By Glen Dudbridge
The anecdotal literature of late-medieval China isn't unknown, however it is under-used. Glen Dudbridge explores collections of anecdotal memoirs to build an intimate portrait of the 1st 1/2 the 10th century as obvious through those who lived via it. the writer Wang Renyu's grownup existence coincided heavily with that interval, and his memoirs, even though in a roundabout way transmitted, might be mostly recovered from encyclopaedia quotations. His adventure led from formative years at the north-west border with Tibet, via provider with the dominion of Shu, to a mainstream profession below 4 successive dynasties in northern China. He bore own witness to a few nice occasions, but in addition travelled generally and transcribed fabric from a life of conversations with colleagues within the imperial Hanlin Academy.
The research first units Wang's existence in its historic context and discusses the character and cost of his memoirs. It then pursues a few underlying topics that run during the collections, offering approximately eighty detailed goods in translation. jointly those provide a characterization of an age of inter-regional battle during which person lives, no longer grand old narrative, shape the focal point. A nuanced self-portrait of the writer emerges, combining positive factors that appear alien to fashionable values with others that appear extra familiar.
Four appendixes supply the textual content of the author's tombstone epitaph; a close checklist of his surviving memoir goods; facts from track catalogues at the early transmission of his writings; and Wang Renyu's personal definition of the 4 musical modes inherited from the Tang dynasty.
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Extra info for A Portrait of Five Dynasties China: From the Memoirs of Wang Renyu (880-956)
226– 8. There are two recent studies: Zhang Qifan 張其凡 and Zhang Shenghai 張勝海, ‘Wudai Hanlin xueshi lüe kao’ 五代翰林學士略考, Shehui kexue jikan 社會科學輯刊 159 (2005/4), 107–11; Tian Yuying 田玉英, ‘Wudai Hanlin xueshi zhidu shu lun’ 五代翰林學士制度述論, Nanfang lun kan 南方論刊 2007/7, 44–6. 54 See F. A. Bischoff, La forêt des pinceaux: étude sur l’académie du Han-lin sous la dynastie des T’ang et traduction du Han lin tche (Paris: Presses universitaires de France, 1963); also McMullen, State and scholars, 16. 53 18 A Portrait of Five Dynasties China range more widely over the players at large in the society of Chengdu and Hanzhong during the Later Ruler’s reign.
Crops and vegetation vanished without trace from the bare earth. The nymphs at their peak swarmed about in uncountable numbers, even ﬂoating on rivers, crossing mountain ridges and passing over pools and moats as though they were stepping on level ground. They came into people’s homes, and no-one was able to control them. They penetrated doorways, entered through windows. 1091 (Kaiyun 1/6/28). ‘Ofﬁcials normally charged to monitor the ﬂow of documents to and from the throne, to return for revision any documents considered improper in form or substance, to check on the implementation of imperial orders, to criticize and propose imperial policies, and sometimes to assist in keeping the Imperial Diary’: Charles O.
8981; Standen, ‘The Five Dynasties’, 72–4. 8987. 20 A Portrait of Five Dynasties China For ﬁve years back in the humble ranks of a military commissioner’s personal staff his new chief was Wang Sitong 王思同 (885–934),62 a uninhibited military man known to Ming zong from army years in the past. Described as ‘possessing crude literary gifts’ (粗有文), he surrounded himself with literary company, now including Wang Renyu. When after years of command in Qin zhou he returned to court in 930 he would present this picture to Ming zong: Qin zhou borders on Tibetan country.
A Portrait of Five Dynasties China: From the Memoirs of Wang Renyu (880-956) by Glen Dudbridge