An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Wanshou Tangren jueju 萬首唐人絕句

Apr 9, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald

Wanshou Tangren jueju 萬首唐人絕句 is an anthology of quatrains (jueju 絕句) from the Tang period 唐 (618-907) compiled during the Southern Song period 南宋 (1127-1279) by Hong Mai 洪邁 (1123-1202), who was also the compiler of the novel collection Yijianzhi 夷堅志.

The 91-juan-long collection of quatrains was later revised and supplemented by Zhao Huanguang 趙宦光 (1559-1625) and Huang Xiyuan 黄習遠 during the Ming period 明 (1368-1644). Hong Mai collected 4,500 five- and seven-syllable quatrains and submitted his collection in 1192 to the throne. He later added a supplement to complete a book with a length of 100 juan, each fascicle including one hundred poems. This vast collection was not revised and therefore included a lot of writings errors and omissions, as well as redundancies (219 poems were recorded two times) and some poems written during the Song period.

In spite of these few shortcomings, Hong Mai's collection is an extremely valuable research tool for Tang-period poetry and contributed to later collections like the Quantangshi 全唐詩. Zhao Huanguang and Huang Xiyuan trimmed the book and came to a whole collection of 10,477 poems. It was printed in 1607. This edition also includes prefaces and introductions as well as an appendix including a description of the literary type of quatrain and its change over time (Tangfeng sishi kao 唐風四始考, Tangju fafan 唐絕發凡) as well as Hong Mai's memorial Chonghuagong toujin zhazi 重華宮投進札子 and his notification of leave from office (Xiebiao 謝表).

The most common modern version is the facsimile published in 1955 by the Wenxue Guji Kanxing She 文學古籍刊行社. A modern typesetting edition has been published in 1982 by the Shumu Wenxian Press 書目文獻出版社 that is included in the series Guji xiandu congshu 古籍選讀叢書. The book is also included in the imperial series Siku quanshu 四庫全書.

During the Qing period 清 (1644-1911), Wang Shizhen 王士禛 (1634-1711) produced a critical selection of 895 poems that he published in the 7-juan-long Tangren wanshou jueju xuan 唐人萬首絕句選. It is included in the collection Wang Yuyang yishu 王漁洋遺書.

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Zhang Qian 張倩 (2008). "Hong Mai Wanshou tangren jueju banben yuanliu kao 洪邁《萬首唐人絕句》版本源流考", Yindu xueyuan 殷都學刊, 2008 (4): 63-66.
Zhang Zhonggang 張忠綱, ed. (2000). Quantangshi da cidian 全唐詩大辭典 (Beijing: Wuyen chubanshe), 1159.