Distinguished Lecture (6) ‘Of Trees, a Son, and Kingship: Recovering an Ancient Chinese Dream’
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The first volume of the Tsinghua University Warring States bamboo-strip manuscripts contains a text with passages that match medieval quotations of a text referred to as Cheng wu “程寤”or Awakening at Cheng, which in turn is said to be a lost chapter of the Yi Zhou shu “逸周書”or Leftover Zhou Documents. The passages concern one of Chinese literature’s earliest interpretations of a dream, and were quoted in medieval encyclopedias in their sections on dreams. The significance of this discovery both for Chinese textual history and also for the interpretation of this particular dream will be discussed.
Prof. Edward L. Shaughnessy is Lorraine J. and Herrlee G. Creel Distinguished Service Professor in Early Chinese Studies at The University of Chicago.