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Chinese Literature
Menglianglu 夢粱錄


The Four Categories of Literature
Menglianglu 夢粱錄 "A dream of sorghum" is a description of the capital Lin'an 臨安 (modern Hangzhou 杭州, Zhejiang) during the Southern Song period 南宋 (1127-1279). The 20 juan "scrolls" long book is of special interest for the study of society and economy, and especially the urbanisation during the Southern Song period. The author was Wu Zimu 吳自牧, whose dates of live are not exactly known, just like the exact date of publication. This makes the book, which actually deals with concrete historical facts, look like a kind of novel in which events take place somehow and somewhere in Lin'an and not in a concrete span of time. The style of the Menglianglu is modeled after the book Dongjing menghua lu 東京夢華錄, a description of the capital of the Northern Song dynasty 北宋 (960-1127), Kaifeng 開封 (modern Kaifeng, Henan).
The first modern publication by the Shanghai gudian wenxue chubanshe 上海古典文學出版社 press from 1956 was based on the edition from the collectaneum Zhibuzuzhai congshu 知不足齋叢書, and was included in a joint edition along with its predecessor, the Dongjing menghua lu, and three other books. In 1984 a stand-alone edition of the Menglianglu was published by the Zhejiang remin press 浙江人民出版社.


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Sources: Sun Ruqi 孫如琦 (1992), "Menglianglu 夢粱錄", in Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Zhongguo lishi 中國歷史 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), Vol. 2, p. 657.

July 12, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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