Antje Richter's Website

Notions of Sleep in Early Chinese Literature


This page provides some information in English about my book Das Bild des Schlafes in der altchinesischen Literatur, published in Hamburg in 2001 and reprinted in 2015.

Table of Contents (translation)

State of the Art
Aims and Methods

Part I: Lexical Preliminaries
1. Relevant Words
    1.1 Mei
    1.2 Ming
    1.3 Qin
    1.4 Wo
    1.5 Shui
    1.6 Wu and jiao
2. Conclusion

Part II: Sleep as a Natural Phenomenon
1. Explanations of Bodily Functions during Sleep
    1.1 Intact Sleep
    1.2 Disturbed Sleep
    1.3 Dreams
2. The Identity of Sleep and Night
3. Wen Zhi's Teachings about Sleep
4. Conclusion

Part III: Sleep as a Social Phenomenon
1. The Constitution of the Social Relevance of Sleep
    1.1 Sleep as Pleasure and Refuge
    1.2 The Association of Sleep with Other Pleasures
          1.2.1 Sleep and Eating
          1.2.2 Sleep and Drinking
          1.2.3 Sleep and Music
          1.2.4 Sleep and Sex
2. Sleeping Time
    2.1 Time
          2.1.1 Nighttime is the Right Time
          2.1.2 Daytime Sleeping
    2.2 Duration
          2.2.1 Early to Rise, Late to Bed
          2.2.2 To Forget Sleep at Night
3. Circumstances of Sleeping
    3.1 Diverse Instructions
    3.2 Sleep and Filial Piety
4. Conclusion

Part IV: Sleep as a Psychological Phenomenon
1. Dangers of Sleeping
    1.1 Murder in Bed
    1.2 Sleep and Loss of Control as Topics in Legalist Writing
          1.2.1 Suspicion towards Sleep
          1.2.2 Sleep as a Metaphor for the Dispensability of Control
2. Sleeplessness
3. Conclusion

Part V: Sleep as a Counter Concept
1. The Praise of Dreamless Sleep
2. Sleep and Death


Chinese Dynasties
List of Primary Sources
List of Quotations from Primary Sources
Distribution of Relevant Words