Pu Songling

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Pu Songling

Pu Songling (Chinese: 蒲松齡; 5 June 164025 February 1715) was a Qing Dynasty Chinese writer, best known as the author of Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio (Liaozhai zhiyi).


Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio (1740)[edit]

  • My talents are not those of Kan Pao, elegant explorer of the records of the Gods; I am rather animated by the spirit of Su Tung-P'o, who loved to hear men speak of the supernatural. I get people to commit what they tell me to writing, and subsequently I dress it up in the form of a story; thus in the lapse of time my friends from all quarters have supplied me with quantities of material, which, from my habit of collecting, has grown into a vast pile.
    • "Author's Own Record", trans. Herbert Allen Giles in Gems of Chinese Literature (1922), p. 235
    • Variant translation:
      • With time
        And my love of hoarding,
        The matter sent me by friends
        From the four corners
        Has grown into a pile.
        • "Author's Preface", lines 28–32, trans. John Minford in Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio (Penguin, 2006), pp. 30–31
  • How foolish men are, to see nothing but beauty in what is clearly evil! [...] Heaven's Way has its inexorable justice, but some mortals remain foolish and never see the light!
    • "The Painted Skin", trans. John Minford in Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio (Penguin, 2006), p. 521

Quotes about Pu Songling[edit]

  • One striking difference between many of Pu Song-ling's literary ghost stories and their Western counterparts is the frequent undercurrent of whimsy and humor, found precisely in the conjunction of the ordinary and the supernatural, the domestic and demonic.
    • Stephen Owen, An Anthology of Chinese Literature: Beginnings to 1911 (1996), p. 1103

External links[edit]

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