The Study of “Zuofeian rizuan” by Zheng Xuan in Late Ming Dynasty
Author’s Name: Chieh-Min Chou
Advisor’s Name: Mei-Chen Ho
Department & College: Chinese Literature, Liberal Arts
The thesis analyzes “Zuofeian rizuan” which compiled by Zheng Xuan in late Ming dynasty. First, this thesis collects historical documents, reinspects Zheng Xuan’s life and reinvestigate the versions and the spreads of “Zuofeian rizuan”. Second, it concludes and arranges the contents of “Zuofeian rizuan”. The concept is compilation. It can divide into three subjects. The three subjects are “regimen compilation”, “official admonition compilation” and “compilation of virtuous persuasion”. Analyze and explain these three subjects individually. Then, compare it with similar times’ version. It can stress the characteristic of “Zuofeian rizuan”.
The research achievements of the thesis is that clarify the literature value of “Zuofeian rizuan”. “Zuofeian rizuan” was a note which Zheng Xuan wrote when he studied. This book had three volumes which contained twenty chapters. It had been imitated and modified in late Ming dynasty and early Qing dynasty. It also had been circulated to Japan and Korea. According to the contents, this book had Zheng Xuan’s belief which is meliorism and virtuous persuasion. It also showed that the books in late Ming dynasty were mainly to use compilation and miscellany-note. Generally, “Zuofeian rizuan” reflected people’s reading preference in late Ming dynasty. It was also a feedback which Zheng Xuan wanted to give to the world he lived.
Key words: late Ming dynasty, Zheng Xuan, “Zuofeian rizuan,” note, compile
Zheng Xuan (about 1602-1646) was born in Houguan, Fujian. He had two courtesy names, Hanfeng and Hongkui. The highest-ranking post he got is a provincial governor of Yingtian. He worked as a ministry of Works in Long Wu of South-Ming dynasty. He compiled “Zuofeian rizuan” which had similar meanings to Tao Yuanming’s poet “I know today I am right, if yesterday was a complete mistake.” “Rizuan”, this word had strong feeling of time, so Zheng Xuan’s purpose of compiling was “introspection”. This book had three volumes which contained twenty chapters. It published in Chong Zhen of Ming dynasty, and it also republished in Long Wu dynasty. “Zuofeian rizuan” was a note which Zheng Xuan wrote when he studied. The chapters were short and the language was simplified. It had characteristics of note-novel and proverbial-style essays. People neglected “Zuofeian rizuan” for a long time. Therefore, the research achievements were less. However, researching into various version of documents and the ways of compiling books in Ming dynasty would rediscover the value and meaning of “Zuofeian rizuan”.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
This thesis uses the following materials: “History of the Ming dynasty”, “The Southern Ming”, chorography, anthology, literary sketches in Ming dynasty and Qing dynasty, the catalogs of studies in China. The methods of this thesis are document analysis, textual interpretation, statistical method, induction method.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
This thesis has six chapters. The first chapter is exordium which makes a description of question consciousness of this thesis. Sort selected publications and general situation of “Zuofeian rizuan” at present. This chapter also has conceptual framework.
The second chapter is about the content of “Zuofeian rizuan” and its characteristic of compiling and recording. This chapter is also related to historical materials collected in Ming dynasty and Qing dynasty to investigate Zheng Xuan’s life. According to bibliography, this chapter shows the arrangement of existing editions and spreading circumstance. “Zuofeian rizuan” had been circulated to Japan and Korea. “Zuofeian rizuan” had been counterfeited to be “Fu Shou Quan Shu” by booksellers who palm off Chen Ji Ru (1558-1639) in late Ming dynasty. In Qing dynasty, Nan Zhu Yuan, a jin-shi in Chong Zhen tenth year, re-edited it to be “Jing Ren Ji”. We can say that “Zuofeian rizuan” had been influenced by indirect spread of “Fu Shou Quan Shu” and “Jing Ren Ji”.
The third chapter to the fifth chapter focuses on three subjects which generalized from “Zuofeian rizuan”. Three subjects are “regimen compilation”, “official admonition compilation” and “compilation of virtuous persuasion”. Use this word, compilation, in order to emphasize compiling way of this book and the behavior of rewriting and abbreviating. Three subjects extend an individual to a group. These hide Zheng Xuan’s ideal for compiling this book. It not only has self reflection, but also exhorts people to be good. Furthermore, these chapter shows a comparison about “Zuofeian rizuan”,“Zun Sheng Ba Jian”, official admonition books in Ming dynasty and “Di Ji Lu”. “Zun Sheng Ba Jian” was written by Gao Lian(1573-1620). Yan Mao You, a jin-shi in Chong Zhen seventh year, wrote “Di Ji Lu”.
The content of “Zuofeian rizuan” is various, and it doesn’t have complete ideology. However, this book embodies the possibility of inquiring and pursuing righteousness from individuals in uneasy politics and society of late Ming dynasty. Therefore, we can say that “Zuofeian rizuan” represents compiling way of miscellany-note in late Ming dynasty. It reflected people’s reading preference in late Ming dynasty. It was also a feedback which Zheng Xuan wanted to give to the world he lived.