In a book you will find the girl whose face is like jade.
Pu Songling (1640-1715)
Strange tales of Liaozhai
Paper and silk mounted on silver silk brocade, China, 1820-1850 – CB 802
The Strange tales of Liaozhai, one of the masterpieces of Chinese literature, was written in the second half of the 17th century by Pu Songling, the most remarkable storyteller of the beginning of the Qing dynasty. Throughout this compendium of 500 stories written in classical Chinese, the underlying theme is the strange, supernatural and fantasy world so dear to Chinese literature.
The Bodmer manuscript is in its original state. Pages of text, where the columns of Chinese calligraphy are always in the same virtual square, alternate with aquarelle paintings on silk. The pages are folded together in the form of a leporello. It contains only three tales: the stories of the madman; the great saint who equalled the sky; and the frog god. It no doubt dates back to the Daoguang era (1820-1850) and is most likely the only remaining copy of what was originally an entire manuscript of the Liaozhai zhiyi. The original would have been composed of 140 to 150 identical booklets.
Click on the image to view.