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Chinese Literature
Yiwenji 異聞集 "Collection of Hearsay Stories of the Extraordinary"


The Yiwenji 異聞集 "Collection of hearsay stories of the extraordinary" is a collection of phantastic stories compiled by the Tang period 唐 (618-907) writer Chen Han 陳翰 (9th cent.). The original book of 10 juan "scrolls" length is already lost. The Song period 宋 (960-1279) encyclopedia Taiping guangji 太平廣記 quotes 20 stories from the Yiwenji, Zeng Zao's 曾慥 encyclopedia Leishuo 類說 includes 25 stories. There were more than fourty famous stories from the Tang period recorded in the Yiwenji, which are often transmitted separately, like Gujingji 古鏡記 "The old mirror", Zhenzhongji 枕中記 "Inside the wooden pillow", Renshizhuan 任氏傳 "Story of Master Ren", Li Wa zhuan 李娃傳 "Story of Li Wa", Huo Xiaoyu zhuan 霍小玉傳 "Story of Huo Xiaoyu", Nanke taishou zhuan 南柯太守傳 "The governor of Nanke", or Liu Yi zhuan 柳毅傳 "Story of Liu Yi". Most of them have only survived as quotations from the Yiwenji in other sources. There were also a lot of other Song period authors recording the titles of the stories recorded in the Yiwenji, like Chao Gongwu 晁公武 in his bibliography Junzhai dushu zhi 郡齋讀書志.

Source: Cheng Yizhong 程毅中 (1986). "Yiwenji 異聞集", in: Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Zhongguo wenxue 中國文學, vol. 2, p. 1167. Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe.

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November 28, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail