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  • Richard Wilhelm (1873-1930); Missionar in China und Vermittler chinesischen Geistesguts. Schriftenverzeichnis, Katalog seiner chinesischen Bibliothek, Briefe von Heinrich Hackmann, Briefe von Ku Hung-ming. Mit einem Beitrag von Thomas Zimmer. (Richard Wilhelm: Missionary in China and Transmitter of Chinese Cultural Heritage. Bibliography of his works, Catalogue of his Chinese library, Letters by Heinrich Hackmann, Letters by Ku Hung-ming. Contribution by Thomas Zimmer)
  • Karel L. van der Leeuw (bio)
Hartmut Walravens , editor. Richard Wilhelm (1873-1930); Missionar in China und Vermittler chinesischen Geistesguts. Schriftenverzeichnis, Katalog seiner chinesischen Bibliothek, Briefe von Heinrich Hackmann, Briefe von Ku Hung-ming. Mit einem Beitrag von Thomas Zimmer. (Richard Wilhelm: Missionary in China and Transmitter of Chinese Cultural Heritage. Bibliography of his works, Catalogue of his Chinese library, Letters by Heinrich Hackmann, Letters by Ku Hung-ming. Contribution by Thomas Zimmer). Collectanea Serica. Sankt Augustin: Institut Monumenta Serica, 2008. 316 pp. Paperback €45.00 (ca. $59.00), ISBN 978-3-8050-0553-1.

A number of Protestant and Catholic missionaries in China, notably James Legge (1815-1897), Séraphin Couvreur (1835-1919), and Richard Wilhelm (1873-1930), made the Chinese Classics available in European languages during the second part of the nineteenth and the first part of the twentieth century. Richard Wilhelm's translations of the Classics in the years 1910-1930 include the Lunyu, the Laozi, the Liezi, the Zhuangzi, the Mengzi, the Yijing, the Lüshi chunqiu, the Liji, and the [End Page 176] Jiayu. He also translated Chinese poetry and prose. For a long time, his translations of the Lüshi chunqiu and the Jiayu remained the only translations of those works into a Western language. Not only are his books still regularly reprinted in Germany, several of his translations have been retranslated into other languages, especially his rendering of the Yijing, which not only was retranslated into English, but from the English version reretranslated into other languages.

The present work is not a biography of Richard Wilhelm.1 It is, first, a collection of materials for students of the exploration of Chinese culture by European pioneers or the Christian mission in China. The book starts with a very short biographical note by the editor. What follows is a forty-five-page account of Wilhelm's activities from the period of his return to Germany, in 1920, to his death, in 1930. His diaries and the posthumous portrait by his widow were main sources for this information.2 This account starts a little bit abruptly and pays special attention—apart from his personal circumstances—to Wilhelm's relation to his sponsor Countess Francken-Sierstorpff (she financed his extraordinary professorship in the University of Frankfurt), his wavering between the esoteric circles of Hermann Graf Keyserling and his more scientifically minded colleagues of the University of Franfurt, and his efforts to start a China Institute in Franfurt and to found several journals.

The main body of the book is bibliographical. It starts with a hundred-page chronological survey of Wilhelm's own publications and re-editions up to the present. The chronology includes translations of his works and retranslations of his translations. (The editor admits he may have missed some of the retranslations; several of the Dutch titles contain typing errors.) The survey includes facsimiles of the covers of all his book translations of the Chinese Classics, all originally published by Eugen Diederichs Verlag in Düsseldorf. The bibliographical entries are fairly detailed with regard to location, and some of them are supplied with annotations by Salome Wilhelm, his widow. Wilhelm published in a great many journals, daily journals, theological journals, reports from the German mission, and journals on Asia, some well known, such as the Zeitschrift der deutschen morgenländischen Gesellschaft (Journal of the German Oriental Society). His contributions to journals include translated fragments from Chinese literature, but also articles on Confucianism, Taoism, Zen Buddhism, and specific representatives of Chinese thought. His articles encompass the whole area of traditional Chinese culture and the present situation of the country.

This bibliography is followed by a chronological list of 106 articles concerning Wilhelm, his biography, and his work, including obituaries by Carsun Chang, J. J. L. Duyvendak, and P. Pelliot. This list...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-9367
Print ISSN
1069-5834
Pages
pp. 176-179
Launched on MUSE
2012-03-01
Open Access
No
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