The Plum in the Golden Vase or, Chin P'ing Mei: Volume One: The Gathering / Edition 1

The Plum in the Golden Vase or, Chin P'ing Mei: Volume One: The Gathering / Edition 1

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by Princeton University Press, David Tod Roy
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0691016143

ISBN-13: 9780691016146

Pub. Date: 03/17/1997

Publisher: Princeton University Press

In this first of a planned five-volume set, David Roy provides a complete and annotated translation of the famous Chin P'ing Mei, an anonymous sixteenth-century Chinese novel 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. This work, known

Overview

In this first of a planned five-volume set, David Roy provides a complete and annotated translation of the famous Chin P'ing Mei, an anonymous sixteenth-century Chinese novel 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. This work, 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691016146
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
03/17/1997
Series:
Princeton Library of Asian Translations Series
Edition description:
Abridged
Pages:
714
Sales rank:
1,067,480
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.70(d)

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The Plum in the Golden Vase or, "Chin P'ing Mei": Volume One: The Gathering 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
David Todd Roy provides a formidable apparatus to the book: an introduction that speculates over the author's philosophy and extensive footnotes that explain the historical and literary references as well as names mentioned in the book. So when I got to the actual text, I was astonished by how much fun it is to read (caveat: I am only half way through so far). It is about the household, career and romantic adventures of a 12th Century merchant (the book was written in the late 16th Century--and the Roy makes clear in his introduction that the author is criticizing contemporary society, even while setting events several centuries earlier). There is so much that is wonderful here: details of daily life, courtship, bribery, prostitution, business, politics--it all feels wonderfully contemporary. And the women characters are, if anything, more conniving, ambitious and sexually avaricious than the men. It is sometimes described as "pornographic." That is not the case, although the sex can sometimes be rather explicit--it's normally presented with great humor--and one suspects the author of satire. Just as he makes fun of people's base motives, he also seems to call into question the reality of their etherial and romantic experiences. It would take far too long to describe the unwinding plot, which has the convolutions of an endless soap opera, but it is a delight to read and hard to put down. Bravo!