“Comparable in Stature to Dante, Shakespeare, or Goethe”
Wu bai jia zhu yin bian Han Changli xian sheng quan ji [Five Hundred Notes].
40 parts in 12 vols. 8vo, orig. brown wrappers, new stitching. [China]: Liang yi tang, 1763.
A rare edition of this anthology of early Chinese writings, collected by Yu Han (766-824), “a major figure in the history of Chinese literature, comparable in stature to Dante, Shakespeare, or Goethe in their respective literary traditions. He was among that small group of writers whose works not only became classics of the language — required reading for all those with claims to literacy in succeeding generations — but whose writings redefine and change the course of the tradition itself. Although Han Yu is best-known as a prose stylist — the master shaper of the so-called ku-wen style — he was a stylistic innovator in the many genres in which he wrote, including poetry. And he was a major influence on the literary and intellectual life of his time, an important spokesman for a rejuvenated traditionalism that later emerged as Sung Neo-Confucianism.”–The Indiana Companion to Traditional Chinese Literature, Part One, p. 397.
Han considered Buddhism to be of barbarian origin and an unsuitable religion for the Chinese people; he harkened back to the purity of Confucianism, a Chinese creation. Becoming the ancient prose movement’s major spokesman, Han believed that one should study the early philosophers, histories such as the Discourses of the States (Guo yu), and even inscriptions on stone and bronze, such as the Qin stone drum inscriptions. Han Yu pioneered new genres of scholarly inquiry and led to a new interest in paleography, the physical remains of antiquity, and the comprehensive critical examination of all records of the past.
This anthology contains transcriptions of rubbings of early stone tomb inscriptions, classic poems and songs arranged by style, miscellaneous writings, official court documents, classics of calligraphy, ceremonial texts, histories, dedicatory epistles, etc., all in the kuwen style.
Our edition was edited by Zhongju Wei (active 12th-13th century), who has added further kuwen texts written in the Song dynasty. About 378 authors have been included in this edition.
Nice set, preserved in a chitsu. Some inoffensive worming, occasionally touching characters (many of which have been repaired and the character filled in).
Item ID: 7067