“A Great Convenience for the Study of Poetics”

Li dai shi hua xu bian 歷代詩話續編 [Sequel to “Talks on Poetry Chronologically Arranged”].

24 vols. 8vo, orig. wrappers, orig. title slips, orig. stitching. Wuxi: Ding shi 丁氏, 1915 (date of Preface).

Perhaps the first edition, printed in lead movable type, of this voluminous collection of shihua or poetry criticism. “Shih-hua 詩話 (talks on poetry), is a form of literary criticism that consists of a critic’s comments on various aspects of Chinese poetry. A comment may contain the original thoughts of the writer himself, or quotations from other critics, which are then criticized by the writer. It may be as short as one or two lines or as long as a page or more, but each is a unit in itself.” It is a subgenre of biji 筆記, or “jottings,” applied to the field of poetry (The Indiana Companion to Traditional Chinese Literature, Vol. 1, 695-96). One of the most influential collections of shihua was published by He Wenhuan 何文煥. His book Li dai shi hua 歷代詩話 [Talks on Poetry Chronologically Arranged] “gathered together twenty-seven extant shih-hua from the T’ang through the Ming dynasties” (The Indiana Companion).

A continuation of that collection (which Ding had reprinted), our book “includes 29 collections, from Meng Qi 孟棨 of the Tang’s Benshi shi 本事詩 to Lu Shiyong 陸時雍 of the Ming’s Shijing zonglun 詩鏡總論. The great majority are influential works discussing poetry...[some of which] are rare or only exist in single copies. Thus [Ding’s book] provided a great convenience for the study of poetics. The book has a very great reference value for the study of ancient Chinese poetry and poetry criticism. From its publication to the present, the book has retained the attention of poetic circles” (You & Huang, Zhong-wai shixue da cidian, 1094).

Ding Fubao (1874-1952) was a book collector, bibliographer, Buddhist scholar, and translator. He had a publishing venture called Yixue shuju 醫學書局, or Medical Book Company.

Li Xiang’s 李詳 (1863-1935) Preface is dated 1915 (Minguo yimao), which we, following WorldCat 612320025, take as the date of publication. There is also an edition from 1916 published by the Medical Book Company (see WorldCat 33873734).

Fine set, preserved in four hantao.

Price: $950.00

Item ID: 9904

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