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Sarah Allan, Editor of Early China
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Dartmouth College
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The Guodian Laozi: Proceedings of the International Conference, Dartmouth College, May 1998

Early China Special Monograph Series No. 5

The Guodian Laozi: Proceedings of the International Conference Dartmouth College,

May 1998

Edited by Sarah Allan and Crispin Williams

The Guodian Laozi: Proceedings of the International Conference is the first major publication in English on the bamboo slips excavated from a late fourth century B.C. E. Chu-state tomb at Guodian 郭店, Hubei, in 1993. The slip-texts include both Daoist and Confucian works, many previously unknown. The monograph is a full account of the first international conference held on these texts, at which leading scholars from China, the United States, Europe, and Japan analyzed the Laozi 老子 materials and the previously unknown Taiyi sheng shui 太一生水.

The first section of the monograph is composed of nine individually authored essays, including discussion of: the archaeological background; the conservation and ordering of the bamboo slips; the transcription and interpretation of the graphs; the relationship between the Guodian Laozi materials and the received text; and the Confucian texts from the Guodian tomb. The second section is a full account of the conference discussion, arranged by topic, including detailed treatment of the Guodian Laozi materials from the perspective of textual analysis and philosophical issues. The third section is an annotated edition of the Guodian Laozi materials and Taiyi sheng shui prepared by Edmund Ryden. It includes the full text in Chinese with an apparatus that gives slip and graph numbers, the original transcription of variant and loan graphs, other suggested readings for graphs, and notes on pertinent features of the text. The fourth section contains supplementary materials, including additional textual notes and afterthoughts by participants as well as a critical summary of Chinese scholarship in the year after the conference with complete bibliography.

The Guodian Laozi: Proceedings of the International Conference is essential reading for scholars and students in the fields of Chinese thought, philology, archaeology, and history. It includes the most accessible edition yet published of the actual text of the Guodian Laozi materials and Taiyi sheng shui. It is, furthermore, a readable introduction to this topic for anyone interested in this very significant discovery.

The Guodian Laozi is now available again as a print-on-demand reprint. PLEASE ORDER THROUGH REGULAR BOOKSTORES OR ONLINE BOOK SUPPLIERS. The reprint is not available through the SSEC or the Institute of East Asian Studies Publications office.

Last Updated: 9/28/11