The Plum in the Golden Vase or, Chin P'ing Mei: Volume Five: The Dissolution [NOOK Book]

Overview

This is the fifth and final volume in David Roy's celebrated translation of one of the most famous and important novels in Chinese literature. The Plum in the Golden Vase or, Chin P'ing Mei is an anonymous sixteenth-century work that focuses on the domestic life of Hsi-men Ch'ing, a corrupt, upwardly mobile merchant in a provincial town, who maintains a harem of six wives and concubines. The novel, known primarily for its erotic realism, is also a landmark in the development of the narrative art form--not only ...

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The Plum in the Golden Vase or, Chin P'ing Mei: Volume Five: The Dissolution

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Overview

This is the fifth and final volume in David Roy's celebrated translation of one of the most famous and important novels in Chinese literature. The Plum in the Golden Vase or, Chin P'ing Mei is an anonymous sixteenth-century work that focuses on the domestic life of Hsi-men Ch'ing, a corrupt, upwardly mobile merchant in a provincial town, who maintains a harem of six wives and concubines. The novel, known primarily for its erotic realism, is also a landmark in the development of the narrative art form--not only from a specifically Chinese perspective but in a world-historical context.

Written during the second half of the sixteenth century and first published in 1618, The Plum in the Golden Vase is noted for its surprisingly modern technique. With the possible exception of The Tale of Genji (ca. 1010) and Don Quixote (1605, 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 earlier Chinese fiction, 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 complete and annotated translation aims 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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Editorial Reviews

New York Review of Books - Jonathan Spence
Praise for the previous edition: Roy has made a major contribution to our overall understanding of the novel by so structuring every page of his translation that the numerous levels of narration are clearly differentiated. . . . In addition, [he] has annotated the text with a precision, thoroughness, and passion for detail that makes even a veteran reader of monographs smile with a kind of quiet disbelief.
Translation and Literature - Andrew Radford
Praise for the previous edition: Roy's translation provides a window onto the fall of a far bleaker house than anything contrived by Dickens.
Chicago Tribune Review of Books - Robert Chatain
Praise for the previous edition: Reading Roy's translation is a remarkable experience.
Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, Reviews - Shuhui Yang
Praise for the previous edition: Clearly David Roy is the greatest scholar-translator in the field of premodern vernacular Chinese fiction. . . . The puns and various other kinds of word plays that abound in the Chin P'ing Mei are so difficult to translate that I can't help 'slapping the table in amazement' each time I see evidence of Roy's masterful rendition of them. . . . I recommend this book, in the strongest possible terms, to anyone interested in the novel form in general, in Chinese literature in particular, or in the translation of Chinese literature.
From the Publisher
One of The Wall Street Journal Bookshelf Best Books of 2013, chosen by Tash Aw

"[A] book of manners for the debauched. Its readers in the late Ming period likely hid it under their bedcovers."—Amy Tan, New York Times Book Review

"David Tod Roy, after more 20 years of work, completed the fifth volume of his translation of the Chin Ping Mei, entitled The Plum in the Golden Vase. It's a masterpiece an epic scholarly achievement. . . . The world of the Chin Ping Mei is beautiful and dark, cheap and exalted, righteous and profane, gorgeous and lurid and stinking and glorious."—Stephen Marche, Los Angeles Review of Books

"Roy's complete translation makes it possible for English readers everywhere to read and appreciate this work, one of the great, sophisticated masterpieces of world literature."—Choice

Praise for the previous volumes: "[I]t is time to remind ourselves that The Plum in the Golden Vase is not just about sex, whether the numerous descriptions of sexual acts throughout the novel be viewed as titillating, harshly realistic, or, in Mr. Roy's words, intended 'to express in the most powerful metaphor available to him the author's contempt for the sort of persons who indulge in them.' The novel is a sprawling panorama of life and times in urban China, allegedly set safely in the Sung dynasty, but transparently contemporary to the author's late sixteenth-century world, as scores of internal references demonstrate. The eight hundred or so men, women, and children who appear in the book cover a breath-taking variety of human types, and encompass pretty much every imaginable mood and genre—from sadism to tenderness, from light humor to philosophical musings, from acute social commentary to outrageous satire."—Jonathan Spence, New York Review of Books

Praise for the previous volumes:"Roy's translation provides a window onto the fall of a far bleaker house than anything contrived by Dickens."—Andrew Radford, Translation and Literature

Praise for the previous volumes:"Reading Roy's translation is a remarkable experience."—Robert Chatain, Chicago Tribune Review of Books

Praise for the previous edition: Clearly David Roy is the greatest scholar-translator in the field of premodern vernacular Chinese fiction. . . . The puns and various other kinds of word plays that abound in the Chin P'ing Mei are so difficult to translate that I can't help 'slapping the table in amazement' each time I see evidence of Roy's masterful rendition of them. . . . I recommend this book, in the strongest possible terms, to anyone interested in the novel form in general, in Chinese literature in particular, or in the translation of Chinese literature."—Shuhui Yang, Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, Reviews

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400848157
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 9/29/2013
  • Series: Princeton Library of Asian Translations
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Course Book
  • Pages: 624
  • Sales rank: 658,368
  • File size: 13 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

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 classes since 1967.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix
Acknowledgments xi
Cast of Characters xiii

CHAPTER 81
Han Tao-kuo Takes Advantage of a Chance to Appropriate the Goods;
T'ang Lai-pao Defrauds His Master and Disregards His Benevolence 1
CHAPTER 82
P'an Chin-lien Makes an Assignation on a Moonlit Night;
Ch'en Ching-chi Enjoys Two Beauties in a Painted Bower 17
CHAPTER 83
Ch'iu-chü, Harboring Resentment, Reveals a Clandestine Affair;
Ch'un-mei Transmits a Note to Facilitate a Lovers' Rendezvous 35
CHAPTER 84
Wu Yüeh-niang Creates a Stir in the Temple of Iridescent Clouds;
Sung Chiang Uprightly Frees Her from the Ch'ing-feng Stronghold 54
CHAPTER 85
Wu Yüeh-niang Surprises Chin-lien in the Act of Adultery;
Auntie Hsüeh Agrees to Sell Ch'un-mei on a Moonlit Night 72
CHAPTER 86
Sun Hsüeh-o Instigates the Beating of Ch'en Ching-chi;
Dame Wang Marries Off Chin-lien to the Highest Bidder 90
CHAPTER 87
Dame Wang Hungers after Wealth and Receives Her Just Reward;
Wu Sung Kills His Sister-in-law and Propitiates His Brother 113
CHAPTER 88
P'an Chin-lien Appears in a Dream in Commandant Chou Hsiu's Home;
Wu Yüeh-niang Contributes a Gift to a Subscription-Seeking Monk 131
CHAPTER 89
On the Ch'ing-ming Festival the Widow Visits the New Grave;
Wu Yüeh-niang Blunders into the Temple of Eternal Felicity 151
CHAPTER 90
Lai-wang Absconds Together with Sun Hsüeh-o;
Sun Hsüeh-o Is Sold to Chou Hsiu's Household 174
CHAPTER 91
Meng Yü-lou Is Happy to Marry Li Kung-pi;
Li Kung-pi in a Fit of Rage Beats Yü-tsan 194
CHAPTER 92
Ch'en Ching-chi Is Entrapped in Yen-chou Prefecture;
Wu Yüeh-Niang Creates a Stir in the District Yamen 218
CHAPTER 93
Wang Hsüan Relies on Righteousness to Help the Poor;
Abbot Jen in the Desire for Profit Invites Disaster 244
CHAPTER 94
Liu the Second Drunkenly Beats Ch'en Ching-chi;
Sun Hsüeh-o Becomes a Trollop in My Own Tavern 269
CHAPTER 95
P'ing-an Absconds with Jewelry from the Pawnshop;
Auntie Hsüeh Cleverly Proposes a Personal Appeal 289
CHAPTER 96
Ch'un-mei Enjoys Visiting the Pools and Pavilions of Her Old Home;
Commandant Chou Hsiu Sends Chang Sheng to Look for Ch'en Ching-chi 309
CHAPTER 97
Ch'en Ching-chi Plays a Role in the Commandant's Household;
Auntie Hsüeh Peddles Trinkets and Proposes a Marriage Match 330
CHAPTER 98
Ch'en Ching-chi Opens a Tavern in Lin-ch'ing;
Han Ai-chieh Encounters a Lover in a Bordello 349
CHAPTER 99
Liu the Second Drunkenly Curses Wang Liu-erh;
Chang Sheng Wrathfully Kills Ch'en Ching-chi 370
CHAPTER 100
Han Ai-chieh Seeks Her Father and Mother in Hu-chou;
Ch'an Master P'u-ching Rescues Souls from Perdition 391

Notes 421
Bibliography 501
Index 525

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2013

    A masterpiece. A big masterpiece. I read it decades ago in the

    A masterpiece. A big masterpiece. I read it decades ago in the Waley translation, and am finishing it for the second time in Professor Roy's. It's long, but well worth the time.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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