The Plum in the Golden Vase Or, Chin P'Ing Mei: The Rivals

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Princeton University Press, Apr 1, 2006 - Fiction - 646 pages
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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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User Review  - questbird - LibraryThing

Like Story of the Stone, the Plum in the Golden Vase is a dense work with many characters, but focused on one household. However the characters are generally mean, spiteful, corrupt or generally ... Read full review

Contents

List of Illustrations
xiii
CHAPTER
3
CHAPTER
21
CHAPTER 23
43
CHAPTER 24
62
CHAPTER 25
80
CHAPTER 26
100
CHAPTER 27
127
Pan Chinlien Raises Kuanko as High as She Can Hold Him
259
CHAPTER 33
261
CHAPTER 34
282
CHAPTER 35
309
CHAPTER 36
345
CHAPTER 37
360
CHAPTER 38
382
CHAPTER 39
404

Pan Chinlien Engages in a Drunken Orgy under the Grape Arbor
147
CHAPTER 28
150
CHAPTER 29
166
Laipao Escorts the Shipment of Birthday Gifts
194
CHAPTER 31
214
CHAPTER 32
242
CHAPTER 40
438
APPENDIX
453
Notes
473
Bibliography
513
Index
605
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

David Tod Roy is Professor Emeritus of Chinese Literature at the University of Chicago, where he has studied the "Chin P'ing Mei" and taught it in his classics for the last three decades.

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