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The Handan Dream (Chinese-English)

  • handan dream
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Product Description

Library of Chinese Classics: The Handan Dream
Written by Tang Xianzu (the Ming Dynasty)
Translated into English by Wang Rongpei
Annotated by Xu Shuofangi
Publisher: Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press
Publication Date: 2003-12
Language: Chinese and English
ISBN: 7560038786
Library Binding: hardcover, 550 pages

The Handan Dream, one of the literary masterpieces written by Chinese dramatist Tang Xianzu in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), is adapted from Shen Jiji's romance story A Tale Within the Pillow.

It was about a scholar who went to the capital for the civil exam and was enlightened by an Immortal. Lu Sheng, the protagonist, is a down-and-out scholar who meets with Lu Dongbin, an immortal on a mission to convert a man into the world of the ever living, at a small inn in the city of Handan. Upon hearing Lu Sheng's complaint about his wretched life, Lu Dongbin lends him a porcelain pillow to sleep on. In his dream, Lu Sheng experience 50 years of vicissitudes of life as a high official, only to wake up to the stark reality that the yellow millet the innkeeper has been cooking for him is not yet done. The drama captures the seamy side of officialdom in the feudal society.

This is the first English translation of the Handan Dream. Professor Wang Rongpei is a prolific and accomplished translator of classical Chinese literary works, His translations of Zhuangzi and the Peony Pavilion have already been included in the Library of Chinese Classics. Professor Wang aims for both faithful rendition and linguistic beauty in the translation of the Handan Dream, based on an extensive and in-depth study of the original work.

Tang Xianzu (1550 - 1616) was a Chinese playwright of the Ming Dynasty. Tang was a native of Linchuan, Jiangxi and his career as an official consisted principally of low-level positions. He retired in 1598 and focused on writing. His major plays are collectively called "the Four Dreams", because of the decisive role dreams play in the plot of each one. All of them are still performed (in scenes, or in adapted full versions) on the Chinese Kun opera (kunqu) stage. Generally considered his masterpiece, Mudan Ting [The Peony Pavilion] is also his only work available in print in English.

Zixiao ji [The Purple Flute]
Zichai ji [The Purple Hairpin]
Mudan Ting [The Peony Pavilion]
Handan ji [Record of Handen]
Nanke ji [Record of Southern Bough]

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