Stories to Awaken the World, the first complete translation of Xingshi hengyan, completes the publication in English of the famous three-volume set of Feng Menglong's popular Chinese-vernacular stories. These tales, which come from a variety of sources (some dating back centuries before their compilation in the seventeenth century), were assembled and circulated by Feng, who not only saved them from oblivion but raised the status of vernacular literature and provided material for authors of the great Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) novels to draw upon. This trilogy has been compared to Boccaccio's Decameron and the stories of A Thousand and One Nights. Peopled with scholars, emperors, ministers, generals, and a gallery of ordinary men and women - merchants and artisans, prostitutes and courtesans, matchmakers and fortune-tellers, monks and nuns, thieves and imposters - the stories provide a vivid panorama of the bustling world of late imperial China. The longest volume in the Sanyan trilogy, Stories to Awaken the World is presented in full here, including sexually explicit elements often omitted from Chinese editions.
Shuhui Yang and Yunqin Yang have provided a rare treat for English readers: an unparalleled view of the art of traditional Chinese short fiction. As with the first two collections in the trilogy, Stories Old and New and Stories to Caution the World, their excellent renditions of the forty stories in this collection are eminently readable, accurate, and lively. They have included all of the poetry that is scattered throughout the stories, as well as Feng Menglong's interlinear and marginal comments, which convey the values shared among the Chinese cultural elite, point out what original readers of the collection were being asked to appreciate in the writer's art, and reveal Feng's moral engagement with the social problems of his day. The Yangs's translations rank among the very finest English versions of Chinese fiction from any period.
For other titles in the collection go to http://www.washington.edu/uwpress/books/ming.html
Feng Menglong (1574-1646), the most knowledgeable connoisseur of Chinese popular literature of his time, is best known for his three collections of vernacular stories, now commonly known as the Sanyan. Shuhui Yang is professor of Chinese at Bates College, Lewiston, Maine. Yunqin Yang is a simultaneous interpreter in the United Nations Secretariat. Together, they translated Feng's Stories Old and New (Gujin xiaoshuo) and Stories to Caution the World (Jingshi tongyan).
AcknowledgmentsForewordIntroductionTranslators' NoteChronology of Chinese Dynasties Stories to Awaken the World Preface [to the 1627 edition]1. Two High-Minded County Magistrates Vie to Take On an Orphan Girl as Daughter-in-Law2. Three Devoted Brothers Win Honor by Yielding Family Property to One Another3. The Oil-Peddler Wins the Queen of Flowers4. The Old Gardener Meets Fair Maidens5. The Grateful Tiger Delivers the Bride at Big Tree Slope6. Divine Foxes Lose a Book at Small Water Bay7. Scholar Qian Is Blessed with a Wife through a Happy Mistake8. Prefect Qiao Rearranges Matches in an Arbitrary Decision9. Chen Duoshou and His Wife Bound in Life and in Death10. The Liu Brothers in Brotherhood and in Marriage11. Three Times Su Xiaomei Tests Her Groom12. Four Times Abbot Foyin Flirts with Qinniang13. The Leather Boot as Evidence against the God Erlang's Impostor14. The Fan Tower Restaurant as Witness to the Love of Zhou Shengxian15. In Eternal Regret, He Daqing Leaves Behind a Lovers' Silk Ribbon16. In Defiance, Lu Wuhan Refuses to Give Up the Colored Shoes17. Zhang Xiaoji Takes in His Brother-in-Law at Chenliu18. Shi Fu Encounters a Friend at Tanque19. Bai Yuniang Endures Hardships and Brings about Her Husband's Success20. Zhang Tingxiu Escapes from Death and Saves His Father21. With Her Wisdom Zhang Shu'er Helps Mr. Yang Escape22. With His Flying Sword Lu Dongbin Attempts to Kill the Yellow Dragon23. Prince Hailing of Jin Dies from Indulgence in Lust24. Emperor Yang of the Sui Dynasty Is Punished for His Life of Extravagance25. Mr. Dugu Has the Strangest Dreams on His Journey Home26. Magistrate Xue Proves His Divinity through a Fish27. Li Yuying Appeals for Justice from Jail28. Young Master Wu Goes to a Tryst in the Next Boat29. With His Passion for Poetry and Wine, Scholar Lu Scorns Dukes and Earls30. In a Humble Inn, Li Mian Meets a Knight-Errant31. Regional Commander Zheng Renders Distinguished Service with His Divine-Arm Bow32. Scholar Huang Is Blessed with Divine Aid through His Jade-Horse Pendant33. Over Fifteen Strings of Cash, a Jest Leads to Dire Disasters34. For One Penny, a Small Grudge Ends in Stark Tragedies35. In Righteous Wrath, Old Servant Xu Builds Up a Family Fortune36. Enduring Humiliation, Cai Ruihong Seeks Revenge37. Du Zichun Goes to Chang'an Three Times38. Daoist Li Enters Cloud Gate Cave Alone39. Magistsrate Wang Burns Down Precious Lotus Monastery40. The God of Madang Conjures Wind to Blow Wang Bo to Prince Teng's Pavilion Notes