Alister David Inglis. Hong Mai's "Record of the Listener" and Its Song Dynasty Context. SUNY Series in Chinese Philosophy and Culture. Albany: State University of New York, 2006. xii, 237 pp. Hardcover $65.00, Isbn-10 0791468216, Isbn-13 9780791468210. In recent years, a growing number of Western scholars have mined Hong Mai's (11231202) Record of the Listener (Yijian zhi) for information on Song culture, society, and particularly religion. Despite the increasing recognition of the Record as a source, however, guides to the nature and content of Hong Mai's massive compilation are rare, especially in English.1 Inglis seeks to fill this gap with a study of the text and its historical context, a task at which he partly succeeds. For a social historian like me, the strength of Inglis's study is the constellation of insights into the Record that he generates as a specialist in literary texts. The Record has been customarily slotted into the category of anomaly accounts, or zhiguai (). Inglis does not wholly disagree with this categorization, but he builds on the work of Robert Ford Campany and others to argue that the zhiguai tradition from which the Record stems is far more related to the genre of
China Review International – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Nov 28, 2008
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