An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Wenjian jinlu 聞見近錄

Aug 29, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald

Wenjian jinlu 聞見近錄 "Actual Records of Hearsay" is a biji 筆記 "brush notes" style bok written by the Song period 宋 (960-1279) scholar Wang Gong 王鞏 who has also written the book Jiashen zaji 甲申雜記. The short Wenjian jinlu was finished arround 1104 and includes historical narratives from the reign of Emperor Shizong 周世宗 (r. 954-959) of the Later Zhou dynasty 後周 (951-960) down to the times of Emperor Shenzong 宋神宗 (r. 1067-1085) of the Song, but it focuses on events of the early Song period. The stories reported in this book, either about occurrences at the court or about private persons and their lives, were of a very popular and sometimes also funny character and belonged to the type of literary material often used for orally narrated novels (huaben 話本) or theatre plays.
There is also the short supplementary text called Xu wenjian jinlu 續聞見近錄, in which Wang Gong writes about the life times of his own father. In contrast to the Wenjian jinlu, this book is of a higher literary quality. The Wenjian jinlu is included in the reprint series Shuofu 說郛, Siku quanshu and Zhibuzuzhai congshu 知不足齋叢書.

Wu Feng 吳楓 (ed. 1994). Zhonghua gudian wenxian da cidian 中華古文獻大辭典, Wenxue 文學卷, Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe, p. 506.