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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 ofshort stories first published inin 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 talesStories 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


10 thoughts on “Stories Old and New: A Ming Dynasty Collection

  1. Mel Mel says:

    A full translation of Feng Menglong s San Yan is totally unbelievable This is the first volume of 40 stories and 794 pages long I started reading it back in November but had to stop reading it when I hurt my wrist as it was too big and heavy to hold I finished up the remaining stories this week I totally loved this book The stories are brilliant and Feng s comments are amusing and enjoyable A lot of the stories are quite long, around 40 pages or so and you get a real sense of the character A full translation of Feng Menglong s San Yan is totally unbelievable This is the first volume of 40 stories and 794 pages long I started reading it back in November but had to stop reading it when I hurt my wrist as it was too big and heavy to hold I finished up the remaining stories this week I totally loved this book The stories are brilliant and Feng s comments are amusing and enjoyable A lot of the stories are quite long, around 40 pages or so and you get a real sense of the characters The plots range from the mundane to the supernatural There are courtesans, bandits, ghosts, fox spirits and deities One of my favorites was about two men who became good friends When they parted they agreed to meet again on a certain day in the future The man who was supposed to travel wasn t able to and having heard that ghosts could travel a 1000 li in a day killed himself so he could travel at supernatural speeds to meet his friend for their visit They had dinner and then he revealed what he had done His friend went to his home and buried him, then killed himself after ordering that they be buried together These stories are all the reasons that I love Chinese literature, culture and history so much I was bought the second volume over 800 pages for Christmas and can t wait to read the next installment I know this is one book I will read over and over


  2. Helmut Helmut says:

    Klare Worte, um die Welt zu erhellenDer Freund, der viele Lebensjahre f r seinen gefangenen Freund hingibt die Zusammenf hrung einer Ehe ber vier Ecken und viele Verwirrungen der Weg eines Taoisten hin zur Unsterblichkeit entgegen den Machenschaften vieler d monischer Feinde Dies sind einige der Themen der Geschichten, die Feng Menglong in der Ming Dynastie zusammengetragen, bearbeitet und ver ffentlicht hat Der m ndliche Ursprung vieler der Geschichten wird nicht verborgen Der Erz hler is Klare Worte, um die Welt zu erhellenDer Freund, der viele Lebensjahre f r seinen gefangenen Freund hingibt die Zusammenf hrung einer Ehe ber vier Ecken und viele Verwirrungen der Weg eines Taoisten hin zur Unsterblichkeit entgegen den Machenschaften vieler d monischer Feinde Dies sind einige der Themen der Geschichten, die Feng Menglong in der Ming Dynastie zusammengetragen, bearbeitet und ver ffentlicht hat Der m ndliche Ursprung vieler der Geschichten wird nicht verborgen Der Erz hler ist klar in Struktur und Inhalt noch erkennbar, sei es durch die direkte Ansprache oder die Vorgeschichten, die den meisten Einzelepisoden vorangestellt werden Paarweise erstmals in dieser originalen Anordnung in bersetzung erh ltlich beleuchten die Geschichten Aspekte der Alltagskultur wie Freundschaft, Liebe, Treue, Loyalit t, Gerechtigkeit und Aufrichtigkeit ein Kaleidoskop der chinesischen Kultur aus verschiedensten Zeitaltern und ein interessantes Fenster in die Vergangenheit Sprachlich und thematisch vielleicht nicht ganz so ausgefeilt wie die Werke eines Li Yu, so findet sich in diesen 40 Schnurren doch viel Unterhaltsames und vielleicht tats chlich, wie vom Autor gew nscht, Erhellendes.Die Bindung ist fest und h lt den dicken, gro formatigen 800 Seiten W lzer gut zusammen Papier und Druckbild sind hochwertig, die immer wieder auftauchenden Reproduktionen der alten Drucke etwas grob und zu dunkel Die Romanisierung erfolgt in Pinyin ohne Tonmarkierung, hin und wieder sind auch chinesische Schriftzeichen vorhanden Die Randbemerkungen Fengs sind, kursiv gesetzt, an den Originalstellen im Text eingef gt und kommentieren die aktuelle Handlung Ungewohnt, aber nicht st rend, ist der Flattersatz Die englische bersetzung ist sehr fl ssig und aus einem Guss in moderner Sprache die Gedichte, die immer wieder auftreten, wurden in freiem Vers bertragen und nicht k nstlich in Reimform gezwungen.Eine gewisse hnlichkeit in der Themenwahl zu Pu Songlings Liaozhai Zhiyi auf deutsch als Geister und Liebesgeschichten aus der Sammlung Liao dschai dschi yi erh ltlich ist unverkennbar, doch Fengs Geschichten sind deutlich erdiger und humorvoller als die Pus Trotzdem sei auch diese Lekt re jedem empfohlen, den Feng Menglong mit seinem Werk in den Bann gezogen hat Oder man greift zu den 80 weiteren Sanyan Geschichten Fengs, die die Welt aufmuntern und ern chtern sollen


  3. Christopher Christopher says:

    The forty stories in this collection are thematically paired, and each typically begins with a poem and a sort of prologue story before launching into the main narrative The prologue story often ends abruptly, leaving the reader wanting , where the main narrative is sometimes a bit overwritten Many of them sort of washed over me without leaving a strong impression, even though I tried reading them spaced out at different times Still, they re sophisticated stories, and in each one I could The forty stories in this collection are thematically paired, and each typically begins with a poem and a sort of prologue story before launching into the main narrative The prologue story often ends abruptly, leaving the reader wanting , where the main narrative is sometimes a bit overwritten Many of them sort of washed over me without leaving a strong impression, even though I tried reading them spaced out at different times Still, they re sophisticated stories, and in each one I could usually see either interesting cultural context or a thoughtful moral


  4. Justin Newland Justin Newland says:

    Yup, a fascinating read A great introduction to the beliefs and culture of the Chinese in the Ming Dynasty I was particularly interested in the social s and the keen Chinese belief in the supernatural, both of which are amply represented in these unusual stories.


  5. Johanna Johanna says:

    I think this is the first book that exposed me to smut stories