By Glen Dudbridge
The anecdotal literature of late-medieval China isn't really unknown, however it is under-used. Glen Dudbridge explores collections of anecdotal memoirs to build an intimate portrait of the 1st 1/2 the 10th century as visible via those that lived via it. the writer Wang Renyu's grownup lifestyles coincided heavily with that interval, and his memoirs, although in some way transmitted, should be mostly recovered from encyclopaedia quotations. His event led from formative years at the north-west border with Tibet, via carrier with the dominion of Shu, to a mainstream occupation lower than 4 successive dynasties in northern China. He bore own witness to a couple nice occasions, but additionally travelled largely and transcribed fabric from a life of conversations with colleagues within the imperial Hanlin Academy.
The examine first units Wang's lifestyles in its ancient context and discusses the character and cost of his memoirs. It then pursues a couple of underlying subject matters that run during the collections, providing approximately eighty designated goods in translation. jointly those supply a characterization of an age of inter-regional battle during which person lives, no longer grand old narrative, shape the focal point. A nuanced self-portrait of the writer emerges, combining positive aspects that appear alien to fashionable values with others that appear extra familiar.
Four appendixes provide the textual content of the author's tombstone epitaph; an in depth checklist of his surviving memoir goods; info from music catalogues at the early transmission of his writings; and Wang Renyu's personal definition of the 4 musical modes inherited from the Tang dynasty.
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Additional info for A Portrait of Five Dynasties China: From the Memoirs of Wang Renyu (880-956)
855–9. 4a. 349–50. This source names Wang’s host in 938 as Gao Jixing, but by then he had been dead for nine years. That the host was actually his son Gao Conghui is conﬁrmed by the source in the previous note. 1076. The epitaph gives this appointment as ‘Left Grand Master of Remonstrance’. 94 The bland sequence of important ofﬁces of state masks dismal scenes in north China through those years of the early 940s. Wang’s epitaph puts it grimly: Towards the end of the Jin dynasty powerful ofﬁcials took control, and dynastic governance was shared among many.
He fully entrusted to him all duties of documentary drafting. The Master made this personal declaration: ‘It was with my encouragement that my commander rejected your pact. ’ His words were frank, and his looks severe. The Prince of Lu thought this a stalwart performance. He had him ride in the rear carriage, following the imperial war chariot. All instructions, regulations, decrees and edicts issued from Wang’s hand. When a prior announcement was needed to reassure the capital city, [Wang] composed it impromptu on the spot.
120, this chapter. 135 For a detailed study of the textual legacy of Taiping guang ji see Zhang Guofeng 張國風, Taiping guang ji banben kaoshu 太平廣記版本考述 (Beijing: Zhonghua, 2004); also the same author’s article ‘Hanguo suo cang T’ae p’yŏng kwang ki sang chŏl de wenxian jiazhi’ 韓國所藏 《太平廣記詳節》的文獻價值, Wenxue yichan 文學遺產 2002/4, 75–85. An eight-volume translation, reprint, and critical study of T’ae p’yŏng kwang ki sang chŏl was published in Seoul, 2005: see List of Works Cited, p. 261. 136 See Li Jianguo 李劍國, ‘Li Wa zhuan yiwen kaobian ji qita’ 李娃傳疑文考辨及其他, Wenxue yichan 文學遺產, 2007/3, 76.