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Princeton University Press

Plum in the Golden Vase Or, Chin P'Ing Mei, Volume One: The Gathering (Revised)

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Title: Plum in the Golden Vase Or, Chin P'Ing Mei, Volume One: The Gathering (Revised)
Author: David Tod Roy
ISBN: 9780691016146
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Published: 1997
Binding: Paperback
Language: English
Condition: Used: Fair
Reading copy with considerable wear. May have marking in text. Binding may be cracked; all pages present. Does not include dust jacket. We sometimes source from libraries. We ship in recyclable American-made mailers. 100% money-back guarantee on all order

P 1465916

Publisher Description:
This first of five planned volumes begins David Roy's long-awaited complete and annotated translation of an anonymous sixteenth-century Chinese novel, the famous Chin P'ing Mei. A work known primarily for its erotic realism, the Chin P'ing Mei is also a landmark in the development of narrative art not only from a specifically Chinese perspective but in a world-historical context. Since all previous European language translations are either abridged or based on an inferior version of the text, Roy's faithful and lively translation is the first to do full justice to this rich and complex work of literature, which 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 and eventually exhausts himself in conspicuous consumption in the economic, political, and sexual spheres.Although the novel is set in the years 1112 through 1127, the final decades of the Northern Sung dynasty, the conditions described are those of the sixteenth century, a period of burgeoning economic growth and volatile social change that threatened the traditional values of Chinese society. The story of the corrupt rise and ignominious fall of Hsi-men Ch'ing's household is both a reflection and a critique of these conditions, and can be read as a microcosm of the moral disintegration of the Chinese body politic, culminating in the collapse of the ruling dynasty. The first volume can stand on its own, as it tells a fascinating story that begins with Hsi-men Ch'ing's conquest of the notorious P'an Chin-lien and his conniving in the poisoning of her husband and continues through the protagonist's intrigue with Li P'ing-erh,the wife of his next-door neighbor and his sworn brother, to the death of the betrayed husband and Li P'ing-erh's rough initiation as a member of Hsi-men Ch'ing's household.In this translation, the Chin P'ing Mei can be understood and appreciated at a variety of levels by audiences ran