The Web site for Sino-Platonic Papers, Professor Victor Mair’s iconoclastic journal, has expanded to the point that, as of the most recent batch of reissues, it offers more than half of the journal’s 198 (and counting) issues in full and for free. So if you haven’t visited that site recently you might want to have another look.
I’ll mention just a few of the recent additions:
- The Magical Kunlun and “Devil Slaves”: Chinese Perceptions of Dark-skinned People and Africa before 1500, by Julie Wilensky. Last summer I promised some friends in Beijing that I would get this one online. I’m less than a year behind, which means I’m improving….
- Dogs and Cats: Lessons from Learning Chinese, by Julie Lee Wei. Most SPPs are full of details and references. This, however, is a lovely personal essay that I believe will strike a chord for many readers, especially those who count themselves as “overseas Chinese” and have had to work at learning Mandarin.
- On the Problems of Chinese Lettered Words, by Liu Yongquan of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ Institute of Linguistics. This isn’t so much a list of words (which is the sort of thing that would become out of date almost as soon as it was issued) as a proposal for a classification system to deal with the different types of such terms.
- The Life and Mentorship of Confucius. This is by E. Bruce Brooks, an important and revolutionary scholar of Confucius. Unfortunately, at least from my point of view, Brooks prefers to use a romanization system of his own devising; so that can take some getting used to.
- A Southern Min Word in the Tsu-t’ang chi, by Tim Miller — a short piece for those of you who are especially interested in all things Hoklo/Minnan/Taiwanese.
Other recent milestones for SPP include
- the online availability of all twelve volumes to date of book reviews (nos. 8, 14, 31, 35, 46…). These in general are particular favorites of mine.
- the publication of the largest SPP to date: John C. Didier’s In and Outside the Square: The Sky and the Power of Belief in Ancient China and the World, c. 4500 BC – AD 200, a massive work in three volumes.
- the SPP Web site achieving more than 1 million page views in 2009