The Author's Two Bodies: The Death of Qu Yuan and the Birth of Chuci zhangju

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4 Scopus citations


While recent studies of early Chinese texts increasingly eschew the term "author," the present article defends the utility of this term by proposing a generalizable framework for conceptualizing author claims. Using Qu Yuan as a case study, I demonstrate that the construction of the author, both historical and putative, uniquely contributes to the finalization-rather than the creation-of texts, transforming open and evolving textual traditions into closed and stabilized entities. The creation of the author thus stands at the threshold between textual production and reception, often serving as an indispensable condition for the latter. By applying this approach to the study of the Chuci zhangju, I offer a new definition of the textual strata within this compilation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-314
Number of pages56
JournalT'oung Pao
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 2019


  • Chuci
  • Early China
  • Han dynasty
  • Qu Yuan
  • authorship
  • poetry
  • reception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Language and Linguistics
  • History
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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