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Chinese Literature
Guiyuan congtan 桂苑叢談 "Dense Talks from the Cassia Garden"


The Guiyuan congtan 桂苑叢談 "Dense Talks from the Cassia Garden" is a collection of stories compiled by the Five Dynasties period 五代 (907-960) scholar "Fengyizi Zixiu 馮翊子子休". The commented bibliography Junzhai dushu houzhi 郡齋讀書後志 explains that his family name was in fact Yan 嚴, Fengyizi 馮翊子 his style, and his courtesy name Zixiu 子休. The short book narrates 28 stories form the late Tang period 唐 (618-907), particularly the reigns of the Emperors Xizong 唐僖宗 (r. 873-888) and Zhaozong 唐昭宗 (r. 888-904). The first ten stories are ghost stories of the zhiguai 志怪 genre, and the rest historical narratives. Of these, twelve tell events from the Tang period, while the others such from the Southern and Northern Dynasties period 南北朝 (300~600). The text of the transmitted version of the book is infortunately not in a good state.
The Guiyuan congtan is included in the collectanea Baoyantang miji 寶顏堂秘笈, Siku quanshu 四庫全書, Shuofu 說郛, Xu baichuan xuehai 續百川學海, Wuchao xiaoshuo 五朝小說, Tangren shuohui 唐人說薈, Tangdai congshu 唐代叢書, Gujin shuobu congshu 古今說部叢書, Guang sishijia xiaoshuo 廣四十家小說 and Congshu jicheng 叢書集成. In 1958 the Zhonghua shuju 中華書局 published a modern edition.


Source: 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. 2149.

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September 2, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail