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Download A Chinese Bestiary: Strange Creatures from the Guideways by Richard E. Strassberg PDF

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 1000's of wonderful denizens of mountains, rivers, islands, and seas, besides minerals, flowers, and medication. The textual content additionally represents quite a lot of ideals held via the traditional chinese language. Richard Strassberg brings the Guideways to existence for contemporary readers through weaving jointly translations from the paintings itself with details from different texts and up to date archaeological reveals to create a lavishly illustrated consultant to the ingenious global of early China. in contrast to the bestiaries of the overdue medieval interval in Europe, the Guideways used to be no longer interpreted allegorically the unknown creatures defined in it have been considered as real entities chanced on through the panorama. The paintings used to be initially used as a sacred geography, as a guidebook for tourists, and as a publication of omens.

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Extra resources for A Chinese Bestiary: Strange Creatures from the Guideways Through Mountains and Seas

Example text

And the Pendant-Ears People [no. 328]. Similarly, there are also people with a single leg, men with dog’s heads, a headless people with faces on their torsos, and people whose heels are reversed. 82 During the early part of the Ming, editions were sponsored by the o‹cial Directorate of Education and circulated in handwritten copies as well as in a new printing of the Daoist Canon (c. 1444–45). These largely continued the interests of Song scholasticism and simply reprinted Guo Pu’s commentary. It was not until the middle of the sixteenth century, however, that another revival of interest in the book began that continued through the Qing dynasty and into the modern period.

The abundant data reflecting Wu’s broad reading is often useful in tracing later references to myths, places, and strange creatures in the original text, though it is randomly assembled without su‹cient discrimination of his sources. Of similar interest are two I N T R O D U C T I O N 2 3 introductory chapters. One collects prefaces and numerous evaluative remarks by scholars through the ages tracing the reception of the text from Liu Xin onward. The other, titled “Remarks on How to Read the Guideways” (Du shanhaijing yu), employs a genre in the form of random notes favored by late Ming and Qing literary critics to guide readers in appreciating the superior qualities of texts, especially fictional and dramatic works.

In another of his writings, The Master Who Embraces Simplicity, a chapter titled “Into Mountains and Over Streams” (Baopuzi: Dengshe, c. 320) presented beliefs about strange creatures in the landscape and esoteric techniques of managing them consistent with the ethos of Yu’s Nine Tripods and the use of the Guideways as a guide for travelers: All mountains, whether large or small, contain gods and powers, and the strength of these divinities is directly proportional to the size of the mountains.

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