The Plum in the Golden Vase or, Chin P'ing Mei, Volume Two: The Rivals

Princeton University Press
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In this second of a planned five-volume series, David Roy provides a complete and annotated translation of the famous Chin P'ing Mei, an anonymous sixteenth-century Chinese novel that focuses on the domestic life of His-men Ch'ing, a corrupt, upwardly mobile merchant in a provincial town, who maintains a harem of six wives and concubines. This work, known primarily for its erotic realism, is also a landmark in the development of narrative art--not only from a specifically Chinese perspective but in a world-historical context.

With the possible exception of The Tale of Genji (1010) and Don Quixote (1615), there is no earlier work of prose fiction of equal sophistication in world literature. Although its importance in the history of Chinese narrative has long been recognized, the technical virtuosity of the author, which is more reminiscent of the Dickens of Bleak House, the Joyce of Ulysses, or the Nabokov of Lolita than anything in the earlier Chinese fiction tradition, has not yet received adequate recognition. This is partly because all of the existing European translations are either abridged or based on an inferior recension of the text. This translation and its annotation aim to faithfully represent and elucidate all the rhetorical features of the original in its most authentic form and thereby enable the Western reader to appreciate this Chinese masterpiece at its true worth.

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About the author

David Tod Roy (1933–2016) was professor emeritus of Chinese literature at the University of Chicago. His monumental five-volume translation of the Chin P'ing Mei was completed in 2013.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
May 2, 2013
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Pages
720
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ISBN
9781400847624
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / General
Literary Collections / Asian / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The Wen xuan, compiled by Xiao Tong (501-531) is the oldest surviving anthology of Chinese literature arranged by genre. It contains a total of 761 pieces of prose and verse by 130 writers from the late Zhou dynasty to the Liang dynasty (ca. 4th century B.C. to 6th century A.D.) The selection includes most of the best examples of fu (rhapsodies) and shi (lyric poems) from the Han, Wei, Jin, and North-South Dynasties periods, as well as representative examples of other early genres such as letters, memorials, prefaces, imperial edicts, inscriptions, epitaphs, laments, elegies, and eulogies.

This anthology was one of the primary sources of literary knowledge for educated Chinese in the premodern period, and it is still an essential work for specialists in classical Chinese literature. This volume completes the translation of the rhapsodies (chapters 13 through 19) and includes many important masterpieces of early Chinese literature such as the "Rhapsody on Literature" by Lu Ji, "Rhapsody on Contemplating the Mystery" by Zhang Heng, "Rhapsody on Dance" by Fu Yi, and "Rhapsody on the Zither" by Xi Kang.

Originally published in 1996.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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