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Tomsima

《澄衷蒙学堂字课图说》

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Tomsima

In recent years I have gradually and tentatively adventured into the history of characters. It all started after funding the Outlier project on kickstarter; reading about the mess of lines that is(was?) 我  actually being a phonetic borrowing of a weapon called 'wo' (apologies to Oneeye I definitely don't have my accuracy down yet) just sparked my interest and I wanted to learn more.

 

I bought a copy of 段玉裁的說文解字注, and realised that although this tome of a book was fantastic to flick through, I had no idea how to read it. So yes, back to 文言文 I crawled, then off to the bookstore to grab a 說文解字精讀, and an additional copy of 徐鉉, and it's been a great adventure for months now.

 

And then Taobao went and did that annoying thing where it suggests some awesome thing that you might like.

 

A few days ago it suggested to me 《澄衷蒙学堂字课图说》. I do not claim to be an academic on the subject of 字 in any way, just someone really interested in the topic as it turns out. The description on Baidu says 是一部解释字根意义、正本清源的《说文解字》(it's a work on Character etymology, a 'thorough overhaul' of the Shuowen) But I have yet to come across this title in a book so far. Has anybody here used this book before?

 

For those interested: originally compiled in 1901, this work covers 3291 characters in an encyclopedia-style format, with the aim of providing a basis for literacy and a comprehensive fundamental education for students. It was republished in 2014 in traditional string-bound book form spanning 4 volumes.

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Angelina
18 hours ago, Tomsima said:

A few days ago it suggested to me 《澄衷蒙学堂字课图说》. I do not claim to be an academic on the subject of 字 in any way, just someone really interested in the topic as it turns out. The description on Baidu says 是一部解释字根意义、正本清源的《说文解字》(it's a work on Character etymology, a 'thorough overhaul' of the Shuowen) But I have yet to come across this title in a book so far. Has anybody here used this book before?

 

For those interested: originally compiled in 1901, this work covers 3291 characters in an encyclopedia-style format, with the aim of providing a basis for literacy and a comprehensive fundamental education for students. It was republished in 2014 in traditional string-bound book form spanning 4 volumes.

 

 

First time that I hear about this book. 

 

If you are interested in 文字学, you can also try the 《玉篇》.

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Tomsima

Seems like this book is a forgotten treasure trove, if I end up getting hold of a copy I'll post some pics up here. 玉篇 comes up a lot in 許學, along with 爾雅, perhaps because this work is (relatively speaking) a modern day contribution it doesn't make the cut...

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OneEye

I'm not familiar with this particular book or its author, so I can't comment on it. But there are four pre-eminent Qing Dynasty Shuowen scholars (清代《說文》四大家): 段玉裁、桂馥、朱駿聲、王筠. Their most notable works are:

 

段玉裁《說文解字注》

桂馥《說文解字義證》

朱駿聲《說文通訓定聲》

王筠《說文句讀》

 

All are excellent (and worth getting if you're serious about Shuowen studies or paleography), but they're also fairly dated by this point. They were written before the discovery of the oracle bones and the massive advances in phonology of the past few decades, so there are still quite a few inaccuracies.

 

For a modern commentary on the Shuowen, which makes use of modern paleographic evidence and research, I'd recommend 季旭昇《說文新證》. The quality of scholarship is outstanding, and we refer to it extensively.

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Publius

This book, as its title suggests, is a primer for teaching characters to elementary school kids. It's not a scholarly work.

I just followed the link in this Wikipedia page and downloaded a pdf copy of it from Waseda University library.

 

EDIT: btw, if you're interested in this kind of things, bookmark this site: http://www.guoxuedashi.com/zidian/

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Angelina
1 hour ago, Tomsima said:

玉篇 comes up a lot in 許學, along with 爾雅

 

 another one is the 《字林》

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Tomsima

@OneEye Thanks for the recommendations, really great. The 《說文新證》sounds like the next stop for me, looks really interesting.

@Publius Just downloaded everything, thanks for the heads up! Didn't think to check the Wikipedia page, unfortunately involves going through a vpn...

 

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