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Asian Literature

17 Item(s)

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  1. A Tale of Two Melons

    Sarah Schneewind

    A Tale of Two Melons

    "Undergraduates will join specialists in enjoying this feast of melons. Schneewind's marvelous little book is at once a primer in some key aspects of China's traditional civilization and history, as well as a case study of an obscurely understood event that took place in 1372, in the reign of Taizu, founder of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). When two melons share a single stalk, and a local grower presents the anomaly to the emperor, the symbolism, the intentions of the giver, the reaction of the recipient, and the meaning of the whole act to observers and later commentators turn out to be anything but straightforward. Divergent interpretations began immediately, and continue to the present day."
         —John Dardess,  University of Kansas

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    Edited and Translated, with an Introduction, by Wilt L. Idema
    and Stephen H. West

    Battles, Betrayals, and Brotherhood

     "Battles, Betrayals, and Brotherhood is a brilliant introduction to one of China’s best-loved heroic traditions. And of course the translations are wonderful—very lively!" —Katherine Carlitz, University of Pittsburgh

    "[A] veritable treasure trove of materials in English for those interested in exploring the immediate predecessors of the Ming novel [The Romance of the Three Kingdoms]. The translations in Battles, Betrayals, and Brotherhood are, as is typical of Idema and West's work, colloquial and lively while simultaneously meticulously researched. This volume is a welcome addition to our resources on early drama and the Three Kingdoms story cycle alike, and will no doubt continue to inspire lively class discussions and productive research for some time to come." —CHINOPERL: Journal of Chinese Oral & Performing Literature

  3. Bhagavad Gita

    A New Verse Translation by Stanley Lombardo
    Introduction and Afterword by Richard H. Davis

    Bhagavad Gita

    Stanley Lombardo's new verse translation of the most famous free-standing sequence from the great Indian epic The Mahabharata hews closely to the meaning, verse structure, and performative quality of the original and is invigorated by its judicious incorporation of key Sanskrit terms in transliteration, for which a glossary is also provided The translation is accompanied by Richard H. Davis' brilliant Introduction and Afterword. The latter, "Krishna on Modern Fields of Battle," offers a fascinating look at the illuminating role the poem has played in the lives and struggles of a few of the most accomplished figures in recent world history.

    "Lucid, detailed, and erupting with fearsome visions, the Bhagavad Gita has baffled English-language translators for 250 years. Stanley Lombardo is the first to recognize that at its root the Sanskrit Gita was oral performance. Beyond word and meaning, past nuance or doctrine, Lombardo restores the archaic tradition of voice and conch shell. When you read this edition aloud the hair on your neck will stand up. Add a drum and it’s a performance. A grand old culture comes to life. Both essays by Richard Davis are superb, placing the Gita in historical context, back then, and more recently." —Andrew Schelling, Naropa University


  4. Butterfly Mother

    Translated by Mark Bender
    Based on a Version Compiled by Jin Dan and Ma Xueliang

    Butterfly Mother

    "Talk about 'persistent cultures'—this translation of the great epic, mythic tellings of the Miao/Hmong peoples is a window into a huge ancient soul of sustainable spirit and practice. Mark Bender's commentary provides context and details of places and singers that makes it even richer. This book provides new insights into how deeply oral recitation and performance can be embedded in a whole society, and some fresh, stunning stories."
         —Gary Snyder, author of Mountains and Rivers Without End

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    Edited and Translated, with an Introduction, by Wilt L. Idema

    Filial Piety and Its Divine Rewards

    Of the many ballads, tales, and plays extolling filial piety (xiao)—the foundational virtue of imperial China—none was more popular in that era than the legend of Dong Yong and his heavenly helpmate, Weaving Maiden. Continually revised and embellished over a millennium, the tale's popularity remains, finding new expression in Chinese film and opera in the twentieth century. The five versions of the legend presented here, alongside a selection of related texts, illustrate changing perceptions of xiao from the tenth century through the first part of the twentieth in a variety of genres. An appendix traces the development of the related legend of Weaving Maiden and Buffalo Boy from myth to folktale.

  6. Monks, Bandits, Lovers, and Immortals

    Edited and Translated, with Introduction, by Stephen H. West & Wilt L. Idema

    Monks, Bandits, Lovers, and Immortals

     "This magnificent collection of eleven early [1250–1450] Chinese plays will give readers a vivid sense of life and a clear understanding of dramatic literature during an extraordinarily eventful period in Chinese history. Not only are the eleven plays in this volume expertly translated into lively, idiomatic English; they are each provided with illuminating, scholarly introductions that are yet fully intelligible to the educated lay reader. A marvelous volume."
         —Victor Mair, University of Pennsylvania

  7. Mulan

    Translated and Introduced by Shiamin Kwa & Wilt L. Idema


    This volume offers lively translations of the earliest recorded version of the legend and several later iterations of the tale (including the screenplay of the hugely successful 1939 Chinese film Mulan Joins the Army), illustrating the many ways that reinterpretations of this basic story reflect centuries of changes in Chinese cultural, political, and sexual attitudes.

    "The plots and the elaborations of the Mulan narratives reproduced (and summarized) here demonstrate the many ways in which the Mulan figure has spoken to succeeding generations with differing heroic characteristics and in the idiom that each audience understood; they offer excellent texts for a deep background for any consideration of Mulan in contemporary culture. For scholars of European fairy tales, the narratives offer striking points of comparison with European crossdressing heroines of the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries." —Ruth B. Bottigheimer, Stony Brook University

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    Translated, with Introduction, by Philip J. Ivanhoe

    Readings from the Lu-Wang School of Neo-Confucianism

    This volume provides selected translations from the writings of Lu Xiangshan; Wang Yangming; and the Platform Sutra, a work which had profound influence on neo-Confucian thought. Each of these three sections is preceded by an introduction that sketches important features of the history, biography, and philosophy of the author and explores some of the main features and characteristics of his work. The range of genres represented—letters, recorded sayings, essays, meditations and poetry—provide the reader with insights into the philosophical and stylistic themes of this fascinating and influential branch of neo-Confucian thought.

  9. Record of the Listener

    Hong Mai
    Edited and Translated, with an Introduction, by Cong Ellen Zhang

    Record of the Listener

    "Scholars who know classical Chinese have been reading and citing Hong Mai’s wonderful collection for many years. Now students can access these informative materials through Zhang’s lively English translations. They are both fun to read and deeply informative about daily life, religion, markets, and multiple social groups in the twelfth century. The comprehensive thematic guide allows readers to locate tales by subject matter, making this collection of 100 narratives ideal for classroom use."
    —Valerie Hansen, Yale University

  10. Six Records of a Life Adrift

    Shen Fu
    Translated, with Introduction and Notes, by Graham Sanders

    Six Records of a Life Adrift

    "Shen Fu’s Six Records of a Life Adrift is the most intimate document at our disposal of private life in late imperial China. Graham Sanders now provides us with a new translation for the 21st century, which is not only well researched but also highly readable." —Wilt Idema, Harvard University

  11. Tales from Tang Dynasty China

    Edited, with an Introduction, by Alexei Kamran Ditter, Jessey Choo, and Sarah M. Allen

    Tales from Tang Dynasty China

    "This new collection of Tang dynasty tales translated from the Taiping Guangji is an outstanding new resource for students of China. The stories are well-chosen to represent the fascinating breadth of medieval Chinese culture—tales of romance, politics, revenge, and interactions with the supernatural bring to life the richness of medieval religion and society. The translations themselves are accurate and compelling. The authors and translators provide concise, clear introductions to each story and to the volume as a whole, and the collection is carefully organized and indexed so that teachers and students can explore stories on different topics. Lively and accessible to the non-specialist reader, this volume will make a terrific addition to any course on China."
    —Anna M. Shields, Princeton University

  12. Tao Te Ching

    Translated, with Translators' Preface, Glossary, and Pronunciation Guide, by Stephen Addiss and Stanley Lombardo; Introduction by Burton Watson, with Ink Drawings by Stephen Addiss

    Tao Te Ching

    This translation captures the terse and enigmatic beauty of the ancient original and resists the tendency toward interpretive paraphrase found in many other editions. Along with the complete translation, Lombardo and Addiss provide one or more key lines from the original Chinese for each of the eighty-one sections, together with a transliteration of the Chinese characters and a glossary commenting on the pronunciation and meaning of each Chinese character displayed. This greatly enhances the reader's appreciation of how the Chinese text works and feels and the different ways it can be translated into English.

    "This crystalline translation of the Tao Te Ching is accurate down to the nuance and as concisely poetic as the original. It preserves the quirks and flavors of the original text. The translators hearkened to the message of the book itself, and kept it clear and gently strong. Of the many translations I have read in English, this is unquestionably the best." —Gary Snyder, University of California at Davis

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    Edited and Translated, with an Introduction, by Patrick Olivelle and Mark McClish

    The Arthaśāstra

    "The translations are the collaborative product of the two leading authorities today on the Arthaśāstra. . . . Their work is consistently, meticulously accurate throughout, yet written in the most straightforward and direct manner imaginable. The material prefatory to each translated section is, again, clear and accessible. . . . Complex matters are effectively distilled in plain language, and the key issues brought out. Superb on all counts. I have been awaiting such a volume for a long time." —Timothy Lubin, Washington and Lee University

    "McClish and Olivelle's general Introduction to the Arthaśāstra is destined to become a classic in the field of South Asian studies; they have translated the text itself in an accessible style that students and general readers alike will comprehend and enjoy.” —James Frey, University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh

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    Edited and Translated, with Introduction, by Wilt L. Idema

    The Butterfly Lovers

    “A judiciously chosen selection of the highlights of the famous Liang-Zhu story cycle with a particular focus on earlier and little-known redactions in a multiplicity of genres. Expertly translated with glosses on cultural items, this volume will prove a boon to the English reader with an interest in the riches of Chinese oral and vernacular culture. Scholars and students of Chinese literature and culture will value this volume for the insight it gives into the emergence and development of the story at key points in the tradition. Teachers of Chinese literature, history, and gender studies too will find much to draw inspiration from in the introduction, the translated stories and the background material presented in this book.”
         —CHINOPERL Papers

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    Edited and Translated, with an Introduction, by Wilt L. Idema

    The White Snake and Her Son

    "Both by introducing the legend in such artfully rendered translations and showing its evolution over time, Idema has opened an extraordinary window on traditional Chinese popular culture. In keeping with his record, Idema's scholarship is outstanding.  His ability to translate popular texts into comparably idiomatic English is an outstanding achievement. An extremely valuable text for teaching."
         —Hugh R. Clark, Ursinus College

  16. Zen Sourcebook

    Edited by Stephen Addiss, Stanley Lombardo, and Judith Roitman
    Introduction by Paula Arai

    Zen Sourcebook

    "This is an excellent book . . . to be commended for its wide coverage; the Korean material is especially hard to find. . . . The short introductions to the selections are lucid, informative and focused, providing a good framework through which to understand the readings. Anyone who wants to work directly with translations of the primary texts, rather than textbook summaries, will find this book the most convenient available."
         —Brook Ziporyn, Northwestern University

  17. Zhuangzi: The Essential Writings

    Translated, with Introduction, by Brook Ziporyn

    Zhuangzi: The Essential Writings

    Ideal for students and scholars alike, this edition of Zhuangzi (Chuang Tzu) includes the complete Inner Chapters, extensive selections from the Outer and Miscellaneous Chapters, and judicious selections from two thousand years of traditional Chinese commentaries, which provide the reader access to the text as well as to its reception and interpretation. A glossary, brief biographies of the commentators, a bibliography, and an index are also included.

17 Item(s)

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