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Chinese Literature
Guozi 郭子 "Master Guo"


The Guozi 郭子 "Master Guo" is an early collection of stories written by the Southern Dynasties period 南朝 (420~589) scholar Guo Chengzhi 郭澄之. Guo Chengzhi, courtesy name Guo Zhongjing 郭仲靜, came from Yangqu 陽曲 (modern Yangqu, Shanxi) and served as an attendant (congshi zhonglang 從事中郎) of the chief counsellor of Emperor Wu 宋武帝 (r. 420-422) of the Song dynasty 劉宋 (420-479). He was enfeoffed as Marquis of Nanfeng 南豐侯. The 1 juan "scroll" long Guozi includes stories about and discussion between members of the upper class during the Jin period 晉 (265-420). Although not very strong in literary respect, the Guozi is a kind of historiographical document and also an example for the genre of semi-historical literature in which the vanity of fame and glory plays an important role. The most famous stories are Yugong wei Qing wang gong 庾公位傾王公, Zhang Ping yi Liu Zhenchang 張憑詣劉真長, Bishi mao shi jiu wu du 畢世茂嗜酒無度, Xu Yun qu chou fu 許允娶丑婦 or 賈公閭女悦韓壽. The Guozi was written earlier than the famous Shishuo xinyu 世說新語 and can be seen as a precursor to this important genre book, for which more than 70 paragraphs were copied from the Guozi. In ancient bibliographies the Guozi is listed with a length of 3 juan. There was a commentary written by Jia Quan 賈泉. Both are lost. The Qing period 清 (1644-1911) scholar Ma Guohan 馬國翰 collected surviving fragments that are to be found in his collectaneum Yuhan shanfang jiyi shu 玉函山房輯佚書, as well as in 魯迅 story collection Gu xiaoshuo gouchen 古小說鉤沉.

Source: Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典, vol. 2, p. 2138. Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe.

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September 12, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail