An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Zhenyizhuan 甄異傳

Oct 3, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald

Zhenyizhuan 甄異傳 "Discerning the marvels", also called Zhenyiji 甄異記, Zhenyizhi 甄異志 or Zhenyilu 甄異錄, is an early collection of stories compiled by the Jin period 晉 (265-420) scholar Dai Zuo 戴祚, courtesy name Dai Tingzhi 戴廷之. He came from Jiangdong 江東 (modern Nanjing 南京, Jiangsu) and served as a scribe of general Liu Yu 劉裕 (the eventual founder of the Liu-Song dynasty 劉宋, 420-479) during the latter's campaign against Yao Hong 姚泓 (r. 415-417), the last ruler of the Later Qin dynasty 後秦 (384-417). The book Xizhengji 西征記, describing this campaign, is attributed to Dai Zuo. The imperial bibliography Jingjizhi 經籍志 in the official dynastic history Suishu 隋書 lists the 3 juan "scrolls" long Zhenyizhuan among the miscellaneous biographies (zazhuan 雜傳), yet after the Tang period 唐 (618-907) it was rated as a novella (xiaoshuo 小說). It seems to have been lost at the beginning of the Southern Song period 南宋 (1127-1279). The Zhenyizhuan recorded strange events, extraordinary matters and stories of heroes with supernatural powers. The most important stories are Zhang Kai 張闓, Biyu 碧玉 and Qinshu 秦樹.
The Zhenyizhuan is preserved as fragmentary collection in the reprint series Shuofu 說郛, Longwei mishu 龍威秘書 and Lu Xun's 魯迅 Gu xiaoshuo gouchen 古小說鉤沉 from the Republican period, where 17 fragmentary stories are reconstructed.

Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典, vol. 2, p. 2168. Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe.