An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Dongpo zhilin 東坡志林

Aug 19, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald

Dongpo zhilin 東坡志林 "A forest of records of Su Dongpo" is a "brush-notes"-style book (biji 筆記) written during the Northern Song period 北宋 (960-1126) master Su Shi 蘇軾 (1037-1101, also known as Su Dongpo 蘇東坡). The book came into being as a collection of Su Shi's notes on the books of ancient authors and many other topics. The original name of the collection was Dongpo shouze 東坡手澤. It was only published as a book after the author's death.

In Chen Zhensun's 陳振孫 (c. 1183-1262) bibliography Zhizhai shulu jieti 直齋書錄解題, the length is given as 3 juan, but the received version is divided into 5 juan.

The Dongpo zhilin can be used as a source of the official and private life of the literati officials, the administrative system, and culture and customs during the early Song period. It includes information on historical matters, diet and medicine, scholarship, offerings, military affairs, geography, state offices, religion, the common people, women, bandits, barbarians, antiques and collectibles, Fengshui, divination, and many other themes, in total 29 chapters (lei 類) with more than 200 paragraphs.

There are several different versions in circulation. The series Baichuan xuehai 百川學海 includes a 1-juan version, the Xuejin taoyuan 學津討原, Hanfenlou miji 涵芬樓叢書, Siku quanshu 四庫全書 and Congshu jicheng chubian 叢書集成初編 a 5-juan version, and the version in the series Baihai 稗海 is divided into 12 juan. The short 1-juan version only includes 13 chapters of historiographical accounts that roughly correspond to the last juan in the 5-juan version. These parts are missing in the 12-juan version, but the latter includes more stories. In 1981 the Zhonghua Shuju Press 中華書局 published a modern edition with careful annotations by Wang Songling 王松齡.

Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰, eds. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 2, 1948.