Wandering Spirits (Hardcover)

Chen Shiyuan’s Encyclopedia of Dreams

By Richard E. Strassberg

University of California Press, 9780520252943, 312pp.

Publication Date: April 21, 2008

List Price: 85.00*
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Dreams have been taken seriously in China for at least three millennia. Wandering Spirits is a translation and study of the most comprehensive work on dream culture in traditional China—Lofty Principles of Dream Interpretation (Mengzhan yizhi), compiled in 1562 by Chen Shiyuan and periodically reprinted up to the modern era. The best introduction to the diversity of ideas held by the educated class about dreams, this unique treatise compiles various theories, Chen's own comments concerning the nature of dreams and their role in waking life, and almost seven hundred examples assembled from a wide range of literary sources. This annotated translation is accompanied by a full-length introduction that surveys the evolution of Chinese dream culture and the role of Chen Shiyuan and his encyclopedia.

About the Author

Richard E. Strassberg is Professor of Chinese at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is author of Inscribed Landscapes: Travel Writing from Imperial China and A Chinese Bestiary: Strange Creatures from the Guideways through Mountains and Seas (both from UC Press) among other books.

Praise For Wandering Spirits: Chen Shiyuan’s Encyclopedia of Dreams

“An important scholarly endeavor.”

— Choice