(Library of Chinese Classics)Stories Old and New(4 volumes)

喻世明言(4卷)

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Author: Feng Menglong
Language: Chinese and English bilingual
ISBN/ISSN: 9787806658369
2007; Hardcover;240*160mm;1832 pages

Stories Old and New, edited by Feng Menglong (1574-1646), the best-known compiler of anthologies of popular literature in the Ming dynasty, later known as Illustrious Words to Instruct the World, first published in 1620. Later Feng Menlong published Comprehensive Words to Warn the World and Constant Words to Awaken the World. These three collections of vernacular short stories (hua ben) are most referred to collectively as the San Yan (lit., Three Words) that represent the most important milestone in the development of the Chinese vernacular story.
The vernacular stories were told and retold to the grassroots' level at the teahouses and wayside gathering in the summer evenings by people's favorite storytellers. Master Feng Menglong gathered and edited them, and then had them published, that made them preserve to this day. Stories Old and New is considered the best of those three collections. This collection of 40 short stories provide for us such a vivid panoramic view of the bustling world of imperial China before the end of Ming: We can see a gallery of men and women - scholars and officials, emperors and ministers, peddlers and artisans, prostitutes and courtesans, match makers and fortunetellers, monks and nuns, rich merchants and servants, thieves and impostors, and even gods and ghosts, who find themselves involved in political intrigues, test of friendship, inheritance disputes, extramarital affaire and so on.
This bilingual edition is an unabridged version including Feng's interlinear notes and marginal comments. Shuhui Yang is professor of Chinese at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, USA. Yunqin Yang is a freelance simultaneous interpreter at the United Nations. Their English translation is very readable, concise and expertly done.

 


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