Anthony C. Yu's translation of "The Journey to the West", initially published in 1983, introduced English-speaking audiences to the classic Chinese novel in its entirety for the first time. Written in the sixteenth century, "The Journey to the West" tells the story of the fourteen-year pilgrimage of the monk Xuanzang, one of China's most famous religious heroes, and his four supernatural disciples, in search of Buddhist scriptures. An adventure rich with danger and excitement, this seminal work of the Chinese literary canon is by turns allegory, satire, and fantasy. With one hundred chapters written in both prose and poetry, "The Journey to the West" has always been a complicated and difficult text to render in English while preserving the lyricism of its language and the content of its plot. But Yu has successfully taken on the task, and in this new edition he has made his translations even more accurate and accessible. The explanatory notes are updated and augmented, and Yu has added much new material to his introduction, based on his original research as well as on the newest literary criticism and scholarship on Chinese religious traditions.
He has also modernized the transliterations included in each volume, using the now-standard Hanyu Pinyin romanization system. Perhaps most important, Yu has made changes to the translation itself in order to make it as precise as possible.
Anthony C. Yu is the Carl Darling Buck Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago.
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