An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Yinhualu 因話錄

Nov 28, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald

Yinhualu 因話錄 "Tales of repayment and retribution" is a collection of short stories from the Tang period 唐 (618-907) written by Zhao Lin 趙璘 (jinshi degree 834), courtesy name Zhao Zezhang 趙澤章. He came from Nanyang 南陽 but later moved to Pingyuan 平原 (modern Shandong province). He was vice director (yuanwailang 員外郎) of the Bureau of Sacrifices (cibu 祠部), , Director of the Bureau of General Accounts (duzhibu langzhong 度支郎中), later Left Director, and finally regional inspector (cishi 刺史) of Quzhou 衢州.
The semi-historiographical stories of the Yinhualu are arranged in 6 juan "scrolls" with five parts, whose titles follow the five notes in traditional Chinese music. The first part (gongbu 宮部) is related to rulers, the second (shangbu 商部) to high ministers and officials, the third (jiaobu 角部) to eminent persons not holding an office, the fourth part (zhibu 徵部) records a lot of literary quotations (diangu 典故), with an appendix of humorous jokes (xiexi 諧戲), and the fifth part (yubu 羽部) includes miscellaneous material
Because Zhao Lin was a grandson of Counsellor-in-chief Zhao Zongru 趙宗儒 and a relative of the powerful Liu family 柳, he had a great interest in literary quotations related to the higher court officials. The book is therefore, although categorized as a collection of novellas (xiaoshuo 小說), also of historiographical value. It also contains information about the literature estimated by the higher class of society. Especially noteworthy are his comments about theatre plays and singsong girls.
The Yinhualu is included in the reprint series Baihai 稗海, Siku quanshu 四庫全書 and Biji xiaoshuo daguan 筆記小說大觀. In 1957 the Shanghai guji wenxue chubanshe 上海古典文學出版社 published a joint version together with the Tang guoshi bu 唐國史補. In 1991 the Shanghai guji press 上海古籍出版社 published a modern edition.

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. 2140.
Zhu Jincheng 朱金城 (1986). "Yinhualu 因話錄", in: Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Zhongguo wenxue 中國文學, vol. 2, p. 1171. Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe.