By Richard E. Strassberg
Китайский Бестиарий: Мифические существа в древнекитайском трактате Шань Хай Цзин («Каталог гор и морей»). Трактат, описывающий реальную и мифическую географию Китая и соседних земель и обитающие там создания, традиционно приписывается легендарному Великому Юю. A chinese language Bestiary offers a desirable festival of legendary creatures from a special and enduring cosmography written in old China. The Guideways via Mountains and Seas, compiled among the fourth and primary centuries b.c.e., includes descriptions of thousands of wonderful denizens of mountains, rivers, islands, and seas, besides minerals, plants, and medication. The textual content additionally represents a variety of ideals held through the traditional chinese language. Richard Strassberg brings the Guideways to existence for contemporary readers via weaving jointly translations from the paintings itself with info from different texts and up to date archaeological reveals to create a lavishly illustrated consultant to the resourceful international of early China. not like the bestiaries of the overdue medieval interval in Europe, the Guideways used to be no longer interpreted allegorically the unfamiliar beings defined in it have been considered as real entities came upon through the panorama. The paintings used to be initially used as a sacred geography, as a guidebook for tourists, and as a ebook of omens.
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Extra resources for A Chinese Bestiary: Strange Creatures from the Guideways Through Mountains and Seas
Later scholars of the Ru-Confucian school not only followed Confucius in distancing themselves from discussing strange phenomena, but, as in the case of Xun Qing (c. 335–c. ), they were also skeptical of those who claimed to know the workings of heaven. 37 Even in the field of medicine long dominated by herbal and exorcistic methods, new concepts of the body and management of disease began to be practiced. 38 In practice, the kinds of distinctions made by new schools of philosophers did not necessarily create a sharp break between earlier beliefs and the newer forms of knowledge.
73 A reference to it can also be found in a Tang manuscript of strange creatures from the Silk Road oasis city of Dunhuang (see fig. 2o, page 65). 75 It remained a credible source of geographical information during the Tang, when it was used by Sima Zhen (fl. ) in his commentary to Sima Qian’s Historical Records. With the development of commercial woodblock printing in the Song dynasty, elite as well as more popular editions began to be printed. You Mao (1127–1193), a bibliophile who published the earliest surviving edition through a local government printing house (fig.
83 The immense popularity of fiction among all classes began to alter the reception of the Guideways from that of a geographical work to a collection of ancient narratives. This change is suggested by the perceptive literary critic and textual scholar Hu Yinglin (1551–1602), who was one of the first to write about the generic characteristics of “minor narratives” (xiaoshuo). This category originally denoted marginal or ideologically unorthodox stories that were gradually excised from o‹cial historiography.