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Chinese Literature
Yu Chu zhi 虞初志 "Stories of Yu Chu"

Yu Chu zhi 虞初志 "Stories of Yu Chu", also called Lushi Yu Chu zhi 陸氏虞初志, is a collectaneum specialized on popular stories. It was compiled by a certain Master Lu 陸氏, probably Lu Cai 陸采 (Lu Ziyuan 陸子元), who lived during the Ming period 明 (1368-1644), came from Changzhou 長洲 (near modern Suzhou 蘇州, Jiangsu), and was a playwriter. His play Mingzhuji 明珠記 is theatre version of the Tang period 唐 (618-907) story Wushuangzhuan 無雙傳. He has also written the plays Nanxixiang 南西廂 and Huaixiangji 懷香記. The statement about Lu Cai's authorship can be found in the postface (ba 跋) to the collection Xu jiqieji 續齊諧記. The title of the collectaneum is derived from a Han period 漢 (206 BCE-220 CE) story collection called Yu Chu Zhoushuo 虞初周說, which included 943 stories, but has not survived. It is listed in the imperial bibliography Yiwenzhi 藝文志 in the official dynastic history Hanshu 漢書. Yu Chu 虞初 was the compiler or author of this collection.
The original version of the collectaneum was 7 juan "scrolls" long, but there are also editions divided into 8 juan. The collection includes 29 chapters of ghost stories or narratives about supernatural events, of which 17 are taken from Liang period 梁 (502-557) writer Wu Jun 吳均 (author of the Xu qixieji), and the eight other books from the Tang period, with 16 stories from Xue Yongruo's 薛用弱 Jiyiji 集異記, and 7 individual stories.
The Yu Chu zhi is especially noteworthy because none of the stories included are to be found in the vast Song period 宋 (960-1279) encyclopedia Taiping yulan 太平廣記. The storied had been selected with great care, according to their literary quality and after a critical review of the text. It was highly praised by the writers Tu Long 屠隆, Tang Xianzu 湯顯祖 and Yuan Hongdao 袁宏道. One shortcoming of the Yu Chu zhi is that the compiler, as was custom during the Ming period, invented authors for texts that were written by unknown persons. The story Lihunji 離魂記 for instance was attributed to Wei Zhuang 韋莊, Zhenzhongji 枕中記 to Li Mi 李泌, and the Wushuangzhuan 無雙傳 to Pei Yue 裴說.
The Qing period 清 (1644-1911) writer Zhang Chao 張潮 has compiled a book called Yu Chu xinzhi 虞初新志.
The Yu Chu zhi itself is included in Zhou Zhongfu's 周中孚 collectaneum Zhengtang dushu ji 鄭堂讀書記, published in 1937 by the Commercial Press 商務印書館.
A book with the same title is attributed to the playwriter Tang Xianzu 湯顯祖 (1550-1617), author of the play Mudanting 牧丹停. His Yu Chu zhi includes 31 chapters and selects stories from Wu Jun's 吳均 Xu qijieji 續齊諧記, Wang Du's 王度 Gujingji 古鏡記, and quotes Zhang Mi's 張泌 stories Jiang Chen zhuan 蔣琛傳 and Wei Andao zhuan 韋安道傳, Li Chaowei's 李朝威 Liu Yi zhuan 柳毅傳, Chen Hong's 陳鴻 Changhenzhuan 長恨傳, the Zhenzhongji 枕中記 by Li Mi 李泌 (or Shen Jiji 沈既濟) and the story Yingying zhuan 鶯鶯傳, attributed to Yuan Zhen 元稹. The latter few stories were rewritten by Ming period authors and adapted to modern taste and the usefulness for the theatre stage. The collection is therefore helpful to investigate the history of playwriting during the Yuan 元 (1279-1368) and Ming periods, and their adaptation of older stories. Tang Xianzu's Yu Chu zhi was published in 1917 by the Saoye shanfang Studio 掃葉山房 in Shanghai.

Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典, Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe, vol. 2, p. 2155.
Shanghai tushuguan 上海圖書館 (ed. 1982), Zhongguo congshu zonglu 中國叢書綜錄, vol 1, p. 757. Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe.
Wang Yunxi 王運熙 (1986). "Yuchuzhi 虞初志", in: Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Zhongguo wenxue 中國文學, Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe, vol. 2, p. 1181.
Wu Feng 吳楓 (ed. 1994). Zhonghua gu wenxian da cidian 中華古文獻大辭典, Wenxue 文學卷, Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe, p. 710.

虞初志 Yuchuzhi
(Ming) 湯顯祖 Tang Xianzu (? comp.)
書名, length in juan Title Author(s)
續齊諧記 一卷 Xu qixie ji (Liang) 吳均 Wu Jun
集異記 一卷 Jiyiji (Tang) 薛用弱 Xue Yongruo
離魂記 一卷 Lihunji (Tang) 韋莊 Wei Zhuang (or 陳玄祐 Chen Xuanyou)
虬髯客傳 一卷 Jiu Ranke zhuan (Tang) 張説 Zhang Yue (or [Former Shu] 杜光庭 Du Guangting)
柳毅傳 一卷 Liu Yi zhuan (Tang) 李朝威 Li Chengwei
紅線傳 一卷 Hongxianzhuan (Tang) 楊巨源 Yang Juyuan
長恨傳 一卷 Chenghenzhuan (Tang) 陳鴻 Chen Hong
韋安道傳 一卷 Wei Andao zhuan (Southern Tang) 張泌 Zhang Bi
周秦行紀 一卷 Zhou-Qin xingji (Tang) 牛僧孺 Niu Sengru
枕中記 一卷 Zhenzhongji (Tang) 李泌 Li Bi (or 沈既濟 Shen Jiji)
南柯記 一卷 Nankeji (Tang) 李公佐 Li Gongzuo
嵩岳嫁女記 一卷 Songyue jianü ji (Tang) 施肩吾 Shi Jianwu
廣陵妖亂志 一卷 Guangling yaoluan zhi (Tang) 羅隱 Luo Yin
崔少玄傳 一卷 Cui Shaoxuan zhuan (Tang) 王建 Wang Jian
南岳魏夫人傳 一卷 Nanyue Wei furen zhuan (Tang) 顏眞卿 Yan Zhenqing
無雙傳 一卷 Wushuangzhuan (Tang) 裴説 Pei Yue (or 薛調 Xue Diao)
謝小娥傳 一卷 Xie Xiao'e zhuan (Tang) 李公佐 Li Gongzuo
楊娼傳 一卷 Yang Chang zhuan (Tang) 李羣玉 Li Qunyu (or 房千里 Fang Qianli)
李娃傳 一卷 Li Wa zhuan (Tang) 白行簡 Bai Xingjian
鸎鸎傳 一卷 Yingying zhuan (Tang) 元稹 Yuan Zhen
霍小玉傳 一卷 Huo Xiaoyu zhuan (Tang) 蔣防 Jiang Fang
柳氏傳 一卷 Liushi zhuan (Tang) 許堯佐 Xu Yaozuo
非煙傳 一卷 Feiyanzhuan (Tang) 皇甫枚 Huangfu Mei
高力士外傳 一卷 Gao lishi waizhuan (Tang) 郭湜 Guo Ti
東城老父傳 一卷 Dongcheng laofu zhuan (Tang) 陳鴻 Chen Hong
古鏡記 一卷 Gujingji (Sui) 王度 Wang Du
冥音錄 一卷 Mingyinlu (Tang) 朱慶餘 Zhu Qingyu
任氏傳 一卷 Renshi zhuan (Tang) 沈旣濟 Shen Jiji
蔣氏傳 (蔣琛傳) 一卷 Jiangshi zhuan (Jiang Chen zhuan) (Tang) 張泌 Zhang Bi
東陽夜怪錄 一卷 Dongyang yeguai lu (Tang) 王洙 撰
白猿傳 一卷 Baiyuanzhuan (Tang) 江揔 Jiang Cong
Shanghai tushuguan 上海圖書館 (ed. 1982), Zhongguo congshu zonglu 中國叢書綜錄, vol 1, p. 757. Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe.
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September 29, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail