A total of 197 rare and old books are to be auctioned on Saturday at the Taipei International Book Exhibition.
The most sought-after item is a rare reprint of Zhiyanzhai’s Re-Annotations to The Story of the Stone transcribed in the Jiaxu manuscript, an organizer said.
It is the earliest known copy of the Chinese classical novel Dream of the Red Chamber, Soyet Book editor-in-chief Fu Yueh-an (傅月庵) said.
The original re-annotations were brought to Taiwan in 1948 by Chinese academic and philosopher Hu Shih (胡適).
In 1961, Hu asked the Central Engraving and Printing Plant to print more than 1,000 copies.
The two-volume set that is to go on auction is one of these copies, Fu said, adding that its starting price is NT$300,000.
Also attracting the attention of collectors are two letters written by Hu in 1956 to a National Taiwan University graduate, praising his microfilm works and encouraging him to cooperate with a US organization, Fu said.
The letters are precious, because they have never before been made public and offer an insight into Hu’s dedication as an educator and mentor, Fu said, adding that the starting price is NT$500,000.
Several other rare items include limited-edition handmade books by Mitsuru Nishikawa, a Japanese writer in Taiwan during the Japanese colonial era, and an autographed copy of Kyoko’s House, a 1959 novel by Japanese author Yukio Mishima.
Western works are also on the list, including an 1860 edition of the The Complete Works of Shakespeare illustrated by Joseph Kenny Meadows, an 1893 edition of Eight Illustrations to Shakespeare’s Tempest by Walter Crane and an 1898 edition of The Poems of Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
Rare copies of books by Chinese writers Lu Xun (魯迅) and Eileen Chang (張愛玲), Taiwanese poet Chou Meng-tieh (周夢蝶) and Taiwanese novelist Chung Li-ho (鍾理和) are also to be auctioned.
It is the second consecutive year that the exhibition is holding a rare book auction.
Last year, about 50 books were sold, raising about NT$2 million for charity, Fu said.
The event this year is to be a commercial auction, which is rare in Taiwan and will allow book owners and bidders to test the items’ real monetary value, Fu said.
Collectors from China and Hong Kong are expected to place bids, Fu said.
The auction is also intended to highlight the importance of printed books, Fu said.
“E-books do not die, but printed books will age, become worn and perish,” he said. “They are like living beings, so we feel close to them. We hope to evoke memories of old printed books.”
Organized by Soyet Book, Mollie Used Books, the Taipei Book Fair Foundation and the Taiwan Cultural and Creativity Development Foundation, the auction will be held at the Taipei World Trade Center.
The exhibition opened on Tuesday and is to run until Sunday.
DISTRUST WARRANTED? The WHO is under China’s control and has become a useless organization, while data from China cannot be trusted, a Control Yuan member said China’s demand that the novel coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan, Hubei Province, not be referred to with names like the “Wuhan pneumonia” betrays its lack of confidence in itself, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told lawmakers yesterday. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tsai Yi-yu (蔡易餘) asked Su, during a interpellation at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, for his view on China’s attempts to redeem its national image in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. These included China’s efforts to “bleach” its image, including having WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus publicly praise its handling of the COVID-19 outbreak, and thanking it for buying time
TOO TIRED: Investigators found that the pilot’s lack of alertness could be attributed to a lack of sleep the previous night, when he had slept with his child It was a copilot’s inappropriate operation of the aircraft and the pilot’s insufficient alertness that led to a hard landing of a China Airlines cargo flight on Dec. 13, 2018, the Taiwan Transportation Safety Board said yesterday. Flight CI6844, a Boeing 747-409 which departed from Hong Kong International Airport, landed on the pre-threshold area of runway L5 at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, about 21m before the head of the runway, an investigation report said. The hard landing damaged three runway lights, but none of the personnel on board sustained any injuries, the report said. When approaching the runway, the copilot failed to maintain
REPEAT OFFENDER: The man went outside for exercise on Wednesday and then left his home on Saturday with his girlfriend, officials said A New Taipei City man has been fined NT$400,000 (US$13,221) and ordered into government quarantine after breaking home quarantine for a second time on Saturday. The 25-year-old man, surnamed Chen (陳) returned to Taiwan on Sunday last week and was ordered to home quarantine until Sunday. He was seen leaving his home on a scooter with his girlfriend on Saturday, three days after he was fined NT$200,000 for going outside to exercise, police said. Chen has now been placed in a quarantine center arranged by the district office and health center of the district where he lives, police said. Police warned the public
Taipei residents who stay at hotels in the city during their 14-day mandatory quarantine period are eligible to apply for the city’s NT$7,000 subsidy, with online applications to be launched next week. Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) on Monday said Taipei residents who have COVID-19 Health Declaration and Home Quarantine Notice dated after March 19 and a quarantine hotel receipt for the dates covered by the quarantine period, would be eligible for the subsidy. The Taipei City Government on Sunday told the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) that so many city residents are under home quarantine that about 90 percent of