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Chinese Literature
Shengshui yantan lu 澠水燕談錄 "Banquet Talks from River Sheng"


The Shengshui yantan lu 澠水燕談錄 "Banquet Talks from River Sheng", also called Shengshui yantan 澠水燕談, is a biji 筆記 "brush notes" style book written by the Northern Song period 北宋 (960-1126) scholar Wang Pizhi 王闢之 (1031-?, also erroneously written Wang Guanzhi 王關之 or Wang Pizhi 王辟之), courtesy name Wang Shengtu 王聖涂. He came from Qingzhou 青州 (modern Linzi 臨淄, Shandong) and served for many years as an official first on district, then on prefectural level, like governor (taishou 太守) of the commandery of Zhongzhou 忠州. When he retired he settled down on the banks of River Sheng 澠水. His 10 juan "scrolls" long book was finished in 1095. It included in the original version 360 stories, of which a few went lost (but with a supplement of 23 stories), and that are arranged in 17 chapters. These speak about the virtue of emperors, court factions, famous ministers, wise people, loyal and filial persons, talents, persons of a high moral conduct, the system of state offices, of stae examinations, the lives of the Confucian scholars, diviners, writers, painters and calligraphers, and ends with jokes and miscellaneous matters. The collection is important because it contains a lot of information on important persons of the time, like Fu Bi 富弼, Liu Yong 柳永, Wang Yucheng 王禹偁, Yang Yi 楊億, Su Shunqin 蘇舜欽, Shi Manqing 石曼卿, Su Dongpo 蘇東坡 (Su Shi 蘇軾), Han Qi 韓琦, Sima Guang 司馬光, Fan Zhongyan 范仲淹, Ouyang Xiu 歐陽修, Tian Xi 田錫, Cao Bin 曹彬 or Wang Deyong王德用, that are not to be found in other sources.
The Shengshui yantan lu is to be found in the collectanea Baihai 稗海, Zhibuzuzhai congshu 知不足齋叢書, Wuchao xiaoshuo 五朝小說, Biji xiaoshuo daguan 筆記小說大觀 and Congshu jicheng 叢書集成. In 1981 the Zhonghua shuju press 中華書局 published a modern edition with annotations by Lü Youren 呂友仁, in a joint edition with Ouyang Xiu's Guitianlu 歸田錄.


Sources:
Wu Feng 吳楓 (ed. 1987). Jianming Zhongguo guji cidian 簡明中國古籍辭典, Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe, p. 811.
Wu Feng 吳楓 (ed. 1994). Zhonghua gudian wenxian da cidian 中華古文獻大辭典, Wenxue 文學卷, Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe, p. 642.
Zheng Yunbo 鄭雲波 (ed. 1992). Zhongguo gudai xiaoshuo cidian, 中國古代小說辭典, Nanjing: Nanjing daxue chubanshe, p. 401.
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October 23, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail