(Library of Chinese Classics)Flowers in the Mirror(2 Volumes)


Price: $100.00


Author: Li Ruzhen
Language: Chinese and English bilingual
ISBN/ISSN: 978806577950
Published on: 2005-01

Li Ruzhen (1763-1830) was born in Hebei province. He declined to conform to the bagu essay form and never went beyond the county examinations. He worked on his novel Flowers in the Mirror for fifteen years, completing it in 1827.
This novel tells the story of a Daoist fairy named Fairy of the Hundred Flowers that has fallen from grace and tries to gain back her immortality. Li Ruzhen, himself failing to attain a higher examination degree, uses allegories to describe the caption of a human being between appearance and reality, the temporal and the eternal. This background gives the whole novel a touch of fantasy, fleeing from reality like the banished fairy that travels to strange countries. Coming back to China, she encounters the Tang empress Wu Zetian and passes examination to be reunited with her earthly father. The describing of a woman's dynasty makes this very personal novel looking like an attack on the social conditions in traditional China, like a kind of feminist pamphlet. But looking more exactly at the end of the story, the fantasy of a woman realm has to cede to the reinstalling of the Confucian tradition. Braking out of his own society, the worldly unsuccessful author has to come back to reality

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