Chinese Ancient Love Stories: The Story of the Lute (English-Chinese)

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Author: Wang Jianping; Gao Ming;
Language: Chinese & English
Format: 1 Book
Page: 277
Publication Date: 09/1999
ISBN: 7800055515/9787800055515
Publisher: New World Press
Series: Chinese Ancient Love Stories
The Story of the Lute is a rare blossom in the garden of Chinese classical opera. It encapsulates the sterling qualities of the Chinese people, and resonates with life and unique national characteristics.

The heroine, the beautiful and faithful Zhao Wuniang, is given in marriage to the strikingly handsome Cai Bojie, one of the outstanding scholars of his time. The couple are blissfully happy, until Cai's father insists that he sit for the imperial examination to choose officials, and the newlyweds are forced to make a tearful parting.

In the capital, Cai becomes the talk of the town when he comes top of the list in the examination. Coming to the notice of Prime Minister Niu, the latter compels him to marry his daughter, and keeps him in the capital for six years. All this time Cai is pining for his true bride.

Meanwhile, Zhao Wuniang boldly takes over the burden of household affairs. Unfortunately the region is stricken by a severe drought, and during successive years of famine she has to pawn all her jewelry to keep alive, until she is reduced to eating the chaff in the fields. The hardship proves too much for her parents-in-law, who perish one after the other. Zhao Wuniang, as the idiom has it, "sold her hair to buy a coffin" and "carried earth for the grave mound in her skirt" to give the old couple a decent burial. She then set off for the capital to seek her husband, carrying portraits of her parents-in-law and suffering every kind of hardship as she begged her way long the road. Her wifely devotion to her husband and her filial piety towards her parents-in-law, as well as her constant and faithful character moves the heart of the prime minister's daughter. In the end all three settle down as a family, and move back to Cai's hometown, where they live in faithfulness and harmony, and are held in great esteem.

This story still lives today in the hearts of the broad masses of the Chinese people, because of its intricate plots, unaffected language, lively characterization, and , above all, for its brilliant portrayal of Zhao Wuniang. It is a touching drama of model artistry adorning the gallery of Chinese literature. Because of its outstanding artistic attraction, The Story of the Lute has been promoted as the par excellence example of Southern Opera. As such it has had a wide-ranging and profound influence on the creation of this genre, especially The Story of the Bramble Hairpin, which dates from the early Ming Dynasty, and most of the works of Li Yu and Zhu Suchen of the end of the Ming and beginning of the Qing dynasties, all of which approach The Story of the Lute in artistic style. The Story of the Lute was introduced to the outside world in 1841, when it was translated into French, making it one of the first Chinese opera works to be translated into a forting language.
Table of Contents
第一章 高堂逼试  Chapter One  An Ambitious Parent
第二章 高中状元  Chapter Two  First in the Imperial Exam
第三章 强就鸾俦  Chapter Three  Forced to Take a New Wife
第四章 请粮被抢  Chapter Four  Destitute and Robbed
第五章 琴诉荷池  Chapter Five  The Plaint of the Zither
第六章 糟糠自咽  Chapter Six  Humble Victuals
第七章 中秋望月  Chapter Seven  Gazing at the Mid-Autumn Moon
第八章 乞食寻夫  Chapter Eight  Wuniang Begs Her Way to the Capital
第九章 书馆相逢  Chapter Nine  Encounter in the Study
第十章 一门旌表  Chapter Ten  A Family Honored
1 Customer Review(s):
by cat on 2006-11-20 22:47:07
Actually it's not so famous as introduced,it's just an ideal story of love at that time, women should have brilliant portrayal,he will get first in the exam and have two or more wives,a family honored.
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Chinese Ancient Love Stories: The Story of the Lute (English-Chinese)