Mon

23

Apr

2012

List of 100 - What would be left out?

After putting up the List of 150 texts on this site, I started to try to trim it down to a List of 100. In theory, it is just picking 2 books out of 3. And as I mentioned in a blog post before named "Numerology", the relative size of conventional traditions would just be reduced to East Asian (36->24), South Asian (36->24), CWANA (24->16), Western (54->36).

 

I try this. And in fact I try to make sure that the 2/3 rule is followed as accurately as possible to represent the right proportion of each sub-tradition, and by genres, for each of the conventional traditions. (So say if a sub-tradition has 22 texts originally, after selecting 2/3, I will select 15 [round up from 14.7] texts. Given this rule, if a group has 2 texts, I will keep 1 text; if a group has only 1 text to start with, that text will remain). Of course this proportion keeping cannot be perfectly done. Furthermore, I also try to make sure language proportion remains. I also can't do this perfectly, but I only need to slightly overselect Arabic and Greek (one each) at the expense of Avestan (1->0) and French (4->2). I also need to change the selection of texts very slightly, 1) Change Zhuangzi Zhu to Zhuangzi Zhushu (thus adding Cheng Xuanying's sub-commentary to reflect Daoist religious commentary); 2) Use Luther's Three Treatises of 1520 to replace Calvin and Schleirmacher (this helps reduce number of Latin texts and the Protestant sub-tradition from 2->1 text); 3) Use Dostoyevsky's Brothers Karamazov to replace Tolstoy and Solovyov (combining 2 Russian texts to 1).

 

So what are not selected after this procedure? Big categories below:

1. Sappho (1 of the 3 female-authored work needs to come out)

2. Hellenistic philosophies (Cicero, Diogenes Laertius, Plotinus)

3. Yogacara Buddhsim (Yogacarabhumi, Xuanzhuang)

4. Many less important religious texts of Period 1-3 (Early Upanisads, Buddhaghosa, Zhenggao, al-Shafii, Bhagavata Purana)

5. All Western works in Period 3 (Bede, John of Damascus)

6. Many later Sanskrit literature (Bhartrhari, Bana, Somadeva, Hemacandra, Kaviraja)

7. All tantric texts (Kukai, Abhinavagupta)

8. Derivatives of Yi Jing [Classics of Change] other than Wang Bi's commentary (Shao Yong, Zhouyi Cantongqi Fahui)

9. Several Persian prose works (Nizamulmulk, Sadi, Abul Fazl)

10. Most later East Asian literature (Xixiangji, Shuihuzhuan, Matsuo Basho)

11. Qing scholarship (Gu Yanwu, Xu Zizhi Tongjian)

12. All USA works (Whitman, William James)

 

I guess other than losing all Hellenistic philsophies, (together with Arthurian Romances, Petrarch and Hume, not mentinoed above), I do not have too much regret about this list of 100. I guess I feel pretty good about the List of 100. Maybe I should publish that some day.

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