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Tsing Hua Journal of Chinese Studies
ISSN 0577-9170; DOI 10.6503/THJCS


Language and Similarity in the Dream Brook---A Study of Prognostication, Divine Oddities, and Strange Events in ≪Meng Xi Bitan≫

Vol. 23 No. 1   6/1993   


Language and Similarity in the Dream Brook---A Study of Prognostication, Divine Oddities, and Strange Events in Meng Xi Bitan


Hsiang-Lin Lei & Daiwie Fu









Key words



   A fundamental principle guiding this study of the famous jotting of Northern Sung Meng Xi Bitan (Meng Xi hereafter) is to take seriously the original classification or categorization of knowledge in MengXi (17 ). Categories like “Divine Oddities”(神奇) or “Strange Events”(異事) are taken as they are: each categories containing a group of statement-entry () with family resemblance to each other. Understand a category in Meng Xi is just like learning a special language with many language-examples grouped together within each category. Besides taking Divine Oddities and Strange Events as our focus of “Language-Learning”, we also pay special attention to the theme of prognostication in the “Dream Brook”, i.e., Meng Xi. 

Detailed comparisons of special topics in Divine Oddities with similar topics in different jottings are engaged in order to show “The Sacred ” character of this category and its multi-dimentional relationships with the Imperial power of Northern Sung. Similar comparisons of the theme of “prognostication” occurred in three different categories in Meng Xi show three different sense of prognostication , thus they confirm our fundamental principle that a historical category has tremendous influences on the meaning of every entry in that category. Using this fundamental principle in this study is meant to understanding the Meng Xi properly and historically, and also to serving as a contrast to many other historical studies of Meng Xi: using categories of “modern sciences” totally alien to Shen Gua in order ti interpret entries of Meng Xi out of their historical contexts



Author: Hsiang-Lin Lei & Daiwie Fu
Genre: Article
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