Original Analects Supplement
LY 9

Passages: 6 7 12 30b

Prefatory Note. LY 7 was the chief source on which the writer of LY 9 drew in constructing many elements of its revised portrait of Confucius; the two should be read together. LY 9 should also be read in the light of the further exploration of the Analects teaching process in our Word Philology paper of 2001.

9:6. Not only is the "specialization" motif developed here; so is the "sage" motif which was first introduced in LY 7. Confucius's rejection of "sage" status in 7:20 may be seen in retrospect to have been only partial, or only apparent. We may now read the group consisting of 7:20-23 as containing, in parallel, all the elements that are combined in 9:6. Confucius in this view is taking a special, humble route to sageliness. His sageliness is a hardscrabble kind of sageliness. It is not no sageliness. For Confucius in his role as a functioning sage we must turn not to any supposed self-statements in this chapter, but rather to the ecstatic disciple description in 9:11.

9:7. Readers typically ask, of an Analects passage, what it can tell them about Confucius. The question about 9:7 is what it tells us about the process of writing the Analects. In 9:7 we have a variant oral testimony to the Confucius quote offered in 9:6. We get the impression of a compiler consulting aged persons about their memories of Confucius; a compiler who (at this point) has no memory of his own to consult. Whatever may be the status of the other sayings in LY 9, we take this as a candid indication. In c0405 there would still have been people around who remembered Confucius (died 0479), and evidently those people are one source of LY 9. Then this saying at least probably goes back to early tradition, and we may take it as established that Confucius did indeed have a hard struggle in his early years. For the informant of 9:7, see the Note on "Lau" (or Chin Jang).

9:12. Not to raise any eyebrows, or anything, but the death of Confucius as here described is very like the story of Buddha's death in an inappropriately nondescript little town (a fact at which his disciples were keenly embarrassed) in the second accretional layer of the Maha-parinibbana Sutta. Nor is this quite all, in this very strange Analects chapter; see now Brooks, The First Chinese Buddhism (2003).

*9:30b. We had located this passage at LY 1 (page 150), and related it to LY 1:13 on the basis of its female sympathy. But the argument is weak, and in fact an earlier placement seems to be required. (1) All other poem quotes in the Analects are from the Shr, and so, most probably, is this one. (2) A presently lost Shr poem had the title White Flowers, and this quote, which mentions white flowers, may well have in mind that poem (as we had suggested in our comment). (3) That and five other lost poems were probably jettisoned to make room for late additions, of which Shr 1 is one, which distend the respective 10-poem sections to an 11-poem length. (4) Shr 1 is first referred to in LY 3:20 (c0342), so the replacement must be earlier than that date. (5) If we take the point of *9:30b less as sympathy for the female than as disapproval of the male, we may find that the interpolations *6:15 (praising courage) and *6:17 (criticizing inertia) offer at least as good a match for *9:30b (dismissing the feeble excuses of the lazy lover). If we then make *9:30b contemporaneous with those interpolations (they were placed as following LY 11, page 76), then the date of *9:30b becomes not c0294, but c0360. This would regularize the poem quote in an important way, and it would also help date the process of replacement which brought Shr 1 (and at least five other poems) into the Shr collection. We revise our earlier suggestion accordingly.

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

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