Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

1 Root-Branches Structuralism in the Huainanzi

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this chapter

+ Tax (if applicable)

Chapter Summary

In both China and the world at large, the size, scope, and complexity of the Huainanzi have hampered its scholarly treatment as an integral text. The most influential global assessment of the Huainanzi was rendered by the Hanshu 'Yiwen zhi', which classified it as a 'za', or 'mixed', text for the purpose of bibliographical organization. Even twentieth-century scholars inclined to grant the Huainanzi some overall coherence, such as Xu Fuguan and Dai Junren, have used the za category as their point of departure. The metaphor of 'root and branches' is familiar to any student of early Chinese letters. It is a mechanism deployed in numerous early texts to establish normative priorities. Griet Vankeerberghen and Charles Le Blanc have noted the particular prominence of 'root-branches' imagery in the Huainanzi. Even on a subdivisional level root-branches structuralism informs the organization of the text.

Keywords: Charles Le Blanc; Dai Junren; Early China; Griet Vankeerberghen; Huainanzi; root-branches structuralism; Xu Fuguan; Yiwen zhi



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    The Huainanzi and Textual Production in Early China — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation