An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Beilizhi 北里志

Nov 28, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald

Beilizhi 北里志 "Records from the northern village" is a collection of short stories from the Tang period 唐 (618-907) written by Sun Qi 孫棨 (late 9th century), courtesy name Sun Wenwei 孫文威. The book is only one juan "scroll" long and was finished in 884. It records in 15 chapters stories about the singing girls (geji 歌妓) of the village of Beipingkangli 北平康里 north of the capital Chang'an 長安 (modern Xi'an 西安, Shaanxi). It is therefore a very interesting source for the social history of the urban middle class of the Tang period, and especially of singsong girls visited by them. The Beilizhi also quotes some poems composed by girls and their guests. Some of the guests are even mentioned by name, with some commentaries to clarify their identity.
There are Ming period 明 (1368-1644) prints surviving in the reprint series Xu baichuan xuehai 續百川學海 and Gujin shuohai 古今說海. In 1957 the Gudian wenxue press 古典文學出版社 published a modern edition in a joint version with the texts Jiaofangji 教坊記 and Qinglouji 青樓集.

Cass, Victoria (1986). "Pei-li chih 北里志", in William H. Nienhauser, ed. The Indiana Companion to Traditional Chinese Literature (Bloomington/Indianapolis: Indiana University Press), 650.
Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典, Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe, vol. 2, p. 2139.
Zhu Jincheng 朱金城 (1986). "Beilizhi 北里志", in: Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Zhongguo wenxue 中國文學, vol. 1, p. 40. Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe.