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Chinese Literature
Peiwen yunfu 佩文韻府 "Rhyme Treasury of the Admiring Literature [Studio]"
Yunfu shiyi 韻府拾遺 "Addenda to the [Peiwen] yunfu"


The Peiwen yunfu 佩文韻府 is a very large dictionary compiled during the early Qing period 清 (1644-1911). It serves mainly to provide literary allusions and quotations from the vast field of poetry. It was compiled on imperial order under the guidance of Zhang Yushu 張玉書 (1642-1711). The compilation was undertaken between 1704 and 1711. In the original arrangement it was 106 juan "scrolls" long but during the Qianlong reign 乾隆 (1736-1795) it was rearranged into 444 juan and extented by a 112 juan long supplement making up omissions (Shiyi 拾遺). The name of the dictionary is derived from the Kangxi Emperor's 康熙 (1664-1722) study, the Peiwen Studio 佩文書齋.
It was compiled according to the example of earlier dictionaries, the Yunfu qunyu 韻府群玉 by Yin Shifu 陰時夫 from the Yuan period 元 (1279-1368) and the Wuche yunrui 五車韻瑞 by Ling Zhilong 淩稚隆 from the Ming period 明 (1368-1644). The characters to which literary allusions are provided are arranged in 106 rhyme groups according to the pingshui rhyme system 平水韻, with the sequence of level tone, falling-rising, falling and entering tones. For each of the 10,258 recorded characters pronunciation and meaning are provided first (yunzao 韻藻) as found in the older rhyme dictionaries, followed by additions assembled by Zhang Yushu (ceng 增). The various meanings of a character, a word or a word group is further highlighted by double-verse rhmyes (duiyu 對語) and quotations from poetry (zhaiju 摘句). The quotations of prose literature and poetry is arranged in the traditional sequence of Confucian Classics, history, masters, and finally belles-lettres. For each character, bisyllable words are given in which the character occupies the final position (weizi 尾字). The Peiwen yunfu is thus a kind of reverse dictionary, i. e. the opposite of a commonly used dictionary. It includes altogether more than 48,000 words and expressions. The literary allusions are mainly copied from encyclopedias and other dictionaries and are therefore highly infected with writing errors. Another shortcoming is that only the books are cited which were used for quotation, and not the chapter titles, which makes is difficult to locate the text in the original source. As for poems, only the author is mentioned and not the title of the poem. Nevertheless the strength of the Peiwen yunfu is that it provides an abundand treasury of quotations from each type of literature.
The Peiwen yunfu was printed in 1711 by the Imperial Household administration. It is included in the collectaneum Siku quanshu 四庫全書 and was printed during the Guangxu reign 光緒 (1875-1908 ) by the Haishan xianguan Studio 海山仙館 and in 1886 by the Tongwen press 同文書局 in Shanghai. The Shangwu yinshuguan press 商務印書館 published the Peiwen yunfu in the series Wanyou wenku erji 萬有文庫二集. This edition includes a four-corner index for a better finding of the lemmata. There is also a Japanese print by the Kōmonkan Studio 宏文館 from 1908. The Shanghai guji press 上海古籍出版社 published a faksimile of this edition in 1983.



The Yunfu shiyi 韻府拾遺 is a supplement to the early Qing period 清 (1644-1911) dictionary Peiwen yunfu 佩文韻府. It was written on imperial order by the scholar Zhang Tingyu 張廷玉. The 112 juan "scrolls" long book was finished in 1720. Each lemma is explained in two parts, firstly literary allusions missing in the Peiwen yunfu (buzao 補藻), and secondly additional explanations (buzhu 補注). The characters belonging to one rhyme group are included in one juan, except a few sections too large for a common juan size.
The Yunfu shiyi was printed by the Imperial Household in the year of its compilation. It is included in the collectaneum Siku quanshu 四庫全書.


Sources:
Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典, vol. 2, p. 2059. Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe.
Xiao Dongfa 肖東發 (1990). "Peiwen yunfu 佩文韻府", in: Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Xinwen chuban 新聞出版, pp. 228-229. Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe.


Chinese literature according to the four-category system

July 17, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail