An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Wenjian houlu 聞見後錄

Aug 28, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald

Wenjian houlu 聞見後錄 "Later Records of Hearsay", full title Henan Shaoshi wenjian houlu 河南邵氏聞見後錄, is a biji 筆記 "brush notes" style book written by the Song period 宋 (960-1279) scholar Shao Bo 邵博 (died 1158), courtesy name Shao Gongji 邵公濟. He came from Luoyang 洛陽 (modern Luoyang, Henan) and was a grandson of the early Neo-Confucian philosopher Shao Yong 邵雍. His career included the posts of editor (jiaoshulang 校書郎) of the Right Grand Master for Court Service (you chaofeng dafu 右朝奉大夫) and of the Director of the Palace Library (mishujian jiaoshulang 秘書監), examining editor (jiantao 檢討) in the Court of Veritable Records (shiluyuan 實錄院), and also of prefect (zhizhou 知州). The 30 juan "scrolls" long book was finished in 1157 and was written as a supplement or continuation of his father's book Wenjian qianlu 聞見前錄 (originally named Shaoshi wenjian lu 邵氏聞見錄). While Shao Bowen's 邵伯溫 "First Records" were mainly concerned with matters of the imperial court, Shao Bo's "Later Records" dealt with the history of the Song dynasty in general and also touched on matters of literature, particularly the exegesis of the Confucian Classics and on poetry critique. Some stories belong to the genre of ghost stories and theatre plays. The historiographic part provides rare information on important personalities of the Song period and earlier times, like Sima Guang 司馬光, Chen Guan 陳瓘 or Lei Jianfu 雷簡夫. The philosophical standpoint of the two books also differs. While the father Shao Bowen was an admirer of the philosopher brothers Cheng Hao 程顥 and Cheng Yi 程頤, the son Shao Bo preferred the poet and thinker Su Shi 蘇軾 (Su Dongpo 蘇東坡).
The Wenjian houlu is to be found in the reprint series Siku quanshu 四庫全書, Jindai mishu 津逮秘書 and Xuejin taoyuan 學津討原. In 1983 the Zhonghua shuju press 中華書局 published a modern edition with annotations by Li Jianxiong 李劍雄 and Liu Dequan 劉德權.

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. 2150.