Saturday, August 7, 2010

130,000-page edition

They don't make them like they used to. A 130,000 edition of a single work:

"Sichuan in the late Tang was the first region to produce woodblock
printed books on any significant scale. Under the Song, a Daoist
compendium was printed of about 130,000 pages in over 5,000
fascicules, as well as the world's first paper money."

Mark Elvin, The Retreat of the Elephants: An Environmental History of
China, Yale University Press, 2004, p. 59. I'm reading the Kindle
edition of this book.

Elvin is referring to the Tripitaka, or Three Baskets, i.e. the
Buddhist canon. Frederick Mote explains (in Imperial China, 900-1800,
Harvard U Press, 2003, p. 85) that the Tripitaka was printed between
972 and 973.