An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Nanchuang jitan 南窗記談

Aug 15, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald

Nanchuang jitan 南窗記談 "Discussions from the southern window", also written 南窻記談, is a biji 筆記 "brush notes" style book written by an anonymous person of the Song period 宋 (960-1279) . Lao Ge 勞格 says in his book Dushu zashi 讀書雜識 that the author was called Xu Du 徐度, but the scholar Yu Jiaxi 余嘉錫 (Siku tiyao bianzheng 四庫提要辨證) is of the opinion that Xu Du's original book was lost, and the transmitted Nanchuang jitan is a later compilation by someone else who simply assembled 20 different stories from other books to publish them under the title of Xu Du's lost text. This seems to have been a common method during the Song and Yuan 元 (1279-1368) periods that can also be observed in books like Moke huixi 墨客揮犀 or Dongnan jiwen 東南紀聞. The 23 stories included in the transmitted Nanchuang jitan are also to be found in the books Quwei jianwen 曲洧見聞 and Shilin yanyu 石林燕語. The stories deal with the lives of Northern Song 北宋 (960-1126) court officials, but also with the work of revising literary quotations. Some parts of the text have an inclination to fiction. The Nanchuang jitan is to be found in the reprint series Siku quanshu 四庫全書, Zhibuzuzhai congshu 知不足齋叢書, Mohai jinhu 墨海金壺, Zhucong bielu 珠叢別錄, Xuehai leibian 學海類編, Biji xiaoshuo daguan 筆記小說大觀, Congshu jicheng chubian 叢書集成初編.

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. 2148.