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The Book of Burial is an important work for the relatively neglected topic of

Fengshui (geomancy) because it is considered the earliest work that defines its basic

terms. Nevertheless, we do not know when the text dates from – Zhang thinks that Guo

Pu was the author, yet he fails to put forward any solid evidence that this was the case. It

could well be that it was composed in the Song (960-1279) by its first putative editor Cai

Yuanding (1135-1198). Zhang asserts that the text incorporates Confucian ideas;

nevertheless, it is only Wu Cheng’s (1249-1331) annotation to the Book of Burial that can

be construed as Confucian in tone. In the main body of the text, Zhang translates each

line of the Book of Burial, along with Wu Cheng’s annotation and his own commentary to

the passage. Unfortunately, Zhang only provides Chinese characters for the pity Book of

Burial and not Wu’s voluminous annotation. Furthermore, even though Wu frequently

mentions important terms, Zhang only discusses them when they come up in the main

text, which creates a lag in between when one first encounters the term and when the

translator explains it. This book’s translation is useful to those interested in the Book of

Burial, but it is not a volume to give one a general introduction to Fengshui.

Keith N. Knapp

The Citadel