Publisher: World Scientific Pub Co Inc
Language: English | Number of Pages: 311 | Format: Hardcover
Isbn-10: 9814287288 | Isbn-13: 9789814287289 | Publish date: 31/05/2010
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This was a very good selection of translations of Tang tales. However, it's another one I'm glad I got from the library instead of buying my own copy. The annotated notes for each tale are very good but have more to do with the technical process of translation than they do literature or cultural or social history. The tales are all very good though. Hongxian is the story of a very competent woman who "was originally a man in a previous incarnation" who was punished for killing people and therefore born a woman(19) and after performing her meritous service was able to return to her original male body (21). Likewise in the next tale Du Zichun was reborn as a woman as punishment and was not able to speak (57). He lived happily as a woman but when his husband killed their child he cried out and so lost his chance of immortality. Record within a pillow has the character start his career in the palace library (only later to discover his successful life was just a dream that brought no happiness). The Governor of the Southern Branch is about a man who has a reputation for drunkness gets very drunk passes out and becomes an honored guest at a palace. He has lots of success but then awakens to learn that the palace he was with was a colony of ants. He ends up giving up his drinking and following the Dao. The Tale of the curly beared guest has the guest disguise the competent serving girl as a man to help her escape with him. The last tale is the tale of Huo XiaoYu was about a scholar who swore his love to a girl but once he had became successful forgot his vows to her and betrayed her and she ended up killing herself and haunting him for awhile. I hope that one day I will get this collection and be able to use it for studying the original tales. The tales that were chosen were all familiar to me yet it was interesting to read this translations and see them in more depth. Once more I'm struck by the gender transformations and the cross dressing element of these stories.
Robot-mel said on Jul 22, 2012, 14:14