An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Donglin dianjiang lu 東林點將錄

Aug 6, 2019 © Ulrich Theobald

Donglin dianjiang lu 東林點將錄 "Records of appointing members of the Donglin Faction" is a short collection of biographies of officials living under the eunuch "dictator" Wei Zhongxian 魏忠賢 (1568-1627) during the late Ming period 明 (1368-1644). It was often believed that the author of this collection was Ruan Dayue 阮大鋮 (1587-1646), courtesy name Jizhi 集之, style Yuanhai 圓海), but as Yu Jiaxi 余嘉錫 (1884-1955) has proved in his critical book Siku tiyao bianzheng 四庫提要辨證, there is more evidence that the author was Wang Shaohui 王紹徽 (jinshi degree 1598), a partisan of Wei Zhongxian who was later accused of corruption.

The inspiration for his collection came from the romance Shuihuzhuan 水滸傳, where the 108 heroes are posthumously "appointed" deities of individual stars. Wang used the brush to criticize exactly an identical number of officials of the anti-eunuch Donglin Faction conspiring against Wei Zhongxian. The text circulated in different versions. The most important of these is a manuscript once owned by Li Wentian 李文田 (1834-1895) which includes comments and is now kept in the Beijing Library 北京圖書館.

Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰, eds. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 1, 1007.