The book begins with a history of previous translations of Tang tales, surveying how Chinese scholarship has shaped the reception and rendition of these texts in the West. In that context, Tang Dynasty Tales offers the first annotated translations of six major tales (often called chuanqi, "transmitting the strange") which are interpreted specifically for students and scholars interested in medieval Chinese literature. Following the model of intertextual readings that Glen Dudbridge introduced in his The Tale of Li Wa (Oxford, 1983), the annotation points to resonances with classical texts, while setting the tales in the political world of their time; the "Translator's Notes" that follow each translation explain how these resonances and topical contexts expand the meaning of the text. Each translation is also supported by a short glossary of original terms from the tale and a bibliography guiding the reader to further studies.The meticulous scholarship of this book elevates it above all existing collections of these stories, and the inclusion of a history of the translation work in the west, intended for graduate students, researchers, and other translators, broadens the collections' appeal.
The Tale of Hongyan (W Cao); Tu Tzu-ch'un (R Huntington); Record within the Pillow (B Knickerbocker); Record of the Governor of Southern Branch (W H Nienhauser, Jr.); An Account of Li the Red (W H Nienhauser, Jr.); An Account of Feng Yan (W H Nienhauser, Jr.); An Account of Huo Hsiao-yu (Z Zhang).