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How Jing Ke planned but failed to assassinate the to-be first Emperor of China: Different Narratives, Different Politics

Abstract : China is no exception in the world : it defines itself physically through borders and creates a cohesive cultural group thanks to historical references. One of these founding events is Jing Ke's attempt to kill the king of Qin, who was to become the First Emperor of China. This story has been told over and over through centuries. It was first recorded in Jing Ke’s biography in Sima Qian’s 司马迁 Shiji 史记 (Records of the Grand Historian) More recently, it was shown in two commercial films : Zhang Yimou’s 张艺谋 Yingxiong 英雄 (Hero) and Chen Kaige’s 陈凯歌 Jing Ke ci Qin Huang 荆轲刺秦皇 (The Emperor and the Assassin). Both films offer contrastive perspectives. A comparative analysis of these differing versions of the same (hi)story reveals a striking parallel between past and present. Tradition shall continue to stand as a reference and play an active role in the assertion of a Chinese China.
Keywords : China History
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01990938
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Submitted on : Wednesday, January 23, 2019 - 3:03:14 PM
Last modification on : Friday, April 10, 2020 - 4:42:02 PM

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Marie Bizais. How Jing Ke planned but failed to assassinate the to-be first Emperor of China: Different Narratives, Different Politics. Literatures, Limits, Borders: Migration and Citizenship, Corrado Neri; Florent Villard, Mar 2010, Lyon, France. ⟨halshs-01990938⟩

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