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Continuities between Scribal and Print Publishing in Twelfth-Century Song China—The Case of Wang Mingqing’s Serialized Notebooks

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This article proposes that in Song China, as opposed to early modern England, user publication or the publication of texts by readers quickly adjusted to the print medium. It does so on the basis of an examination of the publishing history of Wang Mingqing’s 王明清 (1127-after 1214) serially published notebook, Huizhu lu 揮麈錄 (Waving the duster) in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries and an analysis of how manuscript and print texts were used and discussed throughout it. The article aims to contribute towards a better understanding of the relationship between print and manuscript at a time when printing had just become a medium for the dissemination of a wide variety of types of knowledge and particularly of twelfth-century perceptions of this relationship. Wang Mingqing’s notebook further illustrates that in notebooks literati collected and published manuscript and print texts of value to them, including those related to recent dynastic history. The display of textual connoisseurship was one of several ways in which growing numbers of men expressed their aspiration for literati status in notebooks from the twelfth century onwards.

Affiliations: 1: Leiden University


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