0308 Jin Ping Mei
This Randi Hacker with another Postcard from Asia from the KU Center for East Asian Studies.
Jin Ping Mei is the title of a Chinese vernacular novel, meaning that it was written in common Chinese rather than in the Classical Chinese used for more esoteric works. Jin Ping Mei, or Plum in the Golden Vase in English, is famous for its portrayal of Ming Dynasty manners and infamous for its hard-core pornographic content. It’s the story of Ximen Qing, a randy and corrupt merchant who drinks and gambles and and fornicates until he dies of a priapic event brought on by an aphrodisiac overdose: What a way to go, right? Good news: Thanks to David Tod Roy who spent 40 years translating the work, all five volumes are now available in vernacular English. And to paraphrase Paul Simon: They’re still racy after all these years.
From the KU Center for East Asian Studies, this is Randi Hacker. Wish you were here.
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