By Rudolf G. Wagner, Laozi, Wang Bi
Providing the remark of the third-century sage Wang Bi, this ebook offers a chinese language means of analyzing the Daodejing, one that will shock Western readers.
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Additional resources for Chinese Reading of the Daodejing, A
33 Although Yan Shigu’s own Xuanyan xinji ming Lao bu ᪐⤵ᅘ⥆ᆙ≘ⵒ, of which a fragment survives among Pelliot’s Dunhuang manuscripts, generally follows Heshang gong’s reading and reproduces in the introduction the Heshang gong lore, Yan also was interested in what Wang Bi had to say. He writes in a slightly confusing passage: Wang Bi, zi Fusi, from Shanyang, managed in his ofﬁcial career to become a shangshu lang. [He died] in the 10th year of the zhengshi era  in his 24th year. [I, Yan Shigu] checked a [Liu] Song manuscript which said: “Wang Fusi was famous among later [generations] for his Commentary on the Daode [jing] in two pian; he linked the symbols [for heaven and earth], the highest yang number being the 9, he set the limit at nine times nine.
Unaware of the supporting Wang Bi quotation elsewhere, Shima Kuniô opted for the version of the textual family. : શ┋ʠશ┋ʠʙ Old MSS (Fu and Fan): ⤵ሷશʶሷʙ The initial jun of the second clause of Wang Bi’s commentary ought to be changed to zhu ʙ, so that the phrase ┋ʠʙ parallels the structure of the preceding phrase શ┋ʠશ, where the term zong શ is repeated The Wang Bi Recension of the Laozi 25 twice. 55 One passage often quoted to determine what “school” the Laozi belongs to shows some of the problems in reconstructing the Wang Bi Laozi.
Instead of following the Ming editions as everyone else had done, he looked for the earliest available texts of the Commentary and found them in the various editions of “collected commentaries” to the Laozi that had been put together between the eleventh and the thirteenth centuries. His focus though was on the different lineages of the text of the Laozi, not on the commentaries. So while quoting what he thought were the best commentary texts, he did not establish a critical text for the commentaries included in his work, including the Wang Bi Commentary.