Winner of the Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for a Translation of a Scholarly Study of Literature
Exemplary Figures (sometimes translated as Model Sayings) is an unabridged, annotated translation of Fayan, one of three major works by the Chinese court poet-philosopher Yang Xiong (53 BCE-18 CE). Yang sought to "renew the old" by patterning these works on earlier classics, drawing inspiration from the Confucian Analects for Exemplary Figures. In this philosophical masterwork, constructed as a dialogue, Yang poses and then answers questions on philosophical, political, ethical, and literary matters. Michael Nylan's rendering of this text, which is laden with word play and is extraordinarily difficult to translate, is a joy to read-at turns wise, cautionary, and playful.
Exemplary Figures is a core text that will be relied upon by scholars of Chinese history and philosophy and will be of interest to comparativists as well.
Michael Nylan is professor of history at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of The Five "Confucian" Classics and Yang Xiong and The Pleasures of Reading and Classical Learning, coauthor of Lives of Confucius, and translator of The Canon of Supreme Mystery by Yang Xiong.
Acknowledgments Chronology of Dynasties Introduction Exemplary Figures / Fayan 1. Learning and Practicing 2. Our Masters 3. Cultivating One's Person 4. Asking about the Way 5. Asking about Divine Insight 6. Asking about Illumination 7. Things Rarely Seen 8. Every Five Hundred Years 9. Foresight10. Chong and Li 11. Yan Yuan and Min Ziqian 12. The Noble Man 13. Honoring the Ancestors, the Ultimate Duty Glossary of Names, Legendary and Historical Abbreviations Bibliography Index