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Chinese Literature
Yixianzhuan 疑仙傳 "Doubtful Biographies of Immortals"


The Yixianzhuan 疑仙傳 "Doubtful biographies of immortals" is a collection of biographies of Daoist masters attributed to a certain Yu Jian 玉簡, also called Wang Jian 王簡 who is said to have lived during the Song period 宋 (960-1279). The 3 juan "scrolls" long book has been given this title because the author did not dare to speak openly of deities and immortals. It includes the biographies of 22 persons from the mid-Tang period 唐 (618-907) on. The language is quite course and unrefined, and some paragraphs even seem to be incomplete. The book has therefore not been included in the collectaneum Siku quanshu 四庫全書. It is neverthless listed among the books viewed by the compilation team. The latter used a copy owned by the scholar Ji Yun 紀昀. Other versions are included in the collectaneum Baoyantang miji 寶顏堂秘笈, and in the Daoist collectaneum Daozang jinghua lu 道藏精華錄.

Source: Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典, vol. 2, p. 2312. Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe.

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August 18, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail