English

Pu Songling`s View of Love

In Pu Songling’s personal life, he was deeply interested in supernatural tales and stories. For this reason, most of the stories narrated by Pu Songling were mere recollections from the older tales which he heard from the Tang Dynasty and the ones before that.60 of the stories of Pu Songling have been translated in English by Herbert A Giles, who is also quite popular for the development of a Wage-Giles system which transliterates the Chinese characters in the Roman Script. He was also an alcoholic and being a good listener was one of his strongest traits from the beginning. He has also narrated the fact himself, where he says, in the lapse of time my friends from all quarters have supplied me with quantities of material, which, from my habit of collecting, has grown into a vast pile’ (Pu and Giles 1969). However, he doesn’t obviously reproduce the tales as such, rather he adds to his collection of tales and stories where he adds an element of his own personal style along with with the personal ideologies, for instance, his perspectives on how a relationship between a man and woman should be.

One of his works, i.e. The Liaozhai Zhiyi which is translated as ‘Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio’ is a collection of around 291 tales in entirety. Originally, his book was available only in the form of a manuscript, and until years there were no efforts to constitute a publication out of it. However, it was in 1740 that his work was finally published by his own grandson in the 1740s (Pu and Giles 1969). An alternate title to the book was also proposed i.e. ‘History of Foxes and Ghosts’ since his writings strongly used fox spirits as the central characters. Furthermore, in the writings of Pu Song, the fox spirits can often be sensed where they seem to exist in male as well as the female form. However, the most popular tales incorporate these fox-spirits in the form of beautiful and young girls.

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