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Chinese Literature
Kunwai chunqiu 閫外春秋 "Spring and Autumn Beyond the Threshold"


The Kunwai chunqiu 閫外春秋 "Spring and Autumn beyond the threshold" is a collection of biographies of generals through history written by the Tang period 唐 (618-907) writer Li Quan 李筌. The Song period 宋 (960-1279) bibliographical treatise Zhizhai shulu jieti 直齋書錄解題 says that it begins with the conquest of the Shang kingdom 商 (17th-11th cent. BCE) by King Wu of Zhou 周武王. This part is not included in the received version. A fragment of a Tang period manuscript has been discovered in Dunhuang 敦煌 (juan 1 and the first half of juan 2, as well as juan 4 and 5). A faksimile has been published in the book Mingsha shiku yishu 鳴沙石室佚書. Among the Dunhuang fragments is also Li Quan's memorial in which he declared his submission of the book to the throne. Li Quan saw his book as a kind of supplement to the Confucian Classic Chunqiu 春秋 "Spring and Autumn Annals". The original size of the book was 10 juan "scrolsl". The last five juan are lost.

Source: Zhang Xihou 張錫厚 (2003). Kunwai chunqiu 閫外春秋, in: Bian Xiaoxuan 卞孝萱 (ed.), Tangdai wenxue baike cidian 唐代文學百科辭典, p. 628. Beijing: Hanyu da cidian chubanshe.

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March 20, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail