The Drunken Man's Talk: Tales from Medieval China by Luo YeThe Drunken Man's Talk: Tales from Medieval China by Luo Ye

The Drunken Man's Talk: Tales from Medieval China

EditorLuo YeTranslated byAlister D. Inglis

Hardcover | May 22, 2015

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This collection of short stories, anecdotes, and poems was likely compiled during the 13th century. Tales of romantic love?including courtship, marriage, and illicit affairs?unify the collection and make it an essential primary source for literary and social history, since official Chinese history sources did not usually discuss family conflict or sexual matters.

This volume, the first complete translation of The Drunken Man?s Talk (Xinbian zuiweng tanlu) in any language, includes an introduction that explores the literary significance of the work as well as annotations explaining the symbolism and allusions found in the stories.

Alister D. Inglis is Freeman Associate Professor of Chinese Languages and Literature at Simmons College. He is the author of Hong Mai's Record of the Listener and Its Song Dynasty Context.
Title:The Drunken Man's Talk: Tales from Medieval ChinaFormat:HardcoverDimensions:238 pages, 9.3 × 6.26 × 0.8 inPublished:May 22, 2015Publisher:University Of Washington PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0295994738

ISBN - 13:9780295994734


From the Author

The Record of a Drunken Man's Talk is a highly entertaining collection of short stories, anecdotes and poems written by Luo Ye, a little-known author of the Southern Song/Yuan period. Thematically arranged in 20 chapters, romantic love unifies the many tales of courtship and marriage, romantic trysts, illicit affairs, legal cases and, as the ancient Chinese phrased it, meetings beneath the mulberry trees. Covering a period of some thousand years, versions of the most famous traditional Chinese short stories are included, such as the "Tale of Li Wa" and "Liu and Ruan Meet Immortal Maidens". Some chapters focus exclusively on poetry by and about women. The work's importance to scholarship mainly stems from its first chapter which offers a wealth of information on professional story-telling during the Song dynasty (960-1279) and has thereby afforded a deeper understanding of this little-known area. Other chapters permit a glimpse into the bordello culture of the Tang and Song dynasties. Among these is a version of the famous treatise, the Beili zhi (Records of the Northern Quarter), which describes the customs and lifestyles of Luoyang courtesans during the Tang era. This, even today, is the only surviving source on its subject for that period. The Drunken Man's Talk is, therefore, an indispensable source for the literary and social history of the Tang and Song periods. This volume, the only complete translation in any language, will be valuable to students of traditional Chinese literature and culture. Rendered into fluid English prose, the stories are brought life for the delight of specialists and general readers alike while copious notes explain the poetic symbolism and literary allusion that was taken for granted by contemporary readers. A lost narrative, omitted from modern editions that once belonged to the collection, is included here for the first time since the fifteenth century.

Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsTranslator?s Introduction

1. An Account of the Plowmen of the Tongue2. A Legal Case Involving Illicit Love3. Romantic Union4. Women?s Verse5. Humorous Tales from a Precious Window6. Veritable Records from the Red-light District7. Records from the Red-light District8. Humorous Quips9. The Characteristics of Ladies10. Poems About Ladies11. Romantic Union12. Extraordinary Encounters with Immortals13. Virtuous Women of the Inner Quarters14. Legal Cases Involving Witty Verdicts15. Felicitous Trysts with Immortals 16. Broken Promises17. Romantic Betrayal18. Extraordinary and Predestined Meetings19. Old Stories of Reunion 120. Old Stories of Reunion 2

AppendixNotesGlossary of Chinese CharactersBibliography

Editorial Reviews

An important contribution to the field. There are very few translations of biji xiaoshuo [anecdotal fiction] from the Tang, Song, and Yuan periods.The Drunken Man?s Talk stands out because it offers a complete translation of a single collection, which offers insights into the compiler?s interests and agendas, in particular, his selection, presentation, and arrangement of stories. - Manling Luo, author of Literari Storytelling in Late Medieval China