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Irfan, I don't understand what you're asking about, or suggesting here?Hmm. What would be nice would be if some of these "modernists" like Rutt who are looking at (what they think is) the original meaning of the text tracked forwards and explored how it came to be so different in the received version.
David, if you're asking for me to give a definition of "modernist," you're rather putting me on the spot. In fact, I just googled to fortify myself slightly, and found the following at https://www.cs.mcgill.ca/~rwest/wikispeedia/wpcd/wp/i/I_Ching.htm:Irfan, I don't understand what you're asking about, or suggesting here?
And you refer to Rutt as a 'modernist'. I'm curious,a moderist compared to ... whom? The 'traditionalists' (or)? And if so, whom would that be? Legge? Or ... ? I guess I've never thought of Rutt as a 'modernist', but then again I am not sure of the term's meaning, or - in particular - how you're using it here.
In my own words, I'd say the "modernist" school tries to look at the Zhouyi as a document from the Bronze Age, using philological approaches based on the archeological discoveries in the 20th century, while the "traditionalist" school accepts to a far greater extent the received tradition, up to, including, and after the Song dynasty neo-Confucians. But Rutt is usually placed squarely in the former group, probably with people like Kunst, Shaughnessy, maybe Field.In the past 50 years a "Modernist" history of the I Ching has been emerging, based on context criticism and research into Shang and Zhou dynasty oracle bones, as well as Zhou bronze inscriptions and other sources (see below). These reconstructions are dealt with in a growing number of books, such as The Mandate of Heaven: Hidden History in the I Ching, by S. J. Marshall, and Richard Rutt's Zhouyi: The Book of Changes, (see References, below). Scholarly works dealing with the new view of the Book of Changes include doctoral dissertations by Richard Kunst and Edward Shaughnessy. These and other scholars have been helped immensely by the discovery, in the 1970s, by Chinese archaeologists, of intact Han dynasty era tombs in Mawangdui near Changsha, Hunan province. One of the tombs contained more or less complete 2nd century BCE texts of the I Ching, the Dao De Jing and other works, which are mostly similar yet in some ways diverge significantly from the "received," or traditional, texts preserved by the chances of history.
The tomb texts include additional commentaries on the I Ching, previously unknown, and apparently written as if they were meant to be attributed to Confucius. All of the Mawangdui texts are many centuries older than the earliest known attestations of the texts in question. When talking about the evolution of the Book of Changes, therefore, the Modernists contend that it is important to distinguish between the traditional history assigned to texts such as the I Ching (felt to be anachronistic by the Modernists), assignations in commentaries which have themselves been canonized over the centuries along with their subjects, and the more recent scholarly history aided by modern linguistic textual criticism and archaeology. Many hold that these perspectives are not necessarily mutually exclusive, but, for instance, many Modernist scholars doubt the actual existence of Fuxi, think Confucius had nothing to do with the Book of Changes, and contend that the hexagrams came before the trigrams. Modern scholarship comparing poetic usage and formulaic phrasing in this book with that in ancient bronze inscriptions has shown that the text cannot be attributed to King Wen or Zhou Gong, and that it likely was not compiled until the late Western Zhou, perhaps ca. the late 9th century BC. Rather than being the work of one or several legendary or historical figures, the core divinatory text is now thought to be an accretion of Western Zhou divinatory concepts. As for the Shi Yi commentaries traditionally attributed to Confucius, scholars from the time of the 11th century A.D. scholar Ouyang Xiu onward have doubted this, based on textual analysis, and modern scholars date most of them to the late Warring States period, with some sections perhaps being as late as the Western Han period.
I looked this morning, and according to the kind folks at Amazon it seems I purchased a copy of Whincup's book back on 2016 - though I have no recollection of either buying it or reading it. That's not in any way a judgement on his translation however; and over the next few days I'll see if I can find it and let you know what I think.And what about my original inquiry? Have you seen Gregory Whincup's translation? Any opinions on it?
Thanks, David. Very kind of you to provide the examples and comparisons.Well, I found my copy, and he's a quick look at a few lines comparing, Whincup with Rutt and Wilhelm's versions - and I've also included what each one names or titles the hexagram. I've added Whincup's commentary for each of these four lines. As far as the translation, my quick take is that it falls somewhere between Rutt and Wilhelm, and it seems that Whincup's translation references and incorporates later findings / understandings about the Yi (a.k.a. the 'modernists').
His commentary feels very Confucian to me, which makes sense, since many of the Ten Wings (commentaries) reflect later, post-Zhouyi and Confucian ideas and outlooks. I'm not all that keen on most commentaries so I'm not a good judge to say if these are particularly 'good' or 'bad' ones, only to say that Whincup's commentary very much feels like he's 'telling' me what the lines mean, instead of showing me - or letting me explore them more fully on my own.
Comparison of Whincup, Rutt and Wilhelm
Rutt – 1. Active; Line 1.5: A dragon through the heavens glides. To meet with great men well betides.
Wilhelm – 1. The Creative; Line 1.5: Flying dragon in the heavens. It furthers one to see the great man.
Whincup – 1. Strong Action; Line 1.5: The dragon flies in the sky. He should go see someone big.
Whincup – 1.5 commentary: He cannot succeed on his own in those exalted regions and must find find someone who can guide him. Line five is the place of the ruler whom he seeks.
(By way of an example of why I'm not keen on commentaries - or at least Whincup's: here he is telling me/us that the dragon 'cannot succeed on his own' without the ruler's help. But my sense - at least based on a quick look at the line - is quite different: that the situation calls for more broad, more free-spirited, maybe 'higher' thinking/seeing/understanding on my/our part - as a dragon might have flying through the heavens! And it's this way of thinking or seeing from on high! - that allows one to come upon a 'great' idea / solution, etc. that address the situation.)
Rutt – 22. Bedight; Line 11.5: Bedight (adorned) among the garden knolls, though few and poor, those silken rolls. Distress, but ultimately auspicious.
Wilhelm – 22. Grace; Line 22.5: Grace or simplicity? A white horse comes as if on wings. He is not a robber, He will woo at the right time.
Whincup – 22. Adorned; Line 22.5: Though adorned like a hillside garden, the bolts of cloth he offers are few. His difficulties will end in good fortune.
Whincup – 22.5 commentary: Though his gifts are paltry, they are beautiful and he is accepted. Line five is the place of the ruler, who like a bride accepts (broken line) his subordinates' advance. Here as elsewhere in the hexagram, physical beauty may symbolize some other sort of beauty.
Rutt – 30. Oriole; Line 30.2: Yellow orioles. Most auspicious.
Wilhelm – 30. The Clinging, Fire; Line 30.2: Yellow light. Supreme good fortune.
Whincup – 30. Shining Light; Line 30.2: Yellow light. Supremely auspicious.
Whincup – 30.2 commentary: Noon. The shining benefactor's favor is at its height. Line two is the place of the faithful subject, who is passive (broken line). Yellow is associated with loyalty.
Rutt – 55. Thick, Line 55.2: Thick is the screen. Seeing the Plough at noon. Departing brings risk of illness. Sacrificing captives who plead submission. Auspicious.
Wilhelm – 55. Abundance, Fullness; Line 55.2: The curtain is of such fullness That the polestars can be seen at noon. Through going one meets with mistrust and hate. If one rouses him through truth, good fortune comes.
Whincup – 55. Abundance; Line 55.2: So great a canopy that the lamp can be seen at noon. Going forward, he is met with suspicion, but expressing allegiance brings good fortune.
Whincup – Line 55.2 commentary: The king provides such shelter that even the little subject's weak light can be seen. AT first those around the king are suspicious of the newcomer, but his clear declaration of allegiance wins their acceptance.
I hope that's somewhat helpful.
Just to note - Rutt passed away July 2011, so he won't be offering any revisions to his text anytime soon.I'm not really sure that Rutt is a good enough poet to get away with his rhymes.
Hmmm. Well, the fact that someone with full sincerity and great learning "attempted to dig into the ancient uses" is really no guarantee of "accuracy." In fact, when you have erudite individuals arguing whether "fu" means "captives" or "truth" and whether "meng" means "young ignoramus" or some kind of creeping weed, it's a pretty clear sign that you've got a bit of a challenge on your hands there. How will you know when you've finally got your "accurate" translation?... that it be fairly accurate - by which I mean that someone attempted to dig into the ancient uses of the Yi's characters (and didn't just re-interpret Wilhelm with modern or more inclusive, or appropriate language)
Hmm. That's hard to say. Not being a sinologist or someone who knows ancient Chinese - or any Chinese for that matter - I guess I rely on others whom I trust. Harmen has been a good resource for me in this regard. He has spoken highly of Rutt, so I tried it and I like it. I suppose I also rely on what I feel about an author or a translation - about their approach and what intelligence they show in their work.How will you know when you've finally got your "accurate" translation?
I pretty much always come back to Wilhelm. What can I say? I bought a copy forty years ago and have it still. Whenever I hear someone give a different translation, I mentally translate it in my head. But that's more habit and aesthetic tastes rather than anything else.That's about as good as I can explain it right now. And this makes me wonder, what criteria do you use in determining if a Yi translation is good or not, or if it works for you? ... How will you know when you've finally got your "accurate" translation?
As far as I can tell, the Yi hasn't 'evolved' at all - it's pretty much as it's been (with some minor variations along the way I'm sure). I'm wondering then, do you mean that our understanding of the Yi has evolved? And would things like good research, an understand of ancient Chinese and the Bronze Age .... all add to our evolving understanding of the Yi - even if they don't lead to a perfect or completely 'accurate translation?I'm basically happy with the idea that the I Ching is an evolving document that has grown and taken on many new shades of meaning over the centuries, but that its core is a deep mystery.
Wilhelm seems like a good place to start and to come back to - and even to stay with. Your 'criteria' here seems to match (or overlap) with my Criteria No. 3: that the Yi 'speaks' to us - that we resonate with it.I pretty much always come back to Wilhelm .... more habit and aesthetic tastes rather than anything else.
I do love the Bronze Age stuff.
It might be more accurate to say it was a document from the Bronze Age. But where is that document now? Certainly there is no surviving version of the Zhouyi from that period -- only from much later, transcribed into a different script, at a period when written language was evolving very rapidly. So, how do you get back to this original script? By a lot of detective work, based on very incomplete data, like trying to piece together a jig saw when you only have one in ten of the pieces. So, I admire Rutt and Field and Shaugnessey (and Harmen, for that matter) for their diligence and imagination. They add a new layer of understanding. But it's a very murky image.Earlier you said "The 'modernist' school tries to look at the Zhouyi as a document from the Bronze Age - which seems to me to be entirely fitting, since it is a document from the Bronze Age. And it seems to me that if you 'love the Bronze Age stuff' that you'd love Rutt.
Context criticism has itself been criticized most vehemently by Bradford Hatcher.14 While his approach is polemical, it provides a healthy dose of skepticism. He particularly takes issue with a remark of Rutt’s to the effect that the translator should only consider meanings of the graph attested in other texts of similar date. Hatcher correctly points out that we know only a subset of the words in use at such a remote time and so cannot automatically discard a possible meaning simply because it is not found in other of the few surviving texts of that era. This is essentially the well-known principle that “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” However, the principles of context criticism are not invariably applied with the degree of rigidity that Hatcher seems to imply. His critique is a useful reminder that the received version is the best single witness to the Zhouyi and should not be amended unless substantive evidence supports the change.
That sounds like a lot of fun. Should I buy it?I'm just looking through Redmond and Tze-Ki's Teaching the I Ching. They have a whole two chapters on the reconstruction of the Bronze Age Zhouyi and the challenges involved, with delightful sub-chapters on "Sincerity and Captives" and "Importunate Weeds" (the dodder thing).
I do not disagree. But it seems that this 'murky image' (or images) may have also carried over into the more 'common' translations - perhaps what we think of as translations of the 'received text'. For those of us reading English or other non-Chinese translations, this murkiness is two-fold: first, that there was (or is) murkiness in the 'translation' from the ancient (older) Shang- and Zhou-era language and text into the Chinese that was used many centuries later. And then there is the further murkiness of translating this text into foreign languages.So, I admire Rutt and Field and Shaugnessey (and Harmen, for that matter) for their diligence and imagination. They add a new layer of understanding. But it's a very murky image.
... and "Hatcher correctly points out that we know only a subset of the words in use at such a remote time ...."
1) that it be fairly accurate - by which I mean that someone attempted to dig into the ancient uses of the Yi's characters ...; 2) that it keeps the 'flavor' of its origins as an oracle ..., and 3) that it 'speaks' to us - that we resonate with it. That in summary, it has the flavor of:
"A crane calls on a shaded slope, its chicks call in reply.
Here we have a brimming cup: together we’ll drink it dry."
(Rutt, Line 61.2)
Thank you! (This would indeed be "something to read that doesn't involve paying for it" )Well... the character fu 孚 means trust-truth-confidence, but with a 'person' radical added, 俘, it means 'captive'. The idea is that 孚 was used to mean 俘.
Field for instance says, when he gets to Hexagram 61, 'In the Yijing all thirty instances of the graph fu are missing the "man" element, yet all but one of them mean "captive" or "capture".' His one exception is 14.5.
I'm really not sure why this is thought to be a good idea. When Field reaches 61.2, he actually notes that
'The image of this omen text is an appropriate representation of the original meaning of fu, "hatchling", noted under the hexagram name above. A derived meaning of "hatchling" is "confidence" - the fragile chicks have total trust and dependence on the hen that hatches them. Here, it is a symbol of allegiance.'
And yet despite all that, he feels the need to name Hexagram 61 'Score the Capture'. I find this bizarre.
When I first wrote this, I didn't fully appreciate how truly pervasive the theme of needing to reconcile with former enemies is throughout theYijing. In its shrewd, gimlet-eyed way, the primitive Yijing is indeed more a peacelike book than a warlike one.
The historic Zhou eventually gave up the Shang practice of human sacrifice. and indeed the Yijing corroborates this. One of the most interesting themes that emerges in the primitive Yijing is the apparent diminishment of the practice of human sacrifice. When prisoners are to be sacrificed, the oracle usually puts forward a few other options. We imagine an oracle as all-knowing, but here and elsewhere, we seem to see the Zhou's oracle struggling with decisions about how to manage prisoners and ritual matters.
"The point that they will not be used in sacrifices is made more clearly, and reassurance is given that this is not reprehensible behavior.
Cultivate the goodwill of the rivals whom you have defeated."
When you say you don't understand fu, do you mean you don't know what to make of the word 'captives' when you come across it in your readings? And this makes me wonder, which translation are you using? I ask because the word captive is not found very much in some translations; on the other hand Rutt (and maybe others) uses it a lot: the phrase "Sacrificing captives" is found a few dozen times in his translation. (He also translates Fu as 'Returning' - the title for Hex. 24.)but I don't understand fu and captives.
I'm not a scholar, but based on what I've read, I'm not sure if I agree with the idea that the 'Zhou struggled with all this' (I assume this means taking captives?) I've read that Shang- and Zhou- era warfare included the taking of prisoners and then their sacrifice as part of a ritual carried out after a successful campaign: just as the emperor would divine to ask for the blessings of the ancestors before a battle, he would also offer up the captives (prisoners of war) as a necessary offering after a successful campaign, which could also include the sacrifice of animals (such as horses) and ritual objects - this was done after first interrogating the captives.Maybe one can stretch things and say captives are dependent on their captors and have to trust them, and/or the captors want to gain the captives' allegiance? .... The associations I have with captives are things like the Holocaust, POWs in Vietnam, and prisoners in Guantanamo, none of which bring to mind trust .... Crouch says the Zhou struggled with all this, the idea of human sacrifice and what to do with captives.
It's in Crouch a lot. Also you and Irfan brought it up just in this thread, as well as dodder and the pheasant. That was really where my question came from, the thread.When you say you don't understand fu, do you mean you don't know what to make of the word 'captives' when you come across it in your readings? And this makes me wonder, which translation are you using? I ask because the word captive is not found very much in some translations; on the other hand Rutt (and maybe others) uses it a lot: the phrase "Sacrificing captives" is found a few dozen times in his translation. (He also translates Fu as 'Returning' - the title for Hex. 24.)
I like his 'dodder' and his 'bedight' (Hex. 22) and the 'crying pheasant' (Hex. 36)
I certainly don't know if Crouch is right.I'm not sure if I agree with the idea that the 'Zhou struggled with all this' (I assume this means taking captives?) I've read that Shang- and Zhou- era warfare included the taking of prisoners and then their sacrifice as part of a ritual carried out after a successful campaign - just as the emperor would divine to ask for the blessings of the ancestors before a battle, he would also offer up the sacrifices as a necessary offering after a successful campaign, which could also include the sacrifice of animals (such as horses) and ritual objects.
I imagine Crouch may have meant that part of any practice becoming less common probably involves struggle (debate, discussion, persuasion). Happens nowadays, too. Smoking, for instance. It took a long time to go from smoking being commonplace to it being quite restricted.Over time, this became a less common practice for the Zhou, though I can only speculate as to why.
Interesting idea. And 'captive' in a more neutral sense than human sacrifice (though I see the parallel).For me, one sense of 'sacrificing captives' includes thinking about what holds me captive (an idea, a situation, an emotion, another person, etc.) and how can I give (sacrifice, offer) this up to improve whatever situation I queried the Yi about. That's not the only meaning / association we might have with Fu, but that's one that comes to mind for me.
I have never heard of him/her. Are they writing about this time in history or about the Yi, or is it part of a translation?It's in Crouch a lot.
Yes, that is likely true. But more of a struggle with some things than others.part of anything practice becoming less common probably involves struggle
Since I'm reading the Yi in English, I'm not really reading the word fu, but how it's been translated by a particular author. And it is more than one word: Hatcher has eight entries for fu in his glossary (but I don't think he includes fu as captive?).But if the fu-captive association is at all valid, it does make fu seem different, doesn't it?
Maybe. From somewhere, I have the idea that bringing home war captives demonstrates that you did, in fact, fight and win the war your king sent you off to fight, so they are tokens that inspire confidence.Maybe one can stretch things and say captives are dependent on their captors and have to trust them, and/or the captors want to gain the captives' allegiance?
That's a completely different character: 復 .(He also translates Fu as 'Returning' - the title for Hex. 24.)
What's also interesting - and perhaps fun and confusing - is the idea of working with a word even if we don't know it's meaning. Harmen Mesker shared this in his online Mystery of the Text course: I didn't know what a 'dodder' was, but I worked with it anyway, based on the image or idea that came to me: so, for me 'dodder' sounded like - and reminded me of - a small bait fish like a herring or sand lance.
Maybe I'm missing the point, but isn't that ridiculous? Words aren't inkblots, they mean something, and dodder is not a fish.What's also interesting - and perhaps fun and confusing - is the idea of working with a word even if we don't know it's meaning. Harmen Mesker shared this in his online Mystery of the Text course: I didn't know what a 'dodder' was, but I worked with it anyway, based on the image or idea that came to me: so, for me 'dodder' sounded like - and reminded me of - a small bait fish like a herring or sand lance.
That approach makes sense given a certain idea of what the Yi is - namely, a book that can be used for bibliomancy in exactly the same way as any other book - a dictionary, the phone directory, whatever.
I'm not really defending or advertising this, just presenting it as an idea - one that I found interesting to play / work with.but isn't that ridiculous? Words aren't inkblots, they mean something, and dodder is not a fish.
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