Traditional Chinese Folktales: Chung-Kuo Min Chien Ku Shih

Traditional Chinese Folktales: Chung-Kuo Min Chien Ku Shih

Traditional Chinese Folktales: Chung-Kuo Min Chien Ku Shih

Traditional Chinese Folktales: Chung-Kuo Min Chien Ku Shih

Excerpt

The folktales chosen for this collection, all old favorites, provide the reader with a glimpse of Chinese life whose culture and traditions date back over thousands of years. Abounding in magic and fantasy, they run the gamut from romance and adventure to historical truths.

Despite their ancient origins, the themes that appear in Chinese folktales are similar to those in the folk literature of all nations. Thus The Golden Carp is an early version of the Cinderella story, and the tragic fate of the lovers in Liang Shanbo and Ju Yingtai is reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet.

These stories are part of the great Chinese oral tradition that has endured down through the ages. Although most of the authors are anonymous, Monkey and Finding a Wife for the River God are exceptions. Monkey is based on an excerpt from a famous sixteenth century novel by Wu Cheng-en. Finding a Wife for the River God is based on the book Shr Ji, written by the noted historian Sz-Ma Chyan during the Han dynasty.

Each selection has been translated from the original Chinese, but some liberties were taken in the interest of clarity and readability. The transliteration of Chinese names is based on the Yale system, which offers the easiest phonetic pronunciation for readers of English. We hope that the tales will enrich, entertain, and delight.

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