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T'ang Studies 13 (1995) Hans H. Frankel, Teacher and Scholar DAVID R. KNECHTGES UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON Hans H. FrankeI1!lJ.~\ was born in Berlin on 19 December 1916. The son of the renowned classical philologist, Hermann Frankel (1888-1977),1 Hans already at a young age was well-versed in Latin and Greek, which he studied in the Gymnasium in Gottingen. In summer of 1935, his family left Germany for the U.K., where Hans studied classics and English at St. Edward's School, Oxford. In September 1935, Hermann Frankel took up a position at Stanford, where Hans completed his A.B. degree in 1937. He then went on to the University of California, Berkeley, to do graduate work in Romance literature while serving as a teaching assistant in Spanish. Hans thus became fluent in French, Spanish, and Italian. I am told on good authority by one of Hans' friends in France that Hans' French is perfect , if a bit old-fashioned. His Ph.D. dissertation, which he completed in 1942, was on Quevedo. If it were not for World War II, Hans might have embarked on a distinguished career in Romance literature and philology. During the War, he was employed by the Foreign Broadcast Service, Office of War Information, and Office of Strategic Services as a monitor-translator for German, French, Italian , and Spanish. Toward the end of the war, the U.S. military showed great wisdom in allowing Hans to turn his considerable linguistic talents to the study of spoken Chinese. After the war, he returned to Berkeley and undertook the study of Chinese in the Department of Oriental Languages. There he encountered the great Berkeley scholars of that era: Peter Boodberg, Chen Shih-hsiang, and Y.R. Chao. Among his fellow students were Edward Schafer, Richard Mather, and Paul L-M Serruys. Hans' Chinese improved quickly after he went to China, where he taught Latin and German at Peking University in 1947-48. There he met his wife Chang Ch'ung-ho ~1CfD (b. Shanghai, 1 Hans' family name originally is Frankel with the umlaut. However, in 1943,he began spelling it without the umlaut. He pronounces it ~framkel"not ~frahnkel.'" 1 Knechtges: Hans H. Frankel, Teacher and Scholar 1914). Ch'ung-ho is a learned scholar in her own right, and is well known for her calligraphy and as a singer of Kunqu. When Hans returned to the United States in 1949, he joined the Berkeley faculty. From 1949 to 1951, he was an assistant in the East Asian Library. From 1951 to 1959 he was resident historian in Chinese history and served as editor of the Chinese Dynastic Histories Translations project. From 1959 to 1961 Hans was assistant prof~ssor of Chinese at Stanford. In 1961 he joined the constellation of scholars in East Asian studies at Yale, who included T.Y. Li, Roy Andrew Miller, Sam Martin, Mary and Arthur Wright, Jonathan Spence, and Hugh Stimson. Hans remained at Yale until his retirement in 1987Hans also was visiting professor at Hamburg University (1964), Bonn University (1980), and Munich University (1980). Hans Frankel began his Sinological research as an historian. I think this was partly due to personal interest, but also related to his work as editor of the Chinese Dynastic Histories Translation series. In addition to the extremely useful bibliography of translations of middle period dynastic histories that he published in 1957 (Catalogue of Translations from the Chinese Dynastic Histories for the Period 220960 ), Hans wrote a number of insightful articles on Chinese historiography . His "Objektivitat und Parteilichkeit in der offiziellen chinesischen Geschichtsschreibung vom 3. bis 11.Jahrhundert," published in Oriens Extremus in 1958, was one of the first Western-language studies of the biases and distortions that abound in Chinese historical texts. Hans also did some important biographical studies, including a history of the Kong family of Shanyin tlJ~:fL~ from late Han to the end of Tang (1961) and an examination of the biographies of 101 Tang literati, first presented for the fifth symposium on Chinese thought (1960) sponsored by the Association for Asian Studies, and then published in 1962 in Confucian Personalities. As much as he enjoyed working in Chinese...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1759-7633
Print ISSN
0737-5034
Pages
pp. 1-5
Launched on MUSE
2021-04-08
Open Access
No
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