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300 BeE), that extraordinary mind at such a critical intellectual juncture, comes to this endlessly recessive speculation after raising the problem of representation in knowledge and, implicitly, in language: The men of old, their knowledge had arrived at something: at what had it arrived? There were some who thought there had not yet begun to be things - the utmost, the exhaustive, there is no more to add. The next thought there were things but there had not yet begun to be borders. The next thought there were borders to them but there had not yet begun to be 'That's it, that's not'.

What we interpret in philosophical texts as the privileging of interiority, an inner self, can be better understood as valuable proof of boundary creation and control. 3 2 After two millennia of repeated examination, re-articulation and representation of ritual principles and practices, some essential discourses on the cultural body had come remarkably close to the surface. Ritual itself, of course, is an exemplary genre of representation. The imperial precision of eighteenth-century ritual represented, quite consciously, a concentric ordering of historical and cultural boundaries around the space-time of legitimacy, extending through a very long dynastic sequence.

Literature, wen, was constructed as not only exemplary but also paradigmatic. The paradigm, of course, was a necessary condition for sustaining the position of the literati class (one might suspect something of the same sort today). Yu, citing theoretical sources such as Jane Tompkins, John Henderson and Robert Weimann, pays close attention to the way in which practitioners of seemingly innate codes of categorization (such as 'good poetry') were themselves the code-writers. Whatever cultural differences may impose a boundary condition, in the sense of a 'cosmological gulf', on Western theorizing of canonical phenomena, this basic perception is an essential one.

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