Reviews 475 Christoph Kaderas. Die Leishu der imperialen Bibliothek des Kaisers Qianlong (The lei-shu in the imperial library of the Qianlong emperor). Asienund Afrika-Studien der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, vol. 4. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1998. 336 pp. Hardcover DM 198, ISBN 3447040599. This book is the first major attempt to discuss and analyze a collection of socalled Chinese "lei-shu" in a systematic way. Because there are no comparable previous studies on this topic, Christoph Kaderas has chosen to concentrate on the altogether sixty-five lei-shu contained in the Ssu-k'u ch'üan-shu, which today is easily accessible to many scholars all over the globe and at the same time contains the most extensive collection of classical lei-shu. Kaderas starts with a critique of the conventional rendering of "lei-shu" as "encyclopedias." According to him, this Western term should no longer be used as an equivalent for lei-shu. Kaderas also declares that simply to translate "lei-shu" as "classified book" is not much help either, since there are many other works in Chinese literature (such as the Chou-li, Shuo-yüan, and Hsin-hsü) that could be treated under this heading but that have never been called a "lei-shu" by Chinese authors. The combination of "lei" and "shu" began
China Review International – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Sep 1, 2000
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