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Princeton Library of Asian Translations

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The Plum in the Golden Vase or, Chin P'ing Mei

The Rivals

David Tod Roy

In this second of a planned five-volume series, David Roy provides a complete and annotated translation of the famous Chin P'ing Mei, an anonymous sixteenth-century Chinese novel that focuses on the domestic life of His-men Ch'ing, a corrupt, upwardly mobile merchant in a provincial town, who maintains a harem of six wives and concubines. This work, known primarily for its erotic realism, is also a landmark in the development of narrative art--not only from a specifically Chinese perspective but in a world-historical context.

With the possible exception of The Tale of Genji (1010) and Don Quixote (1615), there is no earlier work of prose fiction of equal sophistication in world literature. Although its importance in the history of Chinese narrative has long been recognized, the technical virtuosity of the author, which is more reminiscent of the Dickens of Bleak House, the Joyce of Ulysses, or the Nabokov of Lolita than anything in the earlier Chinese fiction tradition, has not yet received adequate recognition. This is partly because all of the existing European translations are either abridged or based on an inferior recension of the text. This translation and its annotation aim to faithfully represent and elucidate all the rhetorical features of the original in its most authentic form and thereby enable the Western reader to appreciate this Chinese masterpiece at its true worth.

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The Plum in the Golden Vase or, Chin P'ing Mei, Volume Four

The Climax

David Tod Roy

This is the fourth and penultimate volume in David Roy's celebrated translation of one of the most famous and important novels in Chinese literature. The Plum in the Golden Vase or, Chin P'ing Mei is an anonymous sixteenth-century work that focuses on the domestic life of Hsi-men Ch'ing, a corrupt, upwardly mobile merchant in a provincial town, who maintains a harem of six wives and concubines. The novel, known primarily for its erotic realism, is also a landmark in the development of the narrative art form--not only from a specifically Chinese perspective but in a world-historical context.

Written during the second half of the sixteenth century and first published in 1618, The Plum in the Golden Vase is noted for its surprisingly modern technique. With the possible exception of The Tale of Genji (ca. 1010) and Don Quixote (1605, 1615), there is no earlier work of prose fiction of equal sophistication in world literature. Although its importance in the history of Chinese narrative has long been recognized, the technical virtuosity of the author, which is more reminiscent of the Dickens of Bleak House, the Joyce of Ulysses, or the Nabokov of Lolita than anything in earlier Chinese fiction, has not yet received adequate recognition. This is partly because all of the existing European translations are either abridged or based on an inferior recension of the text. This complete and annotated translation aims to faithfully represent and elucidate all the rhetorical features of the original in its most authentic form and thereby enable the Western reader to appreciate this Chinese masterpiece at its true worth.

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The Plum in the Golden Vase or, Chin P'ing Mei, Volume One

The Gathering

David Tod Roy

In this first of a planned five-volume set, David Roy provides a complete and annotated translation of the famous Chin P'ing Mei, an anonymous sixteenth-century Chinese novel that focuses on the domestic life of Hsi-men Ch'ing, a corrupt, upwardly mobile merchant in a provincial town, who maintains a harem of six wives and concubines. This work, known primarily for its erotic realism, is also a landmark in the development of the narrative art form--not only from a specifically Chinese perspective but in a world-historical context.

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The Plum in the Golden Vase or, Chin P'ing Mei, Volume Three

The Aphrodisiac

David Tod Roy

In this third volume of a planned five-volume series, David Roy provides a complete and annotated translation of the famous Chin P'ing Mei, an anonymous sixteenth-century Chinese novel that focuses on the domestic life of His-men Ch'ing, a corrupt, upwardly mobile merchant who maintains a harem of six wives and concubines. This work, known primarily for its erotic realism, is also a landmark in the development of narrative art--not only from a specifically Chinese perspective but also in a world-historical context.

Written during the second half of the sixteenth century and first published in 1618, The Plum in the Golden Vase is noted for its surprisingly modern technique. With the possible exception of The Tale of Genji (ca. 1010) and Don Quixote (1605, 1615), there is no earlier work of prose fiction of equal sophistication in world literature. Although its importance in the history of Chinese narrative has long been recognized, the technical virtuosity of the author, which is more reminiscent of the Dickens of Bleak House, the Joyce of Ulysses, or the Nabokov of Lolita than anything in earlier Chinese fiction, has not yet received adequate recognition. This is partly because all of the existing European translations are either abridged or based on an inferior recension of the text. This translation and its annotation aim to faithfully represent and elucidate all the rhetorical features of the original in its most authentic form and thereby enable the Western reader to appreciate this Chinese masterpiece at its true worth.

Replete with convincing portrayals of the darker side of human nature, it should appeal to anyone interested in a compelling story, compellingly told.

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Poets of the Tamil Anthologies

George L. Hart III

The poems of ancient Tamil are one of India's most important contributions to world literature. Presented here in English translation is a selection of roughly three hundred poems from five of the earliest poetic anthologies of classical Tamil literature. These lyrical poems are intimately related to the agricultural society that produced them, and their direct connection with the earth as well as their use of ornament and suggestion give them a quality unlike that of any other poetic tradition.

Originally published in 1979.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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The Rāmāyaṇa of Vālmīki: An Epic of Ancient India, Volume I

Balakāṇḍa

Robert P. Goldman

This is the first of seven volumes of a translation of the Valmiki Ramayana, the great Sanskrit epic of the life of Rama, ideal man and incarnation of the great god Visnu. This renowned work of ancient India has profoundly affected the literature, art, religions, and cultures of countless millions of people in South and Southeast Asiaan influence that is perhaps unparalleled in the history of world literature. Balakanda, the opening portion of this first translation to be based on the critical edition (Oriental Institute, Baroda), is presented here in a compact volume without the section of notes that appears in the hardcover book.

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The Rāmāyaṇa of Vālmīki: An Epic of Ancient India, Volume II

Ayodhyakāṇḍa

Robert P. Goldman

This is the second volume of a translation of India’s most beloved and influential epic saga, the monumental Rāmāyaṇa of Vālmīki. Of the seven sections of this great Sanskrit masterpiece, the Ayodhyakāṇḍa is the most human, and it remains one of the best introductions to the social and political values of traditional India. This readable translation is accompanied by commentary that elucidates the various problems of the text—philological, aesthetic, and cultural. The annotations make extensive use of the numerous commentaries on the Rāmāyaṇa composed in medieval India. The substantial introduction supplies a historical context for the poem and a critical reading that explores its literary and ideological components.

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The Rāmāyaṇa of Vālmīki: An Epic of Ancient India, Volume III

Aranyakāṇḍa

Robert P. Goldman

This is the third volume of a planned seven-volume translation of India's most beloved and influential epic tale--the Ramayana of Valmiki. This third volume carries forward the narrative by following the exiled hero Rama, his wife, and his brother on their wanderings. The book contains the narrative center of the epic, the abduction of Sita by the demon king Ravana. It provides a profound meditation on the paradox of the hero as both human and divine.

The present translation seeks to provide a readable and trustworthy English version of the poem. It is accompanied by a full commentary elucidating the philological, aesthetic, and cultural problems of the text. Extensive use is made in the annotations of the numerous commentaries on the Ramayana. The substantial introduction to this volume aims to supply a historical context for an appreciation of the poem and a critical reading exploring the ideological components of the work.

The volumes of this work will present the entire Ramayana, translated for the first time on the basis of the critical edition (Oriental Institute, Baroda).

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The Rāmāyaṇa of Vālmīki: An Epic of Ancient India, Volume IV

Kiskindhakāṇḍa

Rosalind Lefeber

This is the fourth volume of a translation of India's most beloved and influential epic tale--the Ramayana of Valmiki. As befits its position at the center of the work, Volume IV presents the hero Rama at the turning point of his fortunes. Having previously lost first his kingship and then his wife, he now forms an alliance with the monkey prince, Sugriva. Rama needs the monkeys to help him find his abducted wife, Sita, and they do finally discover where her abductor has taken her. But first Rama must agree to secure for his new ally the throne of the monkey kingdom by eliminating the reigning king, Sugriva's detested elder brother, Valin. The tragic rivalry between the two monkey brothers is in sharp contrast to Rama's affectionate relationship with his own brothers and forms a self-contained episode within the larger story of Rama's adventures.

This volume continues the translation of the critical edition of the Valmiki Ramayana, a version considerably reduced from the vulgate on which all previous translations were based. It is accompanied by extensive notes on the original Sanskrit text and on several untranslated early Sanskrit commentaries.

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The Rāmāyaṇa of Vālmīki: An Epic of Ancient India, Volume V

Sundarakāṇḍa

Robert P. Goldman

The fifth and most popular book of the Ramayana of Valmiki, the Sundarakanda, recounts the adventures of the monkey hero Hanuman in leaping across the ocean to the island citadel of Lanka. Once there, he scours the city for the abducted Princess Siti. The poet vividly describes the opulence of the court of the demon king, Ravana, the beauty of his harem, and the hideous deformity of Sita's wardresses. After witnessing Sita's stern rejection of Ravana's blandishments, Hanuman reveals himself to the princess and restores her hope of rescue. The great monkey then wreaks havoc on the royal park and fights a series of hair-raising battles with Ravana's generals. Permitting himself to be captured by the warrior Indrajit, Hanuman is led into the presence of Ravana, whom he admonishes for his lechery. His tail is set ablaze, but he escapes his bonds and leaping from rooftop to rooftop, sets fire to the city. Taking leave of Sita, Hanuman once more leaps the ocean to rejoin his monkey companions.

This is the fifth volume translated from the critical edition of the Valmiki Ramayana. It contains an extensive introduction, exhaustive notes, and a comprehensive bibliography.

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