An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Qingyilu 清異錄

Sep 2, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald

Qingyilu 清異錄 "Records of Pure Marvels" is a biji 筆記 "brush notes" style book compiled by the early Song period 宋 (960-1279) scholar Tao Gu 陶穀 (?-970), courtesy name Tao Xiushi 陶秀實. He came from Xinping 新平 in the prefecture of Binzhou 邠州 (modern Binxian 彬縣, Shaanxi) and was a grandson of Tang Yanqian 唐彥謙. In order to pay respect to the Tang dynasty 唐 (618-907) he changed his family name to Tao. Tao Gu served the Five Dynasties 五代 (907-960) in several offices and was appointed Minister of Revenue (hubu shangshu 戶部尚書) when the Song dynasty was founded. The 2 juan "scrolls" long book includes 37 small chapters with 618 paragraphs on many different encyclopedic matters like astronomy, geography, botany, eating and drinking or tools and implements. Each chapter is diligently commented. The language of the book is very elegant and displays a fresh style, so that Chen Zhensun 陳振孫 says in his bibliograpy Zhizhai shulu jieti 直齋書錄解題 that it is doubtful if this book was compiled in the early Song period. Yet the Ming period 明 (1368-1644) scholar Hu Yinglin 胡應麟 says in his book Shaoshi shanfang< bicong 少室山房筆叢 that Tao Gu was without doubt the author of the book, an opinion what was followed by the compilers of the imperial reprint series Siku quanshu. Yet Yu Jiaxi 余嘉錫, author of the critical comentary Siku qiyao bianzheng 四庫提要辨證, supports the assumption of Chen Zhensun that the book is a forgery.
The oldest surviving print was made by Ye Cheng's 叶盛 Luzhu Hall 菉竹堂 in 1572. Another Ming print was produced by Tao Yuanzhu 陶元柱, and there are two surviving Qing period 清 (1644-1911) prints, one by Chen Shixiu's 陳世修 Shuliu Hall 漱六閣, in a joint edition with the book Biaoyilu 表異錄. The Qingyilu is included in the reprint series Baoyantang miji 寶顏堂秘笈, Tang-Song congshu 唐宋叢書, Shuofu 說郛 (all with a length of 4 juan 四卷), Siku quanshu and Xiyinxuan congshu 惜陰軒叢書 (with 2-juan versions).

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. 2142.