Literary wealth: the Notes over the brush under the Song

Lecture at 18 p.m. by Christian Lamouroux, Director of Studies at EPHESS.

While in China prose literature gave an essential place to stories about gods and spirits between the 3e and 6e centuries of our era, a new type of narration clearly stands out from these marvelous stories during the great Tang dynasty (618-907): these are the Notes over the brush (biji, bitan, wenjianlu). Anxious to take as its central theme the observation of the realities of the visible world and what is said about it, this new genre flourishes from the 10e century and especially under the Song (960-1279). This maturation is the result of the many changes that then encourage scholars to legitimize their social and political hegemony by broadening the range of their scholarly writings. Within an urban society whose editorial dynamism serves their purposes, they intend to transmit all the knowledge they accumulate about the world: from ethical values ​​to bureaucratic routines, from the erudition essential to passing exams to the knowledge -making techniques, from their everyday practices and objects to their subjects of astonishment or admiration, from their discoveries of the strangest phenomena to the rumors in which they delight. The conference will be devoted to the analysis of this development and nourished by the reading of a large number of these notes.


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