The Peony Pavilion, Second Edition

The Peony Pavilion, Second Edition

Mudan ting
Tang Xianzu, edited by Tang Xianzu, translated by Cyril Birch
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 03/18/2002
Format: Paperback 1 b&w photos
ISBN: 978-0-253-21527-7
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The celebrated English translation of this classic work of Chinese literature is now available in an updated paperback edition. Written in 1598 by Tang Xianzu, The Peony Pavilion is one of literature’s most memorable love stories and a masterpiece of Ming drama. Cyril Birch has captured all the elegance, lyricism, and subtle, earthy humor of this panoramic tale of romance and Chinese society. When Indiana University Press first published the text in 1981, it seemed doubtful that the work would ever be performed in its entirety again, but several spectacular and controversial productions have toured the world in recent years. For this second edition, which contains a fully revised text of the translation, Cyril Birch and Catherine Swatek reflect on contemporary performances of the play in light of its history.

Author Bio

Cyril Birch is Agassiz Professor Emeritus of Chinese and Comparative Literature, University of California, Berkeley. His books include the
two-volume Anthology of Chinese Literature, Stories from a Ming Collection, Scenes for Mandarins, Mistress and Maid, and Tales from China.

Catherine Swatek is Associate Professor of Asian Studies, University of British Columbia, and author of Peony Pavilion Onstage: Four Centuries in the Career of a Chinese Drama.


“" . . . [a] superb adaptation of one of the more complex pieces of traditional Chinese vernacular literature . . . a sapphire in the crown of chuanqi drama, a play the luster of which shines undimmed in Cyril Birch's lively rendition." —Journal of Asian Studies One of the world's greatest love stories in its first complete English translation, brought up-to-date in this new edition. Cyril Birch has captured all the elegance, lyricism, and subtle humor of this drama by Tang Xianzu, perhaps the finest of the Ming dramatists.”

“Birch (Univ. of California, Berkeley) has captured the beauty and elegance of Tang's original drama, conveying even the humor of subtle puns. . . . October 2002”
 — Choice

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Table of Contents

Preliminary Table of Contents: [to come]