By Glen Dudbridge
The anecdotal literature of late-medieval China isn't 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 via those who lived via it. the writer Wang Renyu's grownup existence coincided heavily with that interval, and his memoirs, notwithstanding ultimately transmitted, may be mostly recovered from encyclopaedia quotations. His adventure led from youth at the north-west border with Tibet, via carrier with the dominion of Shu, to a mainstream profession below 4 successive dynasties in northern China. He bore own witness to a couple nice occasions, but additionally travelled commonly and transcribed fabric from a life of conversations with colleagues within the imperial Hanlin Academy.
The research first units Wang's lifestyles in its ancient context and discusses the character and price of his memoirs. It then pursues a few underlying issues that run during the collections, offering approximately eighty distinctive goods in translation. jointly those provide a characterization of an age of inter-regional struggle within which person lives, no longer grand ancient narrative, shape the focal point. A nuanced self-portrait of the writer emerges, combining beneficial properties that appear alien to fashionable values with others that appear extra familiar.
Four appendixes supply the textual content of the author's tombstone epitaph; an in depth checklist of his surviving memoir goods; facts from tune 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)
One is the memoir 180, transmitted in a different collection, where he consistently refers to himself with the pronoun yu 余;136 the other is 192, in which the Taiping guang ji editors forgot their own rule in letting that same pronoun remain near the end of the item. Elsewhere the immediacy of the ﬁrst-person voice is gone: it is replaced with formulas like ‘the Hanlin Scholar Wang Renyu’, not always correct in relation to the 134 Some have speculated about editorial interventions even before Taiping guang ji: see n.
The pigs leapt upon them to eat them, and in a trice had eaten themselves into a state of immobility. But the nymphs were hungry too, and now munched on the pigs, piling up in a mass. The pigs, tired out, were unable to fend them off, and all were killed by the nymphs. In the year guimao  the locusts, clasping on to vegetation, all withered away. As they say, it is heaven that bestows life and death. KHITAN That and scenes like it were the backdrop to a reappearance of hostile Khitan armies from the north.
14a. The epitaph, ultimately resting on family testimony, simpliﬁes and telescopes the sequence of appointments. 85 Bing zhou, originally one of the thirteen regional inspectorates of Han China, was equivalent to Taiyuan 太原. Here, in the established base of the Shatuo armies, Shi Jingtang had held the position of military commissioner since 934. Two years later, fearing a change of heart by the reigning Later Tang emperor, he disobeyed a command to proceed to a new appointment and launched the events which led to his own assumption of power in 936 as the ﬁrst emperor of Later Jin.