Overview

This anthology features translations of ten seminal plays written during the Yuan dynasty (1279-1368), a period considered the golden age of Chinese theater. By turns lyrical and earthy, sentimental and ironic, Yuan drama spans a broad emotional, linguistic, and stylistic range. Combining sung arias with declaimed verses and doggerels, dialogues and mime, and jokes and acrobatic feats, Yuan drama formed a vital part of China's culture of performance and entertainment in the ...

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The Columbia Anthology of Yuan Drama

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Overview

This anthology features translations of ten seminal plays written during the Yuan dynasty (1279-1368), a period considered the golden age of Chinese theater. By turns lyrical and earthy, sentimental and ironic, Yuan drama spans a broad emotional, linguistic, and stylistic range. Combining sung arias with declaimed verses and doggerels, dialogues and mime, and jokes and acrobatic feats, Yuan drama formed a vital part of China's culture of performance and entertainment in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.

To date, few Yuan-dynasty plays have been translated into English. Well-known translators and scholars have supervised the making of this collection and add a short description to each play. A general introduction situates all selections within their cultural and historical contexts.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Wilt L. Idema

This magnificent collection represents the great variety in subject and style on the early Chinese stage. Almost all the translations are based on the early-seventeenth-century versions of these plays prepared by Zang Maoxun (d. 1621), who provided his contemporary readers with carefully prepared and lavishly produced editions. Eminently readable, these editions have ensured the place of Yuan drama in late-imperial and modern literature, and for almost four centuries they have shaped Chinese and foreign readers' image of these dramas.

Patricia Sieber

A landmark in the translation of Chinese literature. Not only are the renditions exceptionally lively, engaging, and beautifully crafted, but the thematic range of the ten plays--each accompanied by an informative introduction--illustrates the richness of the early corpus of Chinese song-drama. Meticulously annotated and responsive to the complexities of the textual history, the translations will enchant scholars, undergraduates, and general readers alike.

Tian Yuan Tan

A much broader representation of Yuan zaju drama than previous translations offer. What's more, the editors do a marvelous job providing ample historical sources for the plays. These rich and detailed annotations make it especially useful for teaching purposes and for general readers.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231537346
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 4/29/2014
  • Series: Translations from the Asian Classics
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 496
  • Sales rank: 1,329,672
  • File size: 18 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

C. T. Hsia is professor emeritus of Chinese at Columbia University and is coeditor, with Joseph S. M. Lau and Leo O. Lee, of Modern Chinese Stories and Novellas, 1919--1949.

Wai-Yee Li is professor of Chinese literature and director of graduate studies at Harvard University. She is the author of Enchantment and Disenchantment: Love and Illusion in Chinese Literature and The Readability of the Past in Early Chinese Historiography.

George Kao (1912--2008) was a Chinese American author, translator, and journalist who served as director of the West Coast office of China's Government Information Office and as editor in chief of the Chinese Press.

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsIntroductionPart 1. Historical Plays1. Ji Junxiang, The Zhao Orphan, translated by Pi-twan Huang and Wai-yee LiThe Zhao Orphan in Yuan Editions, by Wai-yee Li2. Anonymous, Tricking Kuai Tong, translated by Wai-yee LiPart 2. Crime and Punishment3. Anonymous, Selling Rice in Chenzhou, translated by Richard C. Hessney4. Meng Hanqing, The Moheluo Doll, translated by Jonathan ChavesPart 3. Folly and Consequences5. Qin Jianfu, The Eastern Hall Elder, translated by Robert E. Hegel and Wai-yee Li6. Li Zhifu, The Tiger Head Plaque, translated by Yoram Szekely, C.T. Hsia, Wai-yee Li, and George KaoPart 4. Female Agency7. Guan Hanqing, Rescuing a Sister, translated by George Kao and Wai-yee Li8. Shi Junbao, Qiu Hu Tries to Seduce His Wife, translated by John Coleman, James M. Hargett, Kuan-fook Lai, Gloria Shen, and Wang MingPart 5. Romantic Love9. Bai Pu, On Horseback and Over the Garden Wall, translated by Jerome Cavanaugh and Wai-yee Li10. Li Haogu, Scholar Zhang Boils the Sea, translated by Allen A. ZimmermanBibliography

Columbia University Press

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