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What was your original face?

Han-shan and Shih-te stonerubbing

Chinese literature Posted on Mon, January 11, 2010 20:58:32

The well known stonerubbing that has given most of us the visual of Han-shan and Shih-te, is based on a painting by Luo Ping (1733-1799). The painting is now in the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City.

The stonerubbing is from an engraved stone stele in the Hanshan Temple in Suzhou. Carved by Tang Renzhai some time in the years 1875-1908. The stele is larger (125×60 cm vs the paintings 78.7×51.8) with some minor differences in the details.

Source: Page 174-175 of Eccentric Visions: The Worlds of Luo Ping

Zürich : Mueseum Rietberg, 2009. – 3003 s. – ISBN 978-3-907077-44-3

Der Unauffindbare Einsiedler and other hard-to-get books.

Chinese literature Posted on Sat, April 14, 2007 12:14:40

There are some books borrowed from libraries and friends, that you find you would like a copy of later on. I’ve got 3 or 4 such titles. One was Paul Demieville’s L’oeuvre de Wang le zêlateur that I found in a french online bookstore a couple of years ago. (They still have copies for those interested.)

For several years I’ve tried to locate a copy of Goatkoei Lang-Tans thesis Der unaffindbare Einsiedler from 1985. Even wrote him at one time, didn’t recieve an answer though. But today in our mailbox it finally arrived through and the original publisher Haag + Herchen.

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The title translates into The hard to find recluse or The not at home hermit if you like. The Looking for a recluse but failing to find him-theme is well known in chinese poetry, and the author writes about its use in T’ang dynasty poetry. It’s a typically academic book, about half is footnotes.

Not sure if I’ll read it again, probably should since it’s about 20 years ago, its thinner than I remembered so we’ll see, but its good to have!

I’m still looking for A.R. Davis’ 2 volumes Tao-Yüan-ming (AD 365-427) : his works and their meaning (1983). There are copies available, but the prices are a bit beyond me? Hm?

Hm indeed. Found one described as “the first edition, not a funny reprint, in excellent condition, never used, perfect set” for 84 £. What the heck. Ordered from Plurabelle books via

Update. From Plurabelle books 13 april: “Many apologies, This set is no longer available. “


Han-shan in The journey to the west?

Chinese literature Posted on Mon, January 22, 2007 20:14:48

The illustrations below showing Hsuan-tsang recieving sutras, are taken from an 1614-edition of the 16th century chinese novel The journey to the west (西遊記). In the left panel are two figures that must be Han-shan and Shih-te.

Several years ago I read Arthur Waleys Monkey. I have long
thought about reading a complete translation, and decided to go for Anthony
C. Yu and his 4-volumes from Chicago University Press.

I have only just started on volume 1. There is no Han-shan in the index,
so I will keep my eyes open for a scene like this:

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The picture as shown above is a composite of 2 pictures, taken from pages 236 and 237 in volume 2 of a collection of old book-illustrations.

Mori Ogai (1862-1922)

Chinese literature Posted on Sat, December 30, 2006 15:02:09

I have just read The historical fiction of Mori Ogai (University of Hawai’i, 1991).
It contains a retelling of the preface to Han-shans poems that were quite good.

Of interest is also the story on T’ang dynasty poetess Yü Hsüan-chi.

Most of the stories in this book takes their motives from japanese history though.

Wang Fan-chih

Chinese literature Posted on Wed, November 15, 2006 15:25:29

I’ve written a small article on Wang Fan-chih, or brahmacarin/layman Wang, in Wikipedia.

The second collection of poems attributed to him, has many similarities with the Han-shan-collection. At least 3 poems have identical phrases.

The only full translation is into french, a partial one exist in german and there is none into english that I’m aware of.