of scholarship in a volume of this kind, particularly because
              there presumably were people out there who simply didn't know what to think,
              and who might need an information package like this.

              Since then, the situation has changed in many ways, particularly due to the
              scandalous behaviour of the Hindutva forces in connection with the
              California school book case. Today, I don't think I would have contributed
              to this kind of volume. But otherwise, I have no regrets. Back in 1999, it
              seemed the right thing to do.

              Best regards,

              Lars Martin



              From:
              Dr.art. Lars Martin Fosse
              Haugerudvn. 76, Leil. 114,
              0674 Oslo - Norway
              Phone: +47 22 32 12 19 Fax: +47 850 21 250
              Mobile phone: +47 90 91 91 45
              E-mail: lmfosse@...
              http://www.linguistfinder.com/translators.asp?id=2164






              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
            • Steve Farmer
              Dear Bruce, In reference to my comments and your response: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Indo-Eurasian_research/message/4975
              Message 6 of 25 , Sep 22, 2006
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                Dear Bruce,

                In reference to my comments and your response:

                http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Indo-Eurasian_research/message/4975
                http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Indo-Eurasian_research/message/4978

                Thanks much for your comments, which at a minimum clarifies our
                differences. Since we're still in a preliminary stage in our
                stratification thread, I think that's all we can aim at for now. I'm
                very much looking forward to the rest of your overview.

                Just a little quick feedback, since I don't think we can really settle
                these issues before moving on:

                On the second (and less important) of my points -- whether you want to
                call Chinese classics "secular" or not -- I think our differences
                really are just terminological. All I can do is point to passages from
                classical Chinese documents, like the one I indicated from the Lüshi
                chunqiu

                http://www.safarmer.com/Indo-Eurasian/extract.jpg

                and note that it doesn't matter too much what term we use, so long as
                we know what kind of thing we're talking about. I could have pointed
                just as well to key passages of the Laozi (i.e., the Daodejing) or the
                Book of Changes (Yijing) that a lot of people would have a hard time
                thinking of as "secular" too. And so for many other texts, including
                specifically Confucian materials. But that doesn't mean that the two of
                us would disagree on much beyond what we label these works.

                On the first, more substantial, point of how close or not the tomb-text
                finds are to the later "received texts", I can only for now register
                our differences, since we both know how involved any discussion of this
                would become. As you know, the sharp divergences (especially omissions)
                from the received texts found in (say) the two Guodian (tomb-text)
                versions of the Laozi can be explained in one of at least two radically
                different ways, depending on how you want to model it. (Overview of the
                issues, for those who don't know them, in the proceedings of the
                Dartmouth Conference: <http://tinyurl.com/n2c8e>).

                But I do think we should pick up this issue up later, since the
                general point behind it is I think critical to our entire thread. I
                also know that several people on the List have worked a bit with the
                Guodian materials, so the discussion could get interesting, if we can
                draw them out.

                I think that the issue (ie., the divergence between the tomb texts and
                received texts) is critical among other reasons since I see strong
                parallels to recent discussions of sharp differences
                between what classicists refer to as the vulgate text of Homer (= the
                received text) and quotations from the text and early papyri containing
                earlier fragments of Homer. So I think there are big
                methodological issues here regarding canonization processes.

                In the case of the Guodian versions of the Laozi, what is most striking
                to me is the absence in those texts of much of what a lot of people would
                be tempted to think of as the more metaphysical or mystical (or
                non-secular, even) materials you find in the "received text." E.g., to
                point out just one such instance, as I recall, *all* the main chapters
                referring to the "One" (familiar in the received version) are missing
                from the two Guodian versions, and most of the key chapters that deal
                with Dao (the "Way") are missing as well. Again, I realize there are
                several ways to model these omissions, but you may be in the minority
                position (not that that necessarily means you're wrong) in your view
                of that text:

                > To take the Dau/Dv Jing [Daodejing] as an example, though from the
                > Gwodyen [Guodian] and Mawangdwei [Mawangdui] versions we can correct
                > some wording in the received text, and refine some of its chapter
                > divisions (which had long been questioned by scholars anyway), it can
                > be shown that the *arrangement* of the text in those versions is a
                > local caprice, a text-history dead end, and that the main line of
                > transmission, going back to the accretional original, is better
                > represented by the received text.

                Personally, I'm not convinced (again, I know you'd disagree) that it
                makes sense when referring to ancient layered sources to speak of
                "originals" -- but that's another issue. The upshot is that I suggest
                that we put this part of the discussion aside (unless others have
                something to add) until after the rest of your overview, since the
                issue of "received texts" vs. the tomb-texts is so fraught with
                problems. We can then maybe pick up on it in a subthread?

                Very interesting things to discuss, in any event, even when we don't
                fully agree! I think we do agree on most essentials.

                Best,
                Steve
              • Michael Witzel
                Dear All: Chiming in with Lars Martin: if I had known then of all who would be invited to the then planned volume, I would have thought twice to contribute. I
                Message 7 of 25 , Sep 22, 2006
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                  Dear All:

                  Chiming in with Lars Martin: if I had known then of all who would be
                  invited to the then planned volume, I would have thought twice to
                  contribute. I have seen only the long delayed, finished volume. The
                  editorial decisions and editorial essays certainly are unacceptable,
                  but they are in line with the currently prevailing mood of "'anything
                  written/printed anywhere by anyone has equal value."

                  As I have said so in a private message to Steve and Dean, in the
                  context of our Kurgan discussion then: Oct. 26, 2005:

                  "As for the Indo-Aryans, the recent volume, ed. by E. Bryant and L.
                  Patton the Indo_Aryan Controversy (London: Routledge 2005) ... is a
                  post-modern collage, where everybody gets his say... The non-initiated
                  reader will be thoroughly confused to read, e.g,. the 100%
                  contradictory views of two linguists, H. Hock and S.S. Misra, next to
                  each other. Specialists' introductions/summaries would have been
                  welcome. As things stands now, even the positions of some authors
                  writing in the very book are misstated, and of course treated on a
                  truly postmodern "equal basis". No "Truth project" here."

                  And again, on Nov. 5, 2005, IER no. 2213: <Re: SV: [Indo-Eurasia] RV
                  date and astrology>
                  "... only a few things to be added. The matter [of the date of the
                  Rgveda] would of course
                  remain inconclusive in postmodern eyes (such as in the recent edited
                  volume by E. Bryant and L. Patton, The Indo-Aryan Controversy,
                  London/NY 2005)."

                  cf. also IER no. 2078: <Re: Fakes, science and superstition>

                  The volume, as it stands, unfortunately gives some legitimacy to the
                  Hindutva/Out of India crowd (and they have said so on the net !). We
                  know they are crackpots and discussion with them is useless; see my
                  detailed account of the recent Dartmouth Hindutva fest (June 26, 2006,
                  IER no. 4278 Dartmouth Hindutva meeting ). Inconvenient data run off
                  them as if off teflon.

                  Cheers,
                  Michael

                  PS. Jamison's review misses the main point of my paper: after stating
                  the communis opinio, I have provided a lengthy rebuttal, written for
                  Hindutva consumption, of their beliefs of an indigenous origin of
                  (pre)Vedic Sanskrit inside South Asia as well as of their (worse)
                  assertion of an Out of India movement of Iranian and Indo-European
                  languages.

                  For the data used see the more extensive paper in EJVS: Autochthonous
                  Aryans? The Evidence from Old Indian and Iranian Texts. EJVS May 2001;
                  PDF at: <http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/%7Ewitzel/EJVS-7-3.pdf>


                  On Sep 22, 2006, at 7:34 AM, Lars Martin Fosse wrote:

                  > The book was planned in the late nineties, and I personally
                  > finalized my contribution in 1999. At that time, it seemed
                  > meaningful to confront the Hindutva brand of scholarship
                  > in a volume of this kind, particularly because there
                  > presumably were people out there who simply didn't know what to
                  > think,and who might need an information package like this.
                  >
                  > Since then, the situation has changed in many ways, particularly due
                  > to the scandalous behaviour of the Hindutva forces in connection
                  > with the California school book case. Today, I don't think I
                  > would have contributed to this kind of volume. But otherwise,
                  > I have no regrets. Back in 1999, it seemed the right thing to do.
                  >
                  > Best regards,
                  >
                  > Lars Martin

                  ________________________________________________
                  Michael Witzel
                  Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies, Harvard University
                  1 Bow Street , 3rd floor, Cambridge MA 02138
                  1-617-495 3295 Fax: 496 8571
                  direct line: 496 2990
                  <http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~witzel/mwpage.htm><
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                • E Bruce Brooks
                  To: Indo-European Research Cc: WSW On: Religion and Texts in Early China From: Bruce Just two things, but they seem to be important ones: RELIGION It s easy to
                  Message 8 of 25 , Sep 22, 2006
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                    To: Indo-European Research
                    Cc: WSW
                    On: Religion and Texts in Early China
                    From: Bruce

                    Just two things, but they seem to be important ones:

                    RELIGION

                    It's easy to define "religion" so that everything is included. Departments
                    of Religion do it all the time, as part of the ongoing academic turf wars.
                    But turf wars are not intellectually interesting. I find that it is more
                    revealing to use a narrower definition, and for what it may be worth, one
                    more in accord with common usage, which in my view permits us to see some
                    things that a more inclusive definition would blur. For instance:

                    STEVE [a propos his earlier mention of a LSCC passage]: I could have
                    pointed just as well to key passages of the Laozi (i.e., the Daodejing) or
                    the Book of Changes (Yijing) that a lot of people would have a hard time
                    thinking of as "secular" too. And so for many other texts, including
                    specifically Confucian materials.

                    BRUCE: There are such places. I don't feel that they necessarily solve the
                    question by implicating the rest of the texts in question, or the rest of
                    the culture in which this elite discourse takes place. What is interesting
                    to me about the DDJ in this regard is that its earliest stratum seems indeed
                    to be devotional, probably implying a breath concentration regimen which
                    more likely than not came to China from NE India in pre-Maurya and early
                    Maurya times. But as the text continues, it very quickly gets into the
                    business of drawing implications for ordinary political life, and indeed,
                    guidance for contemporary rulers. The longer it goes on, the higher the
                    political percent runs, and the more subdued (and less advocational or even
                    functional) the meditationist component becomes. That is, as the text
                    becomes assimilated into the elite discourse, it proportionally loses any
                    quantum of otherworldly or innerworldly character.

                    We can repeat this for the Jwangdz, which is largely from the early mid 03rd
                    century, at a later stage of Chinese economic success and political turmoil.
                    Its textual beginnings (I here take it for granted that these have been
                    correctly identified) seem to have roots in an antigovernment stance,
                    sometimes of agrarian primitivist cast (quite possibly with an accompanying
                    value system linked to some mythical figure of the past), sometimes of a
                    meditational character seemingly akin to the starting point of the DDJ.
                    Sometimes there are what look like ill-digested echoes of seeming Indian
                    character, implying contact now with the NW Indian trade route to Bactria;
                    the evidence of the late layers of the Arthashastra (as we analyze it: of
                    course there are competing analyses) is that India only reached this stage
                    of commercial success at the Maurya peak under Asoka; a fairly well dated
                    matter. The late Arthashastra for its part contains mention of Chinese trade
                    goods (with the prefix Cina-), and various Chinese texts of this same period
                    (of course we first have to prove that they *are* of this period, which
                    would be a letter in itself) contain what look very much like loan
                    translations, not loanwords, from Sanskrit (seemingly not Pali). So here is
                    not only a seeming otherworldly character in certain corners of the Jwangdz,
                    but a set of indications of cultural contact, giving a hint of where at
                    least some of the Jwangdz elements may have come from.

                    But the later trajectory of the Jwangdz writings is the same as that of the
                    DDJ maxims: they get into the business of recommending policies for
                    government, and tend to abandon their renunciant stance, or to assimilate it
                    to a Confucian "principled withdrawal" stance, rather than to something with
                    a motive of its own.

                    I could go on, but the pattern I want to suggest should be clear enough. As
                    they come into the elite statecraft discourse, so to speak, these and other
                    texts tend to lose whatever local character they may have started with
                    (including supernatural components if present), and to adopt the conventions
                    of the common discourse, which appears to discourage argument on that basis.
                    It reminds me a little of the British principle that religion is a private
                    matter, and that public discourse (or even social discourse) should avoid it
                    as an agreed basis, since there exists no agreement on such a basis. So yes,
                    there are tendencies, some of them even rather organized, toward a focus on
                    otherworldly concerns, but it is precisely those aspects that get damped
                    down in the elite discourse as such.

                    We can then see something like SZ 17 (previously mentioned) as actually
                    stating the rules for that common discourse, of course in the form of a
                    philosophical assertion, but still with that effect.

                    At the end of the day, no policy is ever recommended, in this Chinese elite
                    discourse, because it conforms to the will of God, or is consonant with
                    sacrificial propriety, or promotes a divinely approved type of society. No
                    agricultural survey is ever recommended because it will please, or
                    propitiate, the tutelary goblins of the land. Nor, for that matter, is any
                    survey ever *opposed* because it will *disturb* those goblins. Such surveys
                    are recommended because they will increase agricultural yield, free up
                    surplus rural population, expand the armies without interfering with the
                    food supply for the armies, and thus lead to an advantage in the serious
                    business of killing the people of the neighboring states, and taking over
                    THEIR lands, whether surveyed or not. That is the tone and tenor and
                    tendency of the common elite discourse, in which most of the texts here
                    considered either participate, or eventually come to participate, or in some
                    cases, make a show of not participating.

                    I think this is a significant pattern, and I don't think it is properly
                    visible to us unless we are prepared to treat the different parts of the
                    texts separately, and not to lump any of them only under one label. That is
                    why I recommend the narrower definitions.

                    ORIGINAL TEXT

                    STEVE: Personally, I'm not convinced (again, I know you'd disagree) that it
                    makes sense when referring to ancient layered sources to speak of
                    "originals" -- but that's another issue.

                    BRUCE: On the whole, I am content to leave this issue, as Steve suggests,
                    for future separate discussion. But as he also notes, it is in a way crucial
                    to anything like the present discussion of early and late stages in the
                    evolution of Chinese texts (I am not here talking about their transmission).
                    Hence this reply.

                    I may briefly note that the concept of "original text" or "author's
                    original" has been recognized in various ways, and in other fields, as
                    problematic. For the modern editorial process, see for example Jerome J
                    McGann, A Critique of Modern Text Criticism (Chicago 1983); for the New
                    Testament field, see Eldon Jay Epp, The Multivalence of the Term "Original
                    Text" in New Testament Textual Criticism (Harvard Theological Review v92
                    [1999] 245-281). A reviewer of Epp's recently published collected papers on
                    text criticism (Brill 2005, and no, you can't afford it) singles out this
                    "original text" business as one of the most significant issues raised
                    therein. See

                    Epp, Eldon Jay
                    Perspectives on New Testament Textual Criticism: Collected Essays, 1962-2004
                    http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=4869
                    Reviewed by J K Elliot

                    Our intended contribution to this problem is to suggest that an author may
                    not finish his work all in one afternoon; it may instead be a protracted
                    process. The protracted process may even involve successors in the same
                    enterprise (with a the position text of an advocacy group, this would in
                    fact be normal procedure), the text growing all the while, but still in the
                    period before it gets handed over to the copyists (if this stage is ever
                    reached). Such a gradual formation process is what I mean by "accretional."
                    And the early stage of a text's history, whether accretional or not -
                    everything coming before the point at which the text goes public and begins
                    to be multiplied by scribes - is what I mean by "original."

                    For example, the DDJ in our view is a doubly accretional text, whose
                    formation period lasted over about a century. When the accretion process
                    runs its course (or is ended by outside factors, as in our view was the case
                    with the DDJ), we then eventually get the familiar phenomena of variant
                    versions, scribal errors, incorporated glosses, loss or wrong insertion of
                    chapter break marks, and all the rest of it.

                    [The Gwodyen DDJ florilegia are exceptionally interesting because they catch
                    the text before its accretion process was quite complete, and thus attest a
                    prefinal state of a still evolving text. They help to answer the question of
                    how communication between different advocacy groups was carried on, and how
                    much of one group's still active text was visible to members of other
                    groups; this large question also needs another opportunity for its full
                    consideration].

                    I break off here, but I hope that this much will at least clear up my use of
                    the terms "original" and "accretional," so that anyone reading this series
                    of China notes, however cogent they may be for their purpose, at least
                    won't be continually misled as to what I have in mind.

                    Bruce

                    E Bruce Brooks
                    Warring States Project
                    University of Massachusetts at Amherst
                    http://www.umass.edu/wsp
                  • Steve Farmer
                    Dear List, For future use, I want to correct and expand on a passing comment in my last post, where I noted (I think correctly) that none of the chapters
                    Message 9 of 25 , Sep 22, 2006
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                      Dear List,

                      For future use, I want to correct and expand on a passing comment in
                      my last post, where I noted (I think correctly) that none of the
                      chapters equating the "Dao" to the "One" seen in the received version
                      of the Laozi show up in the Guodian tomb-texts.

                      I should also have noted that there are three (not two as I implied)
                      bundles of Guodian bamboo slips related to the Laozi, and their
                      relationship is very complicated. Harold Roth discusses some of these
                      complexities in "Some Methodological Issues in the Study of the
                      Guodian Laozi Parallels" pp. 71-88 in the Dartmouth Conference volume
                      (<http://tinyurl.com/n2c8e>).

                      Among other issues, two of the Guodian bundles (A and C), whose
                      contents don't elsewhere overlap, contain two different versions of
                      the second part of chapt. 64 of the received text, from which they
                      both deviate, but in different ways. This further suggests, as Roth
                      also emphasizes, that different versions of the text existed at an
                      early date. His model of this (there are others) was that there wasn't
                      an earlier original, but that the text was still "in a state of flux
                      at the time that the Guodian parallels were written down" (p. 81).

                      The reason I want to underline this is because at a later point, in
                      reviewing Western stratification issues, I want to point to an exactly
                      parallel situation -- in fact in the same time period -- found when we
                      compare the received text of Homer with early papyri fragments of the
                      text, which often differ sharply from the received version. The issue
                      here doesn't relate to the extraordinary complicated stratification
                      issues Bruce is discussing in early China, on which I'm only
                      a keenly interested outsider, but broader issues of canonization
                      related to our stratification thread in general.

                      Steve
                    • E Bruce Brooks
                      To: Indo-Eurasian Research Cc: WSW In Response To: Steve Farmer On: Implications of the Gwodyen Laudz From: Bruce [Perhaps there is no harm during this
                      Message 10 of 25 , Sep 23, 2006
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                        To: Indo-Eurasian Research
                        Cc: WSW
                        In Response To: Steve Farmer
                        On: Implications of the Gwodyen "Laudz"
                        From: Bruce

                        [Perhaps there is no harm during this weekend downtime in contributing a
                        small technical note, prospectively and for later reference, to what has
                        been officially declared to be a future conversation].

                        STEVE: I want to correct and expand on a passing comment in my last post,
                        where I noted (I think correctly) that none of the chapters equating the
                        "Dao" to the "One" seen in the received version of the Laozi show up in the
                        Guodian tomb-texts.

                        BRUCE: Right, and in Dan Murphy's thesis, and to an extent in Taeko's and my
                        forthcoming book, which will refer to Dan's findings, this topic is taken up
                        and given what seems to us to be a convincing explanation.

                        STEVE: I should also have noted that there are three (not two as I implied)
                        bundles of Guodian bamboo slips related to the Laozi, and their relationship
                        is very complicated. Harold Roth discusses some of these complexities in
                        "Some Methodological Issues in the Study of the Guodian Laozi Parallels" pp.
                        71-88 in the Dartmouth Conference volume
                        (<http://tinyurl.com/n2c8e>).

                        Among other issues, two of the Guodian bundles (A and C), whose contents
                        don't elsewhere overlap, contain two different versions of the second part
                        of chapt. 64 of the received text, from which they both deviate, but in
                        different ways.

                        BRUCE: Similar correction. Among ALL THREE of the Gwodyen florilegia, NO
                        included DDJ passage is duplicated, with the sole exception of this double
                        appearance of what is quite recognizably 64B. As for deviating from the
                        received (Wang Bi) text, they do, but not very far. They are closely similar
                        to each other, and to Wang Bi. Those having available the Henricks
                        translation of DDJ ("Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching, Columbia 2000) may compare the
                        two for themselves. The respective transcribed texts are at pages 44 and
                        122, and the corresponding translations at 42 and 120. Have a look. Apart
                        from a little bit of this and that, the chief difference, to my eye, is that
                        the "A" version has an extra line or phrase vis-a-vis the "C" version, and
                        vice versa.

                        Let's start with a line which both texts have in common. We might translate
                        it as:

                        "If you are as careful at the end as at the beginning, you will have no
                        failures."

                        This is a very useful principle, as applicable to woodworking as to war. Now
                        for the differences, which both revolve around this line (everything else in
                        64B is small variational change). They are summarized accurately in
                        Henricks's note to Lines 5 and 6 (p120), but here is the substance:

                        VERSION "A"

                        *The rule in all matters is:* Be as careful at the end as at the beginning,
                        and you will have no failures

                        VERSION "C"

                        If you are as careful at the end as at the beginning, you will have no
                        failures.
                        *People's failures are always due to their not being careful at the end.*

                        --------

                        In effect, the maxim line is emphasized in two different ways: By announcing
                        it neatly as a principle in advance (A), and by rather clunkily explaining
                        it, like some commentator, after it is articulated (C).

                        Do we have here a naked source line which has been decorated in two
                        different ways, or an already decorated source line from which these two
                        renditions omit different decorative elements? Or something else?

                        In directionality determinations, we like if possible to find a reasonable
                        reason why the one we think is first should have gone to the one we think is
                        second. Thus, it is easy enough to imagine Matthew cleaning up Mark's Greek,
                        but it is a little difficult to imagine Mark messing up Matthew's Greek
                        (especially if, to get good Greek, all Mark had to do was to stand aside and
                        let his source text alone). In that spirit, let's hypothesize that the
                        second and clunkier of these (C) represents the source text, and that the
                        sparer and more elegant of them (A) is a Gwodyen stylistic improvement over
                        the source text. "Improvement in style" is always an intelligible scenario.
                        Doesn't prove it's right, but at least it puts it at the head of the line of
                        things to be tested.

                        The only way I can think of to test it is to ask, Is the version we have
                        hypothesized to be the original one also to be discerned behind the next
                        oldest available copy (that of Mawangdwei), or not?

                        Answer: It is. In particular, the distinctive A phrase lin-shr jr ji "the
                        rule for managing affairs" is not present in the MWD versions; meaning
                        neither of them. The distinctive C sentence, on the other hand, IS
                        recognizably present in both MWD versions. So far, the original hypothesis
                        is supported, and not refuted.

                        We come then come to the received text, and we ask the same question. We
                        receive the same answer: the thing behind the received text was something of
                        the C type, and not something of the A type.

                        I think that is probably enough to establish a reasonable probability that

                        1. Of the two Gwodyen versions of DDJ 64B, the source text is more closely
                        reflected in the C version, clunky though it be.

                        2. The Gwodyen A version represents a local improvement over the source
                        text, an improvement which is a text history dead end, and does not
                        influence any subsequent copy of the DDJ, whether real or reconstructed.
                        Those later copies, by and large, are more plausibly seen as deriving from
                        the unimproved DDJ source text.

                        [There is also a phenomenon of line reversal involved here, but I don't give
                        a parallel explanation since this note is already too detailed for E-mail.
                        Suffice it instead to note that reversing units - words, lines, paragraphs -
                        is one of the standard scribal errors, and needs no particular explanation].

                        In general, the difference between the two GD versions of DDJ 64B, even if
                        it is not explainable in the way above suggested, is slight in context:
                        perhaps a rather small gnat to build an elephant out of.

                        * * * * *

                        STEVE: This further suggests, as Roth also emphasizes, that different
                        versions of the text existed at an early date. His model of this (there are
                        others) was that there wasn't n earlier original, but that the text was
                        still "in a state of flux
                        at the time that the Guodian parallels were written down" (p. 81).

                        BRUCE: The Dartmouth Conference was a curious sort of affair, wasn't it. It
                        comprised a number of European and American scholars on the one hand, and a
                        number of Chinese scholars and publisher's men on the other. The former
                        group all went into the conference believing that the DDJ as of Gwodyen was
                        not a text but a body of maxims floating around in a sort of oral soup, or
                        in a cloud of multiple versions equivalent thereunto. The latter all went
                        into the conference believing that the DDJ had been written down complete by
                        Laudz in the 06th century, on one occasion, and without getting down from
                        his ox.

                        The joke, as Rudolf Wagner somewhat ruefully reported on the final day of
                        the conference (I was there to hear him), was that after days of
                        deliberations, not one member of the international party had been converted
                        to the view held by the Chinese party, and vice versa. That is, everybody
                        went out with the same convictions they brought in with them. As far as
                        determining the nature of the DDJ was concerned, the conference at its end
                        had had a precisely zero effect on its participants.

                        And the other joke is that, if considered neutrally, for their evidential
                        value, and not with a view to any particular theory, the Gwodyen florilegia
                        decisively refute both those theories of the DDJ. They instead decisively
                        confirm a third theory, articulated by myself in 1990, published in 1994,
                        and submitted in absentia to the 1998 conference, upon a promise of
                        distribution at the conference, but not in fact distributed at the
                        conference (see the conference volume, p239, and the two Project Newsletters
                        to which n7 refers; the latter is available at http://www.umass.edu/wsp >
                        Classical Chinese Texts > Dau/Dv Jing > "Gwodyen Causerie" and there is a
                        separate summary of the arithmetic involved in ibid, > Project >
                        Introductions > Arithmetic).

                        All just Sinology as usual, of course; nothing there worthy of remark. But I
                        wanted to note for any future reference that the idea of multiple, or
                        undifferentiated, DDJ texts as of c0288 (my best guess for the date of the
                        Gwodyen tomb) is not as firmly grounded as some of its published proponents
                        would have their readers think.

                        Bruce

                        E Bruce Brooks
                        Warring States Project
                        University of Massachusetts at Amherst
                        http://www.umass.edu/wsp
                      • Steve Farmer
                        Thanks much for the posts, Bruce. Our List disappeared from Yahoo for some hours today, and we re having other technical problems. I m sure that I ll have
                        Message 11 of 25 , Sep 23, 2006
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                          Thanks much for the posts, Bruce. Our List disappeared from Yahoo for
                          some hours today, and we're having other technical problems. I'm sure
                          that I'll have something to say about your three last posts, and I hope
                          others will too, by Monday, at the latest. Then I'm looking forward to
                          the third part of your overview. But maybe we should wait until early
                          in the week for any new materials, so we can slow down and digest a bit
                          what we have: there is a lot on our plate, and these are difficult and
                          important issues. I'll eventually put together links to all the
                          relevant posts so we can try to integrate things more easily.

                          Peter Claus Zoller also now has more materials ready for his
                          continuation of his overview of Indian epic traditions, extending
                          things that Nick Allen and Luis Gonzalez-Reimann have contributed. His
                          post has been delayed because of the Yahoo technical problems, but it
                          should be up by tomorrow. One of these days, as I keep promising, we'll
                          get our own server and be free from Yahoo forever.

                          I think we both know that we can't solve the problem of the Guodian
                          Laozi texts here, but only hope to lay out some of the problems. As I
                          suggested before, maybe we can go into some of the technicalities in a
                          later subthread. But at this point I think it's important for people to
                          realize that the claim that this text (or texts, which seems likelier,
                          based on physical evidence (slip length, number of characters per slip, etc),
                          if nothing else, are just extracts or an anthology of a
                          supposedly complete earlier received text is just one
                          of several models, and at present anyway it isn't the dominant one.

                          That doesn't mean your model is wrong, of course, but the fact that
                          there are several others should be noted, since the issue does have
                          very deep implications for canonization issues.

                          You write:

                          > I wanted to note for any future reference that the idea of
                          > multiple, or undifferentiated, DDJ texts as of c0288 (my best
                          > guess for the date of the Gwodyen tomb) is not as firmly
                          > grounded as some of its published proponents
                          > would have their readers think.

                          And I agree that the issue remains problematic, which is why there are
                          several models of it: knowledge of ambiguity isn't ambiguous knowledge,
                          as someone once put it. This issue also has to be considered I think in
                          respect to other contrasts between early tomb-text finds and the
                          received texts. At a minimum, a lot of rearranging went on -- and that
                          is true of course not only for the Guodian texts but as well for
                          various Mawangdui tomb texts, including the radical rearrangement of the
                          order in the Mawangdui Yijing and the surprises in the attached
                          commentaries.

                          Anyway, no matter how this is modeled, there are important parallels
                          with things that I'll discuss in classical Western texts from this
                          period, including the "received" texts of Homer, the pre-Socratics, and the
                          Platonic and Aristotelian corpora. But again, festina lente! The more
                          slowly we take this the better, I think.

                          Dan Lusthaus also had some interesting things to say about this
                          off-List yesterday, and I hope he chimes in at some point! Others too:
                          we're all learning.

                          Best,
                          Steve
                        • E Bruce Brooks
                          To: Indo-Eurasian Research Cc: WSW In Response To: Steve Farmer On: Gwodyen Matter [in context of China 1] From: Bruce The order of appearance of material on
                          Message 12 of 25 , Sep 23, 2006
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                            To: Indo-Eurasian Research
                            Cc: WSW
                            In Response To: Steve Farmer
                            On: Gwodyen Matter [in context of China 1]
                            From: Bruce

                            The order of appearance of material on "Indo-Eurasian Research" is entirely
                            at the discretion of the list moderators. Like everybody else here, I am at
                            their disposal and await their pleasure. As for the present weekend, which
                            by rule does not count in the calendar of organization:

                            STEVE: I think we both know that we can't solve the problem of the Guodian
                            Laozi texts here, but only hope to lay out some of the problems . . . But
                            at this point I think it's important for people to realize that the claim
                            that this text (or texts, which seems likelier, based on physical evidence
                            (slip length, number of characters per slip, etc), if nothing else, are just
                            extracts or an anthology of a supposedly complete earlier received text is
                            just one of several models, and at present anyway it isn't the dominant
                            one.

                            BRUCE: That describes the Chinese view that I mentioned earlier; not my own.
                            See further below.

                            STEVE: That doesn't mean your model is wrong, of course, but the fact that
                            there are several others should be noted, since the issue does have very
                            deep implications for canonization issues.

                            BRUCE: For those who can multiply fractions (see again the links in my
                            previous note), the decision among different Gwodyen theories would seem to
                            be in. But perhaps we shouldn't overemphasize ourselves. For every
                            international scholar who THINKS anything whatsoever about Gwodyen
                            implications, there are a million Chinese who KNOW that the DDJ was written
                            by Laudz, an older contemporary of Confucius in the 06c, while sitting on
                            the back of an ox, and moreover (talk about physical evidence!), they have
                            on their wall a picture of him doing it. That, for those who know where
                            things are at, is where things are at.

                            All else, including this discussion, is an event in a teacup. But it's an
                            interesting teacup in its way, and I await with interest what may next be
                            poured into it, from the Indian or any other side. Let me add my thanks to
                            the moderators for making it available in the first place, and to the other
                            contributors for their suggestive summaries.

                            Bruce

                            E Bruce Brooks
                            Warring States Project
                            University of Massachusetts at Amherst
                            http://www.umass.edu/wsp
                          • Steve Farmer
                            Thanks again, Bruce, even if it is Saturday. :^) And apologies to everyone else. ... Sorry and thanks for the correction. I was thrown off by your use of the
                            Message 13 of 25 , Sep 23, 2006
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                              Thanks again, Bruce, even if it is Saturday. :^) And apologies to
                              everyone else.

                              I wrote:

                              > I think it's important ...to realize that the claim
                              > that this text (or texts...) are just extracts or an anthology
                              > of a supposedly complete earlier received text is
                              > just one of several models....

                              You answered:

                              > That describes the Chinese view that I mentioned earlier; not my own.

                              Sorry and thanks for the correction. I was thrown off by your use of
                              the term "Gwodyen [Guodian] florilegia", since in medieval Western
                              thought, where I did my first work, a florilegium normally refers to an
                              extract book or anthology. So again we have a purely terminological
                              misunderstanding, which happens often when you bring people from
                              different fields together.

                              I've now located your full explanation of your Guodian Laozi model at:

                              http://www.umass.edu/wsp/cct/a-e/ddj/gwodyen.html

                              Reading it, I'm happy to find that I have no disagreement with your
                              basic view of these texts, since the idea that the Daodejing developed
                              in a layered ('accretional') way over time fits in ideally with what
                              I'd prefer to find in the Guodian text(s). That was the original way I
                              took the Guodian texts, but then doubts set in due to Henricks defense
                              (in his ed./trans. of the Guodian Laozi, p. 22, first full paragraph)
                              of a modified version of what you refer to as the "Chinese" view --
                              claiming that "it is likely that at least one version of the Laozi, the
                              complete text, and possibly more than one version, was in existence by
                              300 B.C., if not earlier". There are some other technical problems in
                              linking the three Laozi bundles, including the heterogeneity in the
                              size of the slips, etc., which we don't have to go into here. But I do
                              much prefer your view (in the link given above) to all the other
                              alternatives.

                              And that makes me curious about how you explain the genesis of the
                              later chapters (i.e., those not found in the three Guodian bundles)
                              that link the "One" and the "Way", etc., which I alluded to earlier. In
                              your first post today you mentioned you had an explanation, or that Dan
                              Murphy does, but you didn't mention what that solution was; pretty
                              tantalizing:

                              From your post:

                              > STEVE: ....none of the chapters equating the "Dao" to the "One" seen
                              > in the received version of the Laozi show up in the Guodian > tomb-texts.
                              >
                              > BRUCE: Right, and in Dan Murphy's thesis, and to an
                              > extent in Taeko's and my forthcoming book, which will
                              > refer to Dan's findings, this topic is taken up and
                              > given what seems to us to be a convincing explanation.

                              The fact that these are later developments has always been
                              striking to me, since it fits in nicely with theoretical ideas that
                              Henderson, Witzel, and I have put forward, in which these kinds of
                              higher correlative structures are *expected* (via
                              exegetical processes) in later layers stratified texts. Can you
                              elaborate, just briefly?

                              Apologies to everyone else for going off on what many would
                              think is a technical tangent: actually, implications of what the
                              tomb-texts say about how received texts in general formed is
                              of quite general importance.

                              Best,
                              Steve
                            • E Bruce Brooks
                              To: Indo-Eurasian Research Cc: WSW In Response To: Steve Farmer On: Gwodyen Implications From: Bruce We may be wearing out the amnesty of the weekend. Still,
                              Message 14 of 25 , Sep 23, 2006
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                                To: Indo-Eurasian Research
                                Cc: WSW
                                In Response To: Steve Farmer
                                On: Gwodyen Implications
                                From: Bruce

                                We may be wearing out the amnesty of the weekend. Still, since the list
                                moderators do not seem to be complaining:

                                STEVE: I was thrown off by your use of the term "Gwodyen [Guodian]
                                florilegia", since in medieval Western
                                thought, where I did my first work, a florilegium normally refers to an
                                extract book or anthology. So again we have a purely terminological
                                misunderstanding, which happens often when you bring people from different
                                fields together.

                                BRUCE: No misunderstanding. Whether or not it is applicable to the Gwodyen
                                case, I used the term florilegia in exactly the way Steve defines it. I
                                think (in agreement with the Chinese; I here leave out of consideration the
                                Oral Soup theory) that the Gwodyen text is a set of extracts (and I would
                                add, thematically ordered extracts) from a source text which was in the same
                                mainline of transmission as our received text, and which, in particular,
                                possessed the chapter arrangement of our received text. Where I part company
                                with the Chinese is in the further thought that the DDJ behind Gwodyen was
                                still incomplete, that is, still in its proprietary and accretional stage,
                                as of the time it was copied for Gwodyen, which in my best guess was
                                sometime slightly prior to c0288.

                                STEVE: I've now located your full explanation of your Guodian Laozi model
                                at:

                                http://www.umass.edu/wsp/cct/a-e/ddj/gwodyen.html

                                Reading it, I'm happy to find that I have no disagreement with your basic
                                view of these texts, since the idea that the Daodejing developed in a
                                layered ('accretional') way over time fits in ideally with what I'd prefer
                                to find in the Guodian text(s). That was the original way I took the Guodian
                                texts, but then doubts set in due to Henricks' defense
                                (in his ed./trans. of the Guodian Laozi, p. 22, first full paragraph) of a
                                modified version of what you refer to as the "Chinese" view -- claiming that
                                "it is likely that at least one version of the Laozi, the complete text, and
                                possibly more than one version, was in existence by 300 B.C., if not
                                earlier".

                                BRUCE: Henricks, as noted in some of the previously linked material, has
                                exerted himself since June 1990 to keep the accretional theory of the DDJ
                                (the text itself, not the Gwodyen florilegia) from coming to his own or
                                anyone else's attention. Fair enough, no doubt, but the downside is that not
                                to consider it is to lose the chance of noticing that it gives a wholly
                                adequate account of the Gwodyen data. As for Henricks's p22 conclusion, as
                                he notes, it rests on nothing in the Gwodyen evidence, and so need not be
                                considered in connection with the Gwodyen evidence. It is a separate piece
                                of goods. It rests on two wholly outside computations of Henricks's very
                                own:

                                (1) The time he calculates that a unitary text would have needed to diverge
                                to the extent that it seems to him to have done in the Mawangdwei A and B
                                texts. But it would seem to be a priori likely that B, a scribally later
                                copy owned by a later generation in the same family that owned A, and still
                                situated in the same geographical place, has to do with A, and was not made
                                de novo from an outside text, let alone a different outside version of DDJ
                                than the one behind A. The differences behind MWD A and B, for the most
                                part, strike me as falling within the range of the differences which I
                                recently pointed out in the two versions of DDJ 64B in Gwodyen A and C. No
                                more than the latter, in my opinion, do they require the assumption of a
                                whole nother source text out there somewhere.

                                (2) The Han Feidz evidence, HFZ 20-21, considered as a witness to things as
                                Han Fei saw them during his lifetime, c0250. This too is taken as a date
                                from which projections may be made to Mawangdwei, 0168. But it has been
                                established by Hagop Sarkissian in 2001, at least to my satisfaction, that
                                these two commentaries do not proceed from the same source, and thus Han Fei
                                cannot have written both of them. This (as has been repeatedly noticed on
                                the WSW list) impugns the whole "authorial" theory of the Han Feidz. As I
                                pointed out long ago (SPP #46, 1994), the bulk of the Han Feidz lines up
                                thematically with the major intellectual developments in Han, and this huge
                                text is thus in all probability as eponymous aftergrowth, not a gigantic and
                                philosophically chaotic composition by Han Fei. That is, to amend Hagop's
                                conclusion, the HFZ 20-21 commentaries do not proceed from the same source,
                                and Han Fei wrote neither of them. Rather, the HFZ 20-21 portion of the
                                presumptive HFZ aftergrowth happens to correspond with the vogue of court
                                Dauism, and specifically of the DDJ, in the time of Han Wvn-di (reigned
                                0179-0156), which is also, mirabile dictu, the time of the Mawangdwei tomb
                                (0168). So the HFZ evidence and the Mawangdwei evidence are in effect
                                contemporary, and whatever that evidence may come to, neither portion of it
                                has anything directly to do with the year 0250.

                                I don't think I need to argue against the glottochronology-type argument,
                                seemingly adopted by Henricks, that written texts change at a constant rate
                                of speed. Even should they do so, that rate is not going to be so uniform of
                                application that it will let us distinguish, from the vantage point of
                                c0150, whether any text divergence attested by evidence of that date started
                                its clock in c0300 (the modified Chinese view adopted by Henricks) or in
                                c0250 (my accretional chronology).

                                This would seem to leave us pretty much back at Square One, and entitled to
                                consider the evidence as such.

                                STEVE: There are some other technical problems in linking the three Laozi bundles, including the heterogeneity in the
                                size of the slips, etc., which we don't have to go into here.

                                BRUCE: Indeed not. That the loose slips have been correctly sorted into
                                three bundles by the archaeological team strikes me as unarguable. The
                                physical signs are too clear. That the sequence of slips within each of
                                those bundles must be on the whole correct, with only a few possibilities
                                for different arrangements, was explored in Dan Murphy's thesis. That all
                                three bundles have to do with our DDJ is self-evident. I don't think there
                                are very many big worries left in this department.

                                STEVE: But I do much prefer your view (in the link given above) to all the
                                other alternatives. And that makes me curious about how you explain the
                                genesis of the later chapters (i.e., those not found in the three Guodian
                                bundles)that link the "One" and the "Way", etc., which I alluded to earlier. In your first post today you mentioned you had an explanation, or that Dan Murphy
                                does, but you didn't mention what that solution was . . . The fact that
                                these are later developments has always been striking to me, since it fits
                                in nicely with theoretical ideas that Henderson, Witzel, and I have put
                                forward, in which these kinds of higher correlative structures are
                                *expected* (via exegetical processes) in later layers stratified texts. Can
                                you elaborate, just briefly?

                                BRUCE: I can, under cover of copyright (see legal notice at end).

                                I find that the DDJ was begun sometime near the middle of the 04c (say,
                                c0340), and proceeded to enlarge itself gradually and accretionally, the
                                accretions at first being added to both the head and tail of the previous
                                manuscript. About halfway through (whether because a new school head was in
                                place, or because they had reached the limit of one stable roll of bamboo
                                strips), the pattern changed, and from there to the end, all accretion was
                                to the tail only of the previous manuscript; the more normal, and indeed the
                                default, procedure in such matters, in Chinese and in other languages.

                                This went on until the activity of that text-producing group was forcibly
                                ended by outside political events, in 0249. The text had by that time
                                reached the size of 5,000 characters, roughly two standard rolls, and the
                                number of more or less 80 chapters, a number which is of no particular
                                cosmological importance, and which thus was probably not anything that the
                                compilers aimed at.

                                At that rate of progress, certain points along which are noted in The
                                Original Analects (1998; see the index), the DDJ text will have reached the
                                size of somewhere around 70 chapters as of c0290 (the date of Gwodyen tomb
                                or of the copying of at least some of the texts found there). It is this
                                incomplete state of DDJ - but incomplete only beyond DDJ 70 - which we find
                                lies behind the Gwodyen florilegia. That is, the range of DDJ 2-66 which we
                                observe in the chapters selected by the Gwodyen florilegist lies within, and
                                subtends most of, what was available in the source text as of that moment.

                                But the florilegist did not simply rearrange the whole of the available DDJ.
                                He left out about half of it, and grouped the rest into the three
                                thematically ordered bundles which we have. Among the themes which are
                                characteristic of the DDJ chapters which the florilegist omitted, it is easy
                                to identify some which might well have been deemed inadvisable for a tutor
                                to the Heir Apparent of Chu to include in his coursepack. Among them, as
                                identified by Dan Murphy and to an extent also by Taeko (partly in a paper
                                read by Taeko at an earlier WSWG Conference, which was made available to
                                Dan, and which he cites), are passages which are demeaning of the dignity of
                                the ruler, or project too low a role for the state, or contravene certain
                                Chu cosmological notions, or might offend the Chu nobility (who inhabited a
                                different social structure than the one in context of which the DDJ was
                                originally composed), or offend Chu spiritual sensibilities. Hence, quite
                                plausibly, the omission of the Dau cosmogony of DDJ 42 (one of the DDJ
                                passages uniting the One and The Dau), and the substitution, at the end of
                                in Bunch 3 of the Chu Coursepack, of the Tai-Yi water or soup cosmogony.

                                [All of which is to say, parenthetically, that the selection process from
                                DDJ to Gwodyen gives ample and detailed testimony that the DDJ was not in
                                origin a Chu text, since it had to be so thoroughly chopped, channeled, and
                                dechromed in order to fall safely within the probable sensibilities of a
                                future ruler of Chu].

                                According to our view as summarized above, the themes mentioned by Steve
                                were part of the DDJ as it was written, and were artificially but
                                expediently excised by the Gwodyen florilegist in c0290. They, and the DDJ
                                chapters now containing them, did not arise later in the philosophical
                                evolution of the DDJ proprietary group. They arose wherever in the
                                *chronological* sequence (from c0340 to 0249) the *chapter* sequence would
                                place them. In the case of DDJ 42, that would be somewhere around, 0300. It
                                is only the chapters from, oh, maybe DDJ 69 or so (statistical inference
                                does not permit greater precision), that are chronologically subsequent to
                                the Gwodyen florilegia date, whatever exactly that may have been.

                                This may all sound vague, but the range of uncertainty is on the order of,
                                say, maybe a decade. It is a big improvement over the centuries of
                                divergence with which we were all confronted by the sages of Sinology, not
                                half a century ago.

                                Or so it appears to the present correspondent.

                                Bruce

                                E Bruce Brooks
                                Warring States Project
                                University of Massachusetts at Amherst
                                http://www.umass.edu/wsp

                                Copyright (c) 2006 by E Bruce and A Taeko Brooks
                              • Steve Farmer
                                Thanks, Bruce. That s a very interesting model, now that you ve explained it in detail. Adding the extract idea to the accretional model complicates things a
                                Message 15 of 25 , Sep 23, 2006
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                                  Thanks, Bruce. That's a very interesting model, now that you've
                                  explained it in detail. Adding the extract idea to the accretional
                                  model complicates things a bit in trying to imagine clear
                                  ways to verify or falsify some of the more speculative parts (e.g., re
                                  the state of the text before the claimed extracts were made, and the
                                  issue of whether the claimed political excisions really were that).

                                  Hopefully still earlier Laozi tomb-texts will show up -- and that's not
                                  terribly unlikely, given the rate of finds in the last few decades --
                                  and we'll be able to test some of the "might well have been" and "quite
                                  plausibly" parts of it. In the meantime, I'm looking forward to reading
                                  Dan Murphy's thesis, when it's available, and your book with Taeko
                                  when it comes out.

                                  Cheers,
                                  Steve

                                  > But the florilegist did not simply rearrange the whole of the
                                  > available DDJ. He left out about half of it, and grouped the rest into
                                  > the three thematically ordered bundles which we have. Among the themes
                                  > which are characteristic of the DDJ chapters which the florilegist
                                  > omitted, it is easy to identify some which might well have been deemed
                                  > inadvisable for a tutor to the Heir Apparent of Chu to include in his
                                  > coursepack. Among them, as identified by Dan Murphy and to an extent
                                  > also by Taeko (partly in a paper read by Taeko at an earlier WSWG
                                  > Conference, which was made available to Dan, and which he cites), are
                                  > passages which are demeaning of the dignity of the ruler, or project
                                  > too low a role for the state, or contravene certain Chu cosmological
                                  > notions, or might offend the Chu nobility (who inhabited a different
                                  > social structure than the one in context of which the DDJ was
                                  > originally composed), or offend Chu spiritual sensibilities. Hence,
                                  > quite plausibly, the omission of the Dau cosmogony of DDJ 42 (one of
                                  > the DDJ passages uniting the One and The Dau), and the substitution,
                                  > at the end of in Bunch 3 of the Chu Coursepack, of the Tai-Yi water or
                                  > soup cosmogony.
                                • Claus Peter Zoller
                                  Dear Sudha, dear List, Steve has uploaded a PDF of a short article on the Bangani Mahabharata that I wrote a number of years ago (note that Bangan in former
                                  Message 16 of 25 , Sep 24, 2006
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                                    Dear Sudha, dear List,

                                    Steve has uploaded a PDF of a short article on the
                                    Bangani Mahabharata that I wrote a number of years ago
                                    (note that Bangan in former Uttar Pradesh is now,
                                    since 2000, in Uttaranchal). This is followed by a
                                    short article on Bangani ball games that gives some
                                    additional background information on the epic. The
                                    first article contains also a short overview of the
                                    contents of the epic and its place within the five-day
                                    festival "Dance of the bards." I might take this
                                    opportunity to say that my thesis on the epic will now
                                    at long last be published in 2007.

                                    http://www.safarmer.com/Indo-Eurasian/Bangani_Mahabharata.pdf
                                    or
                                    http://tinyurl.com/ez2g5

                                    With regard to similarities/differences between oral
                                    text traditions connected with different castes in
                                    Bangan it would of course be nice to have absolute
                                    figures, but I cannot provide them. I only can say
                                    this: during the course of (mostly annual) cycles,
                                    different groups of the local society have opportunity
                                    for performances that include oral texts before a
                                    public. The nature of the texts (sacred, heroic,
                                    salacious; myths, epics, tales, ballads, etc. or
                                    various combinations of these) corresponds largely
                                    with the "qualities" ascribed to the groups (e.g.
                                    Brahmins and low-caste bards performing sacred texts,
                                    Rajputs performing heroic and competitive texts). The
                                    texts are of course not just handed down, but oral
                                    composition allows for permanent accretion and
                                    secretion, and adaptation to specific situations.

                                    Around the time I recorded the epic, I also recorded a
                                    longer song from Brahmins in a Brahmin village in the
                                    same area (variations of this song are known also from
                                    other parts of Garhwal; it thus appears that the song
                                    was introduced by immigrant Brahmins). Several details
                                    of this song deviate both from the Bangani epic of the
                                    bards and from the Sanskrit epic. The contents of the
                                    song in a nutshell: Kunti (mother of the Pandavas),
                                    Gandhari (mother of the Kauravas) and Parvati (wife of
                                    Shiva) are the daughters of "King Himalaya" (Kunti and
                                    Gandhari are also sisters in the Bangani epic, in the
                                    Sanskrit epic they are sisters-in-law). Kunti bathes
                                    successively in lakes consisting of: earth, iron,
                                    copper, gold, milk. Then she is made pregnant through
                                    the sights of various gods (similar in the Bangani and
                                    Sanskrit epic). Then it is described how the conflict
                                    between Pandavas and Kauravas develops: In Hastinapura
                                    stands the World Tree; the cousins compete for this
                                    tree and play dice; first the Pandavas win, but then
                                    God Narayan intervenes and the Kauravas win.

                                    The origin of the conflict between the cousins is
                                    explained quite differently in the Bangani Mahabharata
                                    (see the PDF); in my eyes both explanations are two
                                    types of typical Indian theodicy in mythical language,
                                    but I can’t elaborate on this here.

                                    So there are countless details distinguishing these
                                    regional traditions from the Sanskrit epos, regional
                                    traditions differentiated by genre types and by
                                    segments of society handing them down. As I already
                                    pointed it out, there are striking parallels between
                                    motifs found in oral versions in different parts of
                                    India, but not found in the Sanskrit version. And I
                                    may add that in the upper reaches of the Tons valley
                                    (a tributary to the Yamuna) Duryodhana and Karna are
                                    worshiped as gods!

                                    As I said in my last Mail, it is very difficult to
                                    identify stratification in the Bangani epic (in the
                                    sense as it is understood here in this thread – but
                                    see below). One possible candidate for being a story
                                    that was added at a later stage, however, is this one:
                                    Worshipping the Lord of the World, Kunti is entitled
                                    for a boon for children; however, her wicked sister
                                    Gandhari manages to outsmart the Lord and secure the
                                    boon for herself; Gandhari then gives birth to the
                                    Kauravas (who are consequently the elder cousins, in
                                    contrast to the Sanskrit epic where they are the
                                    younger ones) and Kunti has to try to get a second
                                    boon. The same story (apparently with no parallel in
                                    the Sanskrit epic) is known to me outside the
                                    Mahabharata context from two other traditions: It is
                                    found in Mascarinec’s collection of shaman oral texts
                                    from west Nepal, and it is found in stories about the
                                    'snake-god' or divine hero Gogaji who is worshiped
                                    over large parts of north-western India. In Gogaji’s
                                    tradition it is not Kunti but queen Bachal who wants
                                    to get that boon, and not from the Lord of the World,
                                    but from Guru Gorakh Nath. The queen is then outwitted
                                    by her wicked sister etc. It is interesting that Nath
                                    ascetics live at the Samadhi of Gogaji in Rajasthan
                                    (at Goga Medi), as the Bangani Mahabharata epic shows
                                    some traces of Nath influence. Thus it seems likely to
                                    me that this story in the Bangani epic carries a Nath
                                    'signature'. However, I can’t say whether it was
                                    originally part of a 'Nath Mahabharata' with this
                                    story subsequently spreading into other traditions or
                                    whether it went the other way round.

                                    Stratifications in oral epics – if they can be traced
                                    at all – can only be identified through comparison
                                    with related traditions. For me this looks quite
                                    different from the situation with written texts where
                                    it seems easier to identify elements of a composite
                                    text. That does not mean that one cannot recognise
                                    junctures between more or less self-contained units in
                                    an oral epic. These junctures, however, usually rather
                                    reflect a particular performance economy than textual
                                    stratification.

                                    The PDF-article gives a short description of the
                                    festival during which the Bangani Mahabharata is
                                    annually performed. Peter Claus recently pointed out
                                    to me that the structuring of this festival seems to
                                    have a "sort of puranic order" (beginning with a
                                    description of the creation of the world, followed by
                                    a description of the world), and he thinks that many
                                    South Indian festivals have a very similar order.
                                    According to Peter this suggests (and meanwhile I am
                                    quite inclined to think that he is right) that it is
                                    the festival which represents the most archaic level,
                                    into which the epic once has been 'wedged'. With this
                                    observation we might arrive at a more fruitful
                                    perspective: where and in which way are *contexts* of
                                    oral epics stratified?

                                    The five-day festival "Dance of the bards" is itself
                                    embedded in a one-year cycle of other festivals, which
                                    all relate to the regional god Mahasu and his various
                                    regular activities. The "Dance of the bards" festival
                                    provides a "puranic" description of the world for
                                    Mahasu who still rules the region like a feudal lord.
                                    Songs describing the creation of the world on the
                                    first day of the festival again show fairly clear
                                    signs of Nath influence. The comparatively short
                                    'epic' (or rather ballad) describing Mahasu’s coming
                                    from Kashmir to Bangan is sung on the first day
                                    because it is considered more sacred than the Bangani
                                    Mahabharata, which is sung on the second day. That
                                    Mahasu is indeed the successor to the Pandavas is, for
                                    instance, indicated thus: Part of the events of his
                                    epiphany is the killing of a local demon called
                                    Kirmir. The details of this story are very similar to
                                    a story in the Bangani Mahabharata where Bhima kills a
                                    demon called Bag (at the same place in Bangan where
                                    Mahasu killed Kirmir). And there is no doubt that both
                                    regional stories are connected with a story in the
                                    Sanskrit Mahabharata (Book of the Forest, 3.12) where
                                    Bhima kills two demons called Baka and KirmIra.

                                    I would need to quote a large number of details to
                                    show that in order to consolidate his kingdom (I
                                    assume that Mahasu’s arrival from "Kashmir" was a
                                    historical event leading to a "regionalisation" of the
                                    culture of the area – for instance, Mahasu also killed
                                    a "King Vishnu"!), Mahasu slowly pushed back
                                    Mahabharata cults (still practiced in other parts of
                                    Garhwal) involving impersonation/embodiment of the
                                    important actors of the Mahabharata, in order to
                                    'historize' the Pandavas and fix their deeds in an
                                    'oral book'. This 'oral book' was then put at a
                                    convenient place, namely into the second (less sacred)
                                    day of the "puranic" description of the world, and
                                    henceforth served to confirm Mahasu’s status as
                                    successor to the Pandavas.

                                    Not enough with this: In the five-day festival one can
                                    see a clear three-level organisation: it begins with
                                    the level of gods (e.g. Mahasu’s epiphany), then comes
                                    the level of heroes (the Pandavas), and finally
                                    reaches the human level. The structure of the Bangani
                                    Mahabharata shows the same outline: it begins in
                                    heaven, then follows a series of stories of conflicts
                                    involving Pandavas, Kauravas, demons and giants; and
                                    only in the third and last part, when preparations for
                                    the great war begin, appear 'human' beings, for
                                    instance the weapon teachers of the cousins. It thus
                                    seems that the structure of the "puranic order" of the
                                    festival rubbed off on the structure of the Bangani
                                    Mahabharata.

                                    I just talked about "regionalisation" that occurred
                                    after a folk god of vague provenance managed to
                                    establish himself and dominate a region that was
                                    hitherto more closely linked to what one might call
                                    medieval folk Hinduism (all kinds of well-known Hindu
                                    gods are found directly beyond Mahasu's dominion, but
                                    none of them within). But there are also many traces
                                    showing that, once Mahasu had a footing in the region,
                                    all sorts of Brahmanisation processes set in. I am
                                    pointing this out because there exist in Bangan two
                                    completely different oral texts describing Mahasu’s
                                    advent. One is the one mentioned above, which is
                                    performed by the bards on the first day of the "Dance
                                    of the Bards", and which is considered by the Banganis
                                    as one of their most sacred oral texts. Various
                                    synopses of this story have been published in
                                    different places. It describes - by using the
                                    Baka-KirmIra story pattern - how an old Brahmin from
                                    the area requests Mahasu to come from Kashmir to
                                    Bangan in order to free the land from the terror of a
                                    monster. This version is performed by professional
                                    low-caste bards (Devals), and I want to mention here
                                    that they like to call themselves "fallen Brahmins".
                                    The other version of Mahasu’s advent is handed down
                                    only by Rajputs and is not at all regarded as sacred –
                                    at least nowadays. To my knowledge, this story has so
                                    far not been published. In this story Mahasu is asked
                                    to come to Bangan by a feudal Rajput lord, but for a
                                    very different raison d'être: this lord has seven
                                    wives who are all without issue, also his cattle is
                                    without issue, and Mahasu is requested to restore
                                    fertility (curiously, the version on my tape recording
                                    starts with a brief synopsis of the Brahmin version,
                                    followed by the longer Rajput version).

                                    The conclusion here is, that Mahasu used (among other
                                    means) the Baka-KirmIra story pattern to locate the
                                    Pandavas and their Mahabharata in a historical past;
                                    his Brahmin priests and his "fallen Brahmins" used the
                                    same story pattern in order to check the influence of
                                    the Rajputs by marginalizing their (I guess more
                                    original) version of Mahasu’s advent. There exists in
                                    the area a certain antagonism between the priests of
                                    Mahasu and some sections of the Rajputs who call
                                    themselves KhUnd. The two embody two different types
                                    of politico-religious power which Jean Claude Galey
                                    has termed "chiefdom" (KhUnd-Rajputs) and "lordship"
                                    (Brahmins). I cannot go into details here, but Rajput
                                    "chiefdom" is presently 'going south', which is,
                                    amongst others, reflected in the fate of the Rajput
                                    version of Mahasu’s advent.

                                    Oral epics are stratified. With regard to their
                                    internal text structure, stratifications are not
                                    always easily identifiable. However, oral epics are
                                    typically located somewhere within the stratified
                                    universe of performance events of a particular
                                    community.

                                    Claus Peter










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                                  • Dan Lusthaus
                                    Dear list, Bruce has provided us with rich and detailed posts, so rich in detail and important issues that responding to everything that is worthwhile
                                    Message 17 of 25 , Sep 24, 2006
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                                      Dear list,

                                      Bruce has provided us with rich and detailed posts, so rich in detail and
                                      important issues that responding to everything that is worthwhile responding
                                      to would overwhelm the discussion and take us into a detour, the complexity
                                      of which would be more suitable to a list devoted to sinological topics than
                                      to the present list. So, for the moment, I will confine my comments to a
                                      very few issues, starting with one raised by Steve and already somewhat
                                      responded to by Bruce, namely whether Chinese texts of the Pre-Han period
                                      are best categorized as secular, non-religious, political as opposed to
                                      cosmological, etc.

                                      Categorization is compicated activity, since it not only often reflects the
                                      interests and assumptions of those making the categorizations more than
                                      those of the original producers and consumers of those texts, but it also
                                      subtly and not so subtly sets the agenda for what to pay attention to, or
                                      even notice, in those texts. Such distinctions as between politics and
                                      religion, philosophy and religion, ritual and statecraft, etc., are fairly
                                      recent, and would probably confuse not only traditional Chinese, but members
                                      of any traditional society. I take it that Bruce's insistence on viewing
                                      these texts as primarily "political" is meant as a rebuke to those whose
                                      interest in them is religious, or even, as in the case of texts like the
                                      Laozi (Lao Tzu), Zhuangzi (Chuang Tzu; Jwangdz in Bruce-ese), etc., that
                                      these are primarily religious or "mystical." That's a useful rebuke, since
                                      those who read these materials primarily for mystical insights largely
                                      ignore or misconstrue the practical, pragmatic, ethical, and at times,
                                      political dimensions also to be found there (more prominently than a typical
                                      "mystical" reading usually recognizes). On the other hand, giving primacy to
                                      politics and statecraft -- a commonplace scholarly prejudice with Confucian
                                      and neo-confucian roots -- can be an alternate form of blindness. Ignoring
                                      or downplaying alternate primary concerns (that oxymoron is intentional) has
                                      become institutionalized.

                                      For instance, in a rumination about some of the work of Angus Graham, a
                                      leading sinologist of the previous generation, Nathan Sivin, one of our
                                      leading scholars on traditional Chinese science (and a colleague of Victor
                                      Mair's), tells of his collaboration with Graham on the sections on optics in
                                      the Mozi (Mo Tzu; Mwodz in Bruce-ese), and how attention to such elements,
                                      usually ignored by Sinologists, enriched Graham's work. Commenting on one of
                                      Graham's most important general works, a philosophical history of pre-Han
                                      Chinese thought titled _Disputers of the Tao_, Sivin writes:

                                      "Among the many things that make _Disputers of the Tao_ a remarkable piece
                                      of work is that Angus Graham breaks the awesome taboo against reading
                                      scientific texts. This is not, of course, a traditional taboo...

                                      "People who do read the relevant texts often break through to a new
                                      understanding. In Graham's book, for instance, the Mo-tzu, with its
                                      technical canons, appears for the first time as a seminal influence in the
                                      three periods into which he divides his span of three centuries: the
                                      invenstion of philosophy, from circa 500 B.C., to cope with the breakdown of
                                      an archaic social order, the creation beginning in the late fourth century
                                      of a moral order that sets man as a moral agent apart from Nature, and a
                                      reunification of man and Nature a century later that located individual
                                      destiny in a new microcosm, the unified and eventually centralized state."

                                      Sivin goes on to mention seminal texts largely ignored, including the
                                      medical literature and such cosmological-divinatory texts as the Tai Xuan
                                      jing (Book of Supreme Mystery). The full article, which carries out the
                                      argument for paying more attention to what Sivin labels "scientific"
                                      literature (i.e., concerned with "Nature" but not in the German Romantic
                                      sense), has been made available by Steve at

                                      http://www.safarmer.com/Indo-Eurasian/Sivin.pdf

                                      Now, whether "we" prefer to categorize such literature or aspects of such
                                      literature as "scientific," "cosmological," "hygienic," "medical,"
                                      "spiritual," etc., is our dilemma, not one that would have exercised Chinese
                                      two thousand plus years ago. It does bear on the question of stratification
                                      in numerous ways, not just in terms of the broad historical periodization
                                      mentioned by Sivin above, but in numerous details that themselves shed light
                                      on the thinking of the times, and their interspersal in texts. They also
                                      inform the models by which the culture, and subsections within it,
                                      envisioned their place in the cosmos, and the natural and artificial laws
                                      that govern human nature and behavior, including the political.

                                      While Bruce claimed that no Chinese text ever asserted that the proper code
                                      for human order was dictated by a deity from above, the Mozi does precisely
                                      that (e.g., Bk. 3, ch 12; although refreshingly, it stipulates that these
                                      theories need to be pragmatically tested in terms of their actual effects on
                                      people and society before becoming lionized - Bk. 9, chs. 35-37). Similarly,
                                      Mencius and Zhuangzi have detailed discussions of how proper behavior is
                                      grounded in human "nature" (xing) which, in turn, is endowed or instilled by
                                      "Heaven" (tian; variously read by modern scholars as meaning "Heaven" or
                                      "Nature"). Mencius goes so far as to ground the foundations of Confucian
                                      ethics and political theory in precisely this theory of human nature, or
                                      "mind nature" (xin-xing) to which all subsequent Chinese thought -- even
                                      eventually Chinese Buddhist thought -- is a reaction (e.g., in the
                                      development of a Buddha-nature theory with no Indian antecedents, despite
                                      some scholars' efforts to find fo-xing - Buddha-nature - in Sanskrit terms
                                      such as buddha-gotra, buddha-bhuu, buddha-tva, buddha-taa,
                                      tathaagata-garbha, etc., which express a potentiality for Buddha-hood, that,
                                      for instance, sentient beings have the capacity or conditions to achieve
                                      buddha-hood, rather than that everything is subtended by an ontological
                                      nature that is some metaphysical sense of "Buddha").

                                      On the Laozi - which has already taken a prominent place in this
                                      discussion - I will have more to say in another post, since not only is it
                                      the text most translated into Western languages (there are hundreds of
                                      English translations and often a dozen new ones published each year,
                                      increasingly done by people who can't read a word of Chinese -- but that's a
                                      different problem), but for the last hundred years or so it was the Chinese
                                      text most subjected to the methods and speculations of philologists, and so
                                      provides a splendid test case for the validity of those methods (or, as
                                      Bruce might prefer to say, to the acumen of those employing such methods).
                                      In fact, the Mawangdui and Guodian finds have not only rendered virtually
                                      all that speculation moot, but it has been exposed as fundamentally flawed,
                                      or, as one Chinese scholar diplomatically put it: "a complete waste of
                                      time." I will post something on why this is the case (i.e., some of the
                                      lessons to be learned) later, but for now, to sum up the preceding points,
                                      merely mention that while the attention of Chinese and Western scholars
                                      immediately gravitated to the Laozi texts found at MWD (Mawangdui) and
                                      Guodian, such that we have several English translations of the former, and a
                                      number of translations of the latter (some not in general circulation), the
                                      *other* texts found in these tombs only gradually receive commensurate
                                      attention, usually initially in China and subsequently in Western circles.

                                      MWD not only gave us two Laozi silk scrolls with additional, somewhat
                                      related texts, that have been uncomfortably dubbed Huang-Lao texts by most
                                      scholars (representing a fusion of Huangdi/Yellow Emperor and Laozi thought
                                      that the tradition had maintained was active in this period, but for which
                                      most of the literature was no longer extant), but MWD also had a treasure
                                      trove of medical texts, representing several schools or approaches to
                                      medicine, perhaps ancestral to, but different from what later developed as
                                      Chinese medicine. Only a handful of scholars in the West have looked at
                                      these materials seriously (Don Harper published a translation of a good
                                      chunk of them). Scholars are more generally aware of some of the discoveries
                                      therein, such as drawings of calisthetic exercises with labels matching the
                                      names of exercises mentioned (somewhat disparagingly) by Zhuangzi, so that
                                      we can now visualize them (and reassure ourselves that Zhuangzi didn't just
                                      make up those names and exercises in what many still tend to view as his
                                      overactive imagination).

                                      The Laozi portion of the Guodian material is only a small portion of the
                                      strips that were found (and, since robbers accessed the tombs at least
                                      twice, once before archeologists began excavation -- archeologists decided
                                      to excavate this tomb, in fact, precisely to prevent further loss, there had
                                      been no plan to excavate the tomb until the plundering activity was
                                      detected; and the thieves returned at least once during the excavations,
                                      leading to some uncertainty as to whether what has been recovered was all
                                      that was initially there (imagine, e.g., a fourth or fifth Laozi bundle that
                                      might have been there) -- most of the other materials were of a distinctly
                                      Confucian nature, some bearing a relation to other MWD materials, and some
                                      rediscovered for the first time, including materials that some have
                                      speculated represent the teachings of Confucius' family, specifically the
                                      line through his grandson, who was Mencius' teacher. Chinese scholars have
                                      turned their attention to these in the last few years, but very few
                                      Westerners have kept up. Again, the "mystical" Laozi rather than Confucian
                                      theory and lineage grabs Western attention (hence the insistance by Bruce,
                                      et al., that we should interest ourselves in these texts as indicators of
                                      political development rather than mysticism or cosmology or, what Sivin
                                      calls, "science").

                                      One final comment, which bears directly on stratification issues and upon
                                      which I may say more later, since so far Bruce has not commented on it, is
                                      what I have labeled the Qin filter. The short-lived Qin dynasty (221-205
                                      BCE) first unified the Chinese states into a single entity under an emperor,
                                      but, most importantly in terms of textual transmission, the writing of
                                      characters was standardized during the Qin. It also practiced a near
                                      totalitarian censorship of disapproved works, with book burnings, etc., so
                                      that during the Han, the dynasty that succeeded the Qin, most of the pre-Han
                                      literature had to be reconstituted, and redacted from variant writing styles
                                      (that were sometimes regional -- or to put it simply, spelling didn't count,
                                      providing many graphical opportunities for misunderstanding or ambiguity)
                                      into the new standard. Texts, such as the Confucian corpus, which were
                                      vetted through this process by advocates of Confucianism, faired well;
                                      texts, such as the Mozi, for whom no living advocates were available, became
                                      codified in "corrupt" editions, with large swatches of incoherent and often
                                      unreadable material (making the sections on optics, the neo-mohist canons on
                                      proto-logic etc readable, an immense and difficult project, was one of the
                                      tasks Graham is noted for). One of the things one learns when comparing the
                                      MWD and Guodian Laozi-s on the one hand, with the received versions on the
                                      other, is that many possible redactive changes were introduced. The
                                      approach, in China and the West, has been to domesticate the wild
                                      "misspellings" so that they conform more closely with the received version.
                                      When only the MWD materials were available, this seemed the prudent course
                                      of action; but the Guodian version reinforces the alternate readings
                                      suggested by the MWD, which, when one resists domestication (an ingenious
                                      craft as practiced), yields surprising and intriguing new readings of the
                                      material. Beyond the Laozi text, the importance of factoring in this Qin
                                      filter (which means, among other things, that all received versions of
                                      pre-Han texts underwent a redactive process in the early Han that "adjusted"
                                      their written form) should not be overlooked. This, as a mere fact, has long
                                      been known (Legge mentions it over a hundred years ago), but only now do we
                                      have the materials that allow us to examine for ourselves just what sort of
                                      changes these redactions introduced. I will, perhaps, post something on how
                                      this specifically impacts the way the Guodian Laozi might be read
                                      differently than the received version in some crucial sections, since, among
                                      other things, it suggests some religious affinities with the Rg Veda and
                                      other such works that were largely redacted out of the received version.

                                      Dan Lusthaus
                                    • E Bruce Brooks
                                      To: Indo-Eurasian Research Cc: WSW In Response To: Dan Lusthaus On: Issues with China 1 From: Bruce Much of what Dan says is explicitly directed toward a
                                      Message 18 of 25 , Sep 25, 2006
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                                        To: Indo-Eurasian Research
                                        Cc: WSW
                                        In Response To: Dan Lusthaus
                                        On: Issues with "China 1"
                                        From: Bruce

                                        Much of what Dan says is explicitly directed toward a future conversation,
                                        and I won't attempt to have that conversation here. Some points might
                                        perhaps be challenged on the way to that future conversation.

                                        DAN: . . . responding to everything that is worthwhile responding to would
                                        overwhelm the discussion and take us into a detour, the complexity of which
                                        would be more suitable to a list devoted to sinological topics than to the
                                        present list.

                                        BRUCE: Dan is very welcome to take that discussion to the premier
                                        Sinological list of our time, the Warring States Project's WSW list, where
                                        ample room for it should be available. I have copied my recent contributions
                                        to that list, and he is welcome to follow suit.

                                        DAN [on the Religion question, acknowledging that there are more political
                                        dimensions in the early Chinese texts than mystical readings normally
                                        recognize]: On the other hand, giving primacy to politics and statecraft --
                                        a commonplace scholarly prejudice with Confucian and neo-confucian roots --
                                        can be an alternate form of blindness.

                                        BRUCE: The political dimension is there, whatever else may or may not be
                                        there. Recognizing it is a form of sight, not a form of blindness. The
                                        question might be framed as one of dominant tradition. Are the classical
                                        Chinese texts by and large, as I have suggested, chiefly political and
                                        terrestrial, either ignoring or distancing themselves from the supernatural
                                        world? Or are they soaked through and through with the presence of that
                                        world, as mediaeval European learning is steeped in Catholic Christianity? I
                                        have already cited several "distancing" passages of great prominence in the
                                        Chinese discourse, cogent at the time and memorized in every modern Chinese
                                        high school, and won't repeat or extend those examples here. Just two
                                        suggestions by way of response.

                                        The first is a past experiment. Gary Mathews, a Greek philosophy specialist,
                                        once sat in on a Project Conference. In the break following the first
                                        session he laughed and said, "You people have been talking for an hour and a
                                        half, and nobody has once mentioned the gods." I take him to mean that this
                                        conversational neglect of the gods would be unlikely to happen in an equally
                                        protracted discussion of classical Greek thought. I suspect he is right, and
                                        that this is one thing that distinguishes the Greek and Chinese traditions
                                        as such, and not merely the modern academic approach to them.

                                        The second is a future experiment. We have in Gwandz 59 "The Duties of the
                                        Student" (see Rickett 2/285-291) a remarkably detailed account of a Chinese
                                        classroom and its etiquette, from sometime in the Warring States period. We
                                        have in the Apastamba Dharma Sutra, Book 1/1-7 (Olivelle PB 7-16) a
                                        description of a Vedic classroom, of roughly comparable length and detail.
                                        GZ 59 is rhymed as though for memorization; it scarcely needs to be argued
                                        here that the Apastamba Dharma Sutra was meant to be memorized. The two are
                                        then comparable. Let someone assign a student to map the one on the other,
                                        inventorying the areas of subject overlap and also the areas of subject
                                        non-overlap, and share with us what that student reports.

                                        DAN [quoting Nathan Sivin]: "Among the many things that make _Disputers of
                                        the Tao_ a remarkable piece
                                        of work is that Angus Graham breaks the awesome taboo against reading
                                        scientific texts. This is not, of course, a traditional taboo..."

                                        BRUCE: It is not a question of taboo at all, however much Nathan likes to
                                        repeat his "awesome taboo" phrase, in and out of season. It is a question of
                                        qualification. To read the early Han medical texts (there are none from the
                                        Warring States to read) is solely not a matter of choice and preference, it
                                        takes specialized training. So also with Mician optics, or the astronomy
                                        chapter in the Shr Ji. The Western students who are prepared to understand
                                        what these things are talking about come along in bunches too small to
                                        constitute a reading class in even the smallest of our research
                                        universities. The social conditions that would permit different curricular
                                        choices or expectations are neither in being nor in prospect. The only
                                        recourse, as far as I can see, is to do what we are doing: rely on the
                                        occasional qualified person to tell the rest of us what is going on.
                                        Elisabeth Hsu has been working for years on a translation of the Han medical
                                        casebook that is embedded as a document in Shr Ji 105. The rest of us wish
                                        her well, and hope to live to see her final result. The relevant point is
                                        that neglect of certain texts or aspects is not imposed by some evil Western
                                        cultural agenda (this being the postmodern theory of everything that is
                                        wrong with the world). It is simply a reflex of necessary specialization.

                                        Now let's take the question from the other side. We may legitimately ask
                                        whether a similar situation obtained for the Warring States and Han
                                        scholars, our friends in the past (as the Mencius invites us to consider
                                        them). Did they, the standard model serving elite, read their own
                                        astronomical and medical works routinely, with ease and address, and are we
                                        culpably deficient in being unable to do likewise? The answer to this
                                        question happens to be available. It lies in the fact that when Lyou Syin
                                        took over from his deceased father Lyou Syang the task of concluding the
                                        project of cataloguing the Han Palace Library (our version of the
                                        Alexandrian Library), he called in some specialists, precisely to help him
                                        with those categories of material.

                                        So Nathan's quarrel, if he has one (and Dan's, if he joins Nathan therein),
                                        would seem to be not with the present age, but rather with the Han Dynasty.
                                        I hope that one or the other of them will let us all know how it comes out.

                                        DAN: While Bruce claimed that no Chinese text ever asserted that the proper
                                        code for human order was dictated by a deity from above, the Mozi does
                                        precisely that (e.g., Bk. 3, ch 12; although refreshingly, it stipulates
                                        that these
                                        theories need to be pragmatically tested in terms of their actual effects on
                                        people and society before becoming lionized - Bk. 9, chs. 35-37).

                                        BRUCE: The belief of the Micians in ghosts and spirits, and their reviling
                                        of the Confucians for their failure to join them in that belief, was noted
                                        in China 1, and it is not news now. But even that exception does not
                                        necessarily apply to the whole of the Mician canon. Here is Graham,
                                        summarizing the drift of the logical chapters:

                                        " . . . From this point the dialectical writings never again mention either
                                        the Will of Heaven or human nature. Instead of trying like Mencius to prove
                                        the goodness of human nature, the Mohists set out to rationalize the
                                        practical utilitarianism of their tradition. "Expounding the Canons" lays
                                        the foundations of *an ethical system quite independent of the authority of
                                        Heaven,* built on the actual benefit and harm, desires and dislikes, of
                                        individuals."

                                        As for MZ 12 and MZ 35-37, it would probably be more efficient to discuss
                                        their interpretation after Dan specifies which statements in them he has in
                                        mind. Meanwhile, I would suggest in general that insofar as these passages
                                        typify the Micians, the Micians are outside the acceptations of standard
                                        Chinese learned discourse. We may perhaps see the neutral ethical system
                                        which they presently proceeded to construct (and which for various reasons
                                        probably comes after the chapters cited) as an attempt to enter that learned
                                        discourse as full members, and indeed as technically accomplished debaters.
                                        Those familiar with the place of rhetoric and argument in Roman education
                                        should find this a not unfamiliar notion.

                                        I can parenthetically congratulate Dan on his choice of material: Though the
                                        MZ chapters he mentions are far apart in the school text accumulation as we
                                        have it, Taeko dates them to within a few years of each other. It should
                                        thus in principle be possible, not only to read them, but to bring to bear
                                        on that reading a range of strictly contemporary material, and not (as so
                                        often in these discussions) to wander all over the map, chronologically
                                        speaking. I look forward to that possibility, and here repeat my invitation
                                        to Dan to introduce it on the WSW list, where it will probably be irrelevant
                                        to the interests, and interruptive of the discourse, of about 675 fewer
                                        people than is likely in the present venue.

                                        DAN [on the Gwodyen and Mawangdwei texts of the DDJ]: for the last hundred
                                        years or so it was the Chinese text most subjected to the methods and
                                        speculations of philologists, and so provides a splendid test case for the
                                        validity of those methods (or, as Bruce might prefer to say, to the acumen
                                        of those employing such methods). In fact, the Mawangdui and Guodian finds
                                        have not only rendered virtually all that speculation moot, but it has been
                                        exposed as fundamentally flawed, or, as one Chinese scholar diplomatically
                                        put it: "a complete waste of time."

                                        BRUCE: I find this unduly contemptuous. Richard Bentley and Nicolai Madvig
                                        had some of their conjectural emendations confirmed by subsequently
                                        discovered early manuscripts of the works in question. Other philologists of
                                        their time have less to show for their suggestions. Similarly, those
                                        Sinologists who had noticed the probability that DDJ 17 and 18 were really
                                        one chapter are now vindicated by the fact that in the Gwodyen text they
                                        evidently *are* a single chapter. Other previous conjectures of DDJ
                                        arrangement or consecutivity, such as the repositionings of Duyvendak, have
                                        not turned out so well. There are then undoubtedly failures of philology,
                                        but they do not necessarily impugn or invalidate the undoubted successes of
                                        philology. The real trouble with philology, I should imagine, is the same as
                                        with contour integration: not everyone is equally good at it.

                                        DAN: The Laozi portion of the Guodian material is only a small portion of
                                        the strips that were found . . . leading to some uncertainty as to whether
                                        what has been recovered was all that was initially there (imagine, e.g., a
                                        fourth or fifth Laozi bundle that might have been there).

                                        BRUCE: One can always wonder. But the uncertainty here is somewhat limited
                                        by Dan Murphy's conclusion that at any rate nothing is missing from the
                                        three DDJ florilegia that were recovered from Gwodyen 1 (I believe he has
                                        submitted a brief paper on this point for publication by one of the journals
                                        of our day). As for the theft of other DDJ texts, the plundered strips from
                                        somewhere in that cemetery (not assuredly known to be from that tomb) which
                                        are now politely called the "Shanghai Strips," after the museum that bought
                                        them back from the Chinese antiquities smuggling ring, contain nothing of
                                        that character as so far reported, nor has any such text been included in
                                        the four "Shanghai" volumes so far published. I have also not heard it
                                        suggested (though I am open to correction from those who know these texts
                                        better) that any of the other Gwodyen texts suffers from an unduly abrupt
                                        end, or an obviously missing section in the middle. All in all, as far as
                                        present knowledge and responsible inference go, it seems that we are
                                        reasonably safe in concluding that what we have from Gwodyen is identical to
                                        what was in the Gwodyen tutor's coursepack. As to its contents:

                                        DAN: -- most of the other materials were of a distinctly Confucian nature,
                                        some bearing a relation to other MWD materials, and some rediscovered for
                                        the first time, including materials that some have speculated represent the
                                        teachings of Confucius' family, specifically the line through his grandson,
                                        who was Mencius' teacher. Chinese scholars have
                                        turned their attention to these in the last few years, but very few
                                        Westerners have kept up.

                                        BRUCE: Dz-sz was actually Confucius's great-grandson; there is a gap in the
                                        official Kung family succession that the Kung family have gone to enormous
                                        lengths to conceal. More generally, what is the point of mentioning the
                                        predominantly Confucian character of the Gwodyen materials? As far as I can
                                        see, it only goes to prove the predominantly Confucian character of the high
                                        elite discourse world as of the early 03rd century, which has been my point
                                        throughout. As witnessed by the Gwodyen materials in toto, that discourse
                                        seems to presume a world in which the ghosts and spirits are not especially
                                        prominent.

                                        As for the supposed non-study of those non-DDJ materials, I don't know where
                                        Dan has been keeping himself. Over the eight years since these materials
                                        have been in any sense available, there have been whole-Gwodyen study groups
                                        at both Harvard and Yale. One fully annotated translation of the whole thing
                                        (and of high quality, if the sample I have seen is any indication), the work
                                        of Scott Cook, is about to issue from Grinnell. Conversation on the WSW list
                                        in those years focused on several of the non-DDJ texts. I offered a paper on
                                        one of them, some years ago, to a conference in the area. We have heard from
                                        a number of the younger European Sinologues who have concerned themselves
                                        with them. Those with wider acquaintance can doubtless report more fully,
                                        but the picture available to my limited view is not exactly one of dearth
                                        plus Dau/Dv Jing.

                                        DAN [on the "Chin filter" supposedly affecting the transmission and
                                        understanding of all earlier texts]: One final comment, which bears directly
                                        on stratification issues and upon which I may say more later, since so far
                                        Bruce has not commented on it, is what I have labeled the Qin filter. The
                                        short-lived Qin dynasty (221-205 BCE) first unified the Chinese states into
                                        a single entity under an emperor, but, most importantly in terms of textual
                                        transmission, the writing of characters was standardized during the Qin. It
                                        also practiced a near totalitarian censorship of disapproved works, with
                                        book burnings, etc., so that during the Han, the dynasty that succeeded the
                                        Qin, most of the pre-Han literature had to be reconstituted, and redacted
                                        from variant writing styles (that were sometimes regional -- or to put it
                                        simply, spelling didn't count, providing many graphical opportunities for
                                        misunderstanding or ambiguity) into the new standard. Texts, such as the
                                        Confucian corpus, which were vetted through this process by advocates of
                                        Confucianism, faired well; texts, such as the Mozi, for whom no living
                                        advocates were available, became codified in "corrupt" editions, with large
                                        swatches of incoherent and often unreadable material (making the sections on
                                        optics, the neo-mohist canons on proto-logic etc readable, an immense and
                                        difficult project, was one of the tasks Graham is noted for).

                                        BRUCE: Leaving aside the dates of the Chin dynasty, I would like to suggest
                                        that the suppression of writings to which Dan refers is partly a propaganda
                                        myth of Han (and specifically of Szma Chyen, who tarted up the text of Li
                                        Sz's memorial recommending it, in order to make it even more cruel than it
                                        actually was). Bob Eno showed years ago that copies of the forbidden texts,
                                        in written form, were maintained by the scholars of the Chin Academy, thus
                                        somewhat complicating and indeed mitigating the usual desperate picture.
                                        There were undoubtedly losses and reconstitutions, but their effect can be
                                        exaggerated. By the time of Szma Chyen (the reign of Han Wu-di, say around
                                        0130), almost a century after Chin had unified the script, it was something
                                        of an achievement to be able to read the old script, but there were people
                                        prepared to claim that skill, including the ten-year-old Szma Chyen himself.
                                        The quotations of old texts in the Shr Ji, whether by him or his father Szma
                                        Tan, don't suffer from any obvious systematic impairment in recognizing
                                        which character is which. All this, I should think, tends to reduce the
                                        notion of severe cultural discontinuity between the classical period and the
                                        Empire.

                                        In the difference between the Lu and Gu texts of the Analects, we can
                                        directly observe the difference between a recovered physical pre-Chin copy,
                                        in the old script, and a copy taken down from post-Chin Confucian memory,
                                        and thus transcribed in the new script. They don't differ significantly; the
                                        differences are essentially orthographical. (One phonetic variant happens to
                                        bear on the history of the Yi text, but that's an isolated case).

                                        As for the Mician logic and allied chapters, Graham's work in reconstituting
                                        them is indeed deserving of lasting Sinological praise, and it certainly
                                        gets it from my corner of the world. But the problem facing him was not
                                        primarily one of script; rather, of bamboo strips that had been broken and
                                        disordered, and when transcribed at some point, were not understood (given
                                        their highly technically nature, they may not have been intelligible to
                                        whatever conventionally literate person was in charge of that task; see my
                                        point about technical learning as not a part of elite learning, made above
                                        and here renewed). The result in some places was simply a garble, where
                                        consecutivity of text existed only at the level of the individual strip
                                        fragment, and where our text reflects a disordered sequence of those strip
                                        fragments. Graham (following, let it be said, on the work of previous
                                        scholars, who had identified most of the key points) proceeded to determine
                                        the standard length of the strips involved (40 per strip at one phase, 33 or
                                        34 at another), to recover the technical vocabulary, to notice the formal
                                        signals, and finally to reconstitute the text in something like an
                                        intelligible form. It is still formidable to read, but at any rate it can
                                        now be read by those conventionally literate persons who are willing to
                                        retrospectively educate themselves in the necessary categories of
                                        understanding, which are not part of the standard humanistic curriculum for
                                        us, any more than they were part of it in the Chinese past.

                                        A final PS: The Harvard Mwodz concordance (1948) was perforce based on the
                                        garbled text of those chapters; the compilers could hardly pause in their
                                        labors to undertake the work that Graham later did. The recent Hong Kong
                                        Mwodz concordance (2001), though coming a generation after Graham, is based
                                        on exactly that same garbled text. See for example Graham's note (p109) on a
                                        wrong conjunction of material at the end of the Da Chyw (our MZ 44), and
                                        then locate exactly that wrong conjunction in both concordances,
                                        respectively at pages 77 (top) and 96 (bottom). D C Lau, chief editor of the
                                        Hong Kong concordance project, spent long years in England, and surely knew
                                        of Graham's work on this text. Graham's book presenting his final results
                                        was published from the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1978. The Hong
                                        Kong Mwodz concordance issued from the Institute of Chinese Studies, Chinese
                                        University of Hong Kong, in 2001.

                                        Let someone else have a turn at explaining this rather puzzling situation.

                                        Bruce

                                        E Bruce Brooks
                                        Warring States Project
                                        University of Massachusetts at Amherst
                                        http://www.umass.edu/wsp

                                        Copyright (c) 2006 by E Bruce and A Taeko Brooks
                                      • Dan Lusthaus
                                        In response to Bruce, there is probably less disagreement here than initially appears to be the case, though there are some things we will probably continue to
                                        Message 19 of 25 , Sep 25, 2006
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                                          In response to Bruce, there is probably less disagreement here than
                                          initially appears to be the case, though there are some things we will
                                          probably continue to disagree about.

                                          > BRUCE: Dan is very welcome to take that discussion to the premier
                                          > Sinological list of our time, the Warring States Project's WSW list,

                                          Having been a participant on that list for some years, we have previously
                                          discussed some of this there already, while some of the issues and details
                                          are being broached here for the first time between us. More general issues
                                          can remain here, though it might be better to take more technical issues --
                                          such as the differences between pre- and post-Qin graphs and their semantic
                                          implications -- to the WSW list (where we have disagreed about them before).

                                          > BRUCE: The political dimension is there, whatever else may or may not be
                                          > there. Recognizing it is a form of sight, not a form of blindness.

                                          Only recognizing it, or privileging the political at the expense of other
                                          elements is obscured vision.

                                          >Are the classical
                                          > Chinese texts by and large, as I have suggested, chiefly political and
                                          > terrestrial, either ignoring or distancing themselves from the
                                          supernatural
                                          > world? Or are they soaked through and through with the presence of that
                                          > world, as mediaeval European learning is steeped in Catholic Christianity?

                                          That is a false dichotomy since I am unaware of medieval Catholics being
                                          active in pre-Han China (or post-Han China, for that matter; by the time
                                          Matteo Ricci introduced Catholic thinking to China, his Catholicism was
                                          already beginning to move beyond the medieval mindset as well -- at least
                                          Ricci was, which got him into hot water with the Vatican, but that is
                                          another story).

                                          It is well known that Confucianism gradually distanced itself from many
                                          "religious" elements (though many have challenged the extent of that
                                          distancing), and that in the Han some prominent Confucians displayed open
                                          and critical hostility to things such as astrological portents, divination,
                                          etc., which did set a certain anti-"superstitions" tone followed by some of
                                          the elite into the present day. But Confucians were not the only voice back
                                          then (despite the fact that they largely controlled what survived that
                                          period for our edification). Reading that distancing back into *all* the
                                          earlier material, including some of the Confucian materials, would be a
                                          mistake. The Yang Zhu material -- which explicitly disavowed political
                                          responsibility, has not survived except as echoed in some sections of the
                                          Zhuangzi and Lu Shi Chun Qiu (Spring and Autumn of Mr. Lu) as a form of
                                          self-cultivation, and as a contemptible extreme form of selfishness
                                          polemically disparaged by Mencius. To elicit that response suggests Yang was
                                          influential in his day. To characterize Yang Zhu as "political" because
                                          political thinkers found him threatening, or to accept his detractors
                                          judgement that his message was entirely negative by being anti-political
                                          (and thus political by implication), would also be a mistake, since his
                                          self-cultivation and individualism (perhaps earlier than Graham and Sivin
                                          have claimed it emerged in China) were developed in spite of, not in mere
                                          reaction to the political climate. More importantly, it is rare, even in the
                                          Analects, to see politics divorced from Tian, tianming (Heavenly Mandate),
                                          heaven-endowed nature, etc., which provided the ground and guarantee for
                                          such enterprises.

                                          As for comparing Guanzi with a Dharma-sutra, no one -- much less me -- would
                                          deny there is a difference between Indian and Chinese literature concerning
                                          the prominence of politics. Chinese thought has always been more politically
                                          programmatic than its Indian counterpart. One consequence of this was that
                                          in India a multitude of religious traditions could flourish, even as rivals,
                                          relatively unhindered by the political powers that be (though there are
                                          exceptions), while the Chinese officialdom always sought tight control and
                                          regulation, and occasional outlawing of religious institutions. Throughout
                                          the middle ages inter-religious debate was the national sport in India, the
                                          high-level games played out at the royal court with the king himself acting
                                          as arbitor, while in China such contests were engaged in by martial artists.
                                          The stakes and consequences in both cases were similar: the loser, having
                                          lost face, had to pack up his school and move to the next county. But while
                                          participants in such debates were passionately sectarian and committed to
                                          their religious tradition, there was also a "distancing" from certain naive
                                          or popular religious thought embedded in their rhetoric: e.g., calling
                                          someone "beloved of the gods" meant he was an idiot (and is so incompetent
                                          that he could only manage to survive if some god were watching out for him),
                                          or comparing somethng to "a city of gandharvas" (i.e., celestial musicians
                                          who lived in the clouds) meant it was imaginary and unreal. To claim that
                                          therefore they were non-religious would be a mistake. As for Greek
                                          comparisons, Plato in many ways lived a life parallel to Confucius (desirous
                                          of having his ideas adopted and implemented in a state, he failed to
                                          interest any rulers; both also had disciples rise to positions of power only
                                          to reject their former teacher, further frustrating his desires), but is his
                                          thought more political than religious? Can one discuss Plato, or Aristotle,
                                          or a host of other Greek philosophers without evoking the "gods"? Of course.
                                          Yet theologians continue to study Plato, Aristotle, etc., and were the
                                          primary students of their philosophy during those Catholic (and Islamic and
                                          Jewish) middle ages.

                                          >
                                          > BRUCE: It is not a question of taboo at all, [...] It is a question of
                                          > qualification.

                                          In fact, that is one of the points Sivin makes in the posted piece I gave
                                          the url for -- few who enter the humanities these days have the scientific
                                          training or background to tackle such things, so they remain largely
                                          neglected. The point is not that they are entirely ignored -- that essay was
                                          heaping praise on Graham precisely because he was breaking the taboo -- but
                                          that one can be considered an expert in that literature without having much
                                          familiarity (or interest) in that material. Much of the Mozi, for instance,
                                          remains untranslated (e.g., the war technology sections). Whether one wants
                                          to label such things science, cosmology, proto-science, etc., is secondary.


                                          >To read the early Han medical texts (there are none from the
                                          > Warring States to read)

                                          Do you think the medical knowledge entombed at MWD was all generated or even
                                          composed during the 30 odd years between the beginning of the Han and the
                                          closing of the tomb?

                                          >Did they, the standard model serving elite, read their own
                                          > astronomical and medical works routinely, with ease and address, and are
                                          we
                                          > culpably deficient in being unable to do likewise?

                                          When asked in what lay his expertise, Mencius responded: "I know words, and
                                          I am skillful at nourishing my flowing qi (ch'i)." (2A:2). Pressed to
                                          explain further what he meant by flowing qi, he says it is difficult to say
                                          (using the same word he just used for the "words" he knows), and then says:
                                          "the qi is perfectly large, perfectly firm; by rightly nourishing it, so it
                                          is without injury, it fills the space between Heaven and Earth." Is he
                                          talking politics or something else?

                                          Virtually all politicians today have no training in medicine, physics,
                                          astronomy, economics, or a host of other disciplines that our experts
                                          incessantly publish on, yet they make decisions affecting and implementing
                                          such matters every day. Does that mean our culture or literature is devoid
                                          of those elements. Rulers are typically depicted in Chinese literature as
                                          playing with less than a full deck, which is why they need advice from
                                          advisors.

                                          Xunzi (Hsun Tzu), a generation or so after Mencius and Zhuangzi, explicitly
                                          circumscribes the scientific and cosmological as off limits to rational
                                          inquiry, something that would have been unnecessary to argue if no one was
                                          pursuing that. And his arguments did not win the day, since such inquiries
                                          and speculations proliferated (to the chagrin of some Confucians).

                                          >the Mician canon. Here is Graham,
                                          > summarizing the drift of the logical chapters:
                                          >
                                          > " . . . From this point the dialectical writings never again mention
                                          either
                                          > the Will of Heaven or human nature. Instead of trying like Mencius to
                                          prove
                                          > the goodness of human nature, the Mohists set out to rationalize the
                                          > practical utilitarianism of their tradition. "Expounding the Canons" lays
                                          > the foundations of *an ethical system quite independent of the authority
                                          of
                                          > Heaven,* built on the actual benefit and harm, desires and dislikes, of
                                          > individuals."

                                          That was Graham's claim, and it is reading a lot of purpose into those
                                          chapters, a purpose suspiciously close to Graham's own revisionistic
                                          treatment of the Chinese tradition as a whole. I see, for instance, no
                                          reason to read these chapters as anything other than an incipient debate
                                          tradition, which, like the Indian debate tradition, took it as axiomatic
                                          that one begins by finding common epistemological grounds with one's
                                          opponents. Otherwise both sides will talk past each other. The will of
                                          heaven would be a non-starter for that purpose. The Mozi text, in fact, in
                                          ch. 49 explicitly explains that specific teachings are correctives for
                                          specific types of problems. Venerating Heaven and worshiping spirits are
                                          antidotes for insolence and impropriety. Eight other teachings target four
                                          other types of problems. Characterizing the canons as laying a foundation
                                          for an ethical system is also a stretch. That's not exactly what is going on
                                          there.

                                          > As for MZ 12 and MZ 35-37, it would probably be more efficient to discuss
                                          > their interpretation after Dan specifies which statements in them he has
                                          in
                                          > mind.

                                          Let's start with Bk 1:4 (Mei's translation):

                                          "What then should be taken as the standard in government? Nothing better
                                          than following Heaven. Heaven is all-inclusive and impartial in its
                                          activities, abundant and unceasing in its blessings, and lasting and
                                          untiring in its guidance. And, so, when the sage-kings had accepted Heaven
                                          as their standard, they measured every action and enterprise by Heaven. What
                                          Heaven desired they would carry out, what Heaven abominated they refrained
                                          from.
                                          "Now, what is it that Heaven desires, and what that it abominates? Certainly
                                          Heaven desires to have men benefit and love one another and abominates to
                                          have them hate and harm one another. How do we know that Heaven desires to
                                          have men love and benefit one another and abominates to have them hate and
                                          harm one another? Because it loves and benefits men universally. How do we
                                          know that it loves and benefits men universally? Because it claims all and
                                          accepts offerings from all. All states in the world, large or small, are
                                          cities of Heaven, and all people, young or old, honourable or humble, are
                                          its subjects; for they all graze oxen and sheep, feed dogs and pigs, and
                                          prepare clean wine and cakes to sacrifice to Heaven. Does this not mean that
                                          Heaven claims all and accepts offerings from all? Since Heaven does claim
                                          all and accepts offerings from all, what then can make us say that it does
                                          not desire men to love and benefit one another? Hence those who love and
                                          benefit others Heaven will bless. Those who hate and harm others Heaven will
                                          curse, for it is said that he who murders the innocent will be visited by
                                          misfortune. How else can we explain the fact that men, murdering each other,
                                          will be cursed by Heaven? Thus we are certain that Heaven desires to have
                                          men love and benefit one another and abominates to have them hate and harm
                                          one another."

                                          There are many such statements in the Mozi.

                                          The passage from MZ 12 I was thinking of is:

                                          "As we look back to the time when there was yet no ruler, it seems the
                                          custom was "everybody in the world according to his own standard [yi義]."
                                          Accordingly each man had his own standard, ten men had ten different
                                          standards, a hundred men had a hundred different standards -- the more
                                          people the more standards. And everybody approved of his own view and
                                          disapproved those of others, and so arose mutual disapproval Even father and
                                          son and brothers became enemies, since they were unable to reach any
                                          agreement. Surplus energy was not employed for mutual help; excellent
                                          teachings (Dao) were kept secret; surplus goods were allowed to rot without
                                          sharing. The disorder in the (human) world could be compared with that among
                                          birds and beasts. The lack of regulations governing the relationships
                                          between ruler and subject, between superior and subordinate, and between
                                          elder and younger; and the absence of rules governing the relationships
                                          between father and son and between older and younger brothers, resulted in
                                          disorder in the world.
                                          "Knowing the cause of the confusion to be in the absence of a ruler who
                                          could unify the standards [jiao 教] in the world (Heaven) chose the virtuous,
                                          sagacious, and wise in the world and crowned him emperor, charging him with
                                          the duty of unifying the wills in the empire."

                                          MZ 35 (36 and 37 offer interesting variants on the same template):

                                          "Now, how is this doctrine to be examined? Mozi said: Some standard of
                                          judgment must be established [言必立儀]. To expound a doctrine without regard to
                                          the standard is similar to determining the directions of sunrise and sunset
                                          on a revolving potter's wheel. By this means the distinction of right and
                                          wrong, benefit and harm, cannot be known. Therefore there must be three
                                          tests [san biao 三表]. What are the three tests? Mozi said: Its basis, its
                                          verifiability, and its applicability. How is it to be based? It should be
                                          based on the deeds of the ancient sage-kings. How is it to be verified? It
                                          is to be verified by the senses of hearing and sight of the common people.
                                          How is it to be applied? It is to be applied by adopting it in government
                                          and observing its benefits to the country and the people. This is what is
                                          meant by the three tests of every doctrine."

                                          If, as Taeko conjectures, these passages are contemporaneous, then the
                                          Heaven and the ethical benefit-harm discourse are contemporary; and the
                                          latter did not supplant the former.

                                          >Meanwhile, I would suggest in general that insofar as these passages
                                          > typify the Micians, the Micians are outside the acceptations of standard
                                          > Chinese learned discourse.

                                          That's a rather circular argument. Sivin noted that Graham reemphasized the
                                          forgotten importance and influence of the Mohists on early Chinese thought.
                                          The Han redactionists certainly tried to downplay such things, which had
                                          fallen out of vogue by then, but they were there. And I would suggest that
                                          the strong emphasis on Tian (Heaven) around the time of Mencius and Zhuangzi
                                          was in direct response to such Mohist initiatives.

                                          I will address the Guodian issues in a future post, since this has already
                                          gotten too long and is moving away from stratification, while Guodian will
                                          bring that back into focus.

                                          Dan Lusthaus

                                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                        • John Colarusso
                                          Dear Prem, Nationalism is a passion for some and can cloud the mind, even a good mind. Jamison had some trepidation about writing the review, fearing that she
                                          Message 20 of 25 , Sep 26, 2006
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                                            Dear Prem,

                                            Nationalism is a passion for some and can cloud the mind, even a good
                                            mind. Jamison had some trepidation about writing the review, fearing
                                            that she would lose some friends.

                                            John
                                            John Colarusso, Ph.D.,
                                            Professor
                                            Departments of
                                            Anthropology, and of
                                            Linguistics and Languages


                                            On Sep 22, 2006, at 1:56 AM, prem saran wrote:

                                            > Jamison's review was such a pleasure to read!
                                            >
                                            > I'm only mildly surprised that non-Indian scholars/
                                            > academics should support what is really a political
                                            > controversy/sydrome, viz. the 'out-of-India' polemics
                                            > of some Indians, whether scholarly or not.

                                            http://www.safarmer.com/Indo-Eurasian/Bryant_Patton.review.pdf
                                          • Farmer Mac
                                            George Orwell s essay on Nationalism comes to mind.... http://www.george-orwell.org/Notes_on_Nationalism/0.html John Colarusso wrote:
                                            Message 21 of 25 , Sep 30, 2006
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                                              George Orwell's essay on Nationalism comes to mind....

                                              http://www.george-orwell.org/Notes_on_Nationalism/0.html

                                              John Colarusso <colaruss@...> wrote: Dear Prem,

                                              Nationalism is a passion for some and can cloud the mind, even a good
                                              mind. Jamison had some trepidation about writing the review, fearing
                                              that she would lose some friends.

                                              John
                                              John Colarusso, Ph.D.,
                                              Professor
                                              Departments of
                                              Anthropology, and of
                                              Linguistics and Languages

                                              On Sep 22, 2006, at 1:56 AM, prem saran wrote:

                                              > Jamison's review was such a pleasure to read!
                                              >
                                              > I'm only mildly surprised that non-Indian scholars/
                                              > academics should support what is really a political
                                              > controversy/sydrome, viz. the 'out-of-India' polemics
                                              > of some Indians, whether scholarly or not.

                                              http://www.safarmer.com/Indo-Eurasian/Bryant_Patton.review.pdf
                                            • Victor Mair
                                              Colleagues, Now we know exactly what Confucius MUST HAVE looked like, and you d better not imag(in)e him any other way!
                                              Message 22 of 25 , Oct 2, 2006
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                                                Colleagues,

                                                Now we know exactly what Confucius MUST HAVE looked like, and you'd
                                                better not imag(in)e him any other way!

                                                http://news3.xinhuanet.com/english/2006-09/23/content_5128745.htm

                                                Victor
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