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Chinese Literature
Wulin jiushi 武林舊事


The Four Categories of Literature
Wulin jiushi 武林舊事 "Ancient matters from Wulin Garden" is a report of the city of Lin'an 臨安 (modern Hangzhou 杭州, Zhejiang), during the Southern Song period 南宋 (1127-1279) capital of the empire. Th 10 juan "scrolls" long book was written by Zhou Mi 周密 (1232-1298) who occupied high posts of the government. After the downfall of the Song he retired and started writing his books Qidong yeyu 齊東野語 and Wulin jiushi. The latter was finished in 1290 and is written according to the remembrance of what he had seen and heard during his life in Lin'an, in the city, at the imperial court, and the surroundings, like the Wulin Garden. The Wulin jiushi is a very important source for urban life during the Song period, especially the history of popular entertainment and the prehistory of Chinese theatre and performing arts.
In 1956 the Shanghai gudian wenxue press 上海古典文學出版社 reprinted the Wulin jiushi, based on the edition in the collectaneum Zhibuzuzhai congshu 知不足齋叢書, together with the Dongjing menghua lu 東京夢華錄, a very similar book about Kaifeng, capital of the Northern Song. In 1984 the Zhejiang renmin press 浙江人民出版社 published a modern edition.


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Sources: Sun Ruqi 孫如琦 (1992), "Wulin jiushi 武林舊事", 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. 3, p. 1257.

July 18, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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