Item ID: 9131 Su Wen gong wen chao 蘇文公文鈔 or Song da jia Su Wen gong wen chao 宋大家蘇文公文鈔 [Copied Writings of the Lettered Mr. Su]. Xun 蘇洵 SU.
Su Wen gong wen chao 蘇文公文鈔 or Song da jia Su Wen gong wen chao 宋大家蘇文公文鈔 [Copied Writings of the Lettered Mr. Su].
Su Wen gong wen chao 蘇文公文鈔 or Song da jia Su Wen gong wen chao 宋大家蘇文公文鈔 [Copied Writings of the Lettered Mr. Su].
Su Wen gong wen chao 蘇文公文鈔 or Song da jia Su Wen gong wen chao 宋大家蘇文公文鈔 [Copied Writings of the Lettered Mr. Su].

Ming Edition

Su Wen gong wen chao 蘇文公文鈔 or Song da jia Su Wen gong wen chao 宋大家蘇文公文鈔 [Copied Writings of the Lettered Mr. Su].

102; 101 folding leaves. Ten juan in two vols. 8vo, orig. semi-stiff wrappers, new stitching. [China]: after 1579-1620.

A rare Ming dynasty edition, printed on fine paper, of this collection of texts by the Northern Song essayist Su Xun 蘇洵 (1009-66 CE), compiled and edited by Mao Kun 茅坤 (1512-1601), of Guian (present-day Wuxing, Zhejiang). Su Xun was the father of the even more famous writers Su Shi 蘇軾 (1037-1101) and Su Zhe 蘇轍 (1039-1112). All three count among the so-called Eight Masters of the Tang and Song, a grouping that Mao Kun’s edition elevated. Mao had an official career, but left office having been victim of a smear campaign and then devoted last 50 years of his life to scholarly pursuits. In contrast to some of his contemporaries, who sought to emulate the prose style of antiquity, Mao championed the literary prose of the Tang and Song periods. To this end, he compiled a collectanea entitled Tang-Song ba da jia wenchao 唐宋八大家文鈔 [Copied Writings of the Eight Great Masters of the Tang and Song], of which our volumes are part (Vols. 13 and 14). The idea of the Eight Masters — the history of which predates Mao but was firmly established by means of his collection — had a lasting impact on the historiography of Chinese literature and continues to hold currency today.

There are four recensions of Copied Writings of the Eight Great Masters of the Tang and Song:

1) The 1579 (Wanli 7) edition, collated and published by Mao Kun’s nephew Mao Yigui 茅一桂;

2) the 1628 (Chongzhen 1) edition, published by Fang Yingxiang 方應祥;

3) the 1631 (Chongzhen 4) edition, published by Mao Zhu 茅著;

4) the Complete Library of the Four Repositories [Siku quanshu] manuscripts, produced at the Qianlong court in the late 1770s-early 1780s, which used an edition of the third recension as its base text. This suggests that recension three was the most widely circulating by the 18th century.

There were two printings of the first recension: Mao Yigui’s first printing of 1579 and a revised edition printed from the same blocks that were mended for the occasion. Our edition appears to belong to the first recension; it is unclear whether it belongs to the first edition of the first recension or to the revised edition. Only a careful comparison, character by character, of our copy with another copy of the first printing would allow us to make a definitive statement.

This second printing was also produced in the Wanli period (1572-1620), but year is not known. When Fang Yingxiang produced the edition of the second recension, he used Mao Kun’s holograph along with Mao Yigui’s second, revised edition. Therefore it must date before 1628.

The “introduction” (yin 引) carries the note “Collated and printed by Mao Yigui, nephew” 姪茅一桂校刊. Furthermore, the centerfold on the first folio says “Carved by Fu Ruguang” (“Fu Ruguang ke” 傅汝光刻). Fu is known to have been active as a woodblock carver in the Wanli period, and his participation in the publication of Copied Writings of the Eight Great Masters of the Tang and Song is documented.

Nice fresh set, preserved in a hantao. Some worming to wrappers and to first and final leaves in each volume. A full report is available upon request.

References

Fu Jing 付琼, “Tang-Song ba da jia wenchao Fang Yingxiang ben fafu” 《唐宋八大家文抄》方应祥本发覆 in Zhongguo gudai sanwen yanjiu wenxian luncong 中国古代散文研究文献论丛, ed. Guo Yingde 郭英德. Beijing: Shangwu yinshuguan, 2016.

Qu Mianliang, ed., Zhongguo guji banke cidian 中国古籍版刻辞典. Jinan: Qi-Lu shushe, 1999.

Price: $18,500.00

Item ID: 9131

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