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Princeton Library of Asian Translations

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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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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 VII

Uttarakāṇḍa

Robert P. Goldman

The seventh and final book of the monumental Rāmāyaṇa of Vālmīki, the Uttarakāṇḍa, brings the epic saga to a close with an account of the dramatic events of King Rāma’s millennia-long reign. It opens with a colorful history of the demonic race of the rākṣasas and the violent career of Rāma’s villainous foe Rāvaṇa, and later recounts Rāma’s grateful discharge of his allies in the great war at Lankā as well as his romantic reunion with his wife Sītā. But dark clouds gather as Rāma, confronted by scandal over Sītā’s time in captivity under the lustful Rāvaṇa, makes the agonizing decision to banish his beloved wife, now pregnant. As Rāma continues as king, marvelous tales and events unfurl, illustrating the benefits of righteous rule and the perils that await monarchs who fail to address the needs of their subjects.

The Uttarakāṇḍa has long served as a point of social and religious controversy largely for its accounts of the banishment of Sītā, as well as of Rāma’s killing of a low-caste ascetic. The translators’ introduction provides a full discussion of these issues and the complex reception history of the Uttarakāṇḍa. This translation of the critical edition also includes exhaustive notes and a comprehensive bibliography.

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A Record of Buddhist Monasteries in Lo-Yang

Hsüan-chih Yang

A Record of Buddhist Monasteries in Lo-yang (the Lo-Yang ch'ieh-lan chi) is a major document of Chinese history and literature. This translation of the sixth- century A.D. classic describes the main Buddhist monasteries and nunneries of Lo-yang and the political, economic, and social conditions at a time when that city was the capital of the Northern Wei Dynasty.

Originally published in 1984.

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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Siva's Warriors

The Basava Purana of Palkuriki Somanatha

Velcheru Narayana Rao

Here is the first translation into English of the Basava Purana, a fascinating collection of tales that sums up and characterizes one of the most important and most radical religious groups of South India. The ideas of the Virasaivas, or militant Saivas, are represented in those tales by an intriguing mix of outrageous excess and traditional conservatism. Written in Telugu in the thirteenth century, the Basava Purana is an anthology of legends of Virasaivas saints and a hagiography of Basavesvara, the twelfth-century Virasaiva leader. This translation makes accessible a completely new perspective on this significant religious group. Although Telugu is one of the major cultural traditions of India, with a classical literature reaching back to the eleventh century, until now there has been no translation or exposition of any of the Telugu Virasaiva works in English. The introduction orients the reader to the text and helps in an understanding of the poet's point of view. The author of the Basava Purana, Palkuriki Somanatha, is revered as a saint by Virasaivas in Andhra and Karnataka. His books are regarded as sacred texts, and he is also considered to be a major poet in Telugu and Kannada.

Originally published in 1990.

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 T'ang Code, Volume II

Specific Articles

Wallace Johnson

This is the second and final volume of the annotated translation of a seminal Chinese legal text. The T'ang Code, written in 653 A.D., is the most important legal text in East Asian history. Not only is it China's earliest law code to survive in its entirety, influencing all subsequent Chinese law, but it has also served as a model for codes of law in other East Asian countries, including Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. This is the only translation of the T'ang code into a Western language.

The first volume of the Code, published in translation in 1979, specifies the basic principles of T'ang law and explains the structural standards for applying these principles. Volume II describes acts that are punishable by law and enumerates their punishments. For contemporary readers, the T'ang Code is more than simply a legal document. Studying the 445 "specific articles" sheds considerable light on Chinese culture. The portrait that emerges has surprising resonances in present-day Chinese society--its emphasis on the preservation of the family and the interrelatedness of authority and responsibility, for example. As Western relations with the countries of East Asia continue to expand today, it is increasingly important that we understand the complexities of a legal system that has evolved over more than fifteen centuries. The availability of the complete T'ang Code in English is a significant contribution to this understanding.

Originally published in 1997.

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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A Tale of Eleventh-Century Japan

Hamamatsu Chunagon Monogatari

Thomas H. Rohlich

This book is a complete translation of Hamamatsu Chunagon Monogatari, one of the few extant works of monogatari literature of the Heian period

Originally published in 1983.

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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Told Round a Brushwood Fire

Joyce Ackroyd

The Oritaku Shiha no Ki of Arai Hakuscki (1657-1725) was the first Japanese autobiography and is often singled out as the most outstanding. As primary source material for the first half of the Tokugawa period, it constitutes a unique historical supplement to the official records. Presented here is a scholarly English translation of and commentary on this important work.

Originally published in 1980.

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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Tsong Khapa's Speech of Gold in the Essence of True Eloquence

Reason and Enlightenment in the Central Philosophy of Tibet

Robert A.F. Thurman

This is the first full study, translation, and critical annotation of the Essence of True Eloquence, by Tsong Khapa (1357-1419), universally acknowledged as the greatest Tibetan philosopher. The work is a study of the major schools of Mahayana Buddhism, known as Vijnanavada and Madhyamika, and an explanation of the Prasarigika (Dialecticist") interpretation of Madhyamika ("Centrism").

Originally published in 1984.

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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