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Chinese Literature
Moji 默記 "Records from the Silence"


There were two books with the title 默記 "Records from the silence", one written by the Three Kingdoms period 三國 (220-280) master Zhang Yang 張儼, who was Chamberlain for Dependencies (dahonglu 大鴻臚) in the state of Wu 吳 (222-280), and one written by the Song period 宋 (960-1279) master Wang Zhi 王銍.
Of Zhang Yan's book only fragments survive that were collected by the Qing period 清 (1644-1911) scholar Ma Guohan 馬國翰. They are to be found in Ma's collectaneum Yuhanshanfang jiyi shu 玉函山房輯佚書.
The other book with the title Moji was compiled by the Song period master Wang Zhi, courtesy name Wang Xingzhi 王性之. He came from Ruyin 汝陰 (modern Fuyang 阜陽, Anhui) and therefore styled himself Ruyin laomin 汝陰老民 "Old man from Ruyin". Wang Zhi flourished during the reign of Emperor Qinzong 宋欽宗 (r. 1125-1126). In the early Shaoxing reign 紹興 (1131-1162) he was appointed junior compiler (bianxiuguan 編修官) in the Bureau of Military Affairs (shumiyuan 樞密院), a position that enabled him to compiled the dynastic history Qichao guoshi 七朝國史 "Dynastic history of seven rules" that is unfortunately lost. Among his writings are the poetry critique Si-liu hua 四六話, the Xu qingye lu 續清夜錄, and his collected writings Yunxi ji 雲溪集.
The 3 juan "scrolls" long Moji is a collection of novellas and short-stories dealing with themes of the Northern Song 北宋 (960-1126) capital Biajing 汴京 (i.e. Kaifeng 開封, modern Kaifeng, Henan). Most of them are concerned with themes around the imperial court and can be termed "inofficial" histories because instead of being clearly written in a ficticious style, many of the events mentioned by the author can be traced historically. The most famous stories are Zhou Shizong er 周世宗兒, Xu Xuan 徐鉉, Yizu 藝祖, Shenzong 神宗 and Ouyang Wenzong 歐陽文宗. Wang Zhi's Moji is included in the collectanea Siku quanshu 四庫全書, Xuehai leibian 學海類編, Hanfenlou ji Songren xiaoshuo 涵芬樓輯宋人小說, Baichuan xuehai 百川學海, Gujin shuohai 古今說海, Lidai xiaoshi 歷代小史, Shuofu 說郛, Wuchao xiaoshuo 五朝小說, Zhibuzuzhai congshu 知不足齋叢書 and Shuoku 說庫.


Source: Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典, vol. 2, p. 2149. Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe.

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June 12, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail