Compiled by Guo Yingde and Li Zhiyuan over ten years, Ming Qing xiqu xuba zuanjian provides the most comprehensive collection to date of xuba 序跋 (prefaces and postscripts) to Chinese dramatic texts. The editors conceive xuba in a broad sense: it not only refers to pieces with xu or ba in their titles but also encompasses all paratexts that “surround and comment on the main texts,” such as forewords (yin 引), general regulations (fanli 凡例), and principles for reading (dufa 讀法) (see 1). While most of the xuba in this collection were written in the Ming-Qing period, the editors have also chosen to include materials from the Yuan dynasty and the Republican era to present a fuller picture.

In fourteen juan 卷 (twelve ce 册), this work is divided into five parts, including individual playscripts (xiqu juben 戲曲劇本), anthologies of dramas (xiqu xuanji 戲曲選集), treatises...

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