An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Beixuan biji 北軒筆記

Aug 15, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald

Beixuan biji 北軒筆記 "Brush notes from the Northern Study" is a "brush-notes"-style book (biji 筆記) written during the late Yuan period 元 (1279-1368) by Chen Shilong 陳世隆, courtesy name Yangao 彥高.

He hailed from Qiantang 錢塘 (modern Hangzhou 杭州, Zhejiang) and was a grandson of the brother of the late Song-period publisher Chen Si 陳思 (c. 1250). Chen died during the turmoils at the end of the Yuan period. He was an excellent scholar with a deep understanding of traditional texts, and also a good poet. Of his poems, only a part has survived that was to be found in the poetry collection Songshi buyi 宋詩補遺, but because the latter is lost, the Beixuan biji is the only surviving text of Chen Shilong.

The short book includes a lot of paragraphs on history, but also some on the Confucian Classics and other types of writings. It is highly interesting as an expert's comments on certain interesting topics in ancient writings. The only chapter that has the character of fiction is that about the monk Jingru 靜如.

The Beixuan biji is included in the series Zhibuzuzhai congshu 知不足齋叢書, Xuehai leibian 學海類編, Siku quanshu 四庫全書, Biji xiaoshuo daguan 筆記小說大觀 and Congshu jicheng chubian 叢書集成初編.

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. 2, 1965.
Zheng Yunbo 鄭雲波, ed. (1992). Zhongguo gudai xiaoshuo cidian 中國古代小說辭典 (Nanjing: Nanjing daxue chubanshe), 444.