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Chinese Literature
Ganzhuji 紺珠集 "Collection of Purple Beads"


The Ganzhuji 紺珠集 "Collection of Purple Beads" is a collection of stories compiled by an anonymous author of the Tang period 唐 (618-907). According to the Song period 宋 (960-1279) bibliography Junzhai dushu zhi 郡齋讀書志 the 13 juan "scrolls" long book was said to be a compilation of Zhu Shengfei 朱勝非, which the bibliographer Chao Gongwu 晁公武 doubts, as a collection of stories from various other texts. According to an old saying there was a certain Zhang Yangong 張燕公 (Zhang Yue 張説) who owned a string of purple beads (ganzhu 紺珠) with the help of which he was able to remember everything without noting it down in a notebook. The book begins with a preface written by Wang Zongzhe 王宗哲, magistrate (ling 令) of Guanyang 灌陽 and dated 1137. Wang says that he did not known when and by whom the book was written, but the dates of life of Zhu Shengfei are known exactly. It might therefore be that the Ganzhuji was written before the Song period. The arrangement of the text is similar to Zeng Zao's 曾慥 collection Leishuo 類說, but it quotes only half as much books as the latter, and much different books than the Leishuo. The Ganzhuji can therefore serve as a very interesting source of stories from ancient times. It is to be found in the collectanea Baijinglou congshu 拜經樓叢書 and Siku quanshu 四庫全書.

Source: Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典, Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe, vol. 2, p. 2004.
Chinese literature according to the four-category system

August 28, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail