Hong Mai (Chinese: 洪邁, 1123 Poyang-1202 Hangzhou), courtesy name Jinglu (景盧), art name Yechu (野處) and Rongzhai (容齋), was a Chinese statesman, Confucian scholar and writer during the Southern Song dynasty.
Hong was born in the year of 1123 in Poyang. His father Hong Hao was a Song official who participated the negotiations between Song and Jin during the wars of Jingkang era. He also had two elder brothers whose name were Hong Kuo and Hong Zun respectively.
In 1162, Hong Mai was sent to Jurchen Empire; which ruled the northern half of China at the time; as a diplomat. During his stay in the north, he tried to establish a truce in Shandong but the Jurchens were not ready to accommodate. Mai did not receive any response from the north and returned south by autumn.
In 1166, Hong was appointed the magistrate of Jizhou. In the following years, he also governed Ganzhou and Wuzhou in turn.
In 1175, Hong became a member of the national archive and participated in the compiling of Chronicles.
Yijianzhi was one of Hong's major contribution to the Chinese Yaoguai mythology tradition that dates back to the time of Gan Bao. The record spoke widely about incidents that are mythical, fantastic, and supernatural during Song dynasty. More importantly, the record depicts the daily life of Song dynasty Chinese in detail which otherwise would remain unknown to modern time researchers.
Hong Mai was an advocate of Chinese colloquial fiction writing. He elevated the writing of fiction to the same level of poetry. Especially, Hong praised the Tang dynasty fiction writers for their touching renditions of common people's day-to-day emotions.
In 1180, Hong Mai initiated his project of compiling ten thousand Tang dynasty poems. The compiling was completed in the year of 1190. The publication is known as "Ten thousand quatrains of Tang".
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