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Lishi 隸釋 and Lixu 隸續

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Lishi 隸釋 "Analysis of writings in chancery script" is a catalogue of calligraphic works compiled by the Song period 宋 (960-1279) collector Hong Shi 洪適 (1117-1184). He has also written the collection Lixu 隸續, a supplement to the Lishi. His collected works are the Panzhouji 盤洲集. The 27 juan "scrolls" long Lishi was finished in 1166. While earler catalogues like Ouyang Xiu's 歐陽修 Jigulu 集古錄 or Zhao Mingcheng's 趙明誠 Jinshilu 金石錄 have more the character of listings of and comments on inscriptions, the Lishi is the first books that includes original texts of tomb stone inscriptions. Hong Shi transcribed the chancery script style (lishu 隸書) inscriptions of the Eastern Han period 後漢 (25-220 CE) into modern standard script style (kaishu 楷書). The Lishi includes 258 inscriptions of tomb stones (front inscription beiwen 碑文 and inscription on the back side beiyin 碑陰) from the Han period and 17 from the Wei 曹魏 (220-265) and Jin 晉 (265-420) periods, as well as the inscriptions of more than 20 bronze and iron objects. It is enriched by a lot of original illustrations to show the chancery style characters and by the description of the stone slabs (beitu 碑圖) on which the inscriptions were incised. This is very rarely seen among Chinese collectors. For each inscription, Hong Shi provides a discussion and research.
It seems that there was a joint edition of the Lishi and the Lixu during the Song period, but there is no trace of such a print. In the early Qing period 清 (1644-1911), only a print from the Wanli reign 萬曆 (1573-1619) was in circulation with a length of 19 juan. The Lixu was only available as a manuscript. During the Qianlong reign 乾隆 (1736-1795) both books were printed by Wang Rixiu 汪日秀, still with the fragmentary version of the Lishi, but with comments quoted from the books Liyun 隸韻, Ziyuan 字原, Shimo juanhua 石墨鐫華 and Jinxie linlang 金薤琳瑯. During the Tongzhi reign 同治 (1862-1874) this edition was reprinted by the Huimu Studio 晦木齋 together with Huang Pilie's 黃丕烈 critical commentary Lishi kanwu 隸釋刊誤. Wang Lu 王鷺 published a 27 juan long edition that included the fragmentary Lishi, the Shuijingzhu beimu 水經注碑目, part of the the Jigulu, of Ouyang Fei's 歐陽棐 Jigulu mu 集古錄目, part of the Jinshilu and the anonymous Tianxia beilu 天下碑錄. The Lishi helps amending errors in transmitted texts, like a confusion of the characters 巡, 循 and 遁, or 莊 and 嚴, or unusual variants like {七/木} for 末 or 柒.
The Lixu has a length of 21 juan and was finished in 1167. Later editors included the chapter Litu 隸圖 that was originally a single book. It is also only preserved fragmentary.
The Lishi in included in the collectanea Siku quanshu 四庫全書 and Sibu congkan sanbian 四部叢刊三編.

Sources: Zhao Chao 趙超 (1992), "Lishi he Lixu 隸釋和隸續", in Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe 中國大百科全書, Wenwu bowuguan 文物•博物館 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), p. 306. ● Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (ed. 1996), Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 1, p. 1482.

March 18, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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