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Chinese Literature
Luyizhuan 錄異傳 "Records of Extraordinary Biographies"


The Luyizhuan 錄異傳 "Records of extraordinary biographies", also called Luyiji 錄異記 "Records of extraordinary tales", is a collection of phantastic stories compiled by an unknown person during the Eastern Jin period 東晉 (317-420) . The Luyizhuan is not mentioned in early bibliographies, but often quoted in encyclopedias like Beitang shuchao 北堂書鈔, Yiwen leiju 藝文類聚, Chuxue guangji 初學廣記, Taiping guangji 太平廣記 and Taiping yulan 太平御覽. The original book is lost, but 27 fragments have survived that are assembled in Lu Xun's 魯迅 collectaneum Gu xiaoshuo gouchen 古小說鉤沉 from the Republican period (1911-1949). Nine fragments are to be found in the book Wenyan xiaoshuo 文言小說 by Li Gefei 李格非 and Wu Zhida 吳志達. A lot of the stories surviving are also to be found in similar story collection. The most famous stories are Ziyu 紫玉, that narrates how the pharmacist Yan Daofu 巖到富 found a purple jade stone that from time to time transformed into a beautiful girl, or the story Mudiao 木雕 which deals with carved wood figurines of bird and a man that were able to interact with each other. The story Ruyuan 如愿 narrates another love story of a man with a daughter of god. Besides love stories, there are also accounts of strange events like that of the daughter of Hu Xi 胡熙 who gives birth to a ghost without being married to a man. The story of Zou Lan 鄒覽 reports the sad fate of a boy that weeps his death mother because she is forced to marry another man. Wang Gengsheng 王更生 becomes governor (taishou 太守) after his retainer Li Gao 李高 had contact with a local deity. The "headless general" 無頭將軍 Jia Yong 賈雍 lives on after his death and leads his troops into battle.
There is another collection with the title Luyiji written by the Daoist master Du Guangting 杜光庭 who lived in the state of Former Shu 前蜀 (907-925) during the 10th century.


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. 571. Xi'an: Shaanxi renmin chubanshe.
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. 2170.
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October 5, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail