An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Da-Tang xinyu 大唐新語

Sep 2, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald

Da-Tang xinyu 大唐新語 "New Stories from the Great Tang", occasionally called Tangxinyu 唐新語 is a collection of stories compiled by the Tang period 唐 (618-907) scholar Liu Su 劉肅, about whom practically nothing is known. The 13 juan "scrolls" long Da-Tang xinyu imitates the structure of the novella collection Shishuo xinyu 世說新語 and is divided into 30 chapters by which persons are classified according to categories of moral, character and conduct. All persons described lived between the foundation of the Tang and the Dali reign 大歷 (766-779). The stories center around politics and questions of propriety and education. The book includes a preface and a general discussion (Zonglun 總論) in which the author explains that he compiled the book to provide a mirror of the past to his contemporarians. It includes not a few quotatoins from poems and literary critique, and is therefore also an important source for the history of Tang poetry.
The earliest print from the Ming period 明 (1368-1644) calls the book Tang shishuo xinyu 唐世說新語. The Tangxinyu is to be found in the reprint series Siku quanshu 四庫全書, Baihai 稗海, Biji xiaoshuo daguan 筆記小說大觀, Congshu jicheng chubian 叢書集成初編, Shuofu 說郛, Tangren shuohui 唐人說薈 and Tangdai congshu 唐代叢書. In 1984 the Zhonghua shuju press 中華書局 published a modern edition with annotations by Xu Denan 許德楠 and Li Dingxia 李鼎霞.

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. 2138.