An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Qiuchi biji 仇池筆記

Aug 19, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald

Qiuchi biji 仇池筆記 "Brush records of Chouchi" is a "brush-notes"-style book (biji 筆記) written during the Northern Song period 北宋 (960-1126) by Su Shi 蘇軾 (1037-1101).

The Qiuchi biji can be seen as a sister-work of the book Dongpo zhilin 東坡志林 and likewise records miscellaneous matters of hearsay. The arrangement of the two books is also very similar. The compilers of the imperial series Siku quanshu 四庫全書 doubted that a heterogeneous book like the 2-juan-long Qiuchi biji was a product of the great master Su Shi because it can be shown that the author of the text was not a real expert in the question of poetry and quoted ancient masters in a quite dilettantish way. Yet modern scholars do not follow these arguments and assume that the Qiuchi biji was, like the Dongpo zhilin, a publication of notes that were part of the literary bequest of Su Shi.

The Qiuchi biji includes 138 paragraphs, 36 of which are also to be found in the Dongpo zhilin. The themes of the book are very varied and cover literary studies, remarks on the administrative system, customs and habits, geography, contemporary history and religion. Some of them are the result of personal experience. Literary critique plays an important part in the book.

It is not known when the Qiuchi biji was printed first. It is included in Zeng Zao's 曾慥 (early 12th cent.) collection Leishuo 類說, and in the series Siku quanshu, Songren xiaoshuo 宋人小說, Taoyuan congshu 弢園叢書, Tang-Song congshu 唐宋叢書 and Congshu jicheng chubian 叢書集成初編. In 1983 the Huadong Shifan Daxue Guji Yanjiusuo 華東師範大學古籍研究所 published a critical edition in a joint edition with the Dongpo zhilin.

Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰, eds. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 2, 1948.