Paperback / softback
March 1, 1999
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6.00 Inches (US)
.6 Pounds (US)
$27.00 USD, £20.99 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Vignettes from the Late Ming

A Hsiao-p'in Anthology

Translated by Yang Ye
This anthology presents seventy translated and annotated short essays, or hsiao-p'in, by fourteen well-known sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Chinese writers. Hsiao-p'in, characterized by spontaneity and brevity, were a relatively informal variation on the established classical prose style in which all scholars were trained. Written primarily to amuse and entertain the reader, hsiao-p'in reflect the rise of individualism in the late Ming period and collectively provide a panorama of the colorful life of the age. Critics condemned the genre as escapist because of its focus on life's sensual pleasures and triviality, and over the next two centuries many of these playful and often irreverent works were officially censored. Today, the essays provide valuable and rare accounts of the details over everyday life in Ming China as well as displays of wit and delightful turns of phrase.


"This slim—and handsome—volume constitutes a very fine contribution to the recent flurry of translations of traditional Chinese literature, one that can serve as both textbook and reference for a variety of readers."—Journal of Asian and African Studies

"This book is well-produced and well-designed. It is also itself like a hsiao-p'in, short and elegant."—Sino-Platonic Papers 98


"Vignettes from the Late Ming is a judicious selection of informal essays . . . [that] introduce aspects of traditional Chinese life that one cannot read about in more formal types of writing. These essays also tell us something about late—Ming sensibility and introduce the personality of some very interesting thinkers and writers. . . A most welcome work."—David R. Knechtges, University of Washington

"The selection is excellent; the best writers are included, and good examples by each. There is no [other] such anthology . . . available in any Western language."—Jonathan Chaves, The George Washington University

University of Washington Press

9780295977331 : vignettes-from-the-late-ming-ye
Paperback / softback
216 Pages
$27.00 USD

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