That Wonderful Composite Called Author

Authorship in East Asian Literatures from the Beginnings to the Seventeenth Century


Did East Asian literatures, ranging from bronze inscriptions to zazen treatises, lack a concept of authorship before their integration into classical modernity? The answer depends on how one defines the term author. Starting out with a critical review of recent theories of authorship, this edited volume distinguishes various author functions, which can be distributed among several individuals and need not be integrated into a single source of textual meaning. Chinese, Japanese, and Korean literary traditions cover the whole spectrum from 'weak' composite to 'strong' individual forms and concepts of authorship. Divisions on this scale can be equated with gradual differences in the range of self-articulation. Contributors are Roland Altenburger, Alexander Beecroft, Marion Eggert, Simone Müller, Christian Schwermann, and Raji Steineck.
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Christian Schwermann, Ph.D. (2005), University of Bonn, is lecturer of Classical Chinese at that university. He has published chiefly on early Chinese literature, including a monograph on the concept of stupidity in ancient texts (“Dummheit” in altchinesischen Texten, Harrassowitz, 2011).

Raji C. Steineck, Ph.D. (2000), University of Bonn, is Professor of Japanology at the University of Zurich. He mainly works on the interrelation between symbolic configurations and ideational content in Japanese intellectual history, as in his new work on the Critique of Symbolic Forms (frommann-holzboog, 2014).


Raji C. Steineck and Christian Schwermann

Composite Authorship in Western Zhōu Bronze Inscriptions: The Case of the “Tiānwáng guǐ” Inscription
Christian Schwermann

Authorship in the Canon of Songs (Shi Jing)
Alexander Beecroft

The Compiler as the Narrator: Awareness of Authorship, Authorial Presence and Author Figurations in Japanese Imperial Anthologies, with a Special Focus on the Kokin wakashū
Simone Müller

Fluidity of Belonging and Creative Appropriation: Authorship and Translation in an Early Sinic Song (“Kongmudoha Ka”)
Marion Eggert

Appropriating Genius: Jin Shengtan’s Construction of Textual Authority and Authorship in his Commented Edition of Shuihu Zhuan (The Water Margin Saga)
Roland Altenburger

Enlightened Authorship: The Case of Dōgen Kigen
Raji C. Steineck

Scholars in Comparative Literature, scholars of the History of Concepts, and all interested in traditional Chinese, Japanese and Korean literatures and their forms and concepts of authorship.
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