An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Cangyi huayu 藏一話腴

Aug 15, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald

Cangyi huayu 藏一話腴 "Talks about fruitfulness by the Master Storing the Unity" is a "brush-notes"-style book (biji 筆記) written during the Southern Song period 宋 (960-1279) by Chen Yu 陳郁 (d. 1275), courtesy name Zhongwen 仲文, style Cangyi 藏一.

He hailed from Linchuan 臨川 in the prefecture of Fuzhou 撫州 (modern Fuzhou, Jiangxi), and was robes provisioner (?) of the Jixi Hall 緝熙殿, and also lecturer in the Eastern Palace during the reign of Emperor Lizong 宋理宗 (r. 1224-1264). Chen Yu's son Chen Shichong 陳世崇 wrote the book Suiyin manlu 隨隱漫錄, in which he says that Emperor Duzong 宋度宗 (r. 1264-1274) admired Chen Yu's prose writings and poetry. Chen Yu's ardency of writing, as well as his honest character are praised in the preface of the Cangyi huayu that was written by Yue Ke 岳珂 (1183-1243).

In the 4-juan-long book Chen Yu collected a lot of stories about the history of the Song dynasty, and added also some paragraphs including poetry critique, including comments on his own writings. The text is divided into two collections (Jiaji 甲集, Yiji 乙集). Yue Ke stressed that Chen Yu had selected for his text only solid statements from the Classics and the histories, and had left out stories about bizarre occurrences, jokes, exaggerations, and unbelievable passages, so that his book is a reliable and praiseworthy collection of themes. Yet the compilers of the imperial series Siku quanshu 四庫全書 found some paragraphs where Chen Yu quotes two poems that rather belong to popular compositions than to high-standing literature. They also criticized Chen Yu for his statements about the biographies of Confucius 孔子 and Yu Rang 豫讓 (d. c. 453 BCE) in the history Shiji 史記, and for his failure to check Han Yu's 韓愈 (768-824) text for the tomb inscription for Li Xuzhong 李虛中 (761-813).

The Cangyi huayu is included in the series Siku quanshu, Shiyuan congshu 適園叢書, Shuofu 說郛, Jiuxiaoshuo 舊小說, Baichuan xuehai 百川學海, Gujin shuohai 古今說海, Wuchao xiaoshuo 五朝小說, Wuchao xiaoshuo daguan 五朝小說大觀, Shuohai leibian 說海類編 and Yuzhang congshu 豫章叢書 (including the text-critical annotations by Wei Yuanguang 魏元曠 and Hu Sijing 胡思敬).

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, 1959.
Zhang Lingxiang 張玲祥 (1996). "Cangyi huayu 藏一話腴", in Jiang Zuyi 蔣祖怡, Chen Zhuichun 陳志椿, eds. Zhongguo shihua cidian 中國詩話辭典 (Beijing: Beijing chubanshe), 369.
Zhou Ting 周婷 (2014). "Cangyi huayu zhong de shige lilun yanjiu 《藏一話腴》中的詩歌理論研究", Jilin Sheng Jiaoyu Xueyuan xuebao 吉林省教育學院學報(下旬), 2014 (6): 121-122.