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Eicher, Sebastian (2016): Fan Ye's biography in the Song Shu: form, content, and impact. In: Early Medieval China, No. 22: pp. 45-64

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In the centuries after Fan Ye's death many literati praised his Hou Han shu, but at the same time a surprising number of them also criticized the historian's character. This paper argues that Fan Ye's biography in the Song shu, which depicts the historian as a weak and despicable man, was the primary source for many of the accusations made by his critics. The biography's influence can be explained by its careful narrative modeling. The Song shu authors highlighted certain aspects of the life of Fan Ye, while simultaneously obscuring others, with the goal of depicting him as an unfilial and despicable rebel. This paper is an attempt to retrace their steps in order to offer an alternative way of reading the otherwise strangely neglected text.

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