The Soushen Houji: Latter Notes on Collected Spirit Phenomena Attributed to Tao Yuanming: (365-427) (Paperback)
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The Sōushen houji 搜神後記 (Latter Notes on Collected Spirit Phenomena), attributed to the celebrated poet Tao Qian 陶潛 (365-427), is a compilation of anecdotes and stories known as zhiguai 志怪 ('records of the anomalous') that document strange and unusual phenomena the author observed in his lifetime. Intended to serve as a sequel to Gān Bǎo's 干寳 (d. 336) Sōushenji 搜神記 (Collected Spirit Phenomena), the original text was lost but was reconstructed in the late Ming dynasty. This volume presents an annotated translation of the entire Ming version of the Sōushen houji as well as of an additional set of surviving stories that were identified and restored to the text by the modern scholar Lǐ Jianguo 李劍國. The book also includes a history of the Sōushen houji text, an examination of its linguistic style and characteristics, a discussion of the historical nature of its contents and how it fits into the zhiguai genre, providing a window onto medieval Chinese society and culture, and a brief overview of recent zhiguai scholarship to guide readers who hope to continue their exploration of the genre.