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Chinese Literature
Guyizhuan 古異傳 "Ancient Biographies of Freaks"


The Guyizhuan 古異傳 "Ancient biographies of freaks" is a collection of stories compiled by the Liu-Song period 劉宋 (420-479) scholar Yuan Wangshou 袁王壽 (also called Yuan Renshou 袁仁壽 or Yuan Shengshou 袁生壽). The 3 juan "scrolls" long text is first mentioned as a "miscellaneous biography" (zazhuan 雜傳) in the imperial bibliography Jingjizhi 經籍志 of the official dynastic history Shuishu 隋書. The bibliography in the Jiutangshu 舊唐書 calls it erroneously Shiyizhuan 石異傳 or Youyizhuan 右異傳 and names the author Yuan Renshou. The political encyclopedia Cefu yuangui 冊府元龜 calls him Yuan Shengshou. In the bibliography of the history Xintangshu 新唐書 the book is included in the novella (xiaoshuo 小說) section. The original text is long lost, yet the Republican scholar Lu Xun 魯迅 has found one surviving fragment, the story of a woodpecker, that is included in his collectaneum Gu xiaoshuo gouchen 古小說鉤沉. The fragment is quoted in the book Yuzhu baodian 玉燭寶典 and the encyclopedia Shiwu jiyuan 事物紀原.

Sources:
Li Shuihai 李水海 (ed. 1994). Zhongguo xiaoshuo da cidian 中國小說大辭典, Xian-Qin zhi Nanbeichao 先秦至南北朝, p. 705. Xi'an: Shaanxi renmin chubanshe.
Zheng Yunbo 鄭雲波 (ed. 1992). Zhongguo gudai xiaoshuo cidian 中國古代小說辭典. p. 14. Nanjing: Nanjing daxue chubanshe.


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October 5, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail