An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Wenjian qianlu 聞見前錄

Aug 28, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald

Wenjianlu 聞見前錄 "Records of Hearsay", also called Wenjian qianlu 聞見前錄 or Shaoshi wenjian lu 邵氏聞見錄 (in order to distinguish the book from the Wenjianlu of Luo Dian 羅點, the Sichao wenjian lu 四朝聞見錄 of Ye Shaoweng 葉紹翁, the Fengshi wenjian ji 封氏聞見記, and the Wenjian jinlu 聞見近錄 by Wang Gong 王鞏), is a biji 筆記 "brush notes" style book written by the Northern Song period 北宋 (960-1126) scholar Shao Bowen 邵伯溫 (1057-1134), courtesy name Shao Ziwen 邵子文. He came from Luoyang 洛陽 (modern Luoyang, Henan) and was a son of the mathematician and early Neo-Confucian philosopher Shao Yong 邵雍.
The 20 juan "scrolls" long book was finished in 1132 and published by Shao Bowen's son Shao Bo 邵博, who has also written a supplement called Wenjian houlu 聞見後錄. The book includes stories about the history of the Song dynasty and focuces on the period of the reform politics under Wang Anshi 王安石, and the political and intellectual actors of that time, their ideas, discussions and writings. The stories are written in a very objective way without taking side with one of the opponents. Chapter 17 includes a lot of miscellaneous paragraphs, and the last part of the book is dedicated to the life of the author's father Shao Yong 邵雍, but in a way that widely passes the border to fiction.
The Wenjianlu is included 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. 2149.