The novel Coming through Slaughter (1976), a story of a talented musician’s pursuit of real art and the true self, is based on Buddy Bolden, a jazz cornet player from New Orleans, Louisiana, in early twentieth-century America. Author Michael Ondaatje shows his originality in creating a ‘jazz novel’ that transcends the boundary between music and literature, in which three jazz-like features – collage, improvisation, and intersubjectivity – are embodied in characterization, theme presentation, and narration. By virtue of the unique free elements of jazz, Ondaatje maximizes the postmodern features of the novel and vividly depicts the complex subjectivity of the characters.
In recent years, scholars have drawn attention to the fact that manuscripts are hardly static objects but prone to change over the course of time. Following this line of research, the present paper considers ancient Chinese scrolls as evolving entities and discusses some of the implications for their reconstruction and description.
This study, emphasizing recently discovered bamboo manuscripts as both cultural documents and material objects, investigates the active and autonomous roles played by the scribes of the Tsinghua manuscript collection. Because pre-imperial textual culture has been presented as having tremendous orthographic flexibility and textual fluidly, the codicological and paratextual properties – titles, slip numbers, punctuation marks, verso lines, etc. – have often been considered as being applied without any overarching rules. Yet despite the difficulty of finding any consistent pattern of material design throughout the entirety of pre-imperial manuscripts, within the Tsinghua University collection, I have found not absolute, yet clear overlaps among the codicological and paratextual designs and the classifications of scribal hands. These overlaps indicate that titles, slip numbers, and punctuation marks were deeply associated with the scribes or producers rather than with the readers or users. Most of the punctuation marks should be viewed as a regulation or instruction for the text’s correctness rather than some readers’ understanding or interpretation. Altogether, these purposeful, pragmatic, and surprisingly advanced paratextual devices resonate with the producers’ deepening concerns about textual loss, and show local and even individual efforts and methods to organize and stabilize the ever-changing textual lore.
Among the written sources discovered from the tomb of the Marquis Yi of Zeng 曾侯 乙墓, the character wei為 distinguishes itself for its potential to reflect the difference of scribes/copyists through its graphic variations. This article attempts to use the different variations of wei on bamboo slips and bronze inscriptions to investigate the relationship between scribes/copyists of these two media. This article proposes that the scribes/copyists who produced the same variation of wei on bamboo slips and bronze inscriptions belonged to one school of scribes.
This article proposes a typology of punctuation devices based on functional criteria. It argues that a broad concept of punctuation – including not only non-“alphanumeric” marks but also layout and spacing as well as script features – is needed to do justice to the diversity of material features of manuscripts and their changes over time.
The phrase “make wet its upper part” (jiang qi shang江其上), which appears in the protocol inscribed on slip nos. 117–118 of Accessory Ordinance C no. 4 卒令丙四 in vol. 5 of the Yuelu shuyuan cang Qin jian岳麓書院藏秦簡 (“Qin Slips Housed at the Yuelu Academy”) as an instruction for the marking of document label slips, should be read as “[inscribe] a plank-mark onto its upper part” (gang qi shang杠其上). This phrase in the protocol instructs clerks to mark label slips by inscribing a horizontal “plank” mark (heng gang橫杠) onto the upper part of a rectangular slip (fang方). The marks that were produced by this clerical custom are the visually conspicuous markers modern scholars describe as “blackened bamboo slip tops” (jian shou tu hei簡首塗黑) that frequently appear in caches of early Chinese textual materials. However, rather than using the phrase “blackened bamboo slip tops,” it would be more precise to refer to these as “horizontal oblong black ink marks” (mo heng墨橫) or “black ink plank marks” (mo gang墨杠).
This paper attempts to rearrange the slip sequence in the Wang Ji妄稽 manuscript, and makes the following suggestions: slips 75–76 should be placed immediately after slips 47, 48, and 49; slips 77–81 should be placed between slips 75–76 and slips 43–46; since the meaning of the text on slip 46 and that on slip 62 are coherent, slips 46 and 62 can be placed back-to-back.
In light of recent advances made in research on the Yuelu Academy Qin Wei li zhi guan ji qianshou manuscript, the present article reconsiders issues surrounding the manuscript’s slip order and the reading of its text. A new arrangement is given, with two missing slips restored to the manuscript, an additional fragment re-pieced together, and an explanation provided for the logic behind the overall organization of the text’s content.
By rejoining several fragmentary slips in the Shanghai Museum *Shi Liu wen yu Fuzi manuscript, this article seeks to adjust the order of the existing bamboo slips as well as to clarify the meaning of the text. On this basis, and through a comparison with transmitted texts, the identities of the main characters “Shi Liu” and “Master” in the bamboo manuscript are discussed. We find that the words, deeds, and thoughts of “Shi Liu” and “Master” bear certain similarities to “Shi Qiu” and “Confucius” as recorded in literature.