Cover image for Yang Xiong and the Pleasures of Reading and Classical Learning in China By Michael Nylan

Yang Xiong and the Pleasures of Reading and Classical Learning in China

Michael Nylan

BUY

$37.50 | Hardcover Edition
ISBN: 978-0-940490-32-1

158 pages
7" × 9"
2011
Distributed by Penn State University Press for American Oriental Society

American Oriental Series

Yang Xiong and the Pleasures of Reading and Classical Learning in China

Michael Nylan

Yang Xiong (53 BC-AD 18), the Han philosophical master remarks at one point in his Exemplary Figures, “Books are as sexy as women.” Modern readers may frown at a comparison they regard as less than apt. Yang was supremely aware, however, of longstanding traditions, ascribed both to the sages and to the Classics, contrasting the unusual strength of the basic drives for food and sex with the general weakness of the acquired inclinations toward moral behavior. To say that “books are as sexy as women” was to make bold to add to those traditions, adopting the manner of a sage; also to elevate the value of certain texts, at least, to the level morality itself, insofar as they represented acquired tastes leading to the most desirable aspects of civilized life.

 

  • Description
  • Table of Contents
Yang Xiong (53 BC-AD 18), the Han philosophical master remarks at one point in his Exemplary Figures, “Books are as sexy as women.” Modern readers may frown at a comparison they regard as less than apt. Yang was supremely aware, however, of longstanding traditions, ascribed both to the sages and to the Classics, contrasting the unusual strength of the basic drives for food and sex with the general weakness of the acquired inclinations toward moral behavior. To say that “books are as sexy as women” was to make bold to add to those traditions, adopting the manner of a sage; also to elevate the value of certain texts, at least, to the level morality itself, insofar as they represented acquired tastes leading to the most desirable aspects of civilized life.

Acknowledgments

Introduction

Yang’s Life from the Early Sources

Playing with Manuscripts

Playing with Words

At Play with the Ancients

Works Cited

Mailing List

Subscribe to our mailing list and be notified about new titles, journals and catalogs.