Friday, September 19, 2008
Extensive Records of the Taiping Era
The Extensive Records of the Taiping Era is a collection of stories compiled under the editorship of Li Fang, first published in 978. The book is divided into 500 volumes and consists of about 3 million words . It is a collection of about seven thousand stories that were selected from over three hundred books and novels from the Han Dynasty to the early Song Dynasty, many of which have long been lost. Some stories are historical or naturalistic anecdotes, each is replete with a historical elements, and qualify as fiction, but the topics are mostly supernatural, about Buddhist and Daoist priests, immortals, ghosts, and various deities. They include a number of stories that are famous works of literature in their own right, and also inspired later works.