Item ID: 9741 Du shi cong tan 都市叢談 [Vignettes from the City]. NILÜGUOKE 逆旅過客.
Du shi cong tan 都市叢談 [Vignettes from the City]
Du shi cong tan 都市叢談 [Vignettes from the City]

Anecdotes from Beijing

Du shi cong tan 都市叢談 [Vignettes from the City]

71 folding leaves. Small 8vo, orig. wrappers (a little frayed), orig. stitching. Beijing: Wenkui tang 文奎堂, 1940.

First edition of this book about Beijing, the former capital of the Qing empire. A literature on Beijing for tourists and for proud locals developed from the 17th century onward. The genre broadened toward the end of the 19th century and continued into the Republican period. This book is part of this literature, notwithstanding its publication during the Sino-Japanese War, when Beijing was under Japanese occupation.

The pseudonym of our author, Nilüguoke, literally “the passing traveler at the inn,” suggests that it is a book for tourism. The author describes Beijing customs that are exotic to “southerners” (Nansheng ren 南省人), such as eating barbecued lamb. The book quotes from the so-called zidi shu 子弟書, a Qing-period body of literature written by Manchus and other bannermen. Through this book, the reader learns about Beijing institutions and customs, from the Peking opera houses to the city’s street snacks.

The running-script Preface is by Zhao Zhenxin 趙貞信 (1902-89), historian. The book was edited by Meihua guan zhu 梅花館主, the “Master of Plum Blossom Inn.” The publisher was located by Longfu Temple 隆福寺, a center for publishing since Qing times.

Price: $500.00

Item ID: 9741