By Glen Dudbridge
The anecdotal literature of late-medieval China isn't really unknown, however it is under-used. Glen Dudbridge explores collections of anecdotal memoirs to build an intimate portrait of the 1st half the 10th century as visible by way of those that lived via it. the writer Wang Renyu's grownup lifestyles coincided heavily with that interval, and his memoirs, although in some way transmitted, might be mostly recovered from encyclopaedia quotations. His event led from youth at the north-west border with Tibet, via provider with the dominion of Shu, to a mainstream occupation lower than 4 successive dynasties in northern China. He bore own witness to a few nice occasions, but additionally travelled commonly and transcribed fabric from a life of conversations with colleagues within the imperial Hanlin Academy.
The learn first units Wang's existence in its ancient context and discusses the character and price of his memoirs. It then pursues a few underlying subject matters that run during the collections, offering approximately eighty specific goods in translation. jointly those supply a characterization of an age of inter-regional conflict within which person lives, no longer grand old narrative, shape the focal point. A nuanced self-portrait of the writer emerges, combining good points that appear alien to trendy values with others that appear extra familiar.
Four appendixes provide the textual content of the author's tombstone epitaph; a close checklist of his surviving memoir goods; facts from track catalogues at the early transmission of his writings; and Wang Renyu's personal definition of the 4 musical modes inherited from the Tang dynasty.
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Additional resources for A Portrait of Five Dynasties China: From the Memoirs of Wang Renyu (880-956)
133 Pu Xiangming, ‘Wang Renyu de wenxue chengjiu’ 王仁裕的文學成就, Tianshui Xingzheng Xueyuan xuebao 天水行政學院學報 2003/3, 59–64; Wen Hulin 溫虎林, ‘Wang Renyu biji xiaoshuo “Wang Chengxiu” de wentixue jiazhi’ 王仁裕筆記小說《王承休》的文體學價值, Gansu Gaoshi xuebao 甘肅高師學報 2009/1, 15–16; Pu Xiangming, ‘Shizhuan, zashi he biji xiaoshuo de gongsheng hudong – yi Wang Renyu Wang shi jian wen lu wei zhongxin’ 史傳、雜 史和筆記小說的共生互動 – 以王仁裕《王氏見聞錄》爲中心, Sheke zongheng 社科縱橫 2010/ 7, 89–93. 134 Items that appear in both Taiping guang ji and other Song sources show huge variation.
Wang Renyu recalls the dangers of this road in 131; see also 210. 9072. 868–9. 8770–1. 625. 614. 869. Wang Renyu and His Memoirs 23 Wang [Sitong] was in a state of indecision, uncertain whether or not to agree, acutely troubled by hesitation and doubt. He summoned Master [Wang Renyu] to discuss what to do. The Master said: ‘We should serve our ruler with total loyalty and our father with total ﬁlial duty. ’ Upon which he put the Qiyang 岐陽 emissary to death75 and rushed to the posting station to submit a memorial of loyal rectitude and upright sentiment.
His preoccupation with the Khitan question would build up until the explosive events of 946–947 in Kaifeng. His career now took another decisive turn in 936. Clearly he had made a strong impression on Fan Yanguang, for the latter recommended him to the throne as a man who should not stay languishing at the level of administrative assistant. The emperor Mo di was, we have seen, aware of his talents, and appointed him Vice-Director of the Bureau of Honours (rank 6b1). 84 So at last, at the age of ﬁfty-six, he found himself promoted to the centre of imperial government.