Kyc There are two complete translations of “Journey to the West”. . “Monkey” is Arthur Waley’s delightful rendition of Wu Cheng-en’s “Journey to the West”, one. renowned translator of Chinese and Japanese literature, Arthur Waley. .. When Arthur Waley abridged and translated Journey to the West in , he gave. THE JOURNEY TO THE WEST Translated and Edited by Anthony C. Yu. IN Arthur Waley, the foremost British translator of Chinese and.

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This is a superhero story. He can make copies of himself.

He can transform himself—either disguising himself as another being or appearing as an inanimate object. He has an iron truncheon that can be the size of a sewing needle or a mile long and which is indestructible.

Wielding said staff, he can defeat armies or deities. Of course, the Monkey does eventually meet his match in the form of the Buddha. The Buddha defeats Monkey not in combat, but in a bet.

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That event shifts the direction of the story. In the early chapters, Monkey is goes about heaven and earth arrogantly wreaking havoc.

Monkey: The Journey to the West

The party faces one challenge after the next, and the trip is long and arduous. Some of the challenges require brute force but in many cases they are battles of wits.

So while Monkey may be overpowered, he does experience personal growth over the course of the story. The story is told over 30 chapters, each set up with a cliffhanger. I enjoyed this translation by Arthur Waley.

Monkey: The Journey to the West by Wu Cheng’en

It is end-noted, which is useful given the historic and cultural nuances that may not be clear to readers. It should be noted that this is unambiguously a Buddhist tale.

There is a bias against Taoists and other non-Buddhist religions evident throughout the story. I would recommend this book for fiction readers, particularly if you have an interest in the superhero genre or Chinese literature.


BOOK REVIEW: Monkey: A Folk Novel of China by Wu Cheng’en | the !n(tro)verted yogi

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