Hardback
April 3, 2007
9780295986906
English
31 illus.
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
1.88 Pounds (US)
$95.00 USD
v2.1 Reference
Paperback / softback
May 9, 2007
9780295987255
English
31 illus.
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
1.56 Pounds (US)
$45.00 USD, £22.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference

The Story of Han Xiangzi

The Alchemical Adventures of a Daoist Immortal

By Erzeng Yang
Translated by Philip Clart
In this seventeenth-century Chinese novel, Han Xiangzi, best known as one of the Eight Immortals, seeks and achieves immortality and then devotes himself to converting his materialistic, politically ambitious Confucian uncle - Han Yu, a real historical figure - to Daoism. Written in lively vernacular prose interspersed with poems and songs, the novel takes its readers across China, to the heavens, and into the underworld. Readers listen to debates among Confucians, Daoists, and Buddhists and witness trials of faith and the performance of magical feats. In the mode of the famous religious novel Journey to the West (also known in English as Monkey), The Story of Han Xiangzi uses colorful characters, twists of plot, witty dialogue, and action suitable for a superhero comic book to convey its religious message-that worldly life is ephemeral and that true contentment can be found only through Daoist cultivation.

This is the first translation into any Western language of Han Xiangzi quanzhuan (literally, The Complete Story of Han Xiangzi). On one level, the novel is a delightful adventure; on another, it is serious theology. Although The Story of Han Xiangzi's irreverent attitude toward the Confucian establishment prevented its acceptance by literary critics in imperial China, it has remained popular among Chinese readers for four centuries.

Philip Clart's Introduction outlines the Han Xiangzi story cycle, presents Yang Erzeng in his social context, assesses the literary merits and religious significance of the text, and explores the theory and practice of inner alchemy. This unabridged translation will appeal to students of Chinese literature and to general readers who enjoy international fiction, as well as to readers with an interest in Daoism.

About the Authors

Yang Erzeng (fl. 1590-1602) was a writer and publisher from the city of Hangzhou in southeastern China. Philip Clart is associate professor of religious studies at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Reviews

"Readers conversant with traditional and modern Chinese religion, and the Daoist universe of discourse, will appreciate Clart's painstaking contributions, and eagerly await the companion volume."—Russell Kirkland, Religious Studies Review, December 2009

"Philip Clart's complete translation . . . is both elegant and highly readable, and is accompanied by the extent and type of endnotes that will assist readers without a background in Chinese Studies to better understand the story told in this novel."—Duncan M. Campbell, Asian Ethnology, 69/1 (2010)

"Philip Clart's accomplished translation of The Story of Han Xiangzi is a welcome development for all scholars and readers concerned with either Chinese fiction or Chinese religion. . . . the book would make excellent reading for courses on Chinese fiction in translation, Daoism, or religion in literature, and would be additionally appealing because of its. . . manageable length."—Journal of Chinese Religions

"This first English translation of this important work of Chinese popular religious fiction must be considered a major contribution to the field. . . . Recommended."—Choice

Endorsements

"The Story of Han Xiangzi is simultaneously religious inspiration and literary play. It will surely attract a broad range of readers: religious seekers, those who are curious about exotic beliefs, and students of world literature. It should be in every substantial Asian studies collection."—Robert E. Hegel, author of The Novel in Seventeenth-Century China

"Yang's novel is a true treasure trove of Chinese mythological, mystic, and alchemistical traditions, and at the same time a rich anthology of Daoist didactic and mystical verse. Because of its many humorous touches, it remains a good read throughout."—Wilt I. Idema, author of The Red Brush: Writing Women in Imperial China

University of Washington Press

9780295986906 : the-story-of-han-xiangzi-yang-clart
Hardback
$95.00 USD
9780295987255 : the-story-of-han-xiangzi-yang-clart
Paperback / softback
$45.00 USD

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