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Chinese Literature
Youqiuzi 幽求子 "The Master Seeking in the Darkness"


The Youqiu xinshu 幽求新書 "New book of seeking in the darkness", also called Dushi youqiu xinshu 杜氏幽求新書 "Master Du's book of seeking in the darkness", or shortly Youqiuzi 幽求子 "The master seeking in the darkness", was a Daoist text authorship of which was traditionally attributed to the Jin period 晉 (265-420) scholar Du Yi 杜夷, courtesy name Du Xingqi 杜行齊. He came from Lujiang 盧江 (near modern Huoshan 霍山, Anhui) and called himself Youqiuzi 幽求子 "Master seeking in the darkness", a name that identifies him as a Daoist scholar. According to his biography in the official dynastic history Jinshu 晉書 he lived a very simple and austere life and did not run any business, but dedicated himself to the study of ancient writings. The imperial bibliography Jingjizhi 經籍志 in the history Suishu 隋書 lists the book Youqiu xinshu with a length of 20 juan "scrolls", while that in the histories Jiutangshu 舊唐書 and Xintangshu 新唐書 list it as Dushu qiuqiuzi 杜氏幽求子, with a length of 30 juan. Ma Zong's 馬總 bibliography in the encyclopaedia Yilin 意林 from the Tang period 唐 (618-907) called it Youqiuzi and indicates a length of 20 juan. It is difficult to assess which of these statements was correct, because the book disappeared after the Tang period. The scholar Huang Yizhou 黃以周 is of the opinion that the statements in the Yilin are correct. The surviving fragements quoted in the encyclopaedias Beitang shuchao 北堂書抄 and Taiping yulan 太平御覽 were collected by the Qing period 清 (1644-1911) scholar Ma Guohan 馬國翰. They are to be found in his collectaneum Yuhanshanfang jiyi shu 玉函山房輯佚書, under the title of Youqiu xinshu.

Source: Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典, vol. 2, p. 2306. Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe.

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June 21, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail