This essay applies the approaches of the “new medievalism,” mouvance or “mutability” in particular, to medieval textual materials purporting to contain parts of the classics, focusing on Lunyu 論語 (Analects), Shangshu 尚書 (Documents), and Xiaojing 孝經 (Classic of Filial Piety). Using Dunhuang manuscripts of the florilegium titled Xinji wenci jiujing chao 新集文詞九經抄 (New Compilation of Phrases Excerpted from the Nine Classics), the essay shows that the texts of these classics presented by such compilations differed substantially from the “official” texts of the time as represented by the versions carved in stone during the Kaicheng reign period (836–841). The essay further argues that such florilegia as Xinji wenci jiujing chao were likely widely used, implying that many readers in the period may have had a different conception of the contents of the classics from what we might assume they had. This has implications for our understanding of intertextuality in literary works from the period.

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