Browsing by Organization "Helsingin yliopisto, humanistinen tiedekunta, Aasian ja Afrikan kielten ja kulttuurien laitos"

Sort by: Order: Results:

Now showing items 1-1 of 1
  • Kallio, Jyrki (Helsingin yliopisto, 2009)
    The topic of this study is the most renowned anthology of essays written in Literary Chinese, Guwen guanzhi, compiled and edited by Wu Chengquan (Chucai) and Wu Dazhi (Diaohou), and first published during the Qing dynasty, in 1695. Because of the low social standing of the compilers, their anthology remained outside the recommended study materials produced by members of the established literati and used for preparing students in the imperial civil-service examinations. However, since the end of the imperial era, Guwen guanzhi has risen to a position as the classical anthology par excellence. Today it is widely used as required or supplementary reading material of Literary Chinese in middle-schools both in Mainland China and on Taiwan. The goal of this study is to explain the persistent longevity of the anthology. So far, Guwen guanzhi has not been a topic of any published academic study, and the opinions expressed on it in various sources are widely discrepant. Through a comparative study with a dozen classical Chinese anthologies in use during the early Qing dynasty, this study reveals the extent to which the compilers of Guwen guanzhi modelled their work after other selections. Altogether 86 % of the texts in Guwen guanzhi originate from another Qing era anthology, Guwen xiyi, often copied character by character. However, the notes and commentaries are all different. Concentrating on the special characteristics unique to Guwen guanzhi—the commentaries and certain peculiarities in the selection of texts—this study then discusses the possible reasons for the popularity of Guwen guanzhi over the competing readers during the Qing era. Most remarkably, Guwen guanzhi put in practise the equalitarian, educational ideals of the Ming philosopher Wang Shouren (Yangming). Thus Guwen guanzhi suited the self-enlightenment needs of the ”subordinate classes”, in particular the rising middle-class comprised mainly of merchants. The lack of moral teleology, together with the compact size, relative comprehensiveness of the selection and good notes and comments, have made Guwen guanzhi well suited for the new society since the abolition of the imperial examination system. Through a content analysis, based on a sample of the texts, this study measures the relative emphasis on centralism and localism (both in concrete and spiritual terms) expressed in the texts of Guwen guanzhi. The analysis shows that the texts manifest some bias towards emphasising innate virtue on the expense of state-defined moral. This may reflect hidden critique towards intellectual oppression by the centralised imperial rule. During the early decades of the Qing era, such critique was often linked to Ming-loyalism. Finally, this study concludes that the kind of ”spiritual localism” that Guwen guanzhi manifests gives it the potential to undermine monolithic orthodoxy even in today’s Chinese societies. This study has progressed hand in hand with the translation of a selection of texts from Guwen guanzhi into Finnish, published by Gaudeamus Helsinki University Press: Jadekasvot – Valittuja tarinoita Kiinan muinaisajoilta (2005), Jadelähde – Valittuja kirjoituksia Kiinan keskiajalta (2007) and Jadepeili – Valittuja kirjoituksia keisarillisen Kiinan kulta-ajoilta (2008). All translations are critical editions, complete with extensive notation. The trilogy is the first comprehensive translation based on Guwen guanzhi in a European language.