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date: 16 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

In classical Chinese tradition, writing a commentary is a basic way of interpreting texts and teaching classics. A commentator not only speculates on an author’s intent but also cites from various oral or written accounts to annotate a text. Commentary thus becomes a core text for converging knowledge and conserving culture, and sometimes it is many times longer than the original text. This chapter focuses on a series of commentaries on literary texts in the early medieval period and shows that, instead of being secondary to the original text, a commentary constitutes a new text on a par with the urtext in many ways.

Keywords: commentary, Shijing, Chuci, Shanju fu, Yonghuai shi, Shishuo xinyu, Shuijing zhu, Wen xuan

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