Jin Ping Mei – A Wild Horse in Chinese Literature

Essays on Texts, Illustrations and Translations of a Late Sixteenth-Century Masterpiece

Edited by Vibeke Børdahl and Lintao Qi

Available worldwide
ISBN Hardback: 978-87-7694-318-9, £75 (November 2022)
ISBN Paperback: 978-87-7694-319-6, £25 (May 2023)

About the book

The late 16th-century novel Jin Ping Mei is considered one of the six classics of Chinese literature but also something of a wild horse, its graphically explicit depiction of sexuality earning it great notoriety. The present volume aims to draw together the fragmented scholarship on Jin Ping Mei and help future generations to understand and appreciate this important work.

The late 16th-century novel Jin Ping Mei has been described as a landmark in the development of the narrative art form, there being no earlier work of prose fiction of equal sophistication in world literature. However, it is also seen as something of a wild horse, its graphically explicit depiction of sexuality earning it great notoriety. Although Jin Ping Mei was banned soon after its appearance, today the novel is considered one of the six classics of Chinese literature. It is thus no surprise that Jin Ping Mei has caught the attention of scholars working in many different fields, places and periods. Unfortunately, the interdisciplinary and transnational exchange has been limited here, in part because of distance and language barriers. The present volume aims to bridge this gap, bringing together the best quality research on Jin Ping Mei by both established and emerging scholars. Not only will it showcase research on Jin Ping Mei but also it will function as a reader, helping future generations to understand and appreciate this important work

About the author

Vibeke Børdahl, Ph. D., Dr. Phil., senior researcher at NIAS, has been described as one of the most accomplished scholars in the study of Chinese oral literature. As well as doing much research on the interplay of oral and written traditions in Chinese popular literature and performance culture, over the past decade she has translated the full work of Jin Ping Mei into Danish.

Her book-length studies and edited volumes include Along the Broad Road of Realism.  Qin Zhaoyang’s World of Fiction, The Oral Tradition of Yangzhou Storytelling, The Eternal Storyteller, Oral Literature in Modern China, Chinese Storytellers- Life and Art in the Yangzhou Tradition, Four Masters of Chinese Storytelling- Full Length Repertoires of Yangzhou Storytelling on Video, The Interplay of the Oral and Written in Chinese Popular Literature.

 

Go to author page

Dr Lintao (Rick) Qi is Lecturer of Translation Studies at Monash University. Besides actively researching and publishing on important translation issues concerning Chinese traditional and modern literature (including an acclaimed study of Jin Ping Mei), Rick is also a certified translator and the editor of two journals in the field.

Go to author page

Reviews

by Dylan K. Wang, SOAS London
From journal: Babel
“This is a long-awaited and much-needed collection of papers on a major – and somewhat controversial – Chinese text, Jin Ping Mei …, and there is no doubt that it will soon prove a valuable resource in teaching and research.”