Since there is no Sung edition of the vernacular story surviving, the Pao-wên-t'ang catalogue 寶文堂書目，edited in the middle of the Ming dynasty, has been accepted as one of the earliest reliable references to the Sung and Yüan vernacular story or the so-called hua-pên 話本. Investigating the Pao-wên-t'ang catalogue, we find several editions published by Ch'ing-p'ing-shan-t'ang 淸平山堂 in the catalogue, as well as 24 titles of Sixty Stories 六十家小説 out of 29 which are now surviving. This fact assures us that the reference to the vernacular story in the Pao-wên-t'ang catalogue indicates the contemporary editions in the middle-Ming, not the Sung and Yüan editions. As long as the Pao-wên-t'ang catalogue records the titles of Sixty Stories, we must be able to find the unknown titles of the lost part of the Sixty Stories in it. As a result of bibliographical study, we can reconstruct 46 stories of Sixty Stories, including 29 surviving, 10 newly found and existing in other editions, and 7 newly found with only their known titles being extant. We have no evidence any more that the Pao-wên-t'ang catalogue refers to the Sung and Yüan story. Therefore it is more doubtful, from a bibliographical point of view, that the so-called hua-pên existed in the Sung dynasty.
|Translated title of the contribution||A Bibliographical Study of Ch'ing-P'ing-shan-t'ang's Sixty Stories: Rethinking the Baowentang Catalogue's References to Huaben|
|Number of pages||16|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 31 1993|