Further Adventures on the Journey to the West. Master of Silent Whistle Studio
Li and Hegel’s new translation of Xiyoubu makes a great contribution to the field of Chinese Studies not only for its masterful English translation of this seventeenth-century literary gem and its erudite introduction, but also for presenting the work with the various paratexts that accompanied its late-Ming edition. Qiancheng Li’s enlightening “Introduction” is followed by the (translated) preface, sixteen illustrations, and “Questions and Answers” essay that accompanied the main narrative in its 1641 edition. While Li and Hegel based their translation on the 1641 edition of The Further Adventures on the Journey to the West (thereafter Further Adventures), they also incorporated into Further Adventures two sets of commentaries from the 1641 and 1853 editions. By including these paratextual materials, Further Adventures intends to “reproduce as nearly as possible what readers encountered when they first read its Ming and Qing period imprints” (p. xxxv). This laudable decision renders Further Adventures a valuable resource for students and scholars of premodern Chinese literature, as it reflects publishing conventions and reading habits during the Ming and Qing dynasties, opening a window onto late-imperial book culture. Further Adventures also provides a bibliography and a useful overview of relevant scholarship and translations (including that by Shuen-fu Lin and Larry James Schulz, The Tower of Myriad Mirrors: a Supplement to Journey to the West (Ann Arbor, 2000)).
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