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Chinese Literature
Qingbao leichao 清稗類鈔 "Categorized Anthology of Petty Matters from the Qing Period"

The Qingbao leichao 清稗類鈔 "Categorized anthology of petty matters from the Qing period" is an anthology of historiographical essays from the whole Qing period 清 (1644-1911) compiled by the early 20th century writer and poet Xu Ke 徐珂 (1869-1928). The book was finished in 1917 and published by the Shangwu yinshu press 商务印書館. This first edition was divided into 48 volumes in 8 series. A second edition from 1984 by the Zhonghua shuju press 中華書局 comprises 13 volumes. Xu Ke who, for some time, served the Yuan Shikai 袁世凱 government, has also written a lot of other, literary books like Xiaozilizhai wen 小自立齋文, Keyan 可言, Kangju biji 康居笔記, and has compiled the two series of the reprint series Tiansuge congkan 天蘇閣叢刊.
The Qingbai leichao includes a large amount of unofficial historiographical sources, including parts of collected writings, "brush notes" style (biji 筆記) essays, stories and reports from the early Chinese newspapers. It imitates the collection Songbai leichao 宋稗类鈔 not only in the idea but also in the structure. It is divided into 92 chapters (the 1984 edition in 90 chapters) that each cover a specific encyclopedic theme, from astronomy and calendar to all aspects of statecraft like administrative geography, international relations, state rituals, educational system, military, judicional system, state offices, to human affairs like religion, matrimony, customs and habits, human character, language, handicrafts and professions, arts, literature, music, objects and tools, down to plants and animals. The whole collections includes 13,500 articles. It includes a preface by the compiler and one by the writer Zhu Zongyuan 諸宗元.
The content is extremely vast and includes all aspects of history, society, state, the arts and human life. It contains a lot of information on the Opium Wars, the Reform Movement of 1898 and the Revolution of 1911. The extracts and quotations from newspapers and gazettes are of special interest because they reflect the immediate reactions of society towards political matters and the discourses about contemporary issues, which are not dealt with in historiographic texts. The Qingbai leichao is not a historiographic work. That means that it does not evaluate the sources it makes use of. As a source book, nonetheless, it is a profound treasury. From this aspect, the old term yeshi 野史 "wild history" as something unofficial and therefore not reliable does not apply any more to the Qingbai leichao because it does not interprete history but only provides the historian with a lot of different sources. It is therefore a pity that the compiler did not pay more attention to an exact indicating of the origin of his sources. This is a weak point in the Qingbai leichao.

Zhang Ronghua 張榮華 (1994). "Qingbai leichao 清稗類鈔", in: Zhongguo xueshu mingzhu tiyao 中國學術名著提要, Lishi 歷史, p. 473. Shanghai: Fudan daxue chubanshe.
Zhao Hankun 趙含坤 (2005). Zhongguo leishu 中國類書, pp. 511-512. Shijiazhuang: Hebei renmin chubanshe.

時令類 Shiling The seasons
氣候類 Qihou Wheather
地理類 Dili Geography
名勝類 Mingsheng Famous sites
宮苑類 Gongyuan Palaces and parks
第宅類 Dizhai Buildings
園林類 Yuanlin Gardens and forests
祠廟類 Cimiao Shrines and temples
帝德類 Dide Imperial virtue
恩遇類 Enyu Generous treatment
巡幸類 Xunxing Inspection tours
宮闈類 Gongwei The women's quarters
朝貢類 Chaogong Tributes to the court
外藩類 Waifan The outer barbarians
閹寺類 Yansi Eunuchs
外交類 Waijiao Foreign affairs
禮制類 Lizhi The structure of rites
度支類 Duzhi State revenue
屯漕類 Tuncao Military colonies and the Grand Canal
教育類 Jiaoyu Education
考試類 Kaoshi Examination
兵刑類 Bingxing Military and justice
戰事類 1-2 Zhanshi War
武略類 Wulüe Strategy
獄訟類 1-2 Yusong Verdict and prison
吏治類 Lizhi The administration of officialdom
爵秩類 Juezhi Ranks and grades
幕僚類 Muliao Administrative aides
薦舉類 Jianjuan Appointment on recommendation
知遇類 Zhiyu Receiving appreciation
隱逸類 Yinyi Living in seclusion
諫諍類 Jianzheng Frankly criticising a ruler
箴規類 Zhengui Admonishing officials by guidelines
譏諷類 1-2 Jifeng Derision
詼諧類 Huixie Humour
種族類 Zhongzu Ethnic groups
宗教類 Zongjiao Religion
婚姻類 Hunyin Marriage
門閥類 Menfa Distinguished families
姓名類 Xingming Personal names
稱謂類 Chengwei Designations
風俗類 Fengsu Customs and habits
方言類 Fangyan Topolects
農商類 Nongshang Agriculture and commerce
工藝類 Gongyi Crafts and industries
孝友類 Xiaoyou Filial piety and friendship
忠盡類 Zhongjin Utmost loyalty
敬信類 Jingxin Respect and trustworthiness
義俠類 1-2 Yixia Gallantry
技勇類 Jiyong Skill and bravery
正直類 Zhengzhi Correctness and straightforwardness
貞烈類 Zhenlie Female chastity
謙謹類 Qianjin Modesty and politness
廉儉類 Lianjian Honesty and austerity
狷介類 Juanjie Uprightness
豪侈類 Haochi Extravagance
才辯類 Caibian Gifted eloquence
明智類 Mingzhi Sagaciousness
雅量類 Yaliang Magnanimity
異稟類 Yibing Extraordinary talents
容止類 Rongzhi Demeanour
情感類 Qinggan Emotions
疾病類 Jibing Illness
喪祭類 Sangji Funeral rites
師友類 Shiyou Teachers and friends
會黨類 Huidang Secret societies
著述類 Zhushu Authorship
性理類 Xingli Character and nature
經術類 Jingshu Confucian classics
文學類 1-2 Wenxue Literature
藝術類 1-2 Yishu Arts
鑒賞類 1-4 Jianshang Conisseurship
方伎類 1-2 Fangji Magic
迷信類 1-2 Mixin Superstition
方外類 Fangwai Foreign matters
賭博類 Dubo Gamblers
音樂類 Yinyue Musicians
戲劇類 Xiju Jugglers
優伶類 Youling Actors
娼妓類 1-2 Changji Singsong girls
胥役類 Xuyi Yamen runners
奴婢類 Nubi Slaves
盜賊類 Daozei Bandits
棍騙類 Gunpian Swindlers
乞丐類 Qigai Beggars
動物類 Dongwu Animals
植物類 1-2 Zhiwu Plants
礦物類 Kuangwu Minerals
物品類 Wupin Various articles
舟車類 Zhouche Ships, boats and carts
服飾類 Fushi Clothing and adornment
飲食類 1-3 Yinshi Eating and drinking
Chinese literature according to the four-category system

May 21, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail