Talk:Book of Documents

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Versions[edit]

I ran across a quotation that is supposedly from the Shujing that read as so:

"Of old in the beginning, there was the great chaos, without form and dark. The five elements [planets] had not begun to revolve, nor the sun and moon to shine. You, O Spiritual Sovereign, first divided the grosser parts from the purer. You made heaven. You made earth. You made man. All things with their reproducing power got their being".
"Thou hast vouchsafed, O Di, to hear us for, Thou regardest us as a Father. I, Thy child, dull and unenlightened, am unable so show forth the dutiful feelings".
"Thy sovereign goodness is infinite. As a potter, Thou hast made all living thing. Thy sovereign goodness is infinite. Great and small are sheltered [by Thee]. As engraven on the heart of Thy poor servant is the sense of Thy goodness, so that my feelings cannot be fully displayed. With great kindness Thou dost bear us, and not withstanding our shortcomings, dost grant us life and prosperity."
Original source: Shu Ching, Book of History/Documents

This is not in Legges translation. Can anyone verify if this is authentic?

Thanks, mamgeorge 17:01, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

-- No, It's not authentic. Bao Pu (talk) 15:31, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Should the titles of these articles be consistent?[edit]

Should the "classics" (yi jing, shu jing, shi jing, li ji) not all have a consistent title? At the moment we have: Shi Jing, Book of Rites, Book of History, and I Ching. That's two English, one pinyin, and one Wade-Giles. I don't understand the logic there. If no one objects, can we change them all to "Book of..."? I suppose I Ching is simple: Book of Changes, but what about Shi Jing? Book of Odes, Songs, Poems? I prefer Odes. Is someone able to do this? --TheSoundAndTheFury (talk) 09:24, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

I would like to know how long I have to wait, and how I can change the names to make them consistent. I'm a stickler for consistency! --TheSoundAndTheFury (talk) 07:13, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

In answer to your question, not necessarily. Review Wikipedia policy: for each article, we should go with the most common English-language. That means not using "Book of Changes"; it means not using "Yijing"; it means using "I Ching". If you feel English culture as a whole isn't consistent... well, it's not. As for Wiki policy, you can try to change it or move on to getting a job with Encyclopaedia Britannica, but I personally feel this is the best compromise available. — LlywelynII 09:06, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: moved. Jenks24 (talk) 11:36, 22 June 2012 (UTC)



Classic of HistoryBook of Documents – According to this ngram, a more common title than "Classic of History". It's also common for authors to use the abbreviated form Documents for repeated references, which is easier to follow if the title includes that word. The standard English translations of the work are Legge's The Shû King or the Book of Historical Documents and Karlgren's The Book of Documents. Kanguole 16:15, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

  • Support. The proposed name seems to be a standard translation, as you can see here and here. Lots of things are "Book of Documents", so the Ngram doesn't help much. Kauffner (talk) 03:09, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
    • Note that ngrams distinguish case but the ordinary Google books search doesn't. The ngram can be slightly refined by adding "the" at the front of each name.[1] Kanguole 07:39, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Wish I'd seen this before. It's really rather unclear how many of those hits were related to the Chinese book and how many not. TheSoundAndTheFury (talk) 12:19, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

If you feel strongly about it, I'm willing to reopen the discussion. Jenks24 (talk) 12:28, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
Remember that ngrams are case-sensitive, while the Google books searches aren't. I don't see many occurrences of "the Book of Documents" (with that capitalization) in this Google books search that aren't referring to the Chinese classic. Kanguole 12:38, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
I don't feel particularly strongly but since I've contributed to this page I just wanted to see that the best and most accurate outcome was being found. I'm having trouble figuring out a methodology to get a good answer. Look at this search for example:
With this "the Book of Documents" -"china" -"chinese" -"chou" -"shi" -"zhouyi" -"wu" -"chuang" -"kung" -"zhuangzi" -"karlgren" -"shu" -"confucian" -"tao" -"confucius" (last page of search result) I'm trying to get out all the words related to the Chinese version to find out how many other ways "Book of documents" is used. But the results are highly misleading. But now look at the second last page - it says there are 7,770 results! There were in fact only 201 results. I'm not sure if all the searches are plagued with false information like that. TheSoundAndTheFury (talk) 13:31, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
It's true that the counts on Google searches are commonly huge overestimates (but ngrams give accurate numbers). Another approach is to just look through the Google books search for "the Book of Documents"; I got to page 8 before I found one that wasn't talking about the Chinese classic. Kanguole 13:57, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
Yeah; I noticed that, too. Without other compelling evidence, I would say this is the most appropriate title for the page. Sorry for the post-move drama! TheSoundAndTheFury (talk) 14:10, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
I know how you feel: this is such an ugly name and an unfamiliar one from anything I've seen. Looking through ngram and Google Books, though, it does seem to be what modern Sinologists prefer among themselves at the moment, so we may need to wait a few decades before we revisit moving this back to Classic of History or Shujing. — LlywelynII 09:12, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

Quotation from Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature[edit]

Why should we include a quotation from a tertiary source like Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature (ISBN 0-87779-042-6) when we have good subject-specific secondary sources on the same issue? What special authority does the anonymous author of that entry have? Kanguole 10:53, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

An additional problem is that it differs from the better sources by giving an end-date of the 4th century BC for the New Text chapters, when Shaughnessy (1993) and Nylan (2001) say some may postdate the Qin unification. Per WP:TERTIARY, we should not be using this two-paragraph article from a general encyclopedia of literature when in-depth expert sources are available. Kanguole 00:24, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
The key word is "may". The "expert source" i.e. Nylan (2001) is talking in speculative terms, using "possibly" and "may" ("can possibly date much earlier than Qin unification in 221 BC, and some may postdate unification"). There is nothing concrete about them. Its fine to include these sources, but it is clear these authors are not absolutely sure in terms of the dates as well. That Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature reference gave a concrete date in which the readers can easily see. The whole point of an encyclopedia article is to present different perspectives. They don't necessarily contradict each other, but it is simply an opinion of that particular source.--Sevilledade (talk) 04:11, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
I don't think there's any doubt that Nylan and Shaughnessy are respected authorities in the field. The uncertainty they describe is an accurate reflection of scholarship on this text – the concreteness you want just doesn't exist. Our policy is quite clear that we should prefer such secondary sources to tertiary ones, particularly those as limited as the anonymous 170-word entry in the MW encyclopedia. You also haven't presented any argument for retaining the quotation. Kanguole 12:18, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
The argument for retaining the quotation was that the encyclopedia has given a precise date, which can be useful to readers, whereas the other authors didn't.--Sevilledade (talk) 10:10, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
I believe Kanguole probably has the right idea here. Regardless of how unclear the Nylan source is (whether or not he and Shaughnessy are correct, which I personally doubt, is moot here), I don't think the M-W EoL is an appropriate source for an article like this, as there are a decent number of much higher quality works to draw from.
As long as I'm here, though, I'd like to voice my dissatisfaction with Kanguole's revision of the two lead paragraphs I wrote. Specifically, the complete removal of the paragraph summarizing the Shangshu's contents now means the "Contents" section isn't represented at all in the lead (other than the simple number of chapters), which goes against the fundamental purpose of leads themselves. If you wanted to trim it down, that's fine, but completely removing it was excessive.  White Whirlwind  咨  04:20, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
I didn't delete the paragraph – I moved it to the Contents section, because it contained detail not present in the body of the article. But sure, the lead should include a brief summary of the contents, though not down to the chapter level. Kanguole 12:32, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
A major problem with the recent arrangement of the article is that almost the entire lede and the focal point has become about the "controversy". For a general article not specifically about controversy, it shouldn't be that way.--Sevilledade (talk) 10:10, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
Kanguole – you did: you deleted it from the lead, which was my whole point. In any case, thank you for fixing it. I agree with Sevilledade that the "controversy" paragraph is currently too prominent in the lead. Not to sound like broken record, but my original arrangement had it as the final lead paragraph before Kanguole went to work, and I would suggest reverting it to that position. I think that would solve the problem... which shouldn't have existed in the first place.  White Whirlwind  咨  04:16, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
The problem with surveying the contents first is that it would be implicitly focussed on the New Text chapters only, before the New/Old Text distinction had been introduced. That distinction is fundamental to any discussion of this work, though perhaps there could be less emphasis on the controversy aspect. Kanguole 10:35, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

comments about gào chapters[edit]

Two things:

  • I don't think we should be citing an 11th century scholar (Su Shi) unless his views were particularly influential, in which we'd have modern scholarship about it to cite.
  • Why is it important that the character 誥 appears on bronze vessels, when we have the same word being written with 告 on the oracle bones? That seems more about paleography than text.

Kanguole 16:43, 10 February 2014 (UTC)