336 China Review International: Vol. 7, No. 2, Fall 2000 Mark Edward Lewis. Writing and Authority in Early China. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1999. vii, 544 pp. Hardcover $92.50, ISBN 0 79144113x. Paperback $31.95, ISBN 0791441148. In more than one sense, Mark Edward Lewis' Writing and Authority in Early China is a monument of scholarship. First of all, its 544 pages constitute the most comprehensive, illuminating, and intellectually challenging tour de force through the early Chinese textual tradition that has been published so far in any of the major sinological languages. It is by all standards the best available introduction to this tradition and mandatory reading for anybody interested in early China. Whatever transmitted text of early Chinese intellectual history one may think of, chances are high that Mark Lewis has dealt with it somewhere on these pages. The textual layout betrays an effort to force a massive text into a still handy format, a commendable effort that nevertheless does not come without a price for the reader: Lewis' often brilliant and imaginative prose inspires numerous notes that one wishes to put into the margins--if only there were any margins of reasonable space to accommodate
China Review International – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Sep 1, 2000
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