Shang Dynasty Inscription: What is it and what was it for?

SW is Shuowen, sorry. Aka SWJZ or often seen as SWCT (ugh). Often also cited as XS, for Xu Shen, the author.

陳昭容 Ch

Many thanks, yet again.

SW for 籀文? I assume that was a typo? I can’t imagine Xu Shen ever even saw a single 籀 character, no? I haven’t spent any time with the Shuowen, other than checking a handful of characters, but considerring the number of centuries and the Qin policies in between him and 籀文, I thought he was only able to work with 小篆, no?

I don’t really know what they were like before, but a basic paperback now will likely run you 15 RMB in a proper bookstore. Wei Dongya’s A Chinese-English Dictionary is 69.90 RMB for the standard small print version available on Amazon. There’s no shortage of large paperbacks for 20-25 RMB and 30-40+ if they have some color photos or such.

What I did notice before, as you have commented elsewhere, is how bad the quality used to be. There are some very attractively published books coming out now, as nice as in Taiwan I dare say, though there’s still a lot of not so nicely printed stuff being published.

Well, to tell a family secret, I bought it a couple of months ago. I already sent it back to the US, but I can tell you that it is printed (not hand-written) and is done in traditional characters. The paper quality is nothing to write home about (though I did send it ‘home’). The book is large. I will send you a scan when I get back to the US or if you want to give me a snail mail address, I can send you the photocopy they sent me when I wrote to them asking about that and some other books they publish. Hmm. How does mail between China and Taiwan work?

Not a typo. 許慎 Xŭ Sh

Thank you for the correction. I should know better than to talk about a book I haven’t spent much time with :blush: (blushing for the second time on this thread)

I can’t give you much information on the book as it went out soon after I got it. I have been shipping stuff back early as the mail here is not as reliable as in Taiwan (already lost an item sent to here, and a trace confirmed it was here). Yes, the OB graphs were by hand. I was happy with the book, but I have no idea how the other OB dictionaries are laid out.

Yeah, they look at 100% of packages leaving China for anywhere and even domestic packages! Don’t seem to do it with regular overseas letters, but I guess Taiwan would be a special situation. Interestingly the boxes they sell at the post office here for overseas mail (they say right on the box that it is specifically for overseas mail) also list Hong Kong and Macau, but not Taiwan. Once I’m done sending stuff I’ll ask them about Taiwan out of curiosity. They say searching packages is to make sure someone doesn’t send dangerous things through the mail. Um, I’ve heard other theories as well . . .

That web site is mostly art books, but they have other stuff like the 老子 for Mawangdui and Guodian (among other selections from these digs) and even whole dictionaries for Han and pre-Han characters written on bamboo and silk. There’s a lot there at that site – and never enough in my bank account!

Dragonbones, have you anything to say about this book?

I hate to bother you with this, but I’ve just started investigating oracle bones and I know there’s plenty of rubbish in the bookstores, so I’m trying to stick to the more well accepted stuff. Thanks.

于省吾 is a famous jiaguologist, so it’s not going to be pop junk. But I’ll need a couple months to look at it and some of the other books available on line before I can give a more intelligent response.

The mainland publisher says 劉興隆’s《新編甲骨文字典》[ 国际文化出版公司] is now out of print. They will be coming out with it again in the future they said, but they don’t know when.

Do you need me to pick up a copy of the TWN ed for you?

Thank you for the kind offer, but I’ll hold off for now. You’ve listed some great titles already, all of which I will either buy (the Chinese ones; some in China now, some in Taiwan later) or ILL from the library back in the US (the English ones).