Stories from a Ming collection
The popularity of the Chinese storyteller goes back to the marketplace of the T'ang dynasty, but the familiar figure came into its own in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. This selection of stories from Feng Menglong's collection, Stories Old and New (originally published in 1624), includes representative types of the storyteller's traditional art. "The Pearl-Sewn Shirt" is a cautionary romance describing the tragedy of a broken marriage; the heroic biography, which depicts a neglected man of high worth gradually receiving recognition, is represented by "Wine and Dumplings"; an authentic twelfth-century forerunner of the detective story is found in "The Canary Murders." The other tales concern traffic in the supernatural, didactic admonitions to observe morality in sex and loyalty in friendship, and realistic accounts of the meanness and corruption of official life. Also includes "The Lady Who Was a Beggar," "The Journey of the Corpse," "The Story of Wu Pao-an," and "The Fairy's Rescue."
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The Pearlsewn Shirt
The Story of Wu Paoan
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An-chii asked barbarians began beggars brothers brought canary Canary Murders capital Ch'ang-an Ch'en Ta-lang Chang Chiang Hsing-ko Chin Lao-ta Chou Chou's Chung-hsiang corpse Dame Hsueh daughter dynasty Emperor fairy father feet Feng Fortune gave girl go-betweens hand Hangchow happened head heard heart honour Hsiieh Hsin Ting Hsu Te-hou hundred rolls hundred thousand strings husband Imperial Jade Slave jewels journey Lady of Letters Light Cloud lived look Madam P'ing Madam Wang magistrate maids marriage married melons Meng Meng Huo Military Governor murdered never night old woman Pearl-sewn Shirt Prefect prefecture ransom replied the old rolls of silk sent Shen Hsiu Shen Yii Shen Yu silver snow story-teller strings of cash Suichou Sung T'ang taels tears tell thing told took tramp-major Wei I-fang Wei Shu wife willow park wine Wu Pao-an Wu T'ien-yu Yaochou Yuan Yuan-chen