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Hong Mai's Record of the Listener and Its Song Dynasty Context
Hong Mai's Record of the Listener and Its Song Dynasty Context
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Alister D. Inglis - Author
SUNY series in Chinese Philosophy and Culture
Price: $65.00 
Hardcover - 252 pages
Release Date: August 2006
ISBN10: 0-7914-6821-6
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-6821-0

Quantity:  
Price: $31.95 
Paperback - 252 pages
Release Date: June 2007
ISBN10: N/A
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-6822-7

Quantity:  

Summary Read First Chapter image missing

2007 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title

The first book-length consideration of Hong Mai’s Record of the Listener, the Song dynasty text that has been an ongoing source of literary and social history.

Song dynasty historian Hong Mai (1123–1202) spent a lifetime on a collection of supernatural accounts, contemporary incidents, poems, and riddles, among other genres, which he entitled Record of the Listener (Yijian zhi). His informants included a wide range of his contemporaries, from scholar-officials to concubines, Buddhist monks, and soldiers, who helped Hong Mai leave one of the most vivid portraits of life and the different classes in China during this period. Originally comprising a massive 420 chapters, only a fraction survived the Mongol ravaging of China in the thirteenth century.

The present volume is the first book-length consideration of this important text, which has been an ongoing source of literary and social history. Alister D. Inglis explores fundamental questions surrounding the work and its making, such as theme, genre, authorial intent, the veracity of the accounts, and their circulation in both oral and written form. In addition to a brief outline of Hong Mai’s life that incorporates Hong’s autobiographical anecdotes, the book includes many intriguing stories translated into English for the first time, including Hong’s legendary thirty-one prefaces. Record of the Listener fills the gaps left by official Chinese historians who, unlike Hong Mai, did not comment on women’s affairs, ghosts and the paranormal, local crime, human sacrifice, little-known locales, and unofficial biographies.

“…the author produces beautifully crafted full translations of selected texts, underscoring their diverse content and allowing the reader a glimpse into the world of twelfth-century storytelling. — The China Review

“This is a painstaking inquiry into the process by which a major collection of zhiguai accounts came to be formed, as well as of how it was intended by its author-compiler and how it was received by readers from the time of its compilation to the twentieth century. The author’s fundamental point that Hong Mai understood himself to be compiling a sort of history of events as told by contemporary narrators, and that most of his readers also understood him to be engaged in this task, is of great intellectual importance. The book will help to correct a longstanding misapprehension of the nature of works such as the Yijian zhi.” — Robert Ford Campany, author of Strange Writing: Anomaly Accounts in Early Medieval China

Alister D. Inglis is Freeman Professor of Chinese Language and Literature at Simmons College.



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Table of Contents

Preface
 
1. The Author and His Collection

2. Authorial Voice and Textual Reception

3. Themes

4. Genre

5. Questions of “Reliability” and Transmission

Postscript

Notes
Appendix 1
Appendix 2
Map 1
Selected Bibliography
Index



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