Biographies of Various Immortals
The 2-volumed Biographies of Various Immortals( 《列仙傳》 Lie Xian Zhuan ) is attributed to Liu Xiang by its own preface. But the Bibliographical Records, History of Han does not record this. According the examination of contemporary scholar Yu Jiaxi, the book should be written by someone living between Ming Emperor and Shun Emperor of the Han. Some say some Daoists wrote the book sometime during the Wei and Jin period. However, the book was completed before the Western Jin, for it was cited by Ge Hong and is recorded in the Records of Books History of the Sui. The version in the Daoist Canon of the Zhengtong Era listed over 70 immortals, such as Master Red Pine, the Yellow Emperor, Grandpa Rongcheng, Laozi, Guanling Yin, and Lu Shang. Similar to the Biographies of Respectful Ladies ( 列女傳 Lie Nu Zhuan ), an ode is attached at the end of each biography and a general ode at the end of the book. The recorded immortals in the three dynasties and Qin and Han are widely spread as cited in literature by immortal-story tellers of different dynasties. Collected in the Subsection of Biographies, Pervasive Perfection Section ( 洞真部 Dongzhen Bu ) of the Daoist Canon ( 《正統道藏》 Zhengtong Daozang ) and in Seven Slips of the Cloudy Satchel as extracts, the book is valuable reference material for the study of the Daoist immortal system and its relationship with literature.