An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Heshi yulin 何氏語林

Aug 15, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald

Heshi yulin 何氏語林 "Master He's forest of conversions" is a biji 筆記 "brush notes" style collection written by the Ming period 明 (1368-1644) scholar He Liangjun 何良俊. The style of the 30 juan "scrolls" long Heshi yulin stands in the tradition of the book Yulin 語林, also called Peishi yulin 裴氏語林 or Pei Qi yulin 裴啟語林, written by Pei Qi 裴啟 during the Jin period 晉 (265-420), but the arrangement follows the famous Shishuo xinyu 世說新語 of the Liang period 梁 (502-557) writer Liu Yiqing 劉義慶. It narrates 2,700 stories of scholars from the Han 漢 (206 BCE-220 CE) to the Yuan period 元 (1279-1368). Those are arranged in categories according to moral values or characteristics of behaviour. Each chapter (men 門) has a short preface in which the individual topic is discussed. This makes the greatest difference to the Shishuo xinyu. Additionally, each paragraph is commented in respect to its source and its background, similar to Liu Xiaobiao's 劉孝標 commentary to the Shishuo xinyu.
The earliest print was produced in 1550 by the author himself, first in the Qingsen Studio 清森閣, and then in the Fanjing Studio 翻經堂. The Heshi yulin is included in the imperial reprint series Siku quanshu 四庫全書. In 1983 the Shanghai guji press 上海古籍出版社 published a modern edition.

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. 2153.