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Referencing classical Chinese texts


jeongin

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Hello everyone! I'm a student of classical Chinese currently finishing up my Masters, and I...have an embarrassing question.

 

I am up to the referencing stage of my thesis, and I actually don't know the proper referencing systems.

 

I guess this is the downside of being able to access most texts free and online...apart from good old Google, I have been using a lot of well-known sites, such as ctext.org, throughout my research degree.

 

I have been tracing allusions in a literary work, and so I have to track down appropriate references to everything from the Shiji, Hanshu, Hou hanshu, Jinshu, to the works of Zhu Xi, and the poetry of Li Bai and Cen Shen.

 

I have noted that many scholars seem to use the 'Zhonghua' edition (1959) for references to the Shiji, but...is there an easy way to make that correlate with online resources? Because it doesn't seem to match the sections on ctext.

 

Any help on referencing classical texts would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thank you!

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Hello everyone,

 

Can anyone explain the appropriate way to reference classical Chinese poetry? The custom (in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean language works) seems to be that referencing the title of the poem alone is sufficient. I feel sure that this is not the case in English scholarship...

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When I was referencing sites like  笈成 (http://jicheng.tw/jcw/index) in my assignments at school, I would just follow the standard procedure for referencing websites that was used by Vancouver style. I suppose that if you are at an English speaking university then you would follow your universities standard of referencing but using Chinese instead of English where necessary. 

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There is a section on each text on ctext called "Library Resources". There you'll find a number of scanned copies of early manuscript or printed editions of the text in question. For example, here's the page for the Shiji.

 

You should probably reference books when looking at old texts. The definitive Shiji will probably be in the 1983 Zhonghua shuju, and they do scholarly editions of the Hanshu and Hou Hanshu as well. For Tang poetry you could probably use the Quan Tangshi. For Zhu Xi it depends on what you're referencing. If it's the Sishu then find a serious edition and reference it (there are loads), if not it would depend on the material.

 

Also, most of the material you're looking for can be found in the Siku Quanshu, which you hopefully can get academic access to.

 

Have you asked your supervisor about this? If not, do.

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SOAS has some advice on referencing Chinese sources (page 6 here), which you could adapt to meet the referencing style preferred by your own institution or department.

 

Presumably, in the course of your work you have been consulting published research by academics who cite Chinese sources. How do they do it?

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Cite the page number of whatever edition you are citing. I believe with long classical Chinese works it is common to also include the juan number, so something on page 1324 in juan 36 of Shi ji would be 36.1324. I just made that up, it's not a real page number. 

 

If you are just looking at ctext, you should be cross referencing with an actual published version of the text anyway, at the very least during proofreading, but ideally as you write and research. Zhonghua shuju editions are standard. If your school has access to Scripta Sinica, the page numbers there typically line up to the Taiwan versions of Zhonghua shuju editions (Shijie shuju, etc). But checking against a hard copy is probably the best way to go. 

 

EDIT: As for Tang poetry, Quan Tang shi is probably fine, but hard copies of that are fairly unwieldy, and afaik it is not particularly well collated. If you're talking about a major poet, there is sure to be a relatively recent edited/annotated "complete works" type edition that you should locate, check against whatever online version of the poem you are "actually" using, and cite. This is even more important than with stuff like Shi ji. Minor variants in poems can add up to pretty significant differences. 

 

EDITY EDIT: I know online resources are handy and typically pretty accurate, but this post still makes me weep for whoever taught the research methods course in your MA program. 

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evn108, yes, thank you!! It actually all finally clicked yesterday. Still, thank you very much for the reply. The trouble is Aus programs are totally research-based. No coursework. So we're out on our asses, especially if too chicken shit to ask Important Questions like this one. Anyway, on it now. Library basement and Zhonghua, here I come.

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Great--sorry if I was a bit harsh in my last response and glad I could help. I also get mixed up with citing complicated sources a lot, but when in doubt just find a reasonably authoritative looking print edition and cite based on that. "Absolute" references (for lack of a better term? Things like 'chapter and verse' without page number) can probably be used for really common texts, The Analects, etc. But the ultimate point is to make it so someone reading your paper can find the stuff you're talking about. More nitpicky formatting issues will probably vary depending on the context you're writing in, which is irritating and confusing for sure.

 

Research based programs seem like a good idea in general, but imho for classical chinese studies a basic methods class is really beneficial, just to familiarize yourself with what is out there. In the absence of that, I hope you at least have access to a recent edition of Wilkinson's manual to Chinese history, it's v. useful for all these little questions!

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