Original Analects Supplement
LY 8

Passages: 3 *4

Prefatory Note. We continue to regard the four Dzvngdz sayings as the core, and thus originally the entire extent, of this chapter. The focus on death as a defining event had already appeared in Dzvngdz's imagined account of Confucius's death in 7:35. It here reaches a second stage, with Dzvngdz's own death. For the "Dzvngdz question" in Warring States literature, see that paragraph of the Montréal lecture of September 2000.

8:3. This Dzvngdz deathbed scene recurs in later literature, the most interesting occasion being in the home text of the Dzvngdz movement after the Dzvng line had lost the leadership of the Analects school. For an analysis of the variant forms of the story and their meaning, see our response to Robert Eno.

*8:4 (p158). This passage is a more grandiose version of the original Dzvngdz deathbed scene in 8:3. We continue to regard it as an interpolation, but we are no longer confident that our dating of that interpolation to c0285 (TOA p158) is sound. Our argument there turned in part on formal similarities, but chiefly on what we took as an allusion to the ritual expertise mentioned in 15:1. The two passages are contradictory, 8:4 downrating ritual expertise (as against moral stature), and 15:1 claiming it (as opposed to military knowledge), but it is not certain that the one alludes to the other. We would now argue as follows: (1) A Confucian school head in the early 03c, when Dzvngdz had been rehabilitated as a mentionable person, might easily mention him, but most easily in his new role as an exemplar of domestic piety, as was the case in LY 1. *8:4 defines the way of the gentleman in the largest terms, which goes beyond that role. (2) *8:4 also acknowledges Dzvngdz in his previously denied function as himself the head of the Confucian school, and makes him the recipient of a formal visit by the very powerful head of the Mvng clan, thus asserting both his doctrinal and his political importance. This expansion seems perhaps more likely to have been done during the decades after his death, but before the takeover of the school by the hostile Kung family. (3) The date c0285 for puts *8:4 later than the first set of concentric additions to LY 8, which we dated (and still date) at c0310. These additions have nothing to do with Dzvngdz, and simply use the small LY 8 core as a convenient attachment point for other ideas. It is perhaps slightly anomalous, though it is certainly possible, for the Analects proprietors to return later to enhance the Dzvngdz core itself, as the c0285 date for *8:4 requires.

We are thus now inclined to consider that this augmentation of the original LY 8 core was made during the tenure of the Dzvng family, and prior to the Kung takeover. If so, then Dzvngdz's son Dzvng Ywaen was still the head of the school. The following points seem also to favor this dating: (1) Since Dzvng Ywaen was present at his father's death, and was at least aware of the compilation of the original LY 8 core at that time, he will have been a highly appropriate author of any later enhancements to that core. (2) We noted ap LY 9 that Dzvng Ywaen's own political position seems to have been higher than that of his father when occupying the same position. It would be within the range of filial behavior for him to attribute that temporal importance to his father before him. The *8:4 interpolation would be one way of doing so. (3) There remains the question of the *8:4 sneer at ritual expertise. Since ritual expertise was shortly to take over the school itself (the evidence suggests that Dz-sz was in charge not much later than 0400), it is not out of the question for this trend to have been visible already in c0405, the date we assign to Dzvng Ywaen's main chapter LY 9, and to have been opposed accordingly in *8:4 at that time.

We earlier assumed that no interpolations at all were made during the 05c phase of the Analects. If the above argument is valid, then *8:14 (c0405) becomes the first Analects interpolation. The interpolations made after LY 10 (TOA p65-66), which revise and ritualize the portrait of Confucius drawn in LY 7 and 9 (precisely the Dzvng family territory) would then be something of a complement, even a logical response, to that precedent. It might work as follows: Dzvng Ywaen retrospectively upgrades his father's historical persona in c0405, and in turn Dz-sz or his successor add dimensions to their ancestor's ritual persona in c0380. From that point on, with LY 11 and the associated interpolations, the two Dzvng and Kung traditions reach a position of more open hostility.

All in all, we think this scenario may be an improvement over the earlier one. As usual, comment from readers is invited.

Reflections. The small original size of LY 8 does not seem to have presented a problem to its custodians, any more than did the relatively small LY 4, which for more than a century (as we read the evidence) maintained its extent of 16 sayings against the 24-saying standard form displayed by LY 5 and by most later chapters. Eventually, of course, these empty spaces got filled up. Filled up with care in the sensitive case of LY 4 (the filial piety extension), and somewhat more arbitrarily in that of LY 8 (mythical antiquity).


This Supplement is Copyright © 2001- by E Bruce and A Taeko Brooks

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