- An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art
About [Location: HOME > Literature > Four Categories > Historiography > Miscellaneous Histories > Xiyuan wenjian lu]

Chinese Literature
Xiyuan wenjian lu 西園聞見錄

The Four Categories of Literature
Xiyuan wenjian lu 西園聞見錄 "Report on things heard and seen from the Xiyuan Studio" is a privately written history of the early Ming period 明 (1368-1644). It is written by Zhang Xuan 張萱 who served as a high official of the Ming dynasty before he retired and started compiling his book which was only finished in the 1620s. In 107 juan "scrolls", divided into three parts, Zhang recounts the history of the Ming dynasty from the founding in 1368 until the end of the Wanli reign 萬曆 (1573-1619). In the first part (neipian 內篇 "inner chapters") Zhang gives many examples of government conduct. The second part (waipian 外篇 "outer chapters") gives an impression of practical politics. It is arranged according to the rank of officials. The third part (zapian 雜篇 "miscellaneous chapters") gives an overview of supernatural appearances and aspects as it is traditionally included in Chinese histories.
The main source of Zhang Yuan was the Capital gazetteer or Peking gazette (dibao 邸報). A very great part of his book deals with military aspects, especially the establishing of the Jurchen empire in the northeast.
A first print from the Chongzhen reign 崇禎 (1628-1644) is lost. In 1940 the Harvard Yenching Institute 哈佛燕京學社 printed the book, based on a manuscript from the Jujing Studio 陳氏居敬堂 and a manuscript from the Guangxu reign 光緒 (1875-1908) in the hand of the Li family from Shunde 順德李氏. This edition was reprinted in 1984 by the Hangzhou gujiu shudian press 杭州古舊書店.

Source: Fan Jinmin 范金民 (1992). "Xiyuan jianwen lu西園聞見錄", in: Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Zhongguo lishi 中國歷史 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), Vol. 3, p. 1283.

September 15, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
Chinese Literature over time