An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Kongshi zhiguai 孔氏志怪

Oct 3, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald

Kongshi zhiguai 孔氏志怪 "Master Kong's ghost stories" is an early collection of phantastic stories compiled by a Jin period 晉 (265-420) master with the family name Kong 孔. There are two other story collections with the same title, one by the the Eastern Jin period 東晉 (317-420) writer Zu Taizhi 祖台之, the Zu Taizhi zhiguai 祖台之志怪 and another book called called Cao Pi zhiguai 曹毗志怪 from the Later Han period 後漢 (25-220 CE). A book with a similar title is Master Zhi's Zhiguaiji 殖氏志怪記, also from the Later Han period.
The 4 juan "scrolls" long Kongshi zhiguai is first mentioned as a "miscellaneous biography" (zazhuan 雜傳) in the imperial bibliography Jingjizhi 經籍志 in the official dynastic history Suishu 隋書. The bibliography in the history Xintangshu 新唐志 classifies it as a "novella" (xiaoshuo 小說). It includes stories of miraculous events, supernatural phenomena or persons with magic powers, like the distant communication of Zhong Hui 鍾會 with his uncle Xun Jibei 荀濟北 with the help of calligraphy and paintings, or the story of the youth of Zhou Chu 周處 that has later found entry in the famous book Shishuo xinyu 世說新語. The original book is long lost, but the Republican scholar Lu Xun 魯迅 was able to assemble ten fragments in his reprint series Gu xiaoshuo gouchen 古小說鉤沉.

Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典, vol. 2, p. 2167. Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe.