Escape from Blood Pond Hell: The Tales of Mulian and Woman Huang

Paperback | October 31, 2011

Translated byBeata Grant, Wilt L. Idema

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These translations of The Precious Scroll of the Three Lives of Mulian and Woman Huang Recites the Diamond Sutra are late-nineteenth-century examples of baojuan (literally, "precious scrolls"), a Chinese folk genre featuring alternating verse and prose that was used by monks to illustrate religious precepts for lay listeners. They represent only two of numerous versions, composed in a variety of genres, of these legends, which were once popular all over China. While the seeds of the Mulian legend, in which a man rescues his mother from hell, can be found in Indian Buddhist texts, the story of Woman Huang, who seeks her own salvation, appears to be indigenous to China.

With their graphic portrayals of the underworld; dramatization of Buddhist beliefs about death, salvation, and rebirth; and frank discussion of women's responsibility for sin, these texts provide detailed and powerful descriptions of popular religious beliefs and practices in late imperial China, especially as they relate to women.

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These translations of The Precious Scroll of the Three Lives of Mulian and Woman Huang Recites the Diamond Sutra are late-nineteenth-century examples of baojuan (literally, "precious scrolls"), a Chinese folk genre featuring alternating verse and prose that was used by monks to illustrate religious precepts for lay listeners. They re...

Beata Grant is professor of Chinese language and literature at Washington University, and author of Eminent Nuns: Woman Chan Masters of Seventeenth-Century China and coauthor of The Red Brush: Writing Women of Imperial China. Wilt L. Idema is professor of Chinese literature at Harvard University. His recent publications include Meng...

other books by Beata Grant

The Red Brush: Writing Women of Imperial China
The Red Brush: Writing Women of Imperial China

Paperback|Oct 25 2004

$40.56 online$45.50list price(save 10%)
Format:PaperbackDimensions:368 pages, 9 × 6.05 × 0.8 inPublished:October 31, 2011Publisher:University Of Washington PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0295991208

ISBN - 13:9780295991207

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The translators' well-written, informative introduction provides a host of insights and useful information about the stories; the translations are faithful to the original texts and easy to read. A good resource for those interested in traditional literature or popular religion in China. Summing Up: Recommended.

- Choice - 2012