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Chinese Literature
Xiangyiji 祥異記 "Records of Ominous Miracles"


The Xiangyiji 祥異記 "Records of ominous miracles" is a collection of phantastic stories compiled by an unknown author during the Liang period 梁 (502-557). Is it not included in any ancient bibliography, but the encyclopedia Taiping guangji 太平廣記 quotes two fragments from the book. The Xiangyiji is therefore included in the bibliography Zhongguo wenyan xiaoshuo shumu 中國文言小說書目 by Yuan Xingpei 袁行霈 and Hou Zhongyi 侯忠義. The original book is lost. Except the two original fragments, there are two others in the Taiping guangji, yet these clearly date from the Tang period 唐 (618-907) and have been added later, or belong to the books Guangyiji 廣異記 or Jiyiji 集異記. The Buddist encyclopedia Fayuan zhulin 法苑珠林 quotes two paragraphs from a book called Mingxiangji 冥祥記, and it is not quite sure if these were part of to the Xiangyiji, too. A collection of fragment can be found in Lu Xun's collectaneum Gu xiaoshuo gouchen 古小說鉤沉. The story Yuan Zhizong 元稚宗 is a tale with a Buddhist background, in which the law of abstaining from killing living creature is propagated. In another story a man leaves his home at the age of fourty and becomes a monk called Huijin 慧進. He is able to repell bandits with the help of chanting the sutra. Parts of the Xiangyiji can also be found in the collectanea Shuofu 說郛 and Gujin shuobu congshu 古今說部叢書, yet these stories date from the Tang period and are not originals of the Xiangyiji.

Sources:
Li Shuihai 李水海 (ed. 1994). Zhongguo xiaoshuo da cidian 中國小說大辭典, Xian-Qin zhi Nanbeichao 先秦至南北朝, p. 771. Xi'an: Shaanxi renmin chubanshe.
Zheng Yunbo 鄭雲波 (ed. 1992). Zhongguo gudai xiaoshuo cidian 中國古代小說辭典. p. 19. Nanjing: Nanjing daxue chubanshe.


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October 5, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail