15 results in English
Romance of the West Chamber with Chen Meigong’s Critical Comments
Ding juan Chen Meigong xian sheng pi ping Xi xiang ji (Romance of the West Chamber with Chen Meigong’s critical comments) is a work by Wang Shifu (circa 1250–1307), a successful playwright of the Yuan dynasty, with commentary by Chen Jiru (also called Chen Meigong, circa 1558–1639), a painter-calligrapher and man of letters. This is a late-Ming edition in two juan, with two juan of explanatory text, one juan of Pudong shi (Poems of Pudong), and one juan of Qiantang meng (Dream of Qiantang). It was printed ...
Contributed by National Central Library
The Story of the Secluded Chamber, with Li Zhuowu’s Critical Comments
You gui ji (Story of the secluded chamber), also entitled Bai yue ting ji (Story of the Moon-Worshipping Pavilion), is one of the five greatest Ming-dynasty long poetic dramas, called chuan qi. Attributed by some to Guan Hanqing (1220–1300), the Yuan playwright, and by others to Shi Hui (born 1295 or 1296), a native of Hangzhou and a Southern-style playwright at the end of the Yuan and the beginning of the Ming dynasty, the play has 40 scenes in two juan. The story takes place at the end of ...
Contributed by National Central Library
The Four Cries of the Gibbon
This drama is by Xu Wei (1521–93), a literary writer, painter-calligrapher, and playwright. A native of Shanyin, Zhejiang, Xu Wei used various pseudonyms, among them Qingteng Jushi (Resident of the Green Vine House). Despite his talents and early achievements in painting, poetry, and essay writing, he failed in eight attempts to pass the civil examinations and never achieved a jin shi degree. He served under General Hu Zongxian, the supreme commander of the Jiangsu–Zhejiang–Fujian coastal defense against the Japanese pirates, but lost his post after the general ...
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The Four Dreams of Linchuan
Linchuan si meng, also called Yumingtang si meng (The four dreams of the Jade Tea Hall), is a collection of four major dramas by the famed Ming-dynasty dramatist Tang Xianzu (1550–1616): Zi chai ji (The story of the purple hairpin), Nan ke ji (Record of southern bough), Handan meng (Record of Handan), and most famously Mu dan ting (The peony pavilion). These dramas are called dreams, because dreams play a large role in the plot of each. Various editions of this collection appeared during the Ming and Qing dynasties ...
Contributed by National Central Library
Ten Misidentifications, or Riddles of the Spring Lantern Festival, a New Yonghuaitang Edition
Ruan Dacheng (circa 1587–1646) was a well-known late-Ming poet and dramatist from an influential family in Huaining, Anhui Province, and also a corrupt politician of unsavory reputation. He received his jin shi degree in 1616. While in office, he allied with Wei Zhongxian (1568–1627), a powerful eunuch, and was dismissed after the eunuch’s downfall. He retired to his native town, and later to Nanjing, and began writing poetry and drama. In 1644 he joined the court of the Ming loyalist Southern Ming (1644–62) regime, and rose ...
Contributed by National Central Library
The Swallow’s Message, Huaiyuantang Edition with Commentaries and Punctuations
Ruan Dacheng (circa 1587–1646) was a well-known late-Ming poet and dramatist from an influential family in Huaining, Anhui Province, and also a corrupt politician of unsavory reputation. He received his jin shi degree in 1616. While in office, he allied with Wei Zhongxian (1568–1627), a powerful eunuch, and was dismissed after the eunuch’s downfall. He retired to his native town, and later to Nanjing, and began writing poetry and drama. In 1644 he joined the court of the Ming loyalist Southern Ming (1644–62) regime, and rose ...
Contributed by National Central Library
A Romance at a Post-House
Qing you chuan qi (A romance at a post-house), also known as Qing you ji, is a play in two juan, written by Wu Bing (1595–1647), a famed late-Ming playwright from a family of officials in Changzhou. After achieving his jin shi degree, Wu Bing assumed the post of magistrate of Puqi, Hubei Province. Among his other posts were assistant superintendent of education in Jiangxi and service in the Bureau of Rivers and Canals, the Ministry of Works. He was known as an able, just official, but he later ...
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The Story of the Jade Box, with Li Zhuowu‘s Critical Comments
This work is by Mei Dingzuo (1549–1615), who based it on a Tang-dynasty romantic work entitled Liu shi zhuan (The story about the woman Liu) by Xu Yaozuo, and another work, Ben shi shi (Stories in verse), by Meng Qi. Mei had a large circle of literary friends, among them literary scholars Wang Shizhen and Wang Daokun and playwright Tang Xianzu. After repeatedly failing to pass the civil examinations, Mei devoted himself to writing poetry, novels, and dramas, and eventually became a prolific author. Among his best-known works are ...
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Office of Great Peace Album of Opera Faces
This album of pictures shows makeup for characters in the Peking opera. It is the work of a court painter in or after the Tongzhi reign (1851–74). In the Qing dynasty, an Office of Great Peace was established to manage the court dramatic troupe. When seasonal command performances and congratulatory ceremonies were held, this office was responsible for putting on plays. The makeup of the characters in the plays generally followed a set repertoire of faces and colors. The 97 paintings in this book show makeup for nine different ...
Contributed by National Library of China
Manuscript Edition of Romance of the West Chamber in Manchu and Chinese Languages
This is a manuscript edition of the popular play Xi xiang ji (Romance of the west chamber) by Wang Shifu (circa 1250–1307), a Yuan dynasty playwright about whom little is known. Fourteen plays are attributed to him, of which only three are extant. Perhaps the best known and most popular is this work, which was written in the poetic drama form called za ju that was popular during the Yuan dynasty. Based on a Tang dynasty novel entitled Yingying zhuan (Story of Yingying), the drama narrates a tragic love ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
The Lute
Gao Ming (circa 1305–59) was a Han Chinese from Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province. After a frustrating official career, he left the service, retired to Yinxian (present-day Ningbo), and made a new life writing dramas. He was the author of Pi pa ji (The lute), based on a southern folk opera, Zhao zhen nu (A girl of virtue called Zhao). The two main characters in the drama, Cai Yong and Zhao Wuniang, are transformed into a loyal and filial couple in Gao Ming’s opera, which was well received and honored ...
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The Story of Pei Du, Who Returned the Belt He Had Found at the Fragrant Hill
This work is based on a play by the notable Yuan dynasty playwright, Guan Hanqing (circa 1225–1302), Shan shen miao Pei Du huan dai (Pei Du returned the belt at the Temple of Mountain Deity). Ming dynasty playwright Shen Cai revised the story under the title Xin kan chong ding chu xiang fu shi biao zhu Pei Du Xiangshan huan dai ji (The story of Pei Du, who returned the belt he had found at the fragrant hill). Shen’s play follows the Yuan poetic drama format, called si ...
Contributed by National Central Library
Mulian Rescues His Mother
Xin ke chu xiang yin zhu Quan shan Mulian jiu mu xing xiao xi wen (Mulian rescues his mother) is a drama by Ming playwright Zheng Zhizhen (1518–95). The story originated from Fo shuo Yulanben jing, a Chinese translation by Dharmaraksa during the Western Jin dynasty (265–316) of the Indian Ullambana sutra, which tells the story of Mulian, one of the Syakamuni Buddha’s closest disciples and endowed with supernatural powers. Maudgalyāyana in the original sutra is Mulian in the Chinese version. After Mulian’s mother dies, she ...
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The Story of the Embroidered Coat, with Commentary by Chen Meigong
Xiu ru ji (Story of the embroidered coat) by Ming dynasty author Xue Jingun is considered the most complete version of the tale of the lovers Li Yaxian and Zheng Yuanhe. The tale originated in folk legends, which Tang author Bai Xingjian (776–826)  used as the basis of his short story Li Wa zhuan (Life of Li Wa). Bai Xingjian’s work served as a model for writers of later generations who retold the same tale. Xue Jingun’s version has 41 scenes and begins with Zheng Yuanhe on ...
Contributed by National Central Library
The Peony Pavilion
The play Mu dan ting huan hun ji  (The peony pavilion) is by Tang Xianzu (1550–1616), a native of Linchuan, Jiangsu Province. Tang achieved the degree of jin shi in 1583 and assumed several posts, but he was demoted as a consequence of a memorial he wrote. Later reinstated as district magistrate of Shuichang, Zhejiang Province, Tang retired from this position in 1598. As a dramatist, he enjoyed great popularity, but his unpublished manuscripts were supposedly burnt by his sons. Four of his plays with the theme of dreams ...
Contributed by National Central Library