|Author:||Zhu Xi (1130-1200A.D.)|
Four Books include: Great Learning, Doctrine of the
Mean, Analects, Mengzi (Mencius). Zhi Xi was
still working on edits of his Commentary within
day(s) before his death in1200A.D.
Zhi Xi canonized the Four Books as the key texts for
neo-Confuciansim and elevated them to par with
the Five Classics. His Commentary is the basis
of subsequent examination for government posts
starting in the Yuan dynasty.
|Author:||Dante Alighieri (1265-1321A.D.)|
Dante's poetry in epic form is both a summation of
medieval Christian worldview and a new starting point for
subsequent Renaissance Italian literature. The
Commedia defines the Italian language, just as the King
James Bible defines English.
|Author:||Willian Shakespeare (1564-1616A.D.)|
Lead author in the English language, which is now the
most used (elite) language globally. Harold Bloom
considered Shakespear to be the center of the Western
(literary) Canon. Hamlet is the most popular (and the
longest) play written by the Bard.
The Story of
|Author:||Cao Xueqin (1715-1764A.D.)|
First draft by 1754A.D., but draft continued to be edited till
the author's death. Also known as The Dream of the Red
Chamber, which includes Chapters 81-120 whose
author was probably not Cao Xueqin himself.
The most literarily sophiscated of the Four Major
Classical Novels. The study of the novel (hongxue)
has become an academic displine of its own.
|Author:||Immanuel Kant (1724-1804A.D.)|
First edition published in 1781A.D. Second edition
published in 1787A.D.
Kant is now canonized as the most important modern
Western philosophy. Critique of Pure Reason
considered his most important work.
|Author:||Karl Marx (1818-1883A.D.)|
First volume published in 1867A.D. Marx continued to
work on this text till his death - and the manuscripts
were posthumously published.
Marx's writings were the fountain head of various
Communist movements in 19th and 20th centuries.
Political ideological influence aside, he is now
canonized in academia as a key political
economist, the most important 19th century
philosopher (others being Fichte, Hegel,
Kierkegaard and Nietszhe), and a founding father of
sociology (along with Weber and Durkheim). His
analysis of capitalism is cornerstone of contemporary
understanding of the modern world - e.g. for the
Frankfurt school, for Annales school and related World
System theorists. Das Kapital is Marx's most
significant theoretical work.