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  • Vignettes from the Late Ch'ing

Vignettes from the Late Ch'ing

Bizarre Happenings Eyewitnessed over Two Decades

Dr. Shih Shun Liu


English , 1976/01 The Chinese University of Hong Kong Press

Tags: Literature

220 x 152 mm , 418pp ISBN : 978-962-201-015-4

  • US$18.00


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The present book is an abridged English translation of the Chinese novel Erh-shih nien mu-tu chih kuai hsien-chuang by Wu Wo-yao (1867-1910), first serialized in Liang Ch'i Ch'ao's magazine Hsin Hsiao Shuo (New Fiction) and completed and published in book form in 1909. The original work is one of the "novels of social protest" that enjoyed wide readership during the late Ch'ing dynasty for their expose of official corruption and the seemy side of life in general in contemporary China. In fact, it is one of the best-known of the genre, the other being Li Po-yuan's Kuan-ch'ang hsien-hsing chi. This book will be of value to the English-speaking public not simply for its intrinsic interest in realistic literature (it reminds one Western reader of Defoe's account of lower or middle-class life in England), it also provides social documentation of Chinese manners and morale a time of flux. With the exception of the somewhat different Lao-ts'an yu-chi, the late Ch'ing's novels of social satire are as yet unavailable in English translation. This rendering of Wu Wo-yao's novel will therefore make a welcome contribution to Chinese studies and fill a gap which has long been evident. The book contains a helpful introductory note on the author, Wu Wo-yao, and on the historical background against which he wrote. It also gives a brief resume of the numerous works he has left behind.

Dr. Shih Shun Liu was a 1920 graduate of Tsing Hua College, Peking. He was sent to the United States for higher studies, which he pursued with distinction at Johns Hopkins (A.B. '21), Harvard (A.M. '23), Michigan and Columbia (Ph.D. '25). He also received an honorary LL.D. from the University of British Columbia, Canada, in 1944, when he was serving as the first Chinese Ambassador to that country. During his student days, he was twice awarded the Fellowship in International Law by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

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