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Lost T'ai-Chi Classics from the Late Ch'ing Dynasty
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Douglas Wiles translates and analyzes four collections of recently released nineteenth-century manuscripts on T'ai-chi ch'uan. These writings of Wu's older brothers Ch'eng-ch'ing and Ju-ch'ing, and his nephew Li I-yu, together with the transmissions of Yang Pan-hou, represent a significant addition to the seminal literature. The rich new texts allow us to make a fresh survey of longstanding issues in T'ai-chi history: the origins of the art; the authorship of the 'classics'; the differences between We, Yang, and Li; and the roles of Chang San-feng. Wang Tsung-yueh, Chiang Fa, and the formerly missing link, Ch'ang Nai-chou. The original Chinese texts of the four new sets of classics have been appended for the convenience of Chinese readers and scholars.
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Table of Contents

Preface Acknowledgments Note on Transliteration Note on Illustrations Introduction I Social and Historical Background of T'ai-Chi Ch'uan in the Nineteenth Century China and the Nations Rebellion at Home The North China Plain Elite Culture Late Ch'ing Intellectual Trends Reexamining the Biography of Wu Yu-hsiang Approaches to Understanding Wu and Li Involvement in T'ai-chi Ch'uan II Textual Tradition of the T'ai-Chi Classics III Analysis and Translation of the New Texts The Writings of Wu Ch'eng-ch'ing Analysis of the Texts Translation of the Texts The Writings of Wu Ju-ch'ing Analysis of the Texts Translation of the Texts The Writings of Li I-yu Analysis of the Texts Translation of the Texts Yang Family Forty Chapters 4/1 Analysis of the Texts 4/2 Translation of the Texts IV Significance of the New Texts Authorship of the Previously Received Classics Authenticity of the New Texts Dijfferences between the Wu/Li and Yang Editions of the Classics Authorship of the Bookstall Classics Historicity of Chang San-feng Historicity and Role of Wang Tsung-yueh Period and Role of Chiang Fa Paucity of Theoretical Texts in Ch'en Village Chang Nai-chou and the Wu/Li Classics Survival of Manuscripts in the Wu and Li Families Conclusion Appendix I. Original Chinese Texts for the Lost Classics Appendix II. Textual and Biographical Studies Notes Glossary Bibliography Index

About the Author

Douglas Wile is Associate Professor at Brooklyn College. He is the author of The Art of the Bedchamber: The Chinese Sexual Yoga Classics, Including Women's Solo Meditation Texts, also published by SUNY Press.

Reviews

"This book contains an enormous amount of information concerning all aspects of T'ai-chi ch'uan not available before. To say that the work is a major contribution to the field is an understatement; it dwarfs all other works so far published in the English language. This is a first-rate, scholarly book that will have a great bearing on the academic views concerning T'ai-chi ch'uan's history and value for present-day study. Because of his meticulous research and profoundly articulate text, Wile has redefined 'T'ai-chi ch'uan' for the academic world with clarity and, for the first time, with accuracy." - Michael A. DeMarco, Journal of Asian Martial Arts

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