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The Dream of Confucius
     

The Dream of Confucius

by Jean Levi, Barbara Bray (Translator)
 
Jean Levi gives a fascinating account of two Great Men who lose both love and honor in their bitter, long struggle for power over a disintegrating empire.

Overview

Jean Levi gives a fascinating account of two Great Men who lose both love and honor in their bitter, long struggle for power over a disintegrating empire.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The confusion and chaos of China in the third century B.C. percolates throughout French sinologist Levi's second novel, in deliberate contrast to the portrait of the austerely ordered world third-century B.C. China presented in the author's Prix de Goncourt-winning The Chinese Emperor. Whet-Iron, the eventual founder of the Han dynasty, struggles with his rival Plume to assert his power after the fall of the Ch'in order. An unlikely victor, Whet-Iron is neither particularly talented nor shrewd; addressing the riddle of Whet-Iron's victory, Levi attributes his success to fate, a vehicle represented here by hexagrams taken from the I Ching. The intellectual underpinnings of this novel are unassailable, but the historical turbulence and disorder that Levi hopes to convey spill over into the narrative itself--a profusion of minor characters and minor story lines floods the work. Levi demands much of his readers, and his rewards may not justify their efforts. (Oct.)
Anne Gendler
Riddled with the motifs of the Chinese "I Ching", this cryptic novel tells the story of the foundation of the Han dynasty in 202 B.C. The author is a famous sinologist, and his previous novel, "Chinese Emperor" (1987), was set in the tyrannical period into which the main character of this book is born. Many omens attend the birth of Whet-Iron (Liu Pang) during the austere rule of Emperor Ch'in Shih Huang Ti, when a stern, cold order prevails in China. An ordinary and not especially likable man, Whet-Iron nonetheless is destined to be emperor. He rises to power on a wave of spontaneous rebellion, as robber chiefs wrest control from the bureaucracy, and local officials turn into outlaws. The book is elegantly written and very mysterious.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780151265701
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
10/01/1992
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
294
Product dimensions:
6.29(w) x 9.31(h) x 1.19(d)

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