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Chinese Literature
Xuanyanji 宣驗記 "Stories of Divine Evidence"


The Xuanyanji 宣驗記 "Stories of divine evidence" is an early collection of stories compiled by the Liu-Song period 劉宋 (420-479) scholar Liu Yiqing 劉義慶, who is also the author of the famous book Shishuo xinyu 世說新語. The stories in the originally 13 juan "scrolls" long Xuanyiji are centering around the Buddhist concept of retribution of sins in a later life. They propagate the Buddhist faith and serve to demonstrate that improper behaviour has bad consequences. The stories are not of a high literary quality and have not attracted a wide attention among Chinese scholars and writers, much unlike the collection Youminglu 幽明錄.
The Xuanyanji is first mentioned in the imperial bibliography Jingjizhi 經籍志 in the official dynastic history Suishu 隋書, but it is not mentioned in the bibliographies of the Tang period 唐 (618-907). It seems that the book went lost during that time. Fragments of the Xuanyanji can nevertheless be found as quotations in the books Shuofu 說郛, Wuchao xiaoshuo 五朝小説 and Jinnang xiaoshi 錦囊小史. The Republican scholar Lu Xun 魯迅 has collected these quotations and assembled in his collectaneum Gu xiaoshuo gouchen 古小說鉤沉.


Source: Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典, vol. 2, p. 2170. Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe.

Chinese literature according to the four-category system

October 3, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail