On Citation Practices in the Guodian Manuscripts

In Shirley Chan (ed.), Dao Companion to the Excavated Guodian Bamboo Manuscripts. Cham: Springer Verlag. pp. 41-62 (2019)
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Abstract

This essay argues that the Guodian citations relating to the Documents classic, when read together with other evidence regarding early manuscript cultures in China, contradict the dominant scholarly view in the present-day People’s Republic of China, which imagines not only a single Urtext for the pre-Qin Documents classic, but also a single textual community familiar with the same masterworks and Classics across the entire swathe of land held by the modern nation-state of China. Contrary to this view, the early transmission of manuscripts, both oral and transcribed, generated multiple variants that allowed small textual communities to adapt their authoritative texts to local concerns and agendas and current affairs.

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