Liaozhai Zhiyi by Pu Songling: "The Mural"
Pu instead wrote his stories in the classical idiom, freely adopting forms and themes from the old chuanqi (“marvel tales”) of the Tang and Song dynasties.
He compiled these anecdotes and stories by adding his own world view, as well as the source of most of the stories. It is unknown how much of the collection had been completed by 1679, the year dated on his own preface to Liaozhai. For many decades, Liaozhai was circulated in manuscript form. It was not published until 1766, fifty-one years after Pu’s death. In the 1766 edition, there are 455 stories. Later, more stories were gradually found and added to the first edition. Now Liaozhai edited by Qikai Zhu (朱其铠) and published in 1992 contains 497 short stories.
Mixing genres and modes, and juxtaposing aesthetic refinement with discursive power, Pu Songling's ghost tales function as a literary construction, a projection of human psychology, an interpolation on religious belief, and a contested field of cultural and ideological debate.