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Zengguang xianwen 增廣賢文

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The Zengguang xianwen 增廣賢文 "Enlarged Writings of Worthies" is a book on primary education. The short text is an enlarged edition of an earlier version called Xishi xianwen 昔時賢文 "Writings of worthies from old times" or Gujin xianwen 古今賢文 "Writings of worthies from ancient and modern times". When the original version and the enlarged text were compiled, and by whom, in uncertain. In includes aphorisms, proverbs, popular sayings and famous quotations, mostly focusing on daily life, social relationships, and patterns of decent behaviour.
The Zengguang xianwen is circulating in different versions and different texts, but in all editions the text is written in rhymed pairs of sentences. The quality and structure of the various paragraphs differs widely and makes it a very heterogeneous book, but it was nevertheless widely circulating during the late Qing period 清 (1644-1911). During the Tongzhi reign 同治 (1862-1874) Zhou Xitao 周希陶 rearranged the book and ameliorated the textual quality. The most important edition was published by the Shanghai putong shuju 上海普通書局.

Sources: Chen Ying 陳瑛, Xu Qixian 許啟賢 (ed. 1989), Zhongguo lunli da cidian 中國倫理大辭典 (Shenyang: Liaoning renmin chubanshe), p. 707. ● Wang Wenbao 王文寶 (1997), "Zengguang xianwen 增廣賢文", in Men Gui 門巋, Zhang Yanqin 張燕瑾 (ed.), Zhonghua guocui da cidian 中華國粹大辭典 (Hong Kong: Guoji wenhua chuban gongsi), p. 284.

September 14, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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