Short Plays and Farces from the Ming and Qing Dynasties
This treasure box of eleven short plays, most available in English for the first time, will delight anyone interested in early modern Chinese drama, culture, and society. Ranging from Buddhist charades to human puppet shows, from sword dances to drag masquerades, these thematically diverse and inventive plays are admirably translated with erudition and panache. -- Judith Zeitlin, author of <i>The Phantom Heroine: Ghosts and Gender in Seventeenth-Century Chinese Literature</i> A splendid expansion of the canon of traditional Chinese drama translationsthe short plays offer a riotous deep dive into a world of laughter, while the scholarly commentary succinctly explores some of the fault lines of the early modern imagination. -- Patricia Sieber, coeditor of <i>How to Read Chinese Drama in Chinese A Language Companion</i> A brilliant collection of rare and original works that provides a broad and varied view of Chinese performance traditions. The dominant leitmotif of these translations is the ingenuity and audacity with which writers subvert convention while questioning the sociopolitical order. -- Regina Llamas, translator of <i>Top Graduate Zhang Xie: The Earliest Extant Chinese Southern Play</i> Zaju plays of the Ming and Qing dynasties have long been a neglected area both in China and elsewhere. For that reason, this anthology is a timely translation. It provides new materials not only for general readers interested in premodern Chinese zaju plays but also for students and scholars to engage in further studies of the genre. -- Hongchu Fu, author of <i>Chinese Drama</i>
Wilt L. Idema is professor emeritus of Chinese literature at Harvard University. Wai-yee Li is the 1879 Professor of Chinese Literature at Harvard University. Stephen H. West is Louis Agassiz Emeritus Professor of Chinese, University of California, Berkeley, and Emeritus Foundation Professor of Chinese at Arizona State University.
Introduction Table of Dynasties 1. Cracking a Dumb Chan Riddle 2. The Mad Drummer: Thrice-Played Yuyang 3. Chan Master Yu Has a Dream of Cuixiang 4. Real Puppets 5. Sublime Jokes from the Back of Beyond 6. Pinning Flowers in His Coiffure 7. A Song for a Laugh 8. Ramblings with Magicians in Lyrics and Songs 9. Black and White Donkeys 10. Zaju from the Studio of Singing on the Wind 11. Song of Dragon Well Tea Appendix: A List of Short Plays from the Period 1400 to 1850 Already Available in English Translation Contributors References