Chinese Writing

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Qiu Xigui
Gilbert L. Mattos and Jerry Norman, trans.
2000. hdbk., 547 pp.
ISBN 1-55729-071-7
$40.00

Chinese Writing is a translation of Professor Qiu Xigui's renowned Wenzixue gaiyao, based on the revised edition published in 1994 in Taipei by the Wanjuanlou Tushu Co. Ltd. Recognized as the most authoritative work of its type, Chinese Writing discusses in detail the nature, composition, history, and evolution of Chinese script, drawing upon a wide variety of original source materials from Shang oracle bones to slips of paper from Dunhuang. By providing a comprehensive basis for the analysis of Chinese script, Chinese Writing represents an outstanding contribution not only to the field of Chinese grammatology but to grammatology as a whole. The translation by Gilbert L. Mattos and Jerry Norman represents the first scholarly, systematic study on the subject published in a Western language. The usefulness of Professor Qiu's original work has been enhanced by the addition of new indexes of characters discussed and topics, as well as a classified bibliography of all sources cited in the text.