An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Chanshu 讒書

Mar 3, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald

Chanshu 讒書 "Defamatory writings“ is a social and political critique written by the Tang period 唐 (618-907) scholar Luo Yin 羅隱 (833-909). The 5 juan "scrolls" long books was divided into 60 chapters, of which only 58 survive. Most important are the preface and the second preface to the book, in which Luo Yin explain how he, disappointed about a stagnating career, began lamenting other people's flowering career, while he himself remained for seven years on the same post. The book was finished in 867 and criticised the contemporary custom of recommending promotees on the base of personal relationship instead of talent. At the same time, a lot of scholars dedicated their whole life to learning and studying without ever being rewarded for their hardships.
The existence of the Chanshu is neither mentioned by the compilers of the imperial reprint series Siku quanshu 四庫全書 nor in Zhang Zan's 張瓚 publication of Luo Yin's collected works Luo Zhaojian ji 羅昭諫集. Only Wu Qian 吳騫 was able to obtain a manuscript of the book and published it in his reprint series Yugu congshu 愚谷叢書 (Baijingtang congshu 拜經樓叢書). A facsimile of this edition is to be found in the series Congshu jicheng 叢書集成. The Chanshu is included in a modern edition of Luo Yin's collected writings, the Luo Yin ji 羅隱集, published by the Zhonghua press 中華書局.

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Wu Feng 吳楓, ed. (1994). Zhonghua gu wenxian da cidian 中華古文獻大辭典, Vol. Wenxue 文學 (Changchun: Jilin wenxue chubanshe), 648.
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