An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Tangwencui 唐文粹

Nov 27, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald
Tangwencui 唐文粹

Tangwencui 唐文粹 is an anthology of Tang-period 唐 (618-907) writings. The book of 100 juan length was compiled during the Northern Song period 北宋 (960-1126) by Yao Xuan 姚鉉 (967-1020), courtesy name Baozhi 寶之, from Luzhou 廬州 (today's Hefei 合肥, Anhui).

Yao's objective was to present a collection of simple and pure old-style writings which he thought can serve as examples for contemporary literature. The writings are divided into more than 20 categories, which each are divided into sub-categories.

The version included in the series Sibu congkan 四部叢刊 is a facsimile of a Song-period print.

Table 1. Contents of the Tangwencui 唐文粹
1.-9. 古賦 Old-style rhapsodies
10.-18. Regular poems
19.-22. Eulogies
23.-24. Encomia
25.-30. 表奏書疏 Memorials, memoranda
30. 制䇿 Edicts and patents
31.-33. Prose texts
34.-38. Treatises
39.-42. Discussions
43.-49. 古文 Old-style texts
50.-65. Stele inscriptions
66.-70. Inscriptions
71.-77. Records
78. 箴誡銘 Admonitions, inscriptions
79.-90. Letters
91.-98. Prefaces
99.-100. 傳錄紀事(讀傳附) Biographies and records (app. Notes on biographies)

Tangwencui buyi 唐文粹補遺

During the Qing period 清 (1644-1911), Guo Lin 郭麟 (1767-1831) compiled a supplement to Yao's Tangwencui, the anthology Tangwencui buyi 唐文粹補遺 with a length of 26 juan. Some critics say that the term buyi ("complement") would not make sense because the Tangwencui is just a selection without any claim for completeness. The anthology was published in 1814, before the publication of the collection Quantangwen 全唐文, the complete prose writings of the Tang period, and therefore attracted some attention. It includes 247 prose writings that are arranged in chronological order, and include – in contrast to the Tangwencui - discussions (yi 議), discourses (bian 辨), admonitions (zhen 箴), and inscriptions (ming 銘), as well as Buddhist and Daoist stele inscriptions (beizhi 碑志). It also adds the genre of conduct descriptions (xingzhuang 行狀). Guo's supplement was republished in 1883 by the Jiangsu Press 江蘇書局.

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