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Seven Samurai), and Song dynasty (960-1279) Chinese Chan exegete, Dahui Zonggao 大慧宗杲 (1089-1163). Only in chapter 5 (“Monastic Transmission: Cases Reflecting Mythology, Monasticism, and Succession,” pp. 129-159) does Heine’s close reading of cases such as no. 11 from the Gateless Gate (in the section on “Monasticism: Enforcing Rules and Regulations,” pp. 142-144) fail to reinforce his own narrative of the institutional side of Zen (e.g., Pure Rules [qinggui, shingi 清規] and monastic transmission with emphasis upon selection of abbots (pp. 131-134). Perhaps because kōans are not necessarily the best source to inform the reader about Chan/Sŏn/Zen monasticism, or because Heine’s apparent preoccupation with cases ascribed to Zhaozhou 趙州 [Congshen 從諗] (778-897) does not prove to be instructive on the topic at hand, this chapter speaks to the broader contribution of the volume: this book is about kōans and how Heine reads them. This book ought to be read in an undergraduate or graduate course alongside John McRae’s Seeing Through Zen: Encounter, Transformation, and Genealogy in Chinese Chan Buddhism (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003), because McRae’s work contrasts with Heine’s obvious focus on kōans alone. GEORGE A. KEYWORTH University of Saskatchewan WILT L. IDEMA, The Resurrected Skeleton: From Zhuangzi to Lu Xun. New York: Columbia University Press, 2014. x, 334 pp. US$50, £34.50 (hb). ISBN 978-0-231-16504-4 Since the 1980s, the study of the Zhuangzi 莊子 has received heightened attention in the English-speaking academic world. In the last 35 years, various scholars tried to uncover its core philosophical claims, publishing several edited volumes, monographs , and a myriad of articles on Master Zhuang’s writings. The majority of scholarly interpretations, however, frequently reduced the text to matters of epistemology and language while largely ignoring its profound cultural impact over the last two millennia. Consequently, academics rarely engaged with the vast array of religious, literary, dramatic, sonic, and artistic productions inspired and influenced by the Zhuangzi and its quirky anecdotes. In his new book The Resurrected Skeleton: From Zhuangzi to Lu Xun, Wilt Idema clearly breaks with this tradition offering a fresh look on the Daoist classic. Instead of focusing on excavating an authentic meaning behind the “original” text, he discusses and translates several cultural products containing adaptations of a theme that at least partially originated from the extant Zhuangzi: the famous story of Master Zhuang encountering a skull from the “Perfect Happiness” (“Zhile” 至樂) chapter. Wilt Idema’s translating journey of this Chinese vanitas trope leads the reader through a variety of genres ranging from its earliest accounts in rhapsodies (fu 賦) from the Han 漢 (206 BCE – 220 CE) and early Six Dynasties period (220–589), over narrative ballads (daoqing 道情), plays (zaju 雜劇), youth books (zidishu 子 弟書), precious scrolls (baojuan 寶卷), song lyrics and appended poems from the Ming 明 (1368–1644) and Qing 清 dynasties (1644–1911), to Lu Xun’s 魯迅 (1881-1936) modern parody titled “Raising the Dead” (“Qisi” 起死). In so doing, 84 BOOK REVIEWS Idema’s selection of texts mainly focuses on cultural products from the Ming dynasty, a vivid time period of the Zhuangzi’s reception that had largely been ignored in Western academic writings. He effectively shifts the vista from a fixation on Master Zhuang’s thoughts to the text’s later reworkings, highlighting the fact that there is a vast corpus of materials related to the tremendous cultural field attributed to Zhuang Zhou 莊周 that has been largely untouched by Western scholarship. For that reason, his newest addition to his vast œuvre of translations of Chinese dramatic plays and legendary lore offers a valuable opportunity for specialists and students alike to engage with an under-represented side of the Zhuangzi’s long reception history. In the “Introduction,” Wilt Idema convincingly reconstructs how the translated cultural products included in his anthology reflect various developmental stages of the vanitas trope associated with the Zhuangzi. He demonstrates that the “Zhile” anecdote, in which Zhuang Zhou during a dream episode encounters a skull explicating the joys of being dead, transformed into a story about the resurrection of a full-fledged skeleton by the wayside sometime between the twelfth and the sixteenth century. He traces this development back to...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2050-8999
Print ISSN
0737-769X
Pages
pp. 84-86
Launched on MUSE
2019-01-02
Open Access
No
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