Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Monkey King literature (video)

Stephan David, CC Liu, Wisdom Quarterly; A.C. Yu, "Journey to the West" (Hsi Yu Chi)

The story of Monkey was written hundreds of years ago, sometime in the middle of the sixteenth century, by a Chinese author and satirist, based on an ancient Chinese legend called "The Monkey King." 
Its original name was Hsi Yu Chi ("Record of the Journey to the West," Saiyuki or Suy Yuw Gey in Japanese). The full story is enormous, comparable in size to the Bible. There are various English translations, both full-length and abridged. Full-length versions are usually translated as "Journey to the West," while abridged versions usually have "Monkey King" or at least "Monkey" in the title.

(Col. Angus) Episode 1: The Monkey King, Zhang Jizhong

Monkey King
The novel is a fictionalized account of the legendary pilgrimage to the "holy land," India, by the Buddhist monk Xuanzang. It is loosely based on source material from the historic text Great Tang Records on the Western Regions and traditional folk tales. The monk traveled to the "Western Regions" during the Tang Dynasty, to obtain sacred texts (sūtras). Guanyin (Kwan Yin Bodhisattva), on instruction from the Buddha Amitabha, gives this task to the monk and his three protectors in the form of disciples -- namely Sun Wukong, Zhu Bajie, and Sha Wujing -- together with a dragon (naga) prince who acts as Xuanzang's steed, a white horse. These four characters have agreed to help Xuanzang as atonement for past unskillful karma. More
What is the Monkey King literature?
The Monkey (abridged version)
Anthony C. Yu’s translation of The Journey to the West, initially published in 1983, introduced English-speaking audiences to the classic Chinese novel in its entirety for the first time.

Written in the sixteenth century, The Journey to the West tells the story of the14-year pilgrimage of the Buddhist monk Xuanzang, one of China’s most famous spiritual heroes, and his three supernatural disciples, in search of Buddhist scriptures.
Throughout his journey, Xuanzang fights "demons" (yakkhas, asuras) who wish to eat him, communes with spirits (devas, pretas), and traverses a land riddled with a multitude of obstacles, both real and fantastical. An adventure rich with danger and excitement, this seminal work of the Chinese literary canon is by turns allegory, satire, and fantasy.
With over a 100 chapters written in both prose and poetry, The Journey to the West has always been a complicated and difficult text to render in English while preserving the lyricism of its language and the content of its plot. 
But Yu has successfully taken on the task, and in this new edition he has made his translations even more accurate and accessible. The explanatory notes are updated and augmented, and Yu has added new material to his introduction, based on his original research as well as on the newest literary criticism and scholarship on Chinese religious traditions. He has also modernized the transliterations included in each volume, using the now-standard Hanyu Pinyin romanization system. 

Perhaps most important, Yu has made changes to the translation itself in order to make it as precise as possible. One of the great works of Chinese literature, The Journey to the West is not only invaluable to scholars of Eastern religion and literature, but in Yu’s elegant rendering, it is also a delight for any reader.
  • "Journey To The West" (Univ. of Chicago Press), Anthony C. Yu [4 volumes].
  • [new] Revised Edition (2013) [new]
  • On 21 December 2012, a revised edition of the four volumes of "Journey To The West" was published by Univ. of Chicago Press.
  • On February 15, 2013 they were published in the UK, and on April 5, 2013, the Kindle editions were released.

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