An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Xiangshan yelu 湘山野錄

Aug 29, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald

Xiangshan yelu 湘山野錄 "Unnofficial records from Mt. Xiangshan" is a biji 筆記 "brush notes" style book written by the Song period 宋 (960-1279) monk Wenying 文瑩. His worldly family name is not known, but his courtesy name was Daowen 道溫, and he came from Qiantang 錢塘 (modern Hangzhou 杭州, Zhejiang). He lived during the reign of Emperor Renzong 宋仁宗 (r. 1022-1063) and was befriended with the writer Su Shunqin 蘇舜欽 who introduced him to the famous writer and thinker Ouyang Xiu 歐陽修. During the reign-period Xining 熙寧 (1068-1077) Wenying lived in the Jinluan Monastery 金鑾寺 on the foot of Mt. Xiangshan 湘山. Of his books, the Xiangshan yelu and the Yuhu qinghua 玉壺清話 (also called Yuhu yeshi 玉壺野史) have survived, as well as his collected poems Zhugong ji 諸宮集.
The Xiangshan yelu consists of 3 juan "scrolls", and a supplement (Xulu 續錄) with a length of 1 juan. The bibliography Junzhai dushu zhi 郡齋讀書志 says it was 4 juan long, and the bibliographic chapter in the encyclopedia Wenxian tongkao 文獻通考 records the supplement with a length of 3 juan. The latter source quotes from the Junzhai dushu zhi, but erroneously says the author was a monk from Wu (Wu seng 吳僧).
The Xiangshan xelu is a collection of stories about the history of the Song dynasty and has a certain historiographical value, but Wenying does not shy away from open criticism of official at the court, and his book must therefore be used with caution.
The Xiangshan yelu is included in the reprint series Siku quanshu 四庫全書, Jindai mishu 津逮秘書, Xuejin taoyuan 學津討原, Shuoku 說庫, Gushu congkan 古書叢刊 and Zeshijun congshu 擇是居叢書. In 1984 the Zhonghua shuju press 中華書局 published a modern print in a joint edition with the Yuhu qinghua, with annotations by Zheng Changgang 鄭長剛 and Yang Liyang 楊立揚.

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. 2146.