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University of Washington Press
Stories Old and New: A Ming Dynasty Collection / Edition 1

Stories Old and New: A Ming Dynasty Collection / Edition 1


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Stories Old and New is the first complete translation of Feng Menglong’s Gujin xiaoshuo (also known as Yushi mingyan, Illustrious Words to Instruct the World), a collection of 40 short stories first published in 1620 in China. This is considered the best of Feng’s three such collections and was a pivotal work in the development of vernacular fiction. The stories are valuable as examples of early fiction and for their detailed depiction of daily life among a broad range of social classes. The stories are populated by scholars and courtesans, spirits and ghosts, Buddhist monks and nuns, pirates and emperors, and officials both virtuous and corrupt. The streets and abodes of late-Ming China come alive in Shuhui Yang and Yunqin Yang’s smooth and colorful translation of these entertaining tales.

Stories Old and New has long been popular in China and has been published there in numerous editions. Although some of the stories have appeared in English translations in journals and anthologies, they have not previously been presented sequentially in thematic pairs as arranged by Feng Menglong. This unabridged translation, illustrated with a selection of woodcuts from the original Ming dynasty edition and including Feng’s interlinear notes and marginal comments, as well as all of the verse woven throughout the text, allows the modern reader to experience the text as did its first audience nearly four centuries ago.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780295978444
Publisher: University of Washington Press
Publication date: 04/01/2000
Series: Ming Dynasty Collection Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 825
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.64(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Shuhui Yang is associate professor of Chinese at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. He is the author of Appropriation and Representation: Feng Menglong and the Chinese Vernacular Story. Yunqin Yang is a freelance simultaneous interpreter at the United Nations.For other titles in the collection go to

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Translators’ Note
Chronology of Chinese Dynasties
Title Page from the 1620 Edition
Preface to the 1620 Edition
1) Jiang Zingge Reencounters His Pearl Shirt
2) Censor Chen Ingeniously Solves the Case of the Gold Hairpins and Brooches
3) Han the Fifth Sells Her Charms in New Bridge Town
4) Ruan San Redeems His Debt in Leisurely Clouds Nunnery
5) Penniless Ma Zhou Meets His Opportunity through a Woman Selling Pancakes
6) Lord Ge Gives Away Pearl Maiden
7) Yang Jiao’ai Lays Down His Life for the Sake of Friendship
8) Wu Bao’an Abandons His Family to Ransom His Friend
9) Duke Pei of Jin Returns a Concubine to Her Rightful Husband
10) Magistrate Teng Settles the Case of Inheritance with Ghostly Cleverness
11) Zhao Bosheng Meets with Emperor Renzong in a Teahouse
12) Zhang Daoling Tests Zhao Sheng Seven Times
14) Chen Xiyi Rejects Four Appointments from the Imperial court
15) The Dragon-and-Tiger Reunion of Shi Hongzhao the Minister and his Friend the King
16) The Chicken-and-Millet Dinner for Fan Juqing, Friend in Life and Death
17) Shan Fulang’s Happy Marriage in Quanzhou
18) Yang Balao’s Extraordinary Family Reunion in the Land of Yue
19) Yang Qianzhi Meets a Monk Knight-Errant on a Journey by Boat
20) Chen Congshan Loses His Wife on Mei Ridge
21) Qian Poliu Begins His Career in Lin’an
22) Zheng Huchen Seeks Revenge in Mumian Temple
23) Zhang Shunmei Finds a Fair Lady during the Lantern Festival
24) Yang Siwen Meets an Old Acquaintance in Yanshan
25) Yan Pingzhong Kills Three Men with Two Peaches
26) Shen Ziu Causes Seven Deaths with One Bird
27) Jin Yunu Beats the Heartless Man
28) Li Xiuqing Marries the Virgin Huang with Honor
29) Monk Moon Bright Redeems Willow Green
30) Abbot Mingwu Redeems Abbot Wujie
31) Sima Mao Disrupts Order in the Underworld and Sits in Judgement
32) Humu Di Intones Poems and Visits the Netherworld
33) Old Man Zhang Grows Melons and Marries Wennu
34) Mr. Li Saves a Snake and Wins Chenxin
35) The Monk with a Note Cleverly Tricks Huangfu’s Wife
36) Song the Fourth Greatly Torments Tightwad Zhang
37) Emperor Wudi of the Liang Dynasty Goes to the Land of Extreme Bliss through Ceaseless Cultivation
38) Ren the Filial Son with a Fiery Disposition Becomes a God
39) Wang Xinzhi Dies to Save the Entire Family
40) Shen Xiaoxia Encounters the Expedition Memorials

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