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Chinese Literature
Qingshizi 青史子 "Master Spring Scribe"


The Qingshizi 青史子 "Master Spring Scribe" is an early collection of stories compiled by an unknown author during the Jin period 晉 (265-420). The Song period 宋 (960-1279) encyclopedia Tongzhi 通志 quotes from the book Yingxianzhuan 英賢傳 in which it is said that the author was the son of the grand scribe (taishi 太史) Dong Hu 董狐 and owned a tract of land called Qingshi 青史. Qingshi might also be a kind of official title that later transformed into a family name, like Nanshi 南史. In Liang Yusheng's 梁玉繩 book Gujin renbiao kao 古今人表考 it is explained that the qingshi was responsible for the spring, while the the nanshi managed the affairs of the summer. The duty of the qingshi as a kind of archival scribe can be seen in the stories of the book Qingshizi that all have semi-historiographical character. The imperial bibliography Yiwenzhi 藝文志 in the official dynastic history Hanshu 漢書 lists the Qingshizi among the "stories and novellas" (xiaoshuo 小說) and remarks that is included 57 chapters. The collection still existed during the Liang period 梁 (502-557) but was lost during the early Tang 唐 (618-907). The stories included in the Qingshizi mostly dealt with matters of ritual regulations and customs and was thus a specialized collection. The Qing period 清 (1644-1911) scholar Ma Guohan 馬國翰 collected fragments surviving as quotations in other books and compiled the collectaneum Yuhan shanfang jiyi shu 玉函山房輯佚書.

Source: Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典, vol. 2, p. 2137. Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe.

Chinese literature according to the four-category system

September 12, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail