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Chinese Literature
Zhuoyiji 卓異記


The Four Categories of Literature
Zhuoyiji 卓異記 "Records of outstanding persons" is a collection of historical stories attributed to the Tang period 唐 (618-907) writer Li Ao 李翱. The imperial bibliography Yiwenzhi 藝文志 in the official dynastic history Xintangshu 新唐書 mentions a certain Chen Ao 陳翱 who lived during the reigns of the emperors Xianzong 唐憲宗 (r. 805-820) and Muzong 唐穆宗 (r. 820-824). The bibliography in the Songshi 宋史 lists two books of this title, one written by Li Ao, one by Chen Ao. The solution to this riddle remains unclear. The short book is a loose compilation of 26 various historial matters of the Tang period. Unfortunately the author does not indiciate his sources at all.
The Zhuoyiji is included in the collectanea Siku quanshu 四庫全書, Baichuan xuehai 百川學海, Baoyantang miji 宝彦堂秘笈 and Congshu jicheng chubian 叢書集成初編.


The Guang zhuoyiji 廣卓異記 is a collection of stories compiled by the Song period 宋 (960-1279) writer and geographer Yue Shi 樂史 (930-1007). The 20 juan "scrolls" long book is a kind of supplement to the Zhuoyiji 卓異記 from the Tang period 唐 (618-907). Yue Shi participated in the compilation of the Taiping huanyu ji 太平寰宇記, Zuozhi tianxia shi ji 坐知天下事記, Yang Zaizheng waizhuan 楊太真外傳, Guangxiaozhuan 廣孝傳, Zhuxianzhuan 諸仙傳 and Shang Yan zalu 商顔雜錄. Yue began with the expansion of the short book Zhuoyiji with three juan but then step by step enlarged his collection and brought it into a better structure. The first juan includes stories about emperors, the second such of empresses, princes and princesses, and the third juan miscellanous matters. Juan 4 to 17 include stories of important personalities from the Han 漢 (206 BCE-220 CE) to the Five Dynasties 五代 (907-960) periods. Juan 18 includes miscellaneous affairs, juan 19 stories of the examination system, and juan 20 stories of Daoist immortals. Although the range of the biographies included in the Guang zhuoyiji is very wide, it includes a lot of errors.
The book is preserved as a print from the Kangxi reign 康熙 (1662-1722) and is included in the collectanea Xunmintang congshu 遜敏堂叢書 and Biji xiaoshuo daguan 筆記小説大觀.


Source: Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (ed. 1996), Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 1, pp. 972, 973.

March 12, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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